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

Friday, July 31, 2015

McGraw-Hill folds it cards. Can't compete in current high-stakes testing market.

McGraw-Hill/CBT is pulling out of the $1.1 billion high-stakes testing market. The reason? Too much volatility. It seems that the wave of political protests and the parent opt-out movement have forced McGraw to move to greener more peaceful pastures. And, as the common-core tests have rolled out, the overall market for state assessments has largely flatlined

According to EdWeek:
The market has also proved volatile, fraught with legal protests, mounting opposition from parents and politicians to testing, and major disruptions in online assessments for which vendors, including McGraw-Hill Education/CTB, have been blamed.
“Let’s be clear—people in the assessment industry are not living in poverty,” said Scott Marion, the associate director of the National Center for the Improvement of Educational Assessment, which consults with states and districts on testing. Yet the profit margins, he said, are “thinner than a lot of people want to believe.”
McGraw-Hill apologized in 2013 for interruptions after its digital testing service disrupted exams in Indiana and Oklahoma. About 3,000 students in Oklahoma lost their connections to the testing provider’s servers. And nearly 80,000 out of a half million Indiana students who took the company’s tests in the spring had their testing postponed and about 30,000 were kicked off of the testing platform on a single day of testing. One Indiana charter school has said the errors are to blame for its F grade from the state.

Twenty years ago, McGraw-Hill Education, Harcourt, and Riverside Publishing controlled large portions of the summative-testing market. Today, all of those companies have either largely abandoned that market or been absorbed by other testing entities.

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