Pearson has been very sloppy with its New York State tests this year.
First we had the Pineapple and the Hare selection revelation last week, wherein Pearson gave an incomprehensible story to read and incomprehensible questions to answer about that incomprehensible story.
Then yesterday it was revealed that at least two questions on this week's state math exams are problematic. One question has no answers, another question has two answers. (The NYSED decided not to throw one of these questions out, but did tell principals teachers could tell students about the problem on one of the questions IF students asked.)
Today the Daily News reports Pearson used a listening passage that was available in test prep materials so that some students might have an unfair advantage on the test.
At what point do the accountability meisters in the state - Tisch, King, and Cuomo - get held accountable for this testing mess?
At what point does Pearson get held accountable for it?
These tests are being used to make high stakes decisions on students, teachers and schools.
Cuomo bragged about how New York is now at the forefront of teacher evaluation with his vaunted new system that uses a value-added measurement based upon these Pearson tests to see if teachers have "added value" to their students' scores.
Leaving aside the problems with the VAM (which have wide swings in stability and large margins of error - even larger than Cuomo's ego!), how can any honest person say an evaluation system based on these error-riddled tests is a good thing?
Cuomo, who wouldn't shut up during the teacher evaluation battle earlier this year, has yet to make a statement about these Pearson tests.
He refuses to be held accountable for these tests, he refuses to hold the testing company accountable for these tests, he refuses to hold the NYSED, the Regents and most particularly John King and Merryl Tisch accountable for these tests.
We need a law that requires these tests be made public.
It is quite clear that Pearson, the NYSED and the Regents CANNOT be trusted to do the right thing with this.
VAM the NYSED.
VAM the Regents.