A week after a quirky, nonsensical tale on the 8th grade ELA test stumped students and resulted in the New York State discounting questions from the exam, two faulty problems have surfaced on this week's state math tests.

In his weekly letter to principals, Chancellor Dennis Walcott advised schools of errors in the 4th and 8th grade math books. One question has no correct answer, the other has two correct answers.

New York State Education Department chalked one faulty answer up to "a typo" and issued the following instructions for teachers who are proctoring the exams on Wednesday and Thursday:

  • April 25: Grade 8 Book 1, Form C only – question 13 has no correct answer. Students may mark any response; the question will not be scored.
  • April 26: Grade 4, Book 2, all Forms (A, B, C, and D) – question 58 has two correct answers. Credit will be given for either correct answer.

The mandatory, and high stakes, annual tests for 3rd-8th graders have some parents furious about the amount of test prep that schools do all year.  Some are so fed-up that they are not allowing their children to take the exams.

A former city special education teacher who runs a blog called EdGeeks is inviting students and parents to write or illustrate some "pro learning" examples to show what kids could be doing in school instead of test prep.  Submissions will be posted on the website.

Next on the testing calendar...

According to the Education Department's testing calendar, 4th and 8th graders will be taking science exams in early June. Then the next round of exams will be the June Regents for high school. Lindsey Christ of NY1 reports that the state Board of Regents is considering making changes to the mandated five exams that students must pass to graduate. They may give students the option of skipping the Global History exam -- the one with the lowest path rate -- and instead allow them to concentrate on math and science. Stay tuned for more about that idea which would have to be approved and wouldn't take effect until 2013.