Tuesday, April 14, 2015

How did the ELA exams go today? Please let us know!

How were the NYS ELA exams today at your school?  Please use this blog as a discussion board.  We first found out about the infamous Pineapple passage on the 8th grade ELA exam in 2012 from a comment on this blog. 

I have heard second hand from my NYSAPE allies about opt out figures upstate and in Long Island at 70-80% at many schools, and at least one school in NYC.  I also heard secondhand that the 6th grade ELA exam had at least one reading passage at a 14.8 level on the Flesh Kincaid index -- which according to Wikipedia, indicates it is "best understood by university graduates." 

Feel free to post below opt out figures at your schools, or if you're a teacher, student, or principal, anything you found strange, incomprehensible, erroneous or not-so-unusual about the test today.  Thanks!

72 comments:

Leonie Haimson said...

from at teacher on Facebook:

This morning’s ELA exam was pure child abuse! There were 5 passages (2 which appeared on last year’s assessment). Each passage was 2+ pages long. The kids had their 70 minutes to complete 30 questions. Of the 30 questions 17 required the students to look back at various paragraphs! Most of my children didn't finish and were very upset that they might have disappointed me or their parents when in truth many adults wouldn't have been able to look back and find the correct answers in a 70 minute time frame. The students were deflated as they tried to find the best answers when MANY of the questions had more than one possible answer to choose from. Children appealed for help but all we could do was pat them on the back and say "keep trying your hardest". How awful we felt that we couldn't comfort or help OUR kids on a test that was so far above their level. Of the 10 children in my room during the assessment, I had three gifted and talented students and only 2 kids who receive remediation- they all struggled!
Word back from my colleagues in 4th grade was more of the same. Instead of 6 2-page passages like they had last year, students had 5 3-page passages. The vocabulary used most adults wouldn't be able to define. Overall we had a school of deflated students.
I'd also like to point out that there were TONS of grammatical errors. I'd love to share but we are under lock and key!
Overall the only children who won today were the children who opted out. They enjoyed doing enrichment activities in another part of the building.
Anyone still on the fence....please do your children a favor and opt out of the math!

Katie Lapham said...

Here's what I posted on my blog: https://criticalclassrooms.wordpress.com/2015/04/14/day-1-of-the-2015-nys-common-core-ela-test/

I’m not administering the tests this year, but I did receive feedback from NYC teachers and it’s not pretty.

The 3rd grade ELA (English-language arts) test contained FIVE long and dense reading passages – one teacher called them “impossible”- and 30 multiple choice questions. Third graders without testing accommodations had just 70 minutes to complete the test. Many students either didn’t finish or rushed to finish with seconds remaining. One child repeatedly hit the side of his head with the palm of his hand. Others shed tears and some felt ill.

The 5th grade test contained SIX reading passages (no poems) and 42 multiple choice questions. The passages were long and cumbersome and students without testing accommodations had 90 minutes to complete the test.

Tomorrow the students will take day two of the NYS ELA test followed by day three on Thursday.

I told my first graders that for homework they had to be nice to their older, test-taking siblings and that they had to tell their sibling (s) something that he or she is good at.

Pat said...

A third grade teacher said the test was "brutal." She said with tears in her eyes that she couldn't bear to watch the kids struggling through. Her general Ed students had to test in a different room so those with IEPs ( this is an ICT class) could have the room for extra time. A fifth grade special ed teacher said that many of her children couldn't read the exam and bubbled in anything. She herself had difficulty figuring out some of the answers. We had one child opt out (PS 157 in Brooklyn). One of the middle school teachers said his children's school
In NJ had about 45% opt out including his two children.
And yes, our school had to print their own bubble sheets.

Anonymous said...

Same for 7th grade. Many uninteresting passages, several of which inner city kids would have no reference point for. Most answers required looking back and rereading several lines and then trying to figure out which answer applied. How many 12 year olds will keep that up! Several of us teachers couldn't determine a right answer for several questions. A few didn't seem to have valid answers at all. Much difficult vocabulary. Poorly written test. Again I wonder if experienced teachers for that grade level wrote the questions. Several kids didn't finish, some admitted they just bubbled in patterns on the answer sheet because they had no time. Unfair, sad, and I agree, child abuse, especially in the younger grades.

Anonymous said...

4th grade ELA day one: "Swimming With the Sharks" was a reading passage. Probably also how it felt to the kids.

Anonymous said...

