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Teachers work overtime to re-score faulty state tests

Students in Central New York are taking standardized math tests this week, but the exams for third through eighth graders aren't adding up. Some teachers have even been asked to work overtime to re-grade tests that had errors in the questions themselves.
Fulton (WSYR-TV) -- Students in Central New York are taking standardized math tests this week, but the exams for third through eighth graders aren't adding up. Some teachers have even been asked to work overtime to re-grade tests that had errors in the questions themselves.

There are multiple mistakes in the tests. Administrators are especially worried because more is riding on the tests than ever before, from teacher evaluations to district report cards.

First, the state pulled confusing questions about a talking pineapple from the eighth grade ELA test scores and on Tuesday, schools were told the scoring manual for the sixth grade essay portion was incorrect. And then on Wednesday, the state says due to a typo, an eighth grade math question had no right answer – that one will no longer count -- and a sixth grade math question had two correct answers.

School districts are now being forced to re-score the tests. In Fulton, that means bringing in teachers on overtime – at taxpayer expense – to get the job done.

“We brought in teachers today to work on re-scoring. It adds more complications and stress and time to what our staff’s trying to do,” said Fulton Superintendent William Lynch. “The outcome is with the students and teachers in the classroom. Those are the folks who experience the greatest frustration with this.”

Lynch said he had three teachers working overtime and about 50 students’ exams ended up having to be changed.

The Department of Education mandates the date schools have to submit student answers to the state. Even though they had to re-score tests because of the incorrect grading manual for sixth graders, the date was not pushed back.
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