Get sick, get well
Hang around a ink well
Ring bell, hard to tell
If anything is goin' to sell
-- Bob Dylan

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Big money to be made in the teacher evaluation biz

Education reforms translate into big money for private groups writes Sarah Garland in the Oct. 24th American Prospect. Following the 2001 No Child Left Behind Act, states paid millions of dollars annually to companies to develop and administer the standardized tests required under the law. Companies also cashed in on a provision mandating tutoring for students at struggling schools. Now, a movement to overhaul the teaching profession is creating a new source of revenue for those in the business of education.
Among those cashing in on teacher evaluation, according to Garland,  are: 
  • Houghton Mifflin Harcourt 
  • American Institutes for Research 
  • The New Teacher Project (TNTP)
  • National Institute for Excellence in Teaching
  • Mathematica
  • Pearson
  • Learning Sciences International
“There simply is not as much [money] to be made from professional development, or system design, as there is in testing students,” Charlotte Danielson, a researcher who developed a well-regarded teacher observation method that has been adopted by districts around the country, said in an email.
“There are real dangers,” said Monty Neill, director of FairTest, a group critical of standardized testing. “While observations make good sense, if you start bringing in outside people…you’re more likely to end up with arbitrary and capricious decisions from which someone makes money.”

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