Since it is hard to elaborate a response in 140 characters, I am blogging this. First, full disclosure, I am on the board of directors of the ASTQB and I am a training provider of ISTQB certification courses, as well as over 60 other courses I have written. (I make a small percentage of my income from ISTQB training.) I was also a founding author of the CSTE test certification from QAI. This is from my own perspective and does not represent the views of the ISTQB or ASTQB.
Second, I really believe as testers we have the right and responsibility to ask questions. So my issue is not with the asking of questions. We can still be friends.
I tweeted yesterday that "The open letter to the ISTQB is meaningless." Here's why.
1. The letter fails to distinguish between the ISTQB and the country examination boards (such as the ASTQB, Canadian Testing Board, UKTB, etc.) that write and administer the exams. Therefore, the ISTQB does not write exam questions. To get the answers to the questions about the validity of questions and coefficients, you would have to write such a request to each individual country exam board. The ISTQB may provide a high-level response, but it can't answer the detailed questions posed because it simply doesn't have the information.
2. There are Non-disclosure Agreements in place to protect the intellectual property of each country board and the ISTQB in general. One of the challenges with any exam (ITIL, PMP, etc.) is to keep the contents of the exam confidential as to prevent questions from being passed around. There is a sample exam available on the ASTQB website that gives a flavor of the questions being asked. Kryterion would not release results because they also have confidentiality restrictions.
3. "Have there ever been any problems with the validity of the exams?" This is like asking, "Are you still beating your wife?" Everything has shortcomings. The reason the ASTQB invested in independent exam reviews and measurement was to make the exam as valid as possible.
I agree that the questions on the exam must be a valid reflection of the learning objectives in the syllabus. As a training provider, I don't know what is on the exam. There is a firm line of separation. I focus on the methods and application as opposed to the brain cram approach.
That's it for now. Gotta get back to the test lab.