posted on Apr, 23 2012 @ 01:33 PM
A simple reading comprehension question has baffled educators and students in the New York school system. You really can't blame the students for not
being able to discern the answers; if the people in charge of their education aren't equipped with the skills to decipher simple a reading
comprehention question, how can you expect them to pass those skills along to their students?
Talking pineapple question on state exam stumps ... everyone!
Students, teachers, principals - no one has any idea what the deal is
Students across the state are still scratching their heads over an absurd state test question about a talking pineapple.
The puzzler on the eighth-grade reading exam stumped even educators and has critics saying the tests, which are becoming more high stakes, are
“I think it’s weird that they put such a silly question on a state test. What were they thinking?” said Bruce Turley, 14, an eighth-grader at
Lower Manhattan Community Middle School.
“I thought it was a little strange, but I just answered it as best as I could,” said his classmate Tyree Furman, 14. “You just have to give it
your best answer. These are important tests.”
In response to revelations that the state exams had become predictable and easier to pass, the state last year awarded a new $32 million contract to
testing company Pearson to overhaul the tests.
The new exams have higher stakes for principals and teachers statewide, whose evaluations will be based in part on student scores beginning as soon as
Scarsdale Middle School Principal Michael McDermott said the question has been used before and “confused students in six or seven different
And he had a quick answer to the question of who is the wisest: “Pearson for getting paid $32 million for recycling this crap.”
Actually, IMO, Pearson came up with the perfect solution to the problem of teachers "teaching to the test"; they created a problem in which the
students would have to use their intellect and reading comprehension skills to determine the answer to a test question.
Here is the question that's caused such an uproar:
NY Daily News
The Hare and the Pineapple
by Daniel Pinkwater
In olden times, the animals of the forest could speak English just like you and me. One day, a pineapple challenged a hare to a race.
(I forgot to mention, fruits and vegetables were able to speak too.)
A hare is like a rabbit, only skinnier and faster. This particular hare was known to be the fastest animal in the forest.
“You, a pineapple have the nerve to challenge me, a hare, to a race,” the hare asked the pineapple. “This must be some sort of joke.”
“No,” said the pineapple. “I want to race you. Twenty-six miles, and may the best animal win."
"You aren't even an animal!" the hare said. “You're a tropical fruit!"
“Well, you know what I mean,” the pineapple said.
The animals of the forest thought it was very strange that tropical fruit should want to race a very fast animal.
"The pineapple has some trick up its sleeve," a moose said.
Pineapples don't have sleeves, an owl said
"Well, you know what I mean,” the moose said. "If a pineapple challenges a hare to a race, it must be that the pineapple knows some secret trick
that will allow it to win.”
“The pineapple probably expects us to root for the hare and then look like fools when it loses,” said a crow. “Then the pineapple will win the
race because the hare is overconfident and takes a nap, or gets lost, or something.”
The animals agreed that this made sense. There was no reason a pineapple should challenge a hare unless it had a clever plan of some sort. So the
animals, wanting to back a winner, all cheered for the pineapple.
When the race began, the hare sprinted forward and was out of sight in less than a minute. The pineapple just sat there, never moving an inch.
The animals crowded around watching to see how the pineapple was going to cleverly beat the hare. Two hours later when the hare cross the finish line,
the pineapple was still sitting still and hadn't moved an inch.
The animals ate the pineapple.
MORAL: Pineapples don't have sleeves
Beginning with paragraph 4, in what order are the events in the story told?
A switching back and forth between places
B In the order in which the events happen
C Switching back and forth between the past and the present
D In the order in which the hare tells the events to another animal
The animals ate the pineapple most likely because they were
Which animal spoke the wisest words?
A The hare
B The moose
C The crow
D The owl
Before the race, how did the animals feel toward the pineapple?
What would have happened if the animals had decided to cheer for the hare?
A The pineapple would have won the race.
B They would have been mad at the hare for winning.
C The hare would have just sat there and not moved.
D They would have been happy to have cheered for a winner.
When the moose said that the pineapple has some trick up its sleeve, he means that the pineapple
A is wearing a disguise
B wants to show the animals a trick
C has a plan to fool the animals
D is going to put something out of its sleeve
They were upset over the questions asking who was the wisest and why did they eat the pineapple. The key to the whole problem is reading
comprehension. The answer to the wisest animal question is right there in the text if you take the time to think about the question properly.
I won't give out the answer just yet, that would take all the fun out of this thread. Let's see who's smart enough to figure it out.
BTW: the end result of all of this is that the question was pulled from the exam. I guess they can't have students in their school system be expected
to use critical thinking in order to solve problems.
NY Daily News
Officials pull puzzling pineapple question from state tests
They canned the pineapple.
Education officials scratched a bizarre item about a race between a pineapple and a hare from the state’s high-stakes exams a day after the Daily
News focused attention on the inscrutable puzzler.
State Education Commissioner John King said that the infamous question won’t be counted in New York's eighth-grade reading tests because of its
“ambiguous nature” in a statement released Friday.
"Teach to the test" wins another battle.
edit on 4/23/12 by FortAnthem because: _________ extra DIV