Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘McGraw-Hill’

A few days ago, a public school teacher quit her job after fourteen years in education. Why? The profitable testing industry forced her out. She was tired of giving test upon test, more this year than last. Tests are not about accountability or standards. They’re all about increasing corporate profits, raising share prices, and enhancing dividends–at the expense of students, teachers, parents, administrators and taxpayers. That’s why the USA has the most tested K-12 students in the world, which is a reflection of how corrupt the US federal and state governments are.

Take the case of Pearson, the world’s largest education company.

According to the Financial Times on Nov 1, 2015,

“When millions of South African children start the new school year in January, they are likely to find that something is missing — textbooks.

Two of the country’s biggest provinces, Limpopo and Eastern Cape, are yet to place any orders with publishers.

The fallout is being felt about 6,000 miles to the north — at Pearson, the world’s largest education company, based in London…. Next year its testing business will be badly hit by the recent loss of flagship contracts in Texas and Ohio, worth £100m. It was the first time in 30 years the company had lost the Texas business, with state legislators raising concerns about past cost overruns…. Pearson is not just big — it is hugely diverse. A company assembled by acquisition, it produces textbooks and teaching software; runs school exams and entire university courses; and owns chains of schools teaching languages and professional qualifications.” See Pearson’s strategy comes under fire after share price collapse–/Financial Times

This year, Pearson has seen its profits decline, and its share prices have been hit as well, thanks to those South African children, and legislators in Texas and Ohio. Pearson’s stock price is the red line in the graph below. This line means more investors are selling Pearson stock than are purchasing it. So they need more children to take more tests to get their profits and stock price to rise.

Pearson-versus-EWU-2015-10-22

The Financial Times says two things are causing this profit decline. The US economy is picking up steam, and so people are working rather than going to universities to enhance job skills. Number two is the opposition to Common Core standards by Republican state legislatures.

The more testing, the more money Pearson takes in. And what is good for Pearson and its shareholders is not good for students, since the higher the educational standards, the more students fail, the more they have to retake the tests, the more profits Pearson and other educational corporations garner. So naturally, companies such as Pearson and McGraw-Hill are always pushing legislators to raise standards, and they’re going to continue to do so. This is their only way of enhancing their share prices, and that’s why the teacher alluded to above quit her job. She’d had enough.

She wrote at the end of her letter:

“My next step? Not sure yet. I do know that it is a disgrace that we are allowing companies from the testing industry to make millions of dollars (actually tens of billions) off the abuse of our public education system. Not only are we killing the spirits of students who want to learn, but we are also killing the spirits of teachers that want to make a life-long career of this. I’m not the first one to give up and I certainly won’t be the last. In 10-20 years, we are going to look back at this time in education and be very ashamed of what we have allowed to happen.

Finally, please hope and pray that my kids get a qualified teacher quickly. One that isn’t jaded by the system, that loves them in spite of their challenges, and has the strength to withstand the foolishness that educators endure. I couldn’t be that for them anymore and the grief that causes me is suffocating at times. I will miss them every day. This quote helps when the feelings become overwhelming, “Be OK with not knowing for sure what might come next, but know that whatever it is…you will be OK”.

Click here to see the complete letter of the teacher and why she quit.

Read Full Post »

US standardized testing is all about redistributing tax dollars to the shareholders and CEOs of publishing giants, such as Pearson and McGraw-Hill. I’ve been saying the obvious for two decades. Now comedy central has caught on to this scam with John Oliver. Quite naturally, the corporate propaganda machine doesn’t want you to know this, so they never use their investigative skills to figure this out.

Oliver, however, takes it a step further. He points out that billions of dollars a year are being thrown to the testing giants, and they have failed in their objectives, and should be given the boot. Since No Child Left Behind turned schools from educational institutions to test prep school, average test scores for students have slightly dipped lower vis-a-vis their international brethren, and the achievement gap between students of European descent and African descent has not been reduced.

In other words, it’s all about the money, because if it was about educating children, then the standardized tests would be given the boot. US students can be made to take up to 113 tests from kindergarten to twelfth grade, not counting make up examinations. Students are forced to take tests until they pass them, so one test might be taken five times during the k-12 education of any child. In other words, Oliver is correct to say students can be made to take up to 113 tests, but that number goes up significantly if children fail tests.

