The New York State Department of Education needs to get their act together!


Being an 8th Grader in New York State, I know that every year, it’s the same old routine. Take the State English Test, take the State Math test….They have problems meant to trick students, and it can be quite drawn out, especially the English! I have been taking these tests since 3rd grade, just like every other New York Student.

Last Week, on Day 1 of the English State test, there was an extremely peculiar article. It was called “The Hare and the Pinapple”. Read the entire story for yourself, unedited. Courtesy, the NY state Education Department Website:

The Hare and the Pineapple

by Daniel Pinkwater

In olden times, the animals of the forest could speak English just like you and me. One day, a pineapple challenged a hare to a race.

(I forgot to mention, fruits and vegetables were able to speak too.)

A hare is like a rabbit, only skinnier and faster. This particular hare was known to be the fastest animal in the forest.

“You, a pineapple have the nerve to challenge me, a hare, to a race,” the hare asked the pineapple. “This must be some sort of joke.”

“No,” said the pineapple. “I want to race you. Twenty-six miles, and may the best animal win.”

“You aren’t even an animal!” the hare said. “You’re a tropical fruit!”

“Well, you know what I mean,” the pineapple said.

The animals of the forest thought it was very strange that tropical fruit should want to race a very fast animal.

“The pineapple has some trick up its sleeve,” a moose said.

Pineapples don’t have sleeves, an owl said

“Well, you know what I mean,” the moose said. “If a pineapple challenges a hare to a race, it must be that the pineapple knows some secret trick that will allow it to win.”

“The pineapple probably expects us to root for the hare and then look like fools when it loses,” said a crow. “Then the pineapple will win the race because the hare is overconfident and takes a nap, or gets lost, or something.”

The animals agreed that this made sense. There was no reason a pineapple should challenge a hare unless it had a clever plan of some sort. So the animals, wanting to back a winner, all cheered for the pineapple.

When the race began, the hare sprinted forward and was out of sight in less than a minute. The pineapple just sat there, never moving an inch.

The animals crowded around watching to see how the pineapple was going to cleverly beat the hare. Two hours later when the hare cross the finish line, the pineapple was still sitting still and hadn’t moved an inch.

The animals ate the pineapple.

MORAL: Pineapples don’t have sleeves

Now, what an odd story!
Now really, it’s an 8th grade test, not a funny story book.

This is direct from a Daily News article: The Greatest and “winningest” Jeopardy Champion ever, Ken Jennings could not understand these questions, just like most adults who were questioned by NY news stations on the streets of New York City.

1. Why did the animals eat the pineapple?
a. they were annoyed
b. they were amused
c. they were hungry
d. they wanted to

2. Who was the wisest?
a. the hare
b. moose
c. crow
d. owl

The trickier one would be “who was the wisest?”
All 7 of the questions attached to this story do not count, and have been released by the state.
Read the New York Times Article here.

Now, even more news from the Education Department:
I just learned that there is a question without an answer on my math test tomorrow. Wonderful, right?

It’s just icing on the cake, and in 6 years of these test, I’ve never seen an error.
Read the Article here, on the Wall Street Journal Website.

I don’t mean to insult the State Education Department, they do a great job everyday, and I just thought I would share this with you all.

Have a Good Night, and a nice week to come!
-Spencer

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