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I have often written that the Pearson Common Core tests are written and scored to fail most students. Not only are the reading levels two grade levels above the students’ actual grade, but the cut score is set artificially high.
Here is confirmation from a teacher who graded essay answers:
“When teachers score state tests, they are given formal training before they score actual student tests. Teachers are trained using student anchor answers that are culled from random field tests. Each student answer is used as an example and compared to the rubric to show how to score accordingly. There is always an anchor answer for each rubric score, meaning an answer that demonstrates a 1, another serves as an example of a 2 and so on and so forth. Teachers must then take a quiz using more student samples in order to gauge their preparation level before they move on to scoring actual exams.
“This year’s 5th(?) grade training guides DO NOT have anchor answers for the highest score on the essay. That has never happened before. That means that during the random field testing NO STUDENT was able to achieve an answer that would have met the highest criteria of the rubric. Pearson filled in this gap with their own mock version of an answer that would meet the highest score on the rubric. In other words, the test was too hard for even the most accomplished students to achieve full credit and therefore way beyond their ability.
“The training guides are embargoed and teachers are prevented from removing them from the scoring site.”