Analyst: Derek Kulnis
June 16 2016
New York state is releasing 75 percent of the multiple choice items from its common-core-aligned math and English language arts tests, according to Liana Heitin’s recent Education Week“Curriculum Matters” blog post.
Heitin explains that the state has also released all of the “constructed- response items” which require written responses, and that it is allowing parents access to their students answers on these questions for the first time.
She notes that the state has released these questions earlier than it had in the past so that teachers could review them before the end of the school year. In addition, the state ended the use of time limits on the test and reduced the number of questions as an attempt to settle some of the unrest about the exams.
The recently released Common Core questions are available on the EngageNY website, which is hosted by the Department of Education.
New York has been a particular flash point for the Common Core. Valerie Strauss, writing in The Washington Post, stated that that New York state was responsible for nearly half of the half millionstudents who opted out in 2015, and according to Kate TaylorinThe New York Times, twenty percent of students in New York state opted out of the tests in 2015.
Taylor explains that New York City had a much lower opt out rate than in the rest of the state, and that in New York City only two percent of students declined to sit for the exams.
In other parts of the state the number was much higher. An article by Valerie Strauss in The Washington Post reprinted a blog post from Carol Burris, executive director of the Network for Public education, Burris who noted that “eighty-six percent of test eligible students in the Long Island district of Comsewogue refused the test, and 89 percent of students in Dolgeville in the Mohawk Valley” also opted out of the exam.