Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Pearson Gets It Right - in Urdu as Teachers Pulled From Schools to Mark Faulty Tests

Pineapplegate continues, with 20 more errors, and finally an apologia from Pearson

News round up at NYC PubSchl Parents blog: 

But is it too late? Includes video news report from Central NY, which says that errors have forced rescoring of the exams, costing cash-strapped districts even more money!

---- Leonie Haimson on the NYC Parent blog

Picky, picky, picky Leonie. My sources say that there were no mistakes on the Pearson tests in Urdu, Hindi, Magyar, Macedonian, and a couple of obscure Amazon rain forest Indian dialects.
today Pearson leaked another memo to NY1, admitting that they had screwed up royally and that an internal investigation is underway: "Pearson agrees that we need to work diligently to improve."  Is this too little, too late?  As Lindsey Christ, NY1 reporter, rightly points out:

Chancellor Tisch said she will give the company one more year. However, some parents and teachers want the state to cancel the company's five-year, $32 million contract. They say students don't get a second chance with high stakes tests, so why should the test company.
Yes, let's close Pearson's contract down due to poor performance. Just like they close down schools. Pearson has been double dipping -- or rather 20 times dipping by getting paid to design tests by many states but using the same questions.

And there are field testing coming up in many schools in June -- subjecting our kids to tests that have no other purpose than to help Pearson build more tests and make more money. Shouldn't the teachers and students get a cut? Or just boycott.

Here are some reports about teachers being pulled out of schools to mark exams, losing even more days of instruction. The outrages continue.
Our last day of five ELA teachers out of building is tomorrow. Thursday starts the five math teachers per day. That only lasts one week. With normal unexpected absences we have had up to 9 teachers out of building on any given day. The DOE thinks that's okay. Had another testing consequence come my way today when an eighth grade parent asked about their child having multiple subject tests on the same day. I know that having tests on same day is not ideal, but I pointed out that it has been three weeks since some teachers could give any tests on the material they have been teaching in their classes. One of the aspects of the data driven nonsense of the past decade has been the absolute disregard of "data" collected by teachers. Teachers are always taught to find multiple ways to assess their students, keeping portfolios of various types of assessments, upon which report card grades can be derived. This work seems more and more to be considered worthless. We all know the idea of any standardized test is to normalize results across diverse populations, but what is taught everyday must also be assessed. As standardized testing takes on more and more value, teacher generated data will not only be more and more ignored, it will be harder and harder to find the time to creatively assess students. One can imagine, thinking about the disgusting piece on Joel Klein in todays NY Times (we learn from Regent's boss Tisch that Klein admires Murdoch!!), how his company will be soon at the door of school districts across the country with products designed to remove all creativity from the work of teachers with a suite of digital products, designed like baby food, for easy digestion and predictable results.
Well, those of us parents who have boycotted the standardized tests are advocating among other things the principle that the primary assessments of students should be made by the education professionals who are working with them every day -- their teachers. That's how it was when I grew up in Indiana, where the only standardized test I had before the SAT was one 1-2 hour test in fourth grade that had no preparation and no consequence. The idea that teachers would not be considered competent to determine whether their students were ready for the next grade would have been inconceivable; that's exactly what teachers do and know better than anyone else! As long as standardized tests are usurping the rightful place of teacher's assessments and evaluations of their students, our family will be having no part of them, regardless of the DOE's policies.
I just spent the past 10 days grading ELA tests. As an SETSS teacher, that means that the children I see missed 10 days of mandated services according to their IEPs. I will, of course, record this in my SESIS report, but I think it's inexcusable for teachers providing mandated services to be sent to mark tests! 
From Monty Neil at Fair Test: Testing in the News -- May 7 - 9, 2012
Lots of interesting stories as the annual K-12 "testing season" reaches its peak. 

A Glimpse of Technology Enhanced Tests (be sure to read the comments)

Kentucky is First State to Implement Common Core Tests

Physical Fitness Impacts Test Scores

No College Left Behind -- The "Holy Grail" Test Does Not Exist

More Mistakes on State Tests -- Lots of Errors in Translating Math Exam

Accountability for Test Errors -- Great Letters-to-the-Editor

Tracing Test-Cheating Scandals to Their Roots

Chancellor Condemns Exam Errors -- Will Still Use Flawed Scores for "Accountability" (Except for Testing Companies)


  1. When is Tisch held accountable for this mess?

    When is King?

    When is Cuomo?

    They keep telling us about these "sophisticated tests" they've got coming to base their "scientific" and "objective" evaluation system on, but so far we've seen faulty, error-riddled tests.

    I can't wait to see the "sophisticated" value added system they use for these "sophisticated" tests.

  2. When I scored last year, they sent back the SETTS teachers. We were told that they were mandated to stay in their buildings doing their thing.
    I wonder what changed.


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