Sunday, March 22, 2015

Pearson, again...

Print Friendly and PDF Today's Albany Times Union has two columns on the first page of the Perspectives section: "A failing grade for tests" by Michelle Adalian and an editorial entitled "The test of Common Core". Both about, essentially, the same topic.

Ms. Adalian is a 4th grade teacher in New York State. You should be aware that buried in the grade 3 through 8 tests in New York is the statement Developed and published under contract with the New York State Education Department by Pearson. 

I wrote about Pearson earlier (see here). My opinion has not changed. Pearson has a vested interest in getting states to go full bore into a "common core". As long as it is a shared curriculum, they stand to profit.

The TU editorial includes this:
The latest tests in question are for aspiring K-12 teachers, who must pass them to qualify for a teaching certificate. Teaching students started taking these tests back in September. Six months later, many are frustrated to still be waiting to find out whether they passed — because the state hasn't figured out what the passing score should be.
The reader should be aware that Pearson Education Inc. creates the teacher tests. In its own words
The New York State Teacher Certification Examinations™ (NYSTCE®) address New York Education Law and Commissioner’s Regulations, which require prospective New York State educators to pass designated tests as a requirement for receiving state certification.
The public should take the time to learn about Pearson's role, and checking out their web "sales pitch" can help. Their push on teacher licensure is here. Getting a sense of their grab into assessments in general, check this out.

Bob Schaeffer is quoted as saying (see here) "In a capitalist society, if there’s a market, somebody will figure out how to serve it. But the corporations reinforce the stupidity of the bad policies of politicians."

Ms. Adalian says in her column "I encourage the powers that be to walk in our shoes."

I would hope and expect that politicians at all levels take the time to learn a lot about the actual schools with which they are playing. When they think they know enough, go and learn more.This hope is largely due to the fact that the only change that can be made in Schaeffer's statement is the removal of "stupidity of the bad".

Pearson has too much power and it was given to them blindly.

Disclaimer: there is greatr merit to the idea of a common core curriculum in this country. But it should be managed much much much much much much much better.

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