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State Ed releases half of Common Core test questions

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The state today said it has publicly released about half of the questions used on math and English exams given to third- through eighth-graders last spring.

The state Education Department said it made available a "representative sample" of questions from the 2014 state Common Core assessments.

The state has been criticized for not releasing the entire state tests after they are administered since it hired a private contractor, Pearson Education, to design the assessments. Instead, the state releases only a portion of the questions because some are reused on future exams.

The number of test questions released from the 2014 exams is double the number released from the 2013 exams.

"We've listened to New York State educators make the case that having more test questions available would benefit our kids so we've doubled the number and provided a thorough explanation for every student response," Education Commissioner John B. King Jr. said in a written statement.

You can view the test questions here: https://www.engageny.org/resource/new-york-state-common-core-sample-questions

The Board of Regents requested additional state funding that officials said would have allowed the Education Department to release more questions and to eliminate field tests, but the budget request was not funded. The multiple choice questions made public today include explanations that describe right and wrong answers, as well as examples of student work and information about how the questions measure learning standards.

-- Denise Jewell Gee

About the reporters

Denise Jewell Gee joined The Buffalo News in 2007 and currently covers education and suburban schools. She also writes a column for the City & Region section and previously covered government in Erie County and Niagara Falls. Gee graduated from Boston University with degrees in journalism and political science.

Tiffany Lankes joined The Buffalo News in 2013 and primarily covers the Buffalo Public Schools. She has written about education since 2003 at newspapers in Florida and New York. In 2008, she was a nominated finalist for The Pulitzer Prize. Lankes is an Amherst native and graduate of Sacred Heart Academy and Syracuse University. She started her journalism career writing for the News' NeXt section.

Sandra Tan has been a cityside reporter for The Buffalo News since 2000 and currently covers the Buffalo Public Schools beat. She previously covered the Williamsville school district and was a full-time education reporter for five years prior to joining The News. She graduated from the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism.

Deidre Williams began working for The Buffalo News in 1999 and currently covers Buffalo Public Schools. She formerly was a suburban reporter on the Northtowns beat and has been a cityside reporter covering communities since 2004. Williams has a mass communications degree from Towson University.