On Saturday, high school students in Providence, Rhode Island were the ones giving the test. They gave 50 professional adults an exam consisting of questions that have previously appeared on a state standardized test.
This year Rhode Island is implementing a new policy that requires high school students to pass the New England Common Assessment Program (NECAP) in order to graduate.
How did the adults do? Students released the test results this afternoon and 60% failed — receiving scores that would put a high school student at risk for not graduating.
Below is an excerpt from the Providence Journal with some of the adults’ reactions Saturday after taking the exam.
“So how do you think you did?” one of the students asked. “Terrible,” one adult said. “Awful feeling,” said another.
Most adults interviewed by The Journal thought they tanked the test. Even those who were math geeks in high school found the questions challenging, and a couple complained that the test included questions with “trick” answers.
“I was good at math,” said state Rep. Larry Valencia, D-Richmond. “I took trig, statistics, pre-calculus. I have a degree in chemistry. I think the test is very unfair. It doesn’t represent what the average high school student should know.”
The Rhode Island students’ undertaking will likely make headlines in the hours ahead. Whether the event warrants those headlines is up to interpretation. What’s yours?