Testing bias

40% of 3rd graders in the Charlotte Mecklenburg Public Schools failed the state mandated “end of grade” reading proficiency test.

Here is a sample Section

Imagine for a second that you live in an apartment complex or public housing and you are trying to understand this example of fiction, and you have no idea what a hummingbird or a crane is.

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8 Responses to Testing bias

  1. briand75 says:

    I find the selection is amazing. Third graders are what – 8 yrs old? The subject matter as well as the questions seem more like 6th grade level. Maybe it’s just me. I have been out of school for many years.

    What is the best answer to the last question?

  2. TheChairman says:

    Fred, you’ve touched upon something that struck me when reading this piece… a focus on the words ‘race’ and ‘superior’. My answer for question #3 was A, based on paragraph 5… and I would argue that perhaps answers given by children may have been correct, and the test creator is warped. Besides, they plagiarized The Tortoise and the Hare.

    Multiple choice favors some and confuses others, too subtle/subjective for 3rd grade.

    • Fred Stiening says:

      The eighth grade non-fiction item is about the history of chocolate. It is heavily loaded with white European hegemony over the natives of the Western Hemisphere, and too many microaggressions to count. The swiss added milk to chocolate so lactose intolerant people of color woukd not steal the treat intended for royalty.


      Among the more challenging words and idioms…
      Stimulating, unpromising, treasure trove, regal importance, concoction, aristocracy, agreeable, acclaimed, mass production, hastened, mechanized, fondant, tropical, cultivation, equator, etc…

      The word “husbandry” had an asterisk and explanation in the event children might think the term was related to heterosexual patriarchy oppression.

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