Take Our NY State Exam Quiz! (handout)

The following can be used to introduce the topic of testing and opt-out to parents who aren’t familiar with the issue. (Answers below)

Download handout PDF (right-click)

1. According to a letter signed by 557 New York State Principals, which of the following are problems with the state tests:
(a)    Ambiguous questions appear throughout the exams: Many teachers and principals can not agree on the correct answers.
(b)    Children have reacted strongly to the exams, in some cases vomiting or losing control of their bowels or bladders.
(c)    Tests have increased the achievement gap, as scores of economically disadvantaged students have dropped sharply.
(d)    The tests are putting financial strains on schools, as more money is spent on test prep and consultants.
(e)    All of the above

2. Which of the following standardized tests takes roughly twice as long—about 7 hours—as the others?
(a)    LSAT (law school admissions)
(b)    2015 NY State 3rd Grade Tests
(c)    SAT (college admissions)
(d)    MCAT (medical school admissions)

3. Under Governor Cuomo’s changes to the teacher evaluation law, 50% of gym teachers’ effectiveness rating could be determined by students’ math and reading scores.
(a) True
(b) False

4. Which of the following have stated that test-score-based teacher evaluations are unscientific and not reliable:
(a)    National Academy of Sciences
(b)     American Statistical Association
(c)    American Education Research Association
(d)    National Academy of Education
(e)    All of the above

5. The National Academy of Sciences considers high-stakes standardized tests valid for which of the following:
(a)    To decide individual student promotion from one grade to the next
(b)     To compare state-wide progress in reading and math
(c)    To evaluate teacher effectiveness
(d)    None of the above

6. What company produced the tests that will be used in New York State in Spring 2016?
(a)    Pearson, despite the fact that its tests are so widely panned that the state opted not to renew its contract.
(b)    Questar, even though it has never created accountability tests for grades 3 to 8 and has only one other state contract, Mississippi.
(c)    Facebook (sure, why not?)
(d)    None of the above

7. About 240,000, or 20%, of parents in New York State boycotted the state tests last year:
(a) True
(b) False

 

ANSWERS

1.    E. All of the above.
2.    B.  We don’t expect most adults to sit this long for a test, why are we requiring 8-year-olds to do so?
3.    True, even in 2016, during a “moratorium” on state testing.
4.     E. All of the above.
5.     D. These experts see no correlation between high-stakes test results and student performance, in part because attaching incentives and punishments to assessments diminishes their reliability and value.
6.     A. Pearson, even though New York’s new contract is with Questar (which may—or may not—create the 2017 tests)
7.     True. This is a growing movement­—because refusing the test has been the only way to get politicians’ attention.

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