PS 94 in Brooklyn had 20 opt students even though the principal and assistant principals tried to bully parents to take test by threatening them with hold over and other misinformation however they did not receive any instruction. They sat in the auditorium and watched a movie. The principal refused to provide instruction for opt out students because the teachers were being used for testing. The K-2 students sat in the cafeteria doing workbooks because the principal cancelled all trips that teachers planned with no explanation.

Anonymous said...

I heard that one of the passages on the fifth grade assessment was the same passage found in the review material for that grade level. One should verify this. The subject matter was Mars.

Anonymous said...

From my 12 year old 7th grade son - 6 long reading passages, 42 multiple choice questions with confusing choices. At least 80% of questions required going back to specific spot in text to find answer. He said "it was like you had to read everything twice." He's an A student who has won s writing award and he said it was very hard and confusing.

Unitymustgo! said...

I am a NYC teacher and proctored the 5th grade ELA. Two passages were repeated from last year’s exam. A story titled “Road to the Red Planet,” and another titled “Blue Jasmine.” The first was the fourth passage on last year’s exam and the second the last one. Last year there were seven passages. This year there were six passages. The Red Planet story was fourth again, and Blue Jasmine was once again the last story.

Anonymous said...

5th grade mom - Day 1 DS told me there was a passage on Mars, Squirrels and a Hot Air Balloon (both informational). DS is a good reader and mentioned that the questions were tricky. No poems today.

Anonymous said...

At least 6 of the "general education" students I was proctoring for had several questions left with the 10-minute mark. One student only got up to number 26. (grade 7).

Anonymous said...

My 3 grader said it was tough, he finished a few seconds before time was up, didn't have time to check his answers. My 5 grader said it was easy, and that's how most of the kids in class felt.

Anonymous said...

It was just a waste of time.

Anonymous said...

"Child abuse"? Nice that teachers are so self-interested that they've now decided that being held accountable for their work product is child abuse. You should look into what real child abuse looks like. If anything involved with these tests could be called abuse, it's all of the teachers telling their kids that if the kids don't do well, the teacher will be fired. Classy.

Anonymous said...

6TH GRADE posted on LI:

The second reading in 6th grade exam given today was titled A Master Teacher by Helen Bledsoe. It was a story about Confucius and how he was credited with the exam system in China.
Printed in bold letters on the second page was: Let exams do the ranking
It spoke about how people had to take exams and how those that did well received positions in government based on the results.
We were appalled and angry that this found its was onto the exams today. To us it spoke to how little NYSED and Pearson care about parent wishes, students and the testing climate and quietly "attacked" it yet again.

Anonymous said...

3rd grade had an excerpt from this--

http://www.amazon.com/Eating-Plates-Pilgrim-Book-Manners/dp/0756941091/ref=sr_1_1_twi_3_har?ie=UTF8&qid=1429109091&sr=8-1&keywords=eating%20the%20plates&hc_location=ufi

Anonymous said...

The 7th grade multiple choice was difficult yesterday. We were given 90 minutes to complete 42 mutiple choice questions. The passages were extremely long and the answer choices were ridiculous and made little or no sense. We were not prepesred for taking this test. We were not expecting the test to be so difficult. We felt very confident with what we had learned in class and our teachers had though us. We were not expecting the test to be so difficult. Maybe if we were given more time we would've done better. This test should be invalidated. A piece of paper can't determine someone's future.

Leonie Haimson said...

from: http://badassteachers.blogspot.com/2015/04/ny-testing-horror-stories-ela-tests-day.html


I have watched things go from, bad to worse, and then perhaps, absurd. But this year’s sixth grade New York State ELA Assessment is nothing short of an abomination. College students would have a challenging time understanding the passages and poetry, but a far more difficult time trying to answer the questions. When they release what few pieces they release to the public, I urge all taxpayers to visit NYSED’s site, and take a stab at “trying to be as smart as a sixth grader”. Do you know what amyloid plaques in the brain are? You should if you want to be a successful sixth grader.
Enough is enough.
I am a teacher. I had to look a child in the eye today and tell this child who was compelled to tell me that he was unable to read an entire passage on the assessment, losing all of the questions associated with it. He has worked so hard this year to bring himself up several grade levels. He was devastated. I looked at him right in the eye and said, “Do not worry. Do your best. I will never know your score. We will never use your score to make any decision about you as a student. Please just relax and try your best.” I wanted to cry. I am so thankful I am not administering any assessments this year because in good conscience, I could not do this to any child on my watch.
Having pleaded my case with NYSED, Commissioner King, the entire Board of Regents and all of my elected officials to no avail, I have one single request: if you want to fire me, please, please, please find a weapon other than my students.
I love my students, and will not be silent about this abuse.




