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8th Grade state test question

A question on a New York State test for 8th graders is raising questions if it's even possible to answer.  Can you answer the below question?  Post your comments and they could appear on Eyewitness News First at 4 p.m.



The Pineapple and the Hare ...

In the olden times, animals could speak English, just like you and me. There was a lovely enchanted forest that flourished with a bunch of these magical animals. One day, a hare was relaxing by a tree. All of a sudden, he noticed a pineapple sitting near him.

The hare, being magical and all, told the pineapple, “Um, hi.” The pineapple could speak English too.
“I challenge you to a race! Whoever makes it across the forest and back first wins a ninja! And a lifetime’s supply of toothpaste!” The hare looked at the pineapple strangely, but agreed to the race.

The next day, the competition was coming into play. All the animals in the forest (but not the pineapples, for pineapples are immobile) arranged a finish/start line in between two trees. The coyote placed the pineapple in front of the starting line, and the hare was on his way.

Everyone on the sidelines was bustling about and chatting about the obvious prediction that the hare was going to claim the victory (and the ninja and the toothpaste). Suddenly, the crow had a revolutionary realization.

“AAAAIEEH! Friends! I have an idea to share! The pineapple has not challenged our good companion, the hare, to just a simple race! Surely the pineapple must know that he CANNOT MOVE! He obviously has a trick up his sleeve!” exclaimed the crow.

The moose spoke up.

“Pineapples don’t have sleeves.”

“You fool! You know what I mean! I think that the pineapple knows we’re cheering for the hare, so he is planning to pull a trick on us, so we look foolish when he wins! Let’s sink the pineapple’s intentions, and let’s cheer for the stupid fruit!” the crow passionately proclaimed. The other animals cheered, and started chanting, “FOIL THE PLAN! FOIL THE PLAN! FOIL THE PLAN!”

A few minutes later, the hare arrived. He got into place next to the pineapple, who sat there contently. The monkey blew the tree-bark whistle, and the race began! The hare took off, sprinting through the forest, and the pineapple ...

It sat there.

The animals glanced at each other blankly, and then started to realize how dumb they were. The pineapple did not have a trick up its sleeve. It wanted an honest race — but it knew it couldn’t walk (let alone run)!

About a few hours later, the hare came into sight again. It flew right across the finish line, still as fast as it was when it first took off. The hare had won, but the pineapple still sat at his starting point, and had not even budged.

The animals ate the pineapple.

Here are two of the questions:
1. Why did the animals eat the pineapple?
a. they were annoyed
b. they were amused
c. they were hungry
d. they wanted to

2. Who was the wisest?
a. the hare
b. moose
c. crow
d. owl


Jake Ork

Pearson, the company that publishes the assessment should be taken to task. They pay their employees peanuts every step of the way even as they've made over $30 Million. There should be some penalties, apologies as well as re-scoring.

The whole affair is a shanda! But it has provided us a another glimpse into the disgrace American public education system has become, It begun with Bush's NCLB and has continued with steroids under Obama RTTT.

BTW - Daniel Pinkwater credited as the author states the story bears only a passing resemblance to the story he was paid for.

Nathaniel Sietz

Being a strait "A" honor student now in college, I can't even answer that question.

tanisha allen

Mayor. Bloomberg thinks he is doing a good job getting our children to graduate on time. Now we know why they're not ready for college.


Who wrote that story? I hope it was not written by a NYS teacher. Let the 8th graders correct the grammer and re-write the story so it makes sense. Give each student credit for the effort. And, fire the person who wrote that nonsense. What a waste of time and money!


Um, this story is not the same as the one on the test. There are subtle but relevant differences. Come on.


The animals ate the pineapple because they wanted to
The wisest animal was the moose (though my second choice would be the owl e who boycotted the whole event)

June DiBello

As an 8th grade teacher of English, New York State should be mortified. Neither this passage nor its questions will in any way benefit the education of the student who had to endure the grueling experience of taking this exam. To add insult to injury, every 8th grade teacher will be graded on the results of their students' scores. It only takes one point to fail an exam. In this case every student is already down by two.


