The NYS Department of Education's new Common Core standards have been in place for two years now. Credit: Wikimedia Commons
What's the best way to measure the proficiency of New York State elementary and middle school students? Some educators protest that new, tougher Common Core learning standards released last year are too tough on students.
Earlier this week, the New York State's Department of Education released a sample of the questions from this year's test, the second year in a row that the new Common Core standards have been in place, reported WNYC.
Only 31 percent of students were deemed proficient by the tougher standards upon their release last year, but the test continues to see complaints by teachers criticizing the tests for being too hard for the second year in a row - especially after seeing for themselves the nature of the Common Core questions.
"I'm a little surprised at the kind of language, the kind of grammatical structures, the kind of vocabulary that was in many of them," said Jenny Tuten, an associate professor of literacy education at Hunter College, told the station. "Just being able to identify a change is a kind of sophisticated thinking about a short story and then being able to determine which of those pairs of words is correct, that's hard."
The questions released this year constitute about half of the entire test, as opposed to the quarter released to the public in 2013.
The slim selection of questions released last year were criticized widely, and State Education Commissioner John King promised to release more of them this year. In a statement to reporters, King said "We've listened to New York State educators make the case that having more test questions available would benefit our kids so we've doubled the number and provided a thorough explanation for every student response."