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Education advocates criticize NY Regents for partial release of test questions

Education advocates are criticizing the New York State Board of Regents for only releasing half of the standardized test questions given to students in April and May.

Lisa Rudley, a parent and co-founder of the New York State Allies for Public Education, said the state owes parents and educators a full release of the standardized test questions.

“So if we are going to spend a great deal of curriculum time on test preparation we should know why we’re doing this and what the validity of the questions are.” Rudley said.

She points out that test scores plunged in 2013 and said one reason was because some questions were too advanced for their grade level. Yet, she said she didn’t see those questions in this year’s release.

“So many believe these are state cherry-picked questions and they haven’t released all of the important problematic questions.” Rudley said.

Merryll Tisch, chancellor of the New York State Regents, said she wanted to release all the questions, but the state legislature only gave enough money to release half.

She said she agrees that transparency is important as the state continues to update the test to adapt to the controversial Common Core standards, which have been adopted by dozens of states and outline what students should know at each grade level in English and Math.

“To be good standards they always have to be studied and adjusted and looked at like public policy," said Tisch. "you always have to adjust and move along the way.”

Tisch said New York Regents has listened closely to parents and educators and her office plans to go back to the state legislature next year to get the money for a full release of the standardized test questions.