Third graders in New Jersey were asked to "reveal a secret and explain why it was hard to keep." The question came as part of a tryout exam for future standardized tests in the New Jersey Assessment of Skills and Knowledge.
Parents of the 4,000 third graders immediately complained after finding out about the question. New Jersey's Department of Education reviewed the question and agreed, promising that it would not be included on future tests.
However, as this report indicates
, not all educators agree that the question was out of bounds. And those who created the test said that the question was designed to provoke creative thought.
Already parents around the country are complaining. In New York state, where recent field tests have been plagued by errors, parents are increasingly suspicious about standardized testing. On the 13 WHAM News facebook page, we heard from parents who were disgusted with the New Jersey question.
The question about revealing secrets would be "potentially very distracting to the nine-year-old child for the rest of the testing session," Cathy Raynor wrote. "Test developers get an F on this one."
"I'd be furious," Joshua Pies said. "Not only does that put a kid in a moral conundrum -- keep a secret versus get a good grade -- but it puts the school in a role that parents should be in: confidant."
Many teachers are also bashing the question about secrets. "Why put a child through that stress?" Sara Hovey replied. "These test makers are killing me as an educator! How cruel does one really have to be?"
New Jersey state officials have said the question has already been scrapped.