Politics

Facebook Group Leaks Images Of New York's Common Core Test

In this photo taken Feb. 12, 2015, sixth grader Alex Greuey, 11, reads through a problem in the English Language Arts section of the PARCC (Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers) test as he and his classmates practice for the Common Core State Standards Exams at Morgan Elementary School South in Stockport, Ohio. On Tuesday, Ohio becomes the first state to administer one of two tests in English language arts and math based on the Common Core standards developed by two separate groups of states. By the end of the year, about 12 million children in 28 states and the District of Columbia will take exams that are expected to be harder than traditional spring standardized state tests they replace. In some states, they'll require hours of additional testing time students will have to do more than just fill in the bubble. The goal is to test students on critical thinking skills, requiring them to describe their reasoning and solve problems. (AP Photo/Ty Wright)
In this photo taken Feb. 12, 2015, sixth grader Alex Greuey, 11, reads through a problem in the English Language Arts section of the PARCC (Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers) test as he and his classmates practice for the Common Core State Standards Exams at Morgan Elementary School South in Stockport, Ohio. On Tuesday, Ohio becomes the first state to administer one of two tests in English language arts and math based on the Common Core standards developed by two separate groups of states. By the end of the year, about 12 million children in 28 states and the District of Columbia will take exams that are expected to be harder than traditional spring standardized state tests they replace. In some states, they'll require hours of additional testing time students will have to do more than just fill in the bubble. The goal is to test students on critical thinking skills, requiring them to describe their reasoning and solve problems. (AP Photo/Ty Wright)

Members of a Facebook group called “Education is a journey, not a race -- USA” leaked pictures of a New York state English Language Arts exam on Wednesday in what the New York Post has called "an apparent act of sabotage." The Facebook group, which has since been deleted, has a history of posting content that is critical of the Common Core State Standards, the set of education benchmarks that informed the statewide exam.

It's not clear who is behind the Facebook group, or how they obtained a copy of the exam, which students took last week. However, before the group was deleted, its members posted more than three dozen images of the test, according to the Post.

The Common Core State Standards, and the tests associated with them, have drawn criticism from parents and educators around the country. This opposition has been especially strong in New York state, where early and unofficial reports show that more than 180,000 students opted out of last week's English Language Arts test.

Dennis Tompkins, a spokesman for the New York State Department of Education, told The Huffington Post that the state does "not know who is behind the Facebook page... We don’t know how they obtained a copy of the exam or why they posted it."

Tompkins would not comment on whether there is an active investigation into the matter, but he noted that this means the state will have to use taxpayer money to design new questions for future exams.

"We don’t use the same exact assessment every year, but, for budgetary reasons, we do draw from a bank of questions so some questions are used more than once," Tompkins wrote in an email to HuffPost.

David Bloomfield, a professor of education at Brooklyn College, called the leak an act of "civil disobedience," according to the Post.

“This is a political act and it will be interesting to see whether [test-creation company] Pearson or the state Department of Education understands it as that or goes after them for civil or criminal liability,” he said.

Some have come to the defense of the rogue Facebook group on Twitter, while others said the group went too far.

NYS ELA exam leaked online; I say leaker performed public service "truth in testing" - http://t.co/CtE43GCM5Z via @nypost @aaronshortstory

— leonie haimson (@leoniehaimson) April 23, 2015

Kudos to this civil act! Anti-'Common Core' activists leak state's English exam online http://t.co/mxtyW9mr2u via @nypost

— DrTorch (@TorchDr) April 23, 2015

#CommonCore has its problems. But this sets a terrible example for kids: http://t.co/MUJADOzapr #education

— Reclaim New York (@ReclaimNewYork) April 23, 2015