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By DJ Alexander
February 6, 2012
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This past week, while taking the New York State ELA test, I read an article called “The Pineapple and the Hare”. After reading this article, I asked myself “What did I just read?” After taking the test, I began to realize that I was not the only one dumbfounded by this story. I realize that as I get older the State Tests will continue to be more difficult. However I feel my teachers have properly prepared me for this. Of one thing I am sure, I was never taught to make sense out of nonsensical things. Even Ken Jennings, the seventy-four time champion of Jeopardy, was dumbfounded by the NYS ELA question pertaining to this nonsensical reading. He states “Honestly, I’m not particularly sure what the intended answer is.” I am appalled that a man who is smart enough to win Jeopardy seventy-four times in a row wasn’t even sure of the answer. Then as eighth graders we are expected to answer such nonsense? I feel this story is one of which should be read to children for amusement, and not used as an expiriment on eighth grade students.
“Now, there are repercussions to these tests. A kid might not advance to the next grade, a teacher might not get a new contract, a school could lose funding, get shut down. These are things riding on these tests, and the money is dirtier. I hadn’t given this any thought…until now.” Said Daniel Pinkwater, the author of “The Pineapple and the Hare”. “Well, if a thing is absolutely illogical and meaningless, it’s not possible to ask questions like ‘Which animal in the story was the most wise? Choose (a), (b), (c), (d), etc.’ and ‘Why did the animals eat the pineapple?’”.This just goes to show how much thought was put into a test that eighth grade students have practiced for so long to take. I feel that New York State has profoundly insulted all of us.
Governor Cuomo- I ask you, how you would interpret this reading?
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