Three New York Regents: The Tests Are Failing, not the Students

Diane Ravitch's blog

In an article in Long Island Business News, three members of the New York State Board of Regents criticized the state tests, on which 70% of the state’s students failed to meet “proficiency.” They said, the students didn’t fail, the tests failed. The tests have questions that are above the students’ understanding, there is not enough time to finish, they have questions that are confusing and intended to lure students to the wrong answer.

Regent Kathleen Cashin, an experienced educator, said the tests may be neither valid nor reliable. Regent Judith Johnson, an experienced educator, said that students are fearful that their teachers will be fired if they do poorly on the tests.

Members of the Board of Regents at their meeting last Monday said the tests, due to poor design and process, may be doing damage. Rather than setting high standards, they may simply be failing to…

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