5th grade test - only 6 of my 17 in the room with me were able to finish. The ones who DIDN'T finish were my high kids, my avid readers. There was just far too much material on the test for them to get through and comprehend. As far as developmentally inappropriate goes, besides the actual length of the test, the word "acrid" was in one passage, and one of the multiple choice questions required students to choose a definition for it. How many adults know what "acrid" means, even with context clues? I had kids closing their books when I told them pencils down in tears. They worked SO HARD, but it just wasn't enough. How could it be? The test isn't designed for them to pass.






The NYS Assessments should be used in a court, as evidence of child abuse!
NYS ELA Grade 6 Day 1 had a passage, written by a British author in the 1800s, with a readability/ text complexity range from Grade 9-College!



One of the third grade stories today was an excerpt from a book called eating the plates. According to scholastic it has a grade level equivalent of 5.2 and a 720 lexile level which is on the high side for an 8 year old. Another reason why these tests are not fair.




The grade 6 test was ridiculous. 6 lengthy passages of 2-3 pages and 6-7 questions based on each passage that required students to constantly to locate paragraph numbers to figure out answers. Within 90 minutes a student had to read all the passages and answer the questions. So that means 15 minutes per passage. Lets pretend that a student took 1 minute to read and answer each question, that would take 7 minutes per passage leaving a total of 8 minutes to read and comprehend the 2-3 page passage. My students were taught all year to annotate / jot notes in the margins. Ummm that is what they were doing as the time was ticking....tick ..tick....tick....tick. I had two students my two that are reading at a 9th grade level able to complete the entire test. The rest of my students had to play color in the bubbles because they ran out of time. They had to guess / select any answer for at least the last 12 questions. This is an adequate measure of my students reading? This is OKAY? This is developmentally appropriate? THIS MY FELLOW EDUCATORS IS RIDICULOUS, UNFAIR, ABUSE OF POWERS, WASTE OF TIME and downright SAD and SICK!

Anonymous said...

I called my daughter's school today which is a middle school and no students opted out.

Anonymous said...

I must admit I was surprised to hear a teacher tell students that they could be left back if they don't do well. Especially since it's not true. These tests are ridiculous but standardized tests have always been an inaccurate way to measure a child's abilities. Unfortunately teachers are only outraged because now it affects them.

Anonymous said...

Today's 4th grade test sounds like it wasn't too bad. We heard 5th grade was nastier. In my daughter's middle school, all of the 7th graders completed the exam today (not so yesterday).

Anonymous said...

Local newspapers should publish passages from the exams.They certainly spend enough ink on bashing teachers. The public needs to be enlightened as to what is being done to their children. I can not emphasis the developmental inappropriateness of these exams.New York City Public School children will continue to be subjected to these tests, simply because their parents are uninformed. The union is not behind our children or the teachers that care so very much for them. We can not work any harder. Something must change!

Anonymous said...

My daughter took the 6th grade ELA and came home in tears because even though she is on the principle list with a 96 average, she was unable to finish. That night at 2AM she woke up with a nightmare. My daughter rarely has nightmares. She said her dream felt like she was being squeezed and she couldn't it. I have no doubt that the test was responsible.

NYCviaFLA said...

10 kids in my daughter's 4th grade class did not finish the exam on the second day, including two of the highest performers and two with extra time. My daughter said she liked one passage about roller coasters (out of three total). The teacher said there were lots of deflated kids at the end. Yesterday's test had five reading passages for 30 multiple choice questions. My daughter reported several tricky ones with two plausible answers.

I spoke to a third grader who also described a plethora of tricky questions that required lots of rereading. He said each one took him five minutes to figure out. The principle opined that kids should get at least half credit for some of those double answers since choosing either one gave evidence of careful reading.

Anonymous said...

3rd grade ELA test, day 1 - what was the answer to #13 (the question about winter) from "Eating Plates?" It could have easily been three of the four answers. Would love to know how it will be scored.

Anonymous said...

Why aren't city NYC parents opting their kids out?

Anonymous said...

On today's third grade ELA exam, Day 2, one of the passages was from a Scholastic book. On their website Scholastic lists the interest level at 9th - 12th grade and the Grade Equivalent at 5.9. ???

Anonymous said...

8th grade Dyslexic ADHD son said test was pretty easy. Said that the strategies the teachers taught him worked. I questioned about going back to read for answers, he said they were taught to read questions first and then read, underline key ideas etc. He gets extended time. These tests are really unfair, but so is life. When I get to opt out of cooking and doing laundry he can opt out of these tests. What happens when he doesn't want to take the SAT's or regents. School and assessments and testing who would have thought

Anonymous said...

