What Everyone Missed on the Pineapple Question | TIME Ideas | TIME.com

Since I am not prone to say, “I told you, so!” I’ll let Time magazine’s Andrew Rotherham tell you why I was right to take the Daily News, Ken Jennings and State Ed Commissioner John King to task over pineapplegate.

Rotherham reports,

Who screwed up in Pineapplegate? There is plenty of blame to go around various parties, and their roles in this debacle illuminate many of the bigger problems facing education reform today. Where to begin? Let’s start with:

The media. Standardized tests are closely guarded to prevent cheating, so when the Daily News ran its story, the reading passage and accompanying questions had never before been made public. The newspaper apparently plucked the information off of anti-testing online message boards – always a reliable source, right? The passage the paper ran was so poorly written that it would indeed have been inexcusable. Tests are shoddy, case closed! Except that the passage the Daily News published on April 19 was not the actual one on the test; it was an incomplete paraphrase, leaving out such things as — you guessed it — the owl.

As the article went viral, the Daily News posted a new version of its story with the correct passage but didn’t run a correction. The paper only mentioned, toward the end of a follow-up story it ran the next day, that there were “slight variations” between the version it had published and what was on the state test. (Click here for the actual passage.) NPR called the Daily News on this sleight of hand, but elsewhere people continued to react to the initial paraphrase, and the story took on a life of its own.

Read more: What Everyone Missed on the Pineapple Question | TIME Ideas | TIME.com.

About SquarePegDem

A former state legislator turned NY Post editorial board member, thought-leader, public affairs consultant and commentator, columnist and blogger. Michael has appeared on Al Jazeera America Tonight, NY1/Inside City Hall, FoxNews.com LIVE, YNN/Capital Tonight, The Brian Lehrer Show, The Fred Dicker Show, The Capitol Press Room, and The Daily Show. His op-eds have appeared in the NY Post, City and State, The Legislative Gazette, Bronx Times, The Troy Record, Buffalo News, and the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle. To schedule speaking engagements, email FOMB08@GMAIL.COM.
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1 Response to What Everyone Missed on the Pineapple Question | TIME Ideas | TIME.com

  1. Dale Benjamin Drakeford says:

    With or without the pineapple and the hare, the whole test prep over test mess adds up to harmful stress. It is not about one question but the whole process. All of you are off track! All of you are on a disconnect trip!


    I am tired.
    I had to run, skip and jump…Squeeze through loops, hula-hoop, swing on swings, crawl through rings, do an untold number of whatchamacaller things…
    Had to go to museums, study animals at the zoo, think about what adults think about and how they do what they do…
    I had to picnic in the park and ride on a bus. Poor unfortunate misunderstood miserable us!
    Why couldn’t I be the lucky one back at school? Taking unchartered bathroom breaks, studying the pineapple and the hare, practicing my best practice of the uncomfortable stare, taking a peek at my peer’s paper—Oops! Let’s make this perfectly clear! Not because I’m cheating but just because its there!
    Still in my chair for two hours taking that wonderful test! How come I’m not the lucky one enjoying that quiet and don’t forget the rest!
    Dale Benjamin Drakeford
    Inspired by trip going learners while others are learning (stress) via tests.

    A trip can be a real trip. How so?

    A test can be a real trip. How so?


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