You have got to be kidding! If this is the new education its no wonder kids are failing. Lets get bsck to basics and some old fashioned teaching if these kids dont get the basic fundamentals they have nothing to build on. I got a much superior foundation in school than these kids and if the foundation isnt strong guess what the building colapses. I know i had discussions with many of my kids teachers about the NEW teaching methods. (i went to collage to be a teacher and there are good teachers out there but alot of bad ones too with TENURE ) Teaching kids is like raising kids everyone is different so let the teachers figure out what works for that class and give them some freedom and parents you are teachers too so teach!!!

(no name)

I even had a difficult time with not only these two questions but all the others that had to do with the hare and the pineapple. They have made the test harder but this story was the hardest of the others. Why would you change one character to a pineapple? It threw us all off. If they changed each character to a different fruit and personifyed each fruit it would make a lot more sense. I am very worried about how i personally did on day 1 which was the reading comps. Also the moral was Pineapples don't have sleeves. Really?


1. They were obviously annoyed at the pineapple and ate it out of spite. (a)

2. The hare was a fool for accepting to race, as it had no guarantee of receiving the rewards. The crow was a fool for second-guessing reason. The owl, commonly considered a wise animal, had no role in the story. The moose was completely correct in observing that pineapples do not have sleeves. (b)

Justin Cudahy

I had taken this a few days ago, the answer was that they were hungry, and the owl was the wisest, for it was him who said the moral

Frank Giglio

This is s cute little story. I like the fact that it's a fantasy because it forces the test taker to read the story and not try to skip to answering the questions based on their own knowledge. I think it is impossible to answer either question because the story lacks supporting facts to limit the answer choices to one correct answer. I could give a supporting argument as to why each of the four choices of each question would be correct therefore it makes the questions defective. Whoever wrote the story was clever in creation of a "fantasy land" that forces the reader to become part of that land. The problem is whoever wrote the questions was clearly not "part of that fantasy land."


I was an 8th grader who took that riduclous test and after i read that story i couldnt answer none of those questions and i went on to the rest and wen i was done with all of them i went back and re-read it about 4 times over and over again and those questions was just retoricle and i put C.they were hungry and D. The owl but we had a shorter version of the story which i highly think is unfair because they left out alot of the story and had a moral that made no cense it only said The Pineapple Had No Sleves thats it. Also i dont understand why they raised the levels for the reading things because of that i might go into another E.L.A class for 2 periods a day just because i usually score a 3 on the test and now a 3 is a 2 and a 4 is a 3 ? Why do they do this and SAT's it just puts preassure on alot of people even the teachers that honestly dont even know whats going to be on these tests

P.s - do you think its right to make students be so under preasure over a test that really messes up your mind ? These tests arent scored lik they used to be Monhagen Middle School really sucks they were puttin preasure on us to do math packets and grading them just because the state test is on wed. For another 3 DAYS!


I'm an 8th grade student in new york;

I got C for #1

I got D for #2


Oh and my answers were
1)they were annoyed (in the story on the test they animals wanted to cheer for the winner nd got mad)

2)the owl which in this version of the story wasn't included but was on the test version and was the one to say Pineapples don't have sleeves. I chose this also because at the end of the story it says

MORAL:Pineapples don't have sleeves

Ralph Perrigino

There is no mention of an owl so he would be the wisest and the animals were hungry


I'm an 8th grader who took this test and i had to stop myself from laughing during the test. They also changed a lot of the story from what is posted here. Anyways after the test everyone was asking what everyone else put for these answers because they didn't make sense. Its good to see the're not being counted :). Also Joe said that it is hard to answer without re-reading and even though i only re-read it at the end of the test for fun I do know someone that had to read it three times to understand it. btw i really hate state test I just wanted you all to know that :3-cat face.


This story is absolutly the most poorly written story I have ever read. To expect students to answer questions on a story with such a confusing plot line is absolutly absurd. Not to even mention that in the beginning of the story the author states that this story takes place in a time when animals could speak English but no mention of fruit possessing such abilities until suddenly the pineapple became a part of the plot. As for the questions: 1)Logically there is no reason for the animals to eat the fruit and, therefore, the question is purely speculative. 2) Arguably the moose is the wisest for noticing that the pineapple didn't have any sleeves. However, that is an extrememly weak answer and, therefore, still extrememly speculative. Personal opinion, ALL the tests, third through eighth grade, are absurd.