Im having this question alot. What exactly happens if a student doesnt finish his conclusion for his essay and 1 short response?

Anonymous said...

From NYS Refuse the Tests on Facebook, posted on April 15, 7 pm--

From an anonymous source:

Are You Smarter Than a 4th Grader?
Well, here are the words you would need to read (decode) and comprehend. Now some of these words may seem okay, but in the context of many being grouped in the same passage, it is overkill. The words with parentheses were defined with a sidebar. But still, too much fluff!

stifling, ajar, hassock (a padded footstool), erratically, frenzied, rabic, [rabid meant?]

illuminated, peculiar, Canuck, plodded, "the crusty guardian"...crusty?,

dour, rummaged, floundered, blithely, insurmountable, obscured, obliterated (wiped out or blocked), event horizon (the outer layer of the black hole),

scrutinizing (examining or observing with great care), summoned, astounded, maneuvering, arsenal, precautions, straggle, hemp, stammers, coincidence, enormous, glimpsed,

precious, whittle, triumphantly, awestruck, gunnysacks, plowshares, laden, wordlessly, encased, refuge, assurances, amulet.

Krista Fischer said...

What was the question and what were the possible answers? I can ask my son.

Anonymous said...

Please be careful. I suspect that some of you are inadvertently -- but nonetheless inappropriately -- sharing test material. Standardized testing has its many faults, but one of the things that is useful is symmetric access to the testing material (both past and present). I agree with the contributors above that testing should be made more transparent, but it must be done in a coordinated way with pressure on the the DOE etc. Now that the UFT has a larger stake in the outcomes, that is also a good lever.

Re: Anonymous' question about why NYC kids don't opt out -- I suspect it's because many NYC schools rely upon the standardized tests for evaluation of candidates to their school, thereby countering the bias of uneven grading between schools. It is an imperfect approach, though the alternative is also imperfect

Anonymous said...

Just because your child thinks the test was easy doesn't really mean it was or that he passed. These test are not only unfair but inappropriate, stressful, and anxiety enduse. If this is what you want for your child then fine but I don't want that for my child. Yes, life is unfair but if there is a different option why not take it. Life has many options and if I can have my child be less stressful then I will go that route. There mental estability is my main interest. By the way, SAT and regents can't be compared to these test. These test have no sense or reason. First of all, after you read the passage the questions have more than one answer you. This is not the same for the SAT or regent where there is ONE answer. Second, the score for these test you won't see until the following year when it is too late for the child or the teacher to make a difference. The best way would be, to have a different test at the beginning of the year to see the level students are coming in, another at the middle and finally one at the end. This would be a more accurate way to test students growth. Third, these test were done with one purpose in mind and that is to prove their point that teachers are ineffective. Your child's knowledge has nothing to do with their goal. It sounds like you should take one of these test and see if you pass. I 'm sure you won't.
I'm constantly hearing of parents stating that there children had to go to psychologist due to the anxiety these test are causing. In my opinion, parent should get together and do a massive lawsuit to the state of New York for the child abuse and mental torture these test are causing.

Marge K said...

I asked my 8th grade son if he wanted to opt out of the exams and he said he would take them. There are no consequences for him either way since he is going to a NYC Catholic HS next year... My concern is that he is in Regents Math and Science and missed those classes for 3 days this week and presumably for 3 days next week because they fall in his schedule at the same time as the State exams. To miss SIX days of Math and Science with Regents exams coming up is of great concern to me. In addition he had no homework for ANY of his classes for three days this week. What a waste of educational time...

Marge K said...

As for the 8th grade ELA content, on the 1st day, there were 7 reading passages with 6 questions (42 total). My son said the first 2 or 3 passages were long and boring and he was afraid he wouldn't finish the exam. He did finish though, with about 20 minutes to spare...

Anonymous said...

NYSED IS USING THE STUDENTS TO DESTROY PUBLIC SCHOOLS AND EDUCATORS CAREERS

Anonymous said...

Anonymous post LI Opt Out:

Today's 4th grade assessment had a passage from "The Clay Marble" from Mingfo Ho. I googled it. Here's the grade level: 6-8. See--

http://www.scholastic.com/teachers/book/clay-marble%23cart/cleanup#cart/cleanup

Anonymous said...

All of the passages on today's Third Grade ELA Exam were very challenging. The last passage that they had to answer the questions with both a short and extended response was particularly difficult. I haven't been able to find the actual reading level because the story was originally published in a magazine. These are just some of the words from the passage - swashbuckling, galactic, swaggered, slumped, feisty, portal, launcher, transporter, cattle rustlers, hoisted. I have no doubt this is well above a third grade reading level.

