Students were supposed to complete their exams by choosing two out of three essay prompts to write about, one of which would have been a cartoon.
Because the last page of the booklet was missing, students could only choose the first two essay prompts.
It was also missing the rubric they were supposed to use to check their work.
The Spanish test given by the city yesterday was an important one, replacing the old New York State Spanish Regents exam.
The NYCDOE sent these flawed testing materials all over the city, then apparently emailed schools right during the middle of the test to acknowledge the screw-up and suggest ways to mitigate the damage.
Those notices are located on the NYCDOE website page for the LOTE foreign language exams.
Here's what they wrote regarding the Spanish exam:
This notice pertains to Question 33 and the Part 4 Writing Rubric in the Comprehensive Examination in Spanish.
Due to a printing error, question 33 and the Part 4 Writing Rubric were not included in the Test Booklet.
Directions for questions 31-33 indicate that the students must choose two of the three writing tasks provided. Since only two writing tasks are included, the students must respond to both questions 31 and 32.
The Part 4 Writing Rubric will be disseminated in a separate notice. Please distribute to the students.
We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause you and we thank you for your hard work on behalf of the students in New York City.
Gee, how nice - they apologize for any inconvenience these mistakes caused anybody.
And how do they try and mitigate the damage from these mistakes?
By disseminating the Part 4 Writing Rubric - which students needed to check over their Part 4 essay work - right in the middle of the exam so that most students wouldn't actually get the rubric and couldn't actually use that rubric to, you know, check over their work.
Gee, that mitigates the damage from the mistakes all right.
But the Spanish exam wasn't the only test they screwed up.
They also screwed up the Italian test too.
Two major screw-ups by the NYCDOE on the high stakes foreign language exams - one of which seriously comprises the Spanish exam - and yet there is no coverage of this today in the news.
You can see the lack of coverage here at Gotham Schools' morning round-up.
There are lots of stories in the newspapers today about the lack of a teacher evaluation disclosure agreement - but not one about the NYCDOE sending out two flawed foreign language exams which will, in part, help decide evaluations of foreign language teachers.
So the lack of a teacher evaluation disclosure agreement is news but the city sending out a Spanish exam missing the last page of the booklet and screwing up the Italian test isn't?
No wonder so many teachers feel like the corporate media and the corporate media wanna be's have an agenda when it comes to reporting the education news.
What gets reported as news seems awfully selective.
And once again, we see another moment where accountability is only for teachers and never for the people running the school systems.