God I'm a 12th grader and I didn't really get it. I guessed
1) c. Because they waited hours for the hare to finish the race and I assumed they would be hungry, so it's logical to eat the pineapple

2) c. Because the crow persuaded everyone else to go along with what his plans.

I pray for these kids. And I thought South Korea's education system was bad.


After a heated 10 minute debate with my husband, he finally said to me "Why are we even talking about this? This is dumb." So true, honey. So true.


I took this exam and was showing this article to my parents, but when I took the exam it was very different. I don't know why It was like this here but I just wanted to notify you of that

Sarah W

It appears that the people who write the test items should have to pass a test themselves to qualify for doing this. It is not even a well written piece, never mind the idiocy of the questions. Scary...


This wasn't the version of the story that appeared on the actual test. I proctored the 8th grade exam, and had a chance to read the story. The differences and omissions in this version make the questions hard to answer, but the version on the test was clearer.

Justin Rosales

I wonder what the "official" answer is.

Ryan hecht

This is definately not the story as it appeared on the test. The owl is the animal who stated, "pineapples don't have sleeves," and the ninja and toothpaste comments also did not appear, along with other information that changes the entire perception of the story. Anyway, if they somehow DID have the legitament story, they could be sued, because the NYS ELA exam is a secure test.
-Ryan Hecht, an 8th grade student

a middle schooler

I am a middle schooler that took this question. This became a running joke in our school. We would pass each other in the hall and be like, "Hey! Pineapples don't have sleeves!" Anyways, I put for the wisest, the moose. The answer was the crow. Everyone in my grade had completely different answers though. For the other question, I put they were annoyed. It was such a stupid question.


I think the animals ate the pineapple because they were annoyed n I think the crow was the wisest but that is just my opinion I think its a dumb story n too many characters for a 8 th grader


The animals ate the pineapple probably because they were hungry, as they had to wait on the hare to run the length of the forest and back. The moose was the wisest Given his statement, "Pineapples don't have sleeves".


1)C- they were hungry
2)a- the hare


Samantha Keyes

1) a. they were annoyed

2) c. the crow

i am not in the eighth grade, i am actually in a lower grade. I tried my best to figure this answer.

Samantha Keyes

1. Why did the animals eat the pineapple?
a. they were annoyed

2. Who was the wisest?
c. crow
I'm not in the eighth grade, i'm in a lower grade but i tried my best to figure this out....

Linda Alicea

My answers are; they ate the pineapple because they were hungry and I think the Moose was the smartest because he knew pineapples don't have sleeves. There's no mention of an owl.


If the pineapple can't move how did it get there in the first place and if it can talk, did they kill and cannibalize a fellow creature. did it scream out in pain? kind of gruesome story.


the hare is the wisest and they ate the pineapple because they were angry.why the big deal?its a comprehension test not a philosophy exam.

Tricia McRae

State tests are NOT indicative of whether a student has mastered content. Since all students learn differently, they should be given the opportunity to also express their knowledge in alternative ways based on projects such as videos, essays, dioramas or other creative endeavors. Some students may understand the material being taught but not be good test takers. Test taking alone should not be used to measure student achievement nor teacher performance.

Anne Johnson

MY Questions:

Q: Who is the dumbest animal?

1. The idiot who wrote this story in the first place
2. The idiot who wrote the questions to go with it
3. The idiot that allowed the story to be included in the test
4. The taxpayers who paid to have this test created and administered

Q. This story and the questions related to it:

1. Were written by a great-grandchild of Eugene Ionesco and are a postscript to the Bald Soprano
2. Are a pschological experiment and we are all being watched and our responses recorded
3. Are designed to provide 8th graders with empirical evidence to support the common theory about the stupidity of
the whole testing process
4. Are some politicians' idea of a legitimate instrument by which to measure teacher competency


1. Why did the animals eat the pineapple?
a. they were annoyed

Crow: "I think that the pineapple knows we’re cheering for the hare, so he is planning to pull a trick on us, so we look foolish when he wins!"