Anonymous said...

The local newspapers CANNOT publish anything from the test due to it's strict security. We (the teachers in my district) had to sign confidentiality forms & signed off SIX times on the test. We were expecting the Secret Service! Insane.
*Pearson (the company that develops the ridiculous test) was embarrassed in the newspapers after the "Pineapple" incident. Google it! After that, everything was CONFIDENTIAL.

Anonymous said...

I had enough, I made my kids take this test 3 years in a row. This year has been the worst. My both kids are bright, honor students, they are reading 2-3 grades above their peers. Yet they did not have time to finish the essays. What are the other children suppose to do?? I felt like a very bad mother today. Parents, please do what is right - opt out! I waited too long....

Leonie Haimson said...

from a teacher: I read the test. It was unreal. 8th grade, 6 long passages including a short story by Guy DeMaupassant, which was completely ridiculous. 4 non fiction passages, one worse than the next. What does a bug think? The building of Central Park, a piece about the Guggenheim in Bilbao and hiking. Awful. My class was 8th grade honors, most barely finished. These are kids with scholarships to catholic HS, offers to specialized HS, Townsend Harris, and selective programs. Other kids couldn't finish, and were in tears. It was heartbreaking.
4 minutes ago
that's awful!
I took notes on today's selections, which were even worse than Tuesday's. I would love for you to be able to use them.
When they finished and were discussing the test, I told them I wasn't allowed to talk about it, and neither were they. I segued into a discussion of Tinker v DesMoines (I'm a social studies teacher).
I told them I'll be wearing s black armband next week.

Leonie Haimson said...

see this DNA info article about product placements (again!) in this year's exam, including Barricade Fire Gel — a trademarked gel made in Florida.

Also this excerpt from a 7th grade reading passage:
'Yis, your honor. Come out o' this, b'y, till I show ye the bastes'."

- http://go.shr.lc/1J8RuDs

Anonymous said...

"Yis your honor..." and so forth (comment #42 and the DNAInfo article) is from Under the Lilacs by Louisa May Alcott. Appropriate for 7th grade? Maybe for some readers. Not for all by a long shot.

Anonymous said...

As one who actually endured child abuse, I take offense at the light usage of this term for a 70 minute test. I hardly think the children felt abused by a challenging exam. This sort of hysterical ranting makes it hard to take Haimson seriously.

Anonymous said...

What if you think your kid shouldn't take the test because you understand the flaws and mis-uses of the test (or abuses for some children) but he wants to, after weeks of test prep, to make his teachers proud or just to get it done with? Child sat out test on Day 1 (opted out) then opted himself into Day 2 and 3 with permission. Can do a make up of Day 1 next week unless parents opt him out again. Does that go down as 999 or just absent?

Anonymous said...

Grade 6 Day 3: Open the booklet to see an article titled " Nimbus Clouds: Mysterious, Ephemeral, and Now Indoors". The word ephemeral was also used in the text and there was no footnote! I know several adults who could not define this word! After reading this painful article, they were then asked again how a photograph helps them understand certain lines of the text! The paired passages were both focused on the relationships between dogs and their owners. Here are more vocabulary words - paroxysm, sufferance (footnoted) clamorous, furlong, "queer throw back trait" (not footnoted). The children were very confused because people did not have names in the story, but the dogs did. The second paired passage was "That Spot" by Jack London, written in 1908. Again, very confusing with a lot of old English and extremely complex sentences. Vocabulary included "beaten curs", "absconders of justice" (in the same sentence) surmise, "savve our cabin" , and "let's maroon him". Students were asked to determine how the author's use of the word "that" repeatedly in front of the dog's name shows the narrator's relationship with the dog. Think of how difficult this must've been not just for general Ed students, but also for our ELL's and Students with Disabilities! They were then also asked to determine the theme of a paragraph! Most English teachers will tell you that theme is the message the author is trying to convey throughout a WHOLE text. Asking the theme of one isolated paragraph is ridiculous! The essay was a comparison of the challenges of both dogs, which isn't a poor question. However, the texts were both so difficult for the kids to understand that it made it difficult for them to organize their thoughts. Throw in the fact that they once again had a time limit of 90 minutes and you guaranteed frustration, anxiety, and many not finishing. Thank goodness this test is over!


http://www.smithsonianmag.com/ist/?next=/science-nature/nimbus-clouds-mysterious-ephemeral-and-now-indoors-166627507/

Anonymous said...

