New York City principals are rising up against the Common Core testing that was forced on their students last week and contained “inappropriate conduct and ambiguous questions,” according to one principal.
“The teachers and administrators are truly devastated by what a terrible test it was and how little it will tell us about our children,” wrote Liz Phillips, principal of PS321, in a statement.
According to Phillips, the Common Core-aligned tests — which were taken last week by third, fourth and fifth graders — contained misleading questions, subjective reading passages and even product placement. (RELATED: This Common Core math problem asks kids to write the ‘friendly’ answer, instead of the correct one!)
“There were product placements (i.e., Nike, Barbie) woven through some exams,” wrote a group of NYC principals in a statement.
According to The Washington Post, last year’s exams, which were also aligned with the controversial national education standards, contained similar examples of product placement.
“Why would Pearson, the world’s largest for-profit education business, include gratuitous references to trademarked products in its tests?” wondered New York eighth grader Isaiah Schrader in a guest column for the Post last year.
If anything, the tests were even less popular this year — particularly the reading comprehension section. (RELATED: Impoverished school district sends admins on lavish Common Core spa trip)
Principals expressed the view that the tests wrongly applied the standards. Under Common Core, students are not expected to understand how several passages fit together in a work of literature until grade five. And yet, this precise skill was tested on the third grade reading exam.
“I am left to wonder if Pearson made a mistake: was this truly intended for 3rd Grade students?” asked Kate Matthews, another NYC principal, in a statement.
The principals agreed that whatever the results, they would have little bearing on their students’ actual academic proficiency.