Sunday, February 14, 2016

Does Eva's Special edition Pearson Test Prep Explain Her "Success"?

In all the hullabaloo about Eva, this Chalkbeat article's comments cited below by Triumph104 seems to have been overlooked. If Eva's hedge fund purchased specialized expensive test prep comes from Pearson as hers alone, and mirrors the actual test or contains actual questions their standard test prep does not provide, of course all her abuse appears to work wonders, especially in the math where little "critical re-thinking" is required, only knowing the formulaic solution process. Is there a way to verify her priceless test prep materials?..... David Dobosz
Triumph104 •

I had heard that the test prep material that Success Academy uses is remarkably similar to the actual test. I simply assumed that the network either had in-house staff generating the material or they purchased it from a third party.

A comment in the NY Times article suggests that the test prep materials are actually purchased by Pearson and include actual questions that will appear on the upcoming state exam. If this is true, it would explain why none of the 8th graders were admitted to a specialized high school last year; they weren't given the answers to the SHSAT before they took the exam.

NY Times comment:

Much talk of results, but the actual methods of achieving them, the test prep itself, is withheld from the reporter's view. No red flag raised for her? Well that's a red flag for ME. Other outlets have reported that Success uses some of its hedge fund backing to purchase from Pearson, the test designer "preferred test prep materials," which are said to include a fair number of actual questions that Pearson puts on the tests. That public schools are not equipped to pay for these further skews the results. This would have been a useful line of inquiry, sadly missed, not for the first time by the Times.
Fred Smith replies:
That allegation would be an important lead to follow up.  Maybe Kate Taylor can look into it.  She's just been slammed by Eva for her reports on SA cruel practices.

I would also like to know who scores SA's constructed response questions.  Is Eva also allowed to have her staff grade their own students?  I have no idea.  But we always are learning about advantages SA seems to have.  Self-scoring could be one more.

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