Not child abuse? Have you watched helplessly as a room of twenty students you have nurtured and cared for for seven months struggled through these particular tests? As a victim of physical and emotional abuse growing up, I can say that watching those eight year olds desperately trying everything they had been taught about making sense of tough text, looking into their tears eyes when they say they just don't get it and appeal for help, but all I can say is, just reread and do your best....having kids throw up from the stress and anxiety...yes that is child abuse. And no, in my school we do not pressure kids about these tests. Tests serve a purpose when car fted correctly. The purpose these tests have been crafted for has nothing to do with the children.

Anonymous said...

I just spent 3 days proctoring the grade 7 ELA test and it was an absolute waste of time. The students know these tests count for nothing so the few that were left in my room after half opted out had very little motivation to do well. Two refused the test and said their parents were calling the school,to opt- out, so they sat and read their book. The other students began asking how they could opt out. Three students completed the test in less than a half hour, two worked hard, and the remainder of the students wrote answers of 3-4 sentences. On day 2 of the test, four students came with opt- out notes from parents so they will now receive a score of 1 since they started the test but did not finish. Minimal effort from students on day 2- one student was mad at her parents for not opting her out so she scribbled in her responses- she also will receive a score of 1 even though she performs at grade level. These days spent testing are such a waste of valuable teaching time and it is absolutely insane to think that any teacher should be evaluated based on this test- absolutely absurd!!!

Anonymous said...

I worked as a substitute on Thursday. I was told I would be administering make up exams after lunch. Wanted to vomit after reading the instructions but even more so when I discovered that these make-ups were for kids who had missed the part 2 portion of the test on Wednesday. So not only did they sit for part 3 earlier that day, but sat for another 90 minutes after lunch. I was furious.

Anonymous said...

Test developers use 19th and early 20th century works because they don't fall under modern copyright rules. That's why we will continue to see Louisa May Alcott, some Willa Cather, Jack London, Stephen Crane and others. There is nothing wrong with these authors, but their diction, sentence structure, use of dialect, and other characteristics such as tone create difficulties for 21st century readers.

Leonie Haimson said...

from an 8th grade teacher:


Day 3 was awful. The first reading was an excerpt from Jules Verne, around the world in 80 days. There were 7 words defined in footnotes in the first two paragraphs. Generally, if there are that many words on a page that you don't know the definition of, you should choose a different book. The words were: avaricious, taciturn, conjectures, whist, congenial, grenadier and Monsieur. There were many others that were difficult including sumptuous and valet, which they defined as manservant on Tuesday's exam, but didn't on Thursday. The question for this passage was about his relationship with money and how do the words straight laced, & steadfast describe the main character.

The turn of phrase in the selection was so difficult that comprehension was nearly impossible. Phrases like 'the wits of the curious were fairly puzzled' intimate acquaintances, and itinerant singer, but the absolute best was the reference to Saville Row, as if American 13 year olds would understand that this is a fashionable street in London. There was a sentence in the passage 'the habits of its occupant were such as to demand little from the sole domestic.' Honestly this was for 13 year olds.

After that there were two passages (non fiction) on playground safety. Here's the vocabulary from them:
Bowdlerized, habituation techniques, counterintuitive, common phenomenon, orthodoxy, circuitous, risk averse culture, litigious society, per se, & cognitive. I thought these were hard. Also straight laced, steadfast, scabbard. Then there were references to a Dan Zanes concert, and these phrases:
'Far from the tax brackets of the south street seaport' and 'assuage paradoxical parental anxieties'

But the kicker was this sentence:
'Paradoxically, we posit that our fear of children being harmed by mostly harmless injuries may result in more fearful children and increased levels of psychopathology.'

That sentence was on a test for 13 year old children. I proctored an honors class. No one finished in under an hour, most finished between around 75 -90 minutes. They were exhausted when finished. When I had their class after, I used some of the words on the test in our discussion, and a few kids raised their hands to say they didn't know what it meant. These kids are going to specialize NYC HS in the fall.

They are bright kids. One of my special Ed students who gets double time was testing until noon. Many regular Ed students barely finished as time was called.

There was a question on the 7th grade test about 'how does dialogue reflect the author's purpose' or something like that. It was awful.

Anonymous said...

Third grade Day 1: 5 kids took the test in my room (huge refusal numbers! Happy dance!) 4 of them DIDN'T FINISH! To the anonymous person who feels this isn't child abuse: I am all in favor of accountability. These tests are NOT measures of accountability. Do some research before you bash another teacher. The tests are designed for FAILURE. Reading levels of 2+ years over the grade level being tested IS ABUSE. Oh, and I can actually BE FIRED for the tests scores. Please become an informed citizen. Public education in NY is in peril because of misinformed people.

