View Full Version : All NYC New York Lays Out Rules for Its Standardized Tests in $32 Million Contract with Pearson

08-15-2011, 08:48 AM
From the N.Y. Times (http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/13/nyregion/new-york-in-contract-with-pearson-lays-out-rules-for-state-tests.html) by Sharon Otterman:
Standardized tests in English and math taken by students in New York State are about to become slightly less tricky.

Beginning next spring, a new company, Pearson, will write the standardized tests that the Education Department gives to nearly all third through eighth graders. The department switched to Pearson this year after its contract with another company, CTB/McGraw-Hill, expired.

The department has advised the new company that catch-all answer choices known for tripping up students, like “none of the above” and “all of the above” and already rare in the state’s tests, are now banned.

Mirroring a national trend toward clearer multiple-choice questions, the use of the word “not” to confuse students is also off the table; negatives can be used only when necessary, the contract states. That makes it far less likely that students will confront head-spinners like: “Which of the following words can not be used to describe the tone of this passage?”

The details of what the tests will contain, and may not contain, are included in the $32 million, five-year contract the state issued this year. Tests written by CTB/McGraw-Hill came under criticism in recent years because researchers found that over time, the questions had become too predictable, leading proficiency rates to rise well above those on the national gold-standard, the National Assessment of Educational Progress.

read more>> (http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/13/nyregion/new-york-in-contract-with-pearson-lays-out-rules-for-state-tests.html)