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[Susan notes: Spitting in the wind here, but if you don't write letters, then your silence is guaranteed.]

Submitted to New York Times but not published
08/11/2015

To the editor

Re: New York State Test Questions Tricky for 3rd Graders, and Maybe Some Adults, August 11.

Readability formulas help test publishers deliver ostensibly age appropriate passages, but coming up with suitable questions is a whole lot trickier. For Grade 3 tests, prolonged close content with actual eight-year-olds is as essential as it is rare.

I'd guess that as test makers are pressured to deliver on that abstruse hot potato Critical Thinking, questions will get goofier and goofier.

I'm not reassured by the New York State Education Department claim that "every test question is evaluated by independent reviewers." I'd like to know how many longtime third grade teachers were asked to review these questions.

Susan Ohanian, third grade teacher


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