That’s why educational standards are constantly raised time after time. The more tests students fail, the more profitable it is for the testing corporations. The latest attack on children in public education, Common Core testing, is the perfect example of this.

Finland has the highest test scores in the world, and its school children are the least tested.

The testing mania is about government corruption, and money gone wild in politics, and it, like virtually all US government corruption, began with the Reagan tax cuts. That’s when the testing mania began.

Read Full Post »

Education-in-Finland-300x279

Finland has the highest performing K-12 students in the world, year after year.

“Finland’s schools weren’t always so successful. In the 1960s, they were middling at best. In 1971, a government commission concluded that, poor as the nation was in natural resources, it had to modernize its economy and could only do so by first improving its schools. To that end, the government agreed to reduce class size, boost teacher pay, and require that, by 1979, all teachers complete a rigorous master’s program.

They also banned all standardized testing, as they figured out this takes too much time and too much money out of learning; and now they only give standardized exams to statistical samples of students to diagnose and assess school progress.”

For every 45 minutes of study, Finish students get 15 minutes of free time recess.

In the United States, recess has been curtailed, and in some cases, eliminated.

The average class size in Finland is 19. Teachers are highly respected, highly paid, and highly unionized. So what can the United States learn from Finland?

Absolutely nothing.

That’s because education reform in the USA has nothing to do with education. It’s all about corporate profits, campaign contributions, government corruption, and ever rising profits for the publishing industries. Public K-12 students are merely victims in the profit production process through which these aims can be achieved.

This is why the US has the most tested students in the world. The more tests they complete, the more profits for the publishing corporations, such as Pearson Limited and McGraw-Hill.

This is why educational test standards are always raised in the United States. The higher the standards, the more students fail to pass. Then they must retake another profitable test over and over again until they move up a grade or pass it. The more students fail these tests, the more profitable they are for the testing industry.

Tests are changed every few years because it’s more profitable than retaining them. When school districts change tests, each district must purchase new testing materials from the publishers. In the United States, students are part of the production process for producing profits, and keeping share prices of the publishing giants rising constantly, quarter after quarter.

So don’t expect any real educational reform in the US anytime soon since real educational reform by definition means lower profits for the publishing corporations, which means less money with which to corrupt government. So don’t expect anything to change in education in the US anytime soon. The corruption of government at all levels is far too massive.

Just look at Wall Street Senator Ron Wyden who betrayed the voters of Oregon on behalf of Monsanto and Wall Street when he co-sponsored Fast Track legislation in the senate for the massive income redistribution scam called the Trans Pacific Partnership which Wyden falsely markets as a trade agreement. Wyden once wrote a constituent who wrote to him to complain about the Common “Very Profitable” Core Standards. Wyden wrote back, “Please rest assured that I will continue to do all I can on the federal level to ensure Oregon students receive the highest quality education….” Wyden’s letter shows he supports the Common Very Profitable Standards, which demonstrates how corrupt he is in all areas in which income is redistributed from the 99 to the 1 percent. See Wyden’s letter at, http://oregonsaveourschools.blogspot.com/2014/06/sen-ron-wyden-doesnt-get-it-on-common.html .

Wyden’s idea of students receiving “the highest quality education” is to increase the profits of the publishing corporations, which is another way of enriching the 1 percent at the expense of the 99 percent. In other words, less recess, more tests, and higher standards, which is another way of saying the senator wants all students to be on a college track, even if they had no desire to be on such a track.

Income redistribution from the 99 to the 1 percent; that’s precisely what Wyden does as much as anybody ever has in the US senate. That’s why he supports standardized testing of public school students, as well as Fast Track and the Trans Pacific Partnership. http://www.theatlantic.com/education/archive/2014/06/how-finland-keeps-kids-focused/373544/

Read Full Post »

Educational reform is all about corporate profits, especially for the big publishing corporations, Pearson Limited and McGraw-Hill. These companies a lot of money on government; lobbyists, campaign contributions, etc…. McGraw-Hill, for example, donated $32,400 to the Republican National Committee in 2014. The corporation also gave $10,000 to the Democratic Party of New Hampshire. This company spreads its money, or rather your money, around. In return, their puppets in state houses around the nation and within the federal government push for more testing and higher standards.

School districts are then forced to allocate your hard earned tax dollars to tests and testing materials, which then fuels corporate profits, dividends and share prices. All the while, education for the young has gotten twisted into learning how to take tests, which for most students, makes education a non-learning experience, especially since standards are always raised.

