Perdido 03

Perdido 03

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

NYCDOE Made Mistakes On The Spanish, Italian, Chinese and Japanese Language Exams (UPDATED)

The NYCDOE is acknowledging more errors on the high stakes foreign language exams the city has given to replace the old Regents foreign language exams that the state no longer offers.

As I noted earlier, the NYCDOE issued a Spanish exam that was missing the last page of the booklet.

That page contained the third prompt to an essay question as well as a rubric for students to use to check over their essay writing before handing in the test.

Midway through the exam, the DOE informed schools they should make copies of the rubric and hand them out to all students taking the exam.

Most schools undoubtedly were unable to get the copies made and distributed in time before the test ended or students completed the exam and left the testing room.

After all, they didn't inform schools of the mistakes until well after the Spanish test started.

In addition, there was a scoring key error on the Italian exam.

Now the NYCDOE is acknowledging there are more problems with the foreign language exams.

The Chinese language exam has a question with two correct answers and another question that has a scoring key error.

And the Japanese language exam
has a question that is so ambiguous that all four answer choices are considered correct.

The NYCDOE has made mistakes on at least four of the foreign language exams they have given this June, one of which was a major screw-up that compromises the legitimacy of the Spanish exam.

And yet, as of 5:25 PM this evening, a full day after the foreign language exams were given by the city, I have still not seen any media coverage of these testing miscues and errors.

There has been plenty of coverage of the lack of an agreement on teacher evaluation disclosures, however.

Apparently the disclosure of teacher evaluations based upon test scores is a much more important news story than the fact that the NYCDOE can't put out error-free high stakes standardized tests any more than the geniuses at the Regents, the NYSED or Pearson can.

Oh, and one more thing:

The same geniuses who forgot the last page of the Spanish exam booklet, the same ones who added a question on the Chinese language exam with two correct answers and a question on the Japanese exam that is so ambiguous that every answer choice is correct, are the same people in charge of the "local assessments" we're going to see as part of Governor Cuomo's vaunted new teacher evaluation system next year.

Since they can't handle putting out a few foreign language exams once a year, you can imagine the bang-up job these people are going to do putting out tests twice a year in every subject - from math to ELA to science to social studies to art to music to physical education to health to foreign language.

But so long as the news media ignores the problems, I guess it doesn't really matter how many mistakes the NYCDOE makes, does it?

UPDATE - 8:08 PM: Gotham Schools covers the DOE foreign language test mess.

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