Anonymous said...

4TH GRADE READING PASSAGES: ABOVE GRADE LEVEL. ALSO: HAVING ALL 3 SET IN RURAL AREAS SEEMS UNFAIR TO URBAN CHILDREN. THIS WAS POSTED ELSEWHERE ONLINE AND WE ARE RESHARING HERE.

Anonymous sent us this: The 4th grade ELA reading passages were AGAIN...way above level.

1. "Which way to the wild west".... listed as grades 5-9

http://www.amazon.com/Which-Way-Wild-West-Schoolbooks/dp/1596436263



2. "Hattie's Big Sky" grade level equivalent is 6.3

http://www.scholastic.com/teachers/book/hattie-big-sky#cart/cleanup



3. "If wishes were horses" ...states it is mid-5th grade

http://www.scholastic.com/teachers/book/if-wishes-were-horses

Anonymous said...

NY State 6TH GRADE ELA VOCABULARY WORDS on the tests this week. Per the source, only one was defined in parentheses. Reposting, so you might have already seen these:

Ephemerality. Transitory. Hailing. Faux. Plinth. Aerogel. Latter. Sufferance. Paroxysm. Veriest. Trifle. Merits. Furlong. Tramps. Inordinately. Prowess. Tutelage.

Anonymous said...

If your children come home and tell you the test was easy I'm afraid that it just went over their head. I teach a highly motivated fifth grade g&t class and Grade 5 Day 1 was horrific. The passages were readable on grade level, however the questions were poorly written. It seemed as if a different person wrote every question. I imagine the task of the question writers was "make it as confusing as possible". There was a handful of questions that I felt dud not even have a correct answer choice. Every student in my class who is at or above grade level did not finish.

Anonymous said...

Day 3 grade 4 of ELA. I was proctoring for 2 students. One child was reading when he said to me, this doesn't make sense. I said he had to be quiet and he said again, this doesn't make sense. I asked him what. He pointed to one story and said the name isn't the same. Above the title of the book, in italics, they described the scene. They said John Marshall, carpenter. In the story, it changed to James Marshall, carpenter. (They had another character in story named John). Confused the poor child. I said you are right. I didn't know what else to say. I reported it to assistant principal. It was horrible.

Anonymous said...

Different kinds of abuse. Very sorry for what you endured. I have given THESE tests. They are abusive. Period.

Anonymous said...

5th grade NYC parent here. My son said the multiple choice was fairly easy except for two questions, and he seemed pretty mellow about the writing portions on the 2nd and 3rd days. Honestly, I'm hearing so much griping about these tests and how they are child abuse and so forth. My son is on his 3rd year of testing and these tests have become somewhat routine for him. Granted, the tests are pretty crappy and I wish the state would hire a new company to replace Pearsons, or perhaps have a group of teachers write the tests (they could save a ton of money that way!), but they are not child abuse and they are not permanently damaging our kids. And I feel that the experience of taking these tests can only help as the kids get older and have to take even more tests.

Anonymous said...

http://www.wnyc.org/story/three-days-testing-test-stamina/


Anonymous said...

I hear this was on the 3rd grade exam: http://www.amazon.com/Drag-Racer-M-Pitt/dp/0613520211

Says grades 4-7. Lots of vocab if you click the "look inside" function on amazon. Also content-wise -- really? Drag Racing???

Anonymous said...

Anonymous post--

Someone who proctored 3rd graders who got extended time (ESL students).

One of the readings: The story was about a kid who was on an archaeological dig. He found the dig boring, and he was very distracted by his wiggly tooth. At the end of the story, he said, "A TOOTH!" MY TOOTH"! or something like that - then the paleontologist came over and they saw that there was a tooth in the ground.

They were saying things like "what kind of tooth is it?" We could NOT figure out whether or not the tooth was supposed to be HIS tooth or a DINOSAUR tooth. FOUR of us, experienced teachers, had this discussion. The worst part is that...we'll never know! We'll never know what the answer was.

The 3rd day really had me going. THe first passage was about 2 girls and their actions during the war of 1812.

The third passage was about a kid who goes places with his mother but he hates waiting on line that he uses his imagination to "go" other places. He goes to the grocery store, the bank and the "burger barn" where he "swaggers" to the front of the line. The essay question asked "where did the boy go and why was it important to the story?" every kid that I saw wrote that they went to the grocery store to buy food and to the bank to get money. They absolutely did not get that he imagined being other places because of the place he was actually in. At the end, the mother asks if he wants to go to the park, and he's looking forward to waiting on line for swings and the slide because of what he can imagine while he's waiting. EVERY kid wrote that they went to the park. (even though they had NOT gone to the park yet - they were just talking about going) I'd easily put the readability of that passage on a 5th grade level.

