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

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Testing companies hit the jackpot on Common Core

The market for testing products and services is booming and could continue to surge over the next few years, according to industry analysts and company officials, who say that growth is being fueled by the shift toward common-core tests.

Federal education policy since No Child Left Behind has fueled the testing boom which in turn has driven even more testing down to lower and lower grades. Many states and districts have approved policies tying teachers’ and administrators’ evaluations to students’ academic progress, as measured in part by state tests—policies supported by the Obama administration through its Race to the Top program.

In an article sponsored by the Gates Foundation, Edweek's Sean Sean Cavanagh writes:
Changes in testing policy with nationwide implications are invariably “good for any provider of testing materials,” said Scott Marion, the associate director of the National Center for the Improvement of Educational Assessment, a Dover, N.H.-based nonprofit organization that consults with states on assessments. “You knew the common core was going to be a big change from what [we] had before.”
It is estimated that the current market for technology-based testing and assessment products and services in fiscal 2011 was $1.6 billion. Preliminary results that are still being analyzed show the market grew by at least 20 percent for fiscal 2012. The biggest player in the testing market is London based Pearson Publishing which has close ties to the Obama administration and Ed Secretary Arne Duncan.

1 comment:

  1. And now Pear$on has bought the testing company that sells assessments for dyslexia & ADHD! Illinois legislators have introduced a bill which would make dyslexia testing mandatory in our public schools. How interesting!
    My guess is that yes, should this pass, only these (now) Pear$on tests will be ordered up in droves. However--while more students will, undoubtedly, be tested (making uber $$$$ for Pear$on & it$ $tockholder$), $tudent$ will either be:
    1. Diagnosed w/either dyslexia or ADHD or both, yet will NOT receive appropriate services (what with all those highly qualified TFAers in the classrooms, NONE of them will have been trained in Wilson or Orton-Gillingham or ANY other program specifically designed to meet the complicated {not to mention expensive} instructional needs of those students). Further, students found to have ADHD will be given medication
    {more $$$ for Big Pharm!!!} and--those of us who teach/have taught those students know that their medications must be properly monitored by psychiatrists/physicians and--most often--are not, for a variety of reasons
    (the biggest one being that parents usually cannot afford to get the best medical help for their children--and, of course, their insurance companies will not pay--if they do, indeed, even have insurance).
    2, Students will be (incorrectly) NOT diagnosed, thus will go on to struggle in school, without appropriate support services.