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Letter: Give results of Common Core tests

Nearly half of all classroom teachers statewide --

Nearly half of all classroom teachers statewide -- 49.7 percent -- obtained "highly effective" job ratings in the initial rollout of the state's new evaluation system, according to figures released by the state Education Department. Credit: iStock

I have been following the controversy regarding the Common Core and the tests associated with these new academic standards. I read in "Panel to review Common Core" [News, Dec. 17] that Board of Regents Chancellor Merryl Tisch has invited the public to suggest what might work better.

As a retired educator currently attached to a local college, I participated in the scoring of the English language arts, math and science tests given last spring. I have a suggestion that was also raised by a number of other scorers during our breaks.

The way these tests were administered and scored provided no opportunity for the students to learn from their mistakes. An observer would suppose that the test booklets would be handed back to the students and, with teacher guidance, the students would learn why an answer was marked wrong. Many times the student provided the correct answer but did not show the work. They could be taught to better follow directions, for example.

If the process doesn't allow students to learn from their mistakes, one might conclude that it was aimed at some other goal, namely for the state Education Department to gather information. Perhaps the tests were meant to create a baseline to support the need to implement Common Core standards. This possibility can't justify the cost in dollars or the discomfort for students.

Many critics have said the schools were not all trained in the new standards, which resulted in devastatingly poor performances. The basic goal in testing should be for the student to assess his or her own progress; in other words, to assist in learning.

Unfortunately the students do not have the opportunity to participate in this learning experience.

Leslie King, Bellport