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Pineapples Don’t Have Sleeves

Just in time for this week’s readings . . . an article in the New York Times on a recent problem with a standardized test question.

Link to article

Standardized Testing Is Blamed for Question About a Sleeveless Pineapple [pdf link]

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Posted in 9 Standards, Prof. Ferguson.

3 Responses

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  1. Christopher Grimm says

    I heard about this, Professor. Completely ridiculous. Apparently, the question was recycled from another state’s standardized exam, too! And to think, we want our students to read critically. How about the test makers, hmm?
    (No offense to those in our cohort who work for test makers, like the College Board!)

  2. johnjparente says

    I too heard about this test question. It is just more reading and writing for points, not for a real-world purpose. Silly fables.

    Why not use a straight-forward story in that question’s place? I guess most of you realize that I have been talking with my co-workers all week about this stuff (there are over 100 teachers in my school). This year I am more vocal than ever thanks to the timing of this Comp.Theory course. I’m going to take this right to the extreme by asking; If the principal has a school take exams produced outside of the school, does that principal support his/her teachers?

  3. mobrien says

    John, the answer to your question is not as simple as one may think. In the case of NYS, with the new teacher evaluations in place, the choice of standardized tests puts administrators between a rock and a hard place. We have been told that 60% of our effectiveness rating will be based on standardized tests. Adminstrators can: (1) allow those standarized tests to be the ones that come from the state (ie: the Regents) or (2) go elsewhere to have local exams created by on outside source (at the expense of the district). If I were an adminsitrator, I would probably go with an outside source only because I was unsure in this current political climate if the standardized exams on the state level really had the best interests of my students, and now by default my teachers, in mind. The risk we run by going with an outside source is clear when we read articles like this one about sleeveless pineapples. I do not think that a principal’s choice to go with an outside source means that he/she doesn’t SUPPORT the teachers. On the contrary, it may mean the principal is choosing the lesser of two evils because he/she wants to SAVE them.