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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