At last, veritable proof that test prep pays real-life dividends. Seventeen-year old Geoffrey Stanford approached the Kansas state test just like his teachers told him to: "Every sentence. Every word. Slow down." Unfortunately, the test-makers would do well to heed such advice, for young Geoffrey's fastidiousness uncovered a gaffe on their part: "emission" (of greenhouse gases) was spelled "omission." His reward: 100 Facebook friend requests, emails and texts from strangers, and a cable news appearance. Has this young American everyman--linebacker, IB student, aspiring mechanical engineer--become the Joe the Plumber of the assessment world? Time shall tell. As to the state's error, DOE spokeswoman Karla Denny explained: "I think it's one of those things where the people writing the test were so close to it, they probably just read over it." Gadzooks, does the phrase "a fresh pair of eyes" mean nothing on the prairie?
"Error on state test slips past everyone--except East High student," by Suzanne Perez Tobias, The Wichita Eagle, February 12, 2009
"Blizzard of buzz for student who found error on test," by Suzanne Perez Tobias, The Wichita Eagle, February 14, 2009