"The animals glanced at each other blankly, and then started to realize how dumb they were."

The animals were annoyed because they felt that the pineapple was responsible for making them appear dumb and foolish.

2. Who was the wisest?
a. the hare

"The hare looked at the pineapple strangely, but agreed to the race."

The hare looked at the pineapple strangely because he knew that the pineapple was immobile and that he (the hare) would definitely win.


This is a perplexing short story but with that being the case, I would have to deduce that the wisest animal is the moose because its remark was the only valid and proven statement. The crow spoke wrongfully and there is no indication of the hare receiving reward after the race inferring that taking on the bet just wasn't wise at all. Concerning why the pineapple was eaten at the end???....It seems that the animals were actually made fools out of, waiting hours for the hare to complete the race, and the pineapple was unresponsive nor explanatory so they must have been annoyed!

Su Lynn

Why bother? it won't be posted! Oops, I guess I shouldn't have talked about teacher ratings being based on test scores


The sad part of this is that students and teachers will be evaluated on these tests, and Pearson the company that created the test, will make money from it. In a NY Times article on 8/12/11, the State claims that new state tests will be less tricky than in previous years.


Elizabeth D.

A: they were annoyed; because they had to wait hours for the hare to come back after founding out the pineapple was immobile.

C: the crow; because it was the only one who realized that the pineapple couldn't move. :P


Now you understand how we felt when we had to administer this test.


My son said the answer is C and A because the hare all along could win the race because the pineapple could not move ..

Shani Schoenfeld

Ridiculous there is no possible answer to this question whatsoever and I think the question should be removed


It's almost as if the story is irrelevant, and only the sentence "The animals ate the pineapple." is necessary.
My answers are:
1) d. they wanted to. If they did not want to eat the pineapple, they wouldn't have.
2) d. the "wise old owl" is known to be the wisest, especially since he is not mentioned in the story at all, so he is wisest for avoiding this whole event!


The story on the whole sounds as though it were written by someone on a second grade level. Beyond that, neither question is answerable without further information. For the first question, D will always be A correct answer, but any one of the first 3 choices could also be true.

For the second question, an argument could be made in favor of the hare, the moose, or the owl (who, assuming there was one, chose to say nothing).

And finally, I'm left to ask whether this is the wording of the test question verbatim. This test is supposed to be a secure test and any sharing of test questions is markedly illegal. So either this was obtained illegally by the news station, or this version of the story is pieced together by the accounts of students who had taken the test, after the fact.


I wish to correct my answer to #1. That answer is (d) because they wanted to -- if they did not want to eat it, then they wouldn't have eaten it.


One word: RIDICULOUS. New York state expects 8th grade students to answer a question that neither Ken Jennings nor Watson the Jeopardy computer could answer.


I can't believe this is an actual question on the exam - ridiculous! What's sad is that there are probably more like this in the other grades as well. The State and Board of Ed. are supposed to help our children achieve - not set them up for failure. This seems more like a personality quiz rather than an academic assessment.

The Girl

I don't think the state would put a question on the test that can't be answered. However if I would guess who was the wisest I would pick the hare


This question, as well as many aspects of these state exams are simply a waste of time and money. The state should expend their energy and money on keeping teaching positions and lowering class sizes to enhance the educational system.


My answer would be 1- (A) They were annoyed 2- (c) The Crow...

Dolores Tarantino

I think they should stop with these tests already. The kids have enough pressure on them. The same for homework on vacation. It's called vacation.


More Principals should get on board and call the state to complain about this question. If enough schools call and complain, the state may throw the question out and/or lower the cut score of the test.


To answer with the choices given- 1. d because they wanted to 2. The hare

But this question sounds like it was written by a fourth grader, and when my son came home and told us about it, I was relieved that he was smart enough to recognize nonsense. Its obvious that standardize test are not so much the problem. The bigger problem is the educators who choose these questions


Ok the answer to question one is (C) and the answer to question two is the moose because it states how foolish it is to even thing that a pineapple can move


On test, in the corner it says moral: pineapples have no sleeves therefore, who ever said pineapples don't have sleeves would be the wisest.


