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This is very puzzling. Standardized tests usually arrive with seals or stickers so that no one can read them without authorization. In the case of the PARCC test administered in Louisiana, there were no seals or stickers. Students could flip ahead to the next day’s tests.
That has raised concerns among some critics of the test, and the related Common Core national academic standards, that the partnership test made it easier for students to get a head start the content of the next unit — or even for administrators to get a look and prepare a study guide for students.
Those concerns are only the latest to be aired in the most controversial and politicized public school testing period that Louisiana has seen in years. Gov. Bobby Jindal’s opposition to Common Core and the national tests, and a vocal but small test-boycott movement, put extra pressure on educators. Low test scores may mean that charter schools close, voucher schools get cut off and conventional schools get taken over by the state.
State Education Department officials said the new booklet didn’t cause problems. But at least three New Orleans schools ran into trouble. And some educators expressed fear that the new test format will give their critics, and opponents of Common Core, yet more reason to doubt.
If scores unexpectedly go up, will it have something to do with the lack of security?