Friday, January 21, 2005

Testing goldmine

More on how NCLB is making testing companies rich, care of Rethinking Schools .

One of many key points: lack of oversight and lack of outcry over the role of these companies, whose tests are being used to dismantle our schools, one year at a time.
Invariably, the private testing companies that control standardized testing operate behind closed doors with little to no public accountability. They function as subsections of multinational conglomerates that view the U.S. testing industry as just one tentacle of publishing and entertainment empires that span the globe.

"There's very little oversight of the testing industry," notes Walt Haney, an education professor at Boston College and a senior researcher at its National Board on Educational Testing and Public Policy (NBETPP). "In fact, there is more public oversight of the pet industry and the food we feed our dogs than there is for the quality of tests we make our kids take."
The testing companies include:
Three companies have traditionally dominated the market for developing tests: Harcourt Educational Measurement, CTB McGraw-Hill, and Riverside Publishing. All are part of larger conglomerates, and their financial data generally are not reported separately from the controlling corporation.

A fourth, little-known company, Pearson Educational Measurement out of Iowa City, Iowa, has significantly increased its market share in recent years. According to the Dec. 1, 2004 Education Week , Pearson has for now overtaken Riverside as the third main testing company.
That this is an outrage is the least of it.

I think this is a great article to send to your Congressman and state Reps about NCLB's corporate connection. In era where funding for public education is inadequate, we've got corporations making megabucks. Follow the money. NCLB is a cleverly disguised form of corporate welfare.