This whole story is very poorly worded.
My answers would be:
1) e. None of the above. The animals ate the pineapple because it was there.
2) d. The owl is the wisest, because he was not mentioned in this silly story, so he is obviously the wisest for not hanging around!


New York State Regents exams are as easy as they have ever been, and English Language Arts exams have a question that Kenn Jennings himself said was unreasonable? NY State should concentrate on cracking down on their ridiculously simple regents exams instead of making every child taking the exam waste precious time trying to figure out a more or less unanswerable question. What is this world coming to?


My answers would be:
1 D They wanted to
2 B Moose
Why? Because there was not an owl mentioned, the crow lost his mind but the moose kind of figured it out all while the hare was running through the woods and they did not mention the coyote as an answer.

Maria Karaiskos

The correct answers are:
A) too much emphasis is placed on testing and data collection
B) the results of this test will affect student class placement, teacher evaluations, school progress reports
C) nyc schools are being shut down based on data from such exams. It is called the "pineapple effect"


The animals eat the pineapple because they were hungry. It had been a couple of hours before anyone eat a thing. Reference last paragraph hours later the hare returns. Meaning they all waited for the hare to come back. If they were intelligent they would have persuade the hare to stay where he was because it was well know that the pineapple could never move. The only animal that should be considered wise is the owl because the owl it is a trait that humans have placed on the animal.
This test is subjective but it seems to test prior knowledge as well as text evidence.


My daughter's test had that the owl was the one that said, "Pineapples don't have sleeves," not the moose. She also said that the order of the events were different, and there were about 4 or 5 questions about this story in her test.


Are you kidding me??? This what NY State has come up with?? The people who created and approved this as a question should be fired. As an educator I'm completely embarrassed.


Pure validation that state testing is a waste of time for students, teachers, and administrators. With all the knowledge we have today about learning styles and the human brain, it's amazing that this ridiculous question would be allowed on a standardized test. One could reason each choice as the correct answer........ Not to mention the "bully" crow for calling the fruit stupid!


This question is a clear example of why we need to do away with these tests. To think our children's academic advancement is hinged upon these man made atrocities called "State Tests"!

James Victor

This appears to test logical reasoning as part of the reading comprehension. On this assumption, the answer to question 1 would be c) because they were hungry, since animals react primarily to instinct, and the answer to question 2 would be d) the owl, as the owl did not participlate in the exercise of futility and would therefore prove itself the wiser.


I guess it's difficult to make up a reading comprehension question when you can't use words like Halloween, Birthday, divorce, and swimming pool. That passage was even more rediculous than not being able to use these words.

Erica Okonski

The moose was the smartest animal. All we here from him is that "pineapples don't have sleeves."

The animals ate the pineapple because they wanted too.

It doesn't seem that difficult to me...

Matthew Tobjy

I took this test on Wedesday and was also confused with this question. I thought that it was ridiculous and was not appropriate from a 8th graders age level. The state should be ashamed that that could be a factor in leaving back a student. The Pineapple and the Hare is just plain STUPID!!!!


The animals were annoyed (they realized they were Dumb), and The Hare was the wisest( because he won without any competition)!!

brenton crewsiti

1) i think they wanted to. it states the winner get a ninja and toothpaste, not get eaten. This question makes no sense

2) the crow i think, he told the moose that pineapples cant walk or run.

i dont know why the education system love to see us get confused. Thats why they made the SAT's im convinced.


The real answers are
1) A. They were annoyed

2) D. The owl


this was not the exact passage we were given to read. Some things have been added.


I am a former elementary school teacher. Not only do the questions not make sense, the story is poorly written. In an attempt to resonate with the students taking the test, test makers created a confusing story that is a poor model of what a story should be. My 3rd and 4th grade students wrote stories better than that! The questions are also poorly written. The first question seems to be an inference question but there is not enough information to answer it. The second questions has no correct answer since the story made it clear they were all fools. Those questions should be thrown out by the test maker and never used again.