The real kicker for me, though - was the second passage. It was titled, "The Aurora Borealis" (?!) It was about the aurora borealis and how the northern lights are formed. Yes. These kids are 8 years old. I asked some of my friends this weekend how much they knew about the Aurora Borealis, and believe me.... you know what happened. It is a disgrace what kids were put through.

9jaka said...

Does anyone know why there are A, B, C & D versions of each grades test? Each class gets the 1 letter. My children have gotten the D tests only.

9jaka said...

What letter test form did you get? My class was D. Thanks.

9jaka said...

For 7th grade version C, there was a story titled kidnapped but the story was a person that got stranded on the island. The children were confused why it was called that but they wrote about the person stranded on the island.

Anonymous said...

I am scoring the 3rd grade exams The selections on Aurora Borealis, Drag Racing, and an Army of Two were ridiculous. These selections are not grade 3 appropriate for readability or interest level. The people at Pearson who make tests up have, no doubt, NEVER set foot in a classroom.It's emotional abuse to make children suffer like this.

Anonymous said...

Why are there 4 forms of the tests? To include 4 sets of embedded field test questions. NYSED's rationale is ridiculous.

http://www.p12.nysed.gov/assessment/ei/2013/nystp-ft-13.pdf

That was from 2012, the 2015 memo doesn't explain it. So NY students are unwitting, unpaid research assistants so Pearson can get questions to sell to other states for their tests--and NYSED is allowing it. Outraged yet? BOYCOTT the standalone field tests!

Anonymous said...

The argument that the test had passages above reading level and therefore it is invalid is without merit. If a test is graded at level (3) and above level (4) unless you have text above level you could not determine who was above level

Anonymous said...

Another fun day scoring the Grade 3 ELA. "Eli Escapes." Why did the author use the word SWAGGER in Paragraph 5? Give TWO supporting details from the passage to support your answer. This story is about a boy Eli who goes to various places with his mother namely grocery, store, bank and burger barn. He's annoyed that he has to stand in line and imagines that he is a pirate, space ship commander and sheriff. These people never have to stand in a line.He has to learn patience.I've summarized the story. How many THIRD graders know the word SWAGGER????? Very few students got the idea of the story and used the words imagination, pretending, or daydreaming in their responses. Some said SWAGGER meant "walking like you're cool. Wow! However, a majority didn't give TWO details to support that word.OMG, I could cry b/c some students wrote. I tried, but i don't get it; I have butterflies in my stomach and i want to throw up; I can't do this. I want to hug the student who wrote "Fuck the common Core." I get a gold star b/c I marked the most "unusual" answer.Gotta love that student!!!!

Anonymous said...

Pearson and Co. should be burned at the stake. A $$$ driven company who cares diddle swat about children and knows zippo. Who makes up these questions and selects the passages??? Obviously NOT teachers! Reminds me of a workshop I attended at Columbia Teachers college many years ago. A lovely young woman was presenting strategies for the Columbia writing/reading program to teachers. My fellow teachers begged me NOT to ask any questions. I asked, " Dear, how long have you been teaching?" Answer: "I have never taught, I am a PHd candidate" You can guess that the room exploded with laughter.

homework answers said...

Thanks for this great information. I totally agree with your perspective. Your articles made me want to read more.

homework answers said...

Nice topic and thanks for sharing!

Shyanne G. A.K.A. Random Shy the Butterfly said...

Ha. This test really wasnt THAT hard. Yes, you had to go back and look at some of the questions or maybe you had to read one thing twice but it was alright. I just got my scores back and I got a perfect score on the math test and 2 multiple choice wrong on the ELA.My writing was perfect, which is odd because I hate writing and that was probably the hardest part for me. Yet I ended up getting 2 multiple choice wrong and I like multiple choice. I got 4s on both of them. Oh well. I'm in Honors English this year again maybe I'll learn more this time and I'll get a perfect score on this one too. I might not have to take the math state test this year because theyre making me take the Regents(Which is a high school test:(!) for math I don"t know about English yet but, i doubt they'll make me take the state test again. Honestly, the English test was just a bore. I guess all this makes me a geek I'm already a year younger than everyon else. SSorry if this sounds mean or braggy to you. I'm just simply telling you the truth. Pardon me if you conceive me as self-aggrandizing.