Leaked Common Core Questions Stun Parents


By Lauren Mitchell, HSLDA’s Federal Relations Legislative Assistant

Recently, an anonymous teacher leaked 4th grade Common Core test questions to the world, setting the internet ablaze with angry comments from parents and educators. The questions feature unreasonably sophisticated language, content that would be more appropriate for 9th to 12th graders, and problems that require students to analyze complexities far above their elementary school level.

But don’t expect to dialogue with Common Core creators about these questions anytime soon. According to an article by the New York Times, test administrators of the testing consortium PARCC (Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Career) have already sent over 100 notices to Google and Twitter, attempting to scrub the leaked questions off of the internet. “It’s like they’re trying to put a blanket over any discussion of their test,” Diane Ravitch, a research professor at New York University, told the Times. (Click here to read the leaked test questions for yourself.)

For years, HSLDA has voiced its concerns that the Common Core State Standards Initiative puts a burden on elementary aged students and on those who have special needs. In HSLDA’s documentary, “Building the Machine,” parents and teachers tell heartbreaking stories about children who endured mental health issues as a result of developmentally inappropriate testing. And a Christian Post article similarly recounts how one little girl even carving “stupid” into her wrists as a coping mechanism. As more and more children come home from school carrying the emotional and developmental consequences of over-testing, American parents are waking up to the fact that Common Core is doing their students more harm than good.

Thankfully, the nationwide opt-out movement boasts hundreds of thousands of protesters, who have made it exceedingly difficult for Common Core consortia to operate successfully. Thanks to the vigilance of parents and educators, consortia participation has been cut dramatically over the past several years, with PARCC participation down to seven states from its original 24.

If this is how PARCC plans to behave itself, let’s hope those seven states jettison it soon.

Click here to read the NYT Piece, Leaked Questions Rekindle Fierce Debate Over Common Core Tests.


14 thoughts on “Leaked Common Core Questions Stun Parents

  1. I teach in a state that uses the SBAC but it’s still the same problem. We are not allowed to even look at the items ourselves and get no information other than whether our school passed or not. I read the titles and after walking around the testing lab I saw a total of two out of 100 titles that could be termed fiction/narrative. The other 98+ were non-fiction science and a few history pieces (in a language arts test). We were told that CC needed to have my 7th graders at about 50% non-fiction, 50% fiction.


    • My school does SBAC also. I teach 3rd grade and as I walked around while the students were testing I was amazed at the complexity of what they were asking. The kids were totally fried by the time we finished testing.


      • This is the Microsoft way… Bill Gates was the founder of both Common Core and Microsoft. Microsoft is famous for their intensely hard multiple choice tests. The companies programming documentation is the same way. It doesn’t help anyone learn anything unless you already know everything. As a programmer I’ve spent literally weeks fighting Microsoft’s documentation and examples (which often do not work) to get 1 thing working.


  2. Unfortunately, it’s not only PARCC behaving that way. SBAC is just as secretive, as is AIR, Questar, McGraw-Hill, Pearson, et al. None of them operate with any transparency and all actively pursue anyone who dares to expose their poorly written, developmentally inappropriate tests in order to make them available for public scrutiny.


    • As a student who tested under Pearson and Mcgraw hill I will say I never had trouble with the tests. The homework and group ignorance methods were torture when they were introduced in what was my ninth grade year after having been a As and Bs student through out middle school….


  3. These type questions are nothing new. Why didn’t parents get upset over it 25 years ago when schools were doing it?


  4. I’m really so sick of these people who think they are demigods, who can decide who is intelligent and who is not, by some stupid test, it’s like “The Emperor’s New Clothes”, they are just putting on airs. Knowledge puffs up, and makes people arrogant, and true wisdom is completely lacking in our culture. Our brains are full of garbage, and our souls are empty. What does it profit a man to gain the whole world, but to lose his own soul?

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Why are you spending time on this? You’re supposed to be a HOMESCHOOL advocacy organization. What happens in the schools is not relevant to your members’ dues. Yes, unfortunately, common core has made its way into too many homeschool resources, but these particular tests are NOT mandated for homeschoolers, even in test-mandatory states (which is, by the way, what you should be spending time and money on – i.e., getting ALL regulation of homeschooling in EVERY state eliminated).


    • E. Stewart, the Common Core becomes relevant to homeschoolers the minute your children need to take SAT or other college board test. All those tests are alined with Common Core curriculum. The SAT tests have been changed by 2016 to make them compatible with CC aligned curriculum.


  6. E. Stewart, It is relevant to us. How can you fight for righteousness without knowing the wrong? They are not mandated currently, but they are trying to have control over that too. NYS is heavily mandated and that is where I am. Trust me, everything is relevant to me and I need to know what the enemy is doing to be equipped with the word of God to fight back and defend my child’s homeschool freedom.


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