Carol Burris Discusses Some of the Worst Questions on the Pearson Common Core Tests


Why isn’t this fraud, or at the very least, malpractice?

Diane Ravitch's blog

Carol Burris, principal of South Side High School, has been an outspoken critic of both the Common Core standards (which she once supported, even wrote a book about them) and the testing associated with them. She is a leader of the Opt Out movement on Long Island in New York.

In this article for Valerie Strauss’s Answer Sheet blog, Burris reveals some of the most problematic questions on the Common Core ELA tests, administered last week. So many of the questions and the reading passages are now circulating on the Internet that it is hard to believe that Pearson thinks its tests are secure. They are not.

The article includes links to all the items mentioned.

Burris writes:

Disgusted teachers and parents are defying the “gag order” and talking about the tests, anonymously, on blogs. The sixth-grade test has consistently come under fire, especially during Day 3 when an article…

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The New York Times Misses the Story: Opt Out Came from Parents, Not Unions


Diane Ravitch's blog

In a story published in the New York Times, Kate Taylor and Motoko Rich describe test refusal as an effort by teachers’ unions to reassert their relevance. This is ridiculous.

Nearly 200,000 students opted out. They were not taking orders from the union. They were acting in the way that either they wanted to act or their parents wanted them to act.

I emailed with one of the reporters before the story was written and gave her the names of some of the parent leaders of the Opt Out movement, some of whom have spent three years organizing parents in their communities. Jeanette Deutermann, for example, is a parent who created Long Island Opt Out. I gave her the names of the parent leaders in Westchester County, Ulster County, and Dutchess County. I don’t know if any of them got a phone call, but the story is clearly about the…

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Laura H. Chapman: The U.S. Department and Its Love of Data, Data, Data


Too much data. Too little information. Less and less teaching which means? Less learning.

Diane Ravitch's blog

The following comment was posted on the blog by Laura H. Chapman, who has been a teacher, author, and curriculum designer in the arts, now retired. We are very fortunate to have such a brilliant person regularly commenting here. In 2011, the U.S. Department altered regulations governing student privacy to make it easy for third parties to access confidential student data.

I have been looking into issues of data use and privacy. The US Department of Education has a new privacy czar… sort of.

If you want to register a complaint about the loss of privacy due to holes punched in the Family Educational Rights Privacy Act (FERPA) by Arne Duncan and his tech buddies, why not go to the top privacy official at the US Department of Education, Kathleen Styles? She is USDE’s first Chief Privacy Officer—Email: Or go to Michael Hawes, Email: who is her advisor…

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Pearson Server Crashes in Colorado, Unplanned Test Interruption


Like, seriously, a kid could have predicted this. So who gets the low score and loses their livlihood? Figure out a way to scapegoat teachers on this one?

Diane Ravitch's blog

The Pearson server crashed in Colorado as tens of thousands of students were taking online assessments in science and social studies.

It was not what you would call an opt out, but it had the same effect. The Brave Néw World of online assessment is not quite ready for prime time.

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