Teen Spots Error on State Writing Test

Filed under: In The News

eraserWhen high school junior Geoffery Stanford sat down to take his state's standardized writing test last week, little did he know he wasn't just proofreading his own work -- but the test itself. Stanford found a glaring typo on his test missed by the 30 teachers who wrote the test and the hundreds of students who have taken it since.

Test writers used the word "omission" instead of "emission" when talking about greenhouse gasses. "I thought, 'Surely they're not talking about leaving out carbon dioxide altogether," said the 17-year-old. "It had to be a mistake."

Yup, said the red-faced Kansas State Department of Education. "This went through all the channels, and the pilot project, and nobody caught it," said a spokesperson.

There are lessons to be learned here. One is that proofreading is never overrated. Another is that even experts make mistakes. Which leads us to a third: If standardized tests are imperfect, which they clearly are, what's the point? It's illogical to count test scores based on a mistake.

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Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.