The bulk of questions on the current New York state English exam for grades 3-8 were recycled from old tests on a practice website — raising questions about their legitimacy, it was revealed Thursday.
“This is academic malpractice,” said Frances Kweller, founder of tutoring company Kweller Prep.
Students said they were shocked to see the exact same multiple choice questions that they had been using to prepare for the middle school evaluations.
“It will be impossible for parents to know where their kids stand and everyone looks like a genius after acing repeat questions,” Kweller said. “New York can now pretend that there was no learning loss — a claim we all know isn’t true.”
One veteran Department of Education teacher who has been proctoring the exams for more than a decade said she was taken aback to see questions repeated verbatim.
“These tests are meaningless,” she said. “You are going to have a bunch of inflated scores. What was the point? I’ve been doing this a long time. I’ve never seen this before.”
Noting that the tests were ongoing, a spokesperson for the New York State Education Department declined to comment on the controversy other than to say the scores would be considered “valid.”
Students and parents told The Post that the questions were exported directly from old tests on engageny.org, a website that hosts exams for practice purposes.
“That is where kids go,” said a city parent. “When my kid got out of the test, she said the questions were just taken from the site. This is a joke.”
Others reported that many of the questions were taken from 2018 state tests featured on the site — and that they were removed after complaints began leaking out.
Both Mayor Bill de Blasio and new schools Chancellor Meisha Ross-Porter were asked if the exams had been robbed of any diagnostic value at an unrelated press conference Thursday but avoided direct answers.
“We are in a very different time in this moment,” Ross-Porter said. “The test will give us information that we will use to inform how we support students. Families make decisions about taking the test because they wanted that information. So we look forward to supporting them in using that information again as we make decisions about how to support student learning.”
Citing the upheaval wrought by the coronavirus, state officials asked the federal government for a waiver on tests this year but were denied.
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