Saturday, May 9, 2015

A Jersey Teacher Responds to Alfred G. Binford's Defense of Pearson

New Jersey spent $108 million dollars on the PARCC and I have to buy pencils out of pocket... The aim of Pearson is to lay the ground work for the colonization of public schools systems in largely minority urban communities by contributing to the stack ranking of teachers leading to expedited terminations and the shuttering of so called failing schools.

A Jersey Response to Alfred G. Binford's WaPo piece in Defense of Pearson

The view from the trenches of a Newark Public Schools teacher differs significantly from the perspective of Alfred G. Binford, managing director of assessment and delivery at Pearson. Binford claims that Common Core State Standards provide students with a solid foundation in reading and math. New Jersey previously had well designed standards particularly for English as a Second Language, which is my area of expertise. The Common Core does not address the needs of English Language Learners. The unstated goal of instituting national standards is to create a uniform market for multinational corporations such as Pearson.

The PARCC robs New Jersey students in testing grades of six weeks of instruction, not to mention the untold hours devoted to prepping for the Endless Testing Regime. In addition, my school is under lock down each day until testing is completed. Some children not being tested are deprived of specials teaching Art, Music, World Language because they are utilized in test administration. Teachers receive test results after students have exited their classrooms and are, thus, unable to use the assessments to drive instruction. Teachers are prohibited from examining test questions, thereby, blindfolding them in any attempts to analyze student strengths and weaknesses. Binford’s postulation that the test results provide a vital snapshot of student performance and growth is laughable.

New Jersey spent $108 million dollars on the PARCC and I have to buy pencils out of pocket. Coincidentally, Commissioner of Education David Hespe sits on the PARCC Consortium Governing Board cementing the cozy New Jersey relationship with Pearson. Binford contends that the New Jersey Department of Education was contacted by Pearson to protect the interests of students who had yet to take the PARCC. It was my impression, however, that Pearson was attempting to protect its financial investment in test questions by violating student privacy. The fact not clearly comprehended by Pearson is most New Jersey school children are minors and are, therefore, not parties to non-disclosure agreements.


Despite Binford’s assertions, equity for all students is not ensured by strong accountability and assessment systems. Pearson testing does not mitigate the effects of homelessness, hunger, incarceration, drugs, fatherless children, crime and violence on children growing up in poverty. The aim of Pearson is to lay the ground work for the colonization of public schools systems in largely minority urban communities by contributing to the stack ranking of teachers leading to expedited terminations and the shuttering of so called failing schools.

Abigail Shure

Ed Notes reporter in New Jersey.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments are welcome. Irrelevant and abusive comments will be deleted, as will all commercial links. Comment moderation is on, so if your comment does not appear it is because I have not been at my computer (I do not do cell phone moderating).