Priscilla Ivanoff

This is such a waste of a question on a Standardized Test. These tests were created to measure the students learning capacity and intellect. Questions like these just confuse children (and adults alike.) I don't see how a 'fantasy' story, with hypothetical questions can prove anything of a child's intellect. The creators of these exams should be ashamed of adding questions like these on such serious exams. Poor children who are now confused and worried that they won't be going into the 9th grade because they think they answered this question incorrectly.


They ate the pineapple cause they were annoyed.
The Owl was the wisest because he was the only one who didn't say anything ..


My answers would be:

1. D they wanted to.
2. A the hare.

The second question is easier to answer because the hare knew from the start that he would win. He was the only one who didn't get fooled. I think the first question requires students to select the best answer. Either this question got copied down incorrectly, or it's just an awful question.


I think the whole story is pretty violent since they all eat the pineapple at the end because they felt like they had been made fools of. Good example of Group Think by the Crow since he convinced everyone to take sides against the pineapple.


It's a fantasy and the students need to use what they know from the story to answer the questions. My guess; 1:D, 2:C. #1 no other answers had facts to support them. #2 The crow recognized the impossibility of a race for various reasons.

D, Vernon, NJ

That whole story was actually kind of mean, hardly school material if you ask me. All the recent news of bullying, kids being made fun of, etc. this question was really written in poor taste and I agree...there is no right answer!


Where in the story does it mention an owl?


1. Why did the animals eat the pineapple?
c. they were hungry
- Because of several hours of watching the race, they were hungry.

2. Who was the wisest?
b. moose
- The moose pointed out that the pineapple had no sleeve to hide a trick inside of.


1:A; they were annoyed because the pineapple had wasted their time and decided to get rid of him for that

2: C; The Crow was the wisest because he somewhat figured out the trick

If am right be suppressed because I am only 11

Joseph Chierchio

Dylan H.

1) C- They were hungry.
2) A- The hare.

Even though I am in sixth grade, I believe that these are the answers.

Jessica Dvais

This is an absolutely ridiculous story and the questions are even more ridiculous! There is no way to answer these questions by the obscure content of the short story. Seems the test-makers need a bit more schooling themselves!


My answer:
1. because they wanted to

2. the hare

Why would they write a story that makes no sense and has to be read a number of times? Also the first sentence is grammatically incorrect!!

G.P. Dugan


Nancy DiGirolamo

Since it was hours later one MIGHT assume the animals were hungry. So c.) would be the correct answer to #1
The hare was obviously not the wisest since it ran a race with an immovable object. The owl was not mentioned so it shouldnt be considered. The moose simply said pineapples dont have sleeves, which MIGHT be considered wise. However the crow at least thought the race was fixed and it might be a trick so it was probably wisest.


The real question should have been: Is this an example of a well-written, easy to follow story? The answer would be No.

jessica floria

ohh my goodness i remeber this question on the state test...i thought it was completely stupid but heres my answers

1-a(they were anoyyed)

2-c(the crow)

Brittany Naraine

The pineapple was eaten because the animals were annoyed that the pineapple lost the race and the hare did the race for no reason. The crow because he came up with the idea that the pineapple had a trick to win the race.

Jordy Hernandez

I don't know these questions very much. In fact, these questions to me doesn't make sense, and they don't make sense. I won't answer them. Period.

Alvis Wu

c. they were hungry or a. the hare.


I took this test and was trying not to laugh hysterically. We were all looking at each other thinking, "Is this a joke?"


My is c. they were hungry or a. the hare.


The answers to the questions cannot be proven, so it is useless to attempt to answer them. I would like to see the complete test and know the subject (Reading Comp.? Science? Logic?) . Otherwise, seems to be a blatant attempt to cause undue stress upon the test taker.

Lourdes Diaz

I dont think that question could be answered, all it said was that they ate it, no other info was given. and as for who was the wisest how are you to tell who was the wisest it didnt say anything to that affect..

these types of questions are a ridiculous way to see if the child comprehends what they read in the lil bit of time they have..


I'm in 8th grade and i put A for number 1 and D for number 2. If Ken Jennings can't answer this question, how do they expect 8th graders to answer this question?

Thandeka  M

my answers are
1) b - they were amused
2) c - the crow

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