By David Madden

TRENTON, N.J. (CBS) — Can you get a third grader to tell you a secret?

New Jersey education officials are trying to do just that — on a standardized test.

The state Department of Education, in Trenton, won’t offer up anyone to talk about it, nor does their e-mail explain the reason behind the question put to some 4,000 kids in 15 school districts across the state.

But questions are often “field tested,” and this one was developed, according to the e-mail, by an expert and then reviewed by both a panel of teachers and department officials.

They won’t even disclose the exact wording of the question, printed in the writing section of some third grade tests.  It asks them to reveal a secret and write why it’s hard to keep.

Plans are to review the question in question, so to speak, and decide if will be included in future tests.

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