Looks like the reading levels of the new PARCC were deliberately set so high that most students will give up

Russ Walsh has taken a close look at the levels of difficulty of reading the passages of text in the new PARCC tests, and the results are alarming.

He used using six different formulas, including the Fry, Raygor, Flesch-Kincaid, and Lexile scoring algorithms, all of which use word length and sentence lengths to produce estimates of how hard something is to read and comprehend.

He discovered that in all but one case, the passages selected for the students to read and interpret on the new PARCC Common Core tests were two or more grade levels above the grade levels of students themselves on all of the measures except the Lexile.

Thus, sixth grade students were made to analyze text that was at the 8th or 9th grade reading level, which he says will cause many students simply to give up and of course fail the test.

Many analysts say that mass failure is precisely the goal of the people who designed the Common Core tests: if they define “mastery” as reading and doing math two grades above current grade level, then by definition all but a tiny fraction of students will fail, and these “experts” can proclaim that public education is a failure and must be abolished.

It’s an evil plan worthy of an evil genius.

Published in: on February 8, 2015 at 10:13 am  Comments (10)  

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10 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. […] F. Brandenburg alerted me to this very troubling analysis by Russ Walsh of the reading levels in the PARCC […]

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  2. Thanks for picking this up and sharing with Diane my friend.

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  3. who are the analysts, and where are their written evaluations that can be publicized?

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    • Those algorithms for readability are essentially mechanical formulae. You count the lengths of words and if sentences, plug those numbers into a formula, and out comes a readability score. You can look them up.

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  4. […] can!) The Increasing Academic Ability Of New York Teachers Forgiveness for Dummies by David Brooks Looks like the reading levels of the new PARCC were deliberately set so high that most students will… Ten things you need to know about international […]

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  5. SHORTER: If they don’t fail the tests, then PARCC makes no money.
    This is about money, not kids.

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  6. Eric Gonchar

    Looks like the reading levels of the new PARCC were deliberately set so high that most students will give up | GFBrandenburg’s Blog

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  7. Freedom Mentor Reviews

    Looks like the reading levels of the new PARCC were deliberately set so high that most students will give up | GFBrandenburg’s Blog

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  8. You need to keep in mind that the standards and content are set not by the testing company, but by the client states and the common core objectives. States set the parameters, review the work, and accept or reject the submitted content.

    Testing companies fulfill contracted deliverables, they don’t set the scope of the content.

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    • The testing company (Pearson) is near to an educational monopoly. Their only competitor is McGraw-Hill-CTB. The folks that wrote the Common Core and its specs for all the states and the ETS coordinate very, very closely with those testing companies and are composed essentially of the same group of individuals. So while you may be technically correct, it doesn’t matter.

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