ALBANY—The first major piece of legislation approved under new Senate majority leader John Flanagan included funding for an obscure state Education Department priority and nuanced changes to policy regarding state-administered standardized testing.
For example, while the bill requires the education department to release more questions from state exams, the language doesn’t specify a certain percentage of questions that must be made public. Rather, addressing officials’ arguments that releasing too many questions would threaten the validity of future tests, the bill requires the department to release “a significant amount of questions.” The bill says, “The commissioner may limit the number of questions and answers released only to the extent necessary to avoid hindering or impairing the validity and/or reliability of future examinations.”
“It strikes me as careful, and that suggests an attention to not creating problems,” Lowry said, referring to the language. “He has been very engaged with these issues, and the broad benefit is just having a grasp of how schools work and how state education policies affect schools and potential problems that arise with changing state policies.”
So instead of requiring a specific number of percentage of questions be released, Flanagan gave NYSED the leeway to release “a significant amount of questions."
NYSED is given the power to release as many - or more likely, as few - test questions as they want.
The way to show the quality (or rather, lack thereof) is to release the whole tests so that the public can see exactly what timed duress children are up against with these tests.
But Flanagan and the Legislature didn't come through with enough money to do that and they've given NYSED enough cover to release just enough to make the tests look good without releasing enough to give the public a true understanding of how badly designed and unfair these tests are.
In short, the part of the omnibus bill that requires NYSED to release more questions from state exams is bullshit, devised to make it look like the state education apparatus is open about the Endless Testing regime when they are anything but.
You can bet the hacks at SED do not want enough money to be able to release the Common Core tests in their entirety but rather want to be able to release just eough of the tests to make themselves and the tests look good.
They do not want the curtain drawn back on the Endless Testing regime any more than the test companies who develop these garbage tests do.
John Flanagan, through political manipulation, enabled NYSED to continue to avoid scrutiny and accountability for these tests.