Is It Fair to Test 3rd Graders With 8th Grade Material?

Diane Ravitch's blog

Kevin Glynn, elementary teacher in Long Island, Néw York, analyzed the questions for third grade on the Common Core test using readability and found, to his surprise, that the language was far above the level they could understand.

“In English Language Arts tests, the grade level appropriateness of text used is a gray area. Some would argue that it is perfectly fine for third graders to be assessed using texts with readability levels of 5th and 6th graders. But even the champions of rigor must adhere to the golden rule of testing- the questions MUST be written on the grade level you are attempting to assess. It only makes sense. Students can’t answer questions that they do not understand. These tests are constructed for ALL students in a given grade level and therefore it is imperative that the questions are grade appropriate.

“As a former test developer for Pearson, PARCC…

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