July 2, 2012
ACT, kindergarten, testing
In case you were wondering who the greediest people in the world were:
The ACT (Yes, the same company that convinced us that one college-entrance test wasn’t enough) is planning on creating a standardized test for Kindergartners. It’s intended to test them for “career skills.”
I’m guessing part of the business plan is that test-prep will be available for pre-schoolers. Nice.
This is a “multimillion dollar project” according to ACT officials, so I’m sure they’re already hard at work convincing state officials that our public schools really need this.
July 1, 2012
4th Grade, FCAT, Florida, reading, testing
What’s the solution to the following problem?
A standardized reading test has been given to every 4th grader in Florida. They’ve been preparing all year. Pre-exam pep rallies are held. Teachers anxiously await the results only to find……27% actually pass it. Do you:
A) Give out lollipops to 73% of 4th graders, begin summer school
B) Fire a lot of teachers, blame them for the low scores
C) Lower the passing grade so the pass rate magically becomes 81%
If you answered choice C, you’re correct! Or, you’re the Florida Department of Education who hired Pearson to create the FCAT (that’s Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test for those of you who are nostalgic about what it’s like to be 10 years old.)
Price tag: $250 million through 2013. I wonder if there’s a refund? $250 million can buy a lot of lollipops….
July 1, 2012
curriculum, Pearson, testing
I am starting this blog because I am concerned.
As a teacher of 8 years on Long Island, I have seen a transformation take place. Our schools used to have many friends; organizations, politicians and a public who knew that at the heart of a free society is a robust system of public education.
That is no longer the case.
Politicians and public figures have coalesced around high-stakes testing, weaker teacher unions, shoddy evaluation systems and one-size-fits-all curriculum. Anyone who protests these ideas risks being cast as greedy and corrupt. Dissent has been squashed and there are but a few heroes who speak publicly in defense of our schools.
Any time there are ills in society you can be sure of one thing: there is a salesman in the halls of power who would like to sell the cure.
Pearson Education is part of an international conglomerate that has taken control of the testing, reading and teaching in the classroom. They are training your school officials. They are paying professional educators to sell their products. They are not just taking over small classrooms, but entire state departments of education.
They are getting the contracts. They are getting the money. What are our children getting?
This blog intends to find out, with your help.
Testing Pearson will be less of an editorial and more of an aggregation of news stories and personal anecdotes from around the country. This is not meant to be an indictment of Pearson Education, but rather a conversation about the role of a large corporation in our classrooms.
If you have anything you would like to be shared, please feel free to send it to email@example.com