Monday, April 21, 2014

A Look Into the Top-Secret World of High-Stakes Testing

There is such a degree of secrecy surrounding N.Y.S. Common-Core tests that you might mistake it for the Manhattan Project.  Teachers are not privy to share any of the specific questions with the public.  Nonetheless, one can find many generalized criticisms of the exams on the internet (like here and here).  One can also speak with teachers who proctored the exams as well as the children who took them at the different grade levels.  I haven't heard one person praise the exams.  A friend noted, however, that the readings seemed reasonable, but the questions were not.  I can only go on hearsay.

In case you're wondering why Common-Core tests are classified, I have absolutely no idea.  But I can take some educated guesses.  

The Top Ten Reasons for Keeping the Content of the N.Y.S. Common-Core Tests Secret:

10.  P.A.R.C.C. or Pearson may intend to use these questions again.  If they can recycle the same trash, there is no need for creativity on their account or on our account.

9.  These questions may cause controversy if it is discovered that they were borrowed, in part, as in the past, from the testing company's purchasable review books.

8.  If parents learn the length and content of the exams, they make seek to shelter their children before the six-day cycle of suffering has ended. 

7.  People with a Ph.D. really don't need to know at an advanced age that they couldn't pass a third-grade  Common-Core test--and that neither could the politicians, policymakers and test makers.

6.  People can't handle the truth.  If the test questions are publicized, there may be riots in the streets. 

5.  Releasing the contents of the exams might prove a grave national security risk. 

4.  Imagine if these questions should fall into the wrong hands.  Terrorists might gain hold of them and use them to threaten civilization as we know it today. 

3.  Last year's tests failed 70% of NY state's children.  These test questions might be circulated on the internet and used as weapons of mass destruction. 

2.  You know what happened with Roswell.  If Americans actually see the questions, they may believe, beyond any doubt, that it is proof of contact with extraterrestrial beings!

1.   If we actually find out about these questions, we might have to meet the same fate as the famed talking pineapple of April 2012.  We might need to be bumped off.

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