Why are test standards always increased? Because it’s profitable. Raising the bar means more students will fail, and then they’ll need to take the test over and over again until they move up in grade, or drop out of school. The more tests they take, the more profits Pearson and McGraw-Hill rake in, and at your expense.

Every few years, testing standards are changed. That’s because it’s more profitable to change standards every few years than maintain the current standards. When standards are changed, school districts are forced to purchase new tests and new prepatory materials in accordence with the new standards, which is way more profitable than keeping prepatory materials that were purchased a year or two earlier.

In other words, mandatory standardized testing is an income redistribution scam. Income is redistributed from the 99 to the 1 percent, particularly to shareholders and major officers of the testing industry.

The testing industry then redistributes some of your redistributed money to politicians as campaign contributions, lobbying jobs after politicians leave office, vacations in Scotland, and other things.

To garner that cash, the politicians push more and more standardized tests for your students to take, as well as higher standards. That’s why US public school students are the most tested in the world, and by a wide margin. That also shows how corrupt your government has become.

And that’s why educational reform has absolutely nothing to do with education. It’s all about using public school students as profitable testing material. And because of that, such useful classes as automotive, wood shop, metal shop and other classes than might be applicable to real life are gone for the most part. That’s why your students have to take second year Algebra and Geometry, even though 99 percent will never use these things in real life. These tests are also why many schools have eliminated or shortened such social skill interactions as physical education and recess.

Read Full Post »

Don’t let anybody lie to you. The reason why there is more standardized public school testing in the United States than in any other nation is because our government has been corrupted by more and more money and the corporate publishing industry demands more and more testing so they can reach ever higher profits at public expense. That’s also why there’s a call in the national corporate media for higher standards; more students will fail the tests, and they’ll be required to take them over and over again even though the standards and the tests are rigged to insure more and more students fail.

Only in the United States can every kindergarten through twelfth grade public school child be turned into a profit making commodity and have the complete process of doing so be labeled “educational reform,” despite the fact that this process has nothing to do with improving the education of children. In fact, it appears the profit making process has everything to do with eliminating important aspects of education, such as teaching critical thinking, team work, art, theater, automotive classes, wood and metal shops, as well as limiting (or in some cases eliminating) recess for elementary students. Apparently, developing social skills and learning concepts of right and wrong on the playground are not important in K-8 education, and that makes sense because there is no profit to be had for the publishing giants with regard to these extremely important life-enhancing skills. In other words, educational reform in the USA is killing our student’s education because it has nothing to do with educational reforms or educating students. It’s all about making profits at the public expense.

A letter from a teacher is below.

Dear America,

I’m sorry. You entrusted me with your children, and I have failed them. Please know that I had the best of intentions. I didn’t want to leave a child behind. I wanted to help them win this race to the top. You asked me to test them, and I tested them. I gave them choices: A, B, C, D, and sometimes even E. I didn’t just test them though; I spent hours showing them how to test, and I prepared them for that by quizzing them. My quizzes and tests were rigorous, too, just like you asked.

I have to be honest with you, though: my heart wasn’t in it at first. I had this ridiculous idea that art and music and drama and activity breaks would help my students grow. Maybe it was all those years of allowing my students to be creative. To think, I once had my English class produce a full-length play with original music and student-designed sets. I wasted weeks and weeks on that frivolous project. Sure, my students enjoyed it then, and okay, many of them still e-mail me and tell me that was the highlight of their high school experience, but I know now that if I had only had them sit in rows and practice for the ACT, if I had only given them short passages and had them tell me which of the five choices best described the author’s tone, they’d be so much more fulfilled in their lives.

After all, what did they really learn? How to access their imaginations? Developing original thoughts? Teamwork? I may as well have taught them how to file for unemployment.

Last year, our school district did away with our arts education classes. I was stunned along with the other misguided “professionals” with whom I taught. That was before I came to the stark realization that painting and sculpting and drawing might be nice hobbies to have, but they’re certainly not going to help adolescents as they compete for the jobs of the future. Do we really want a bunch of flaky artist-types distracting us? The art teacher is a barista at Starbucks now, which at least allows her to use valuable skills and restore middle-class security. And she makes a great latte.

Click the link below for the rest of the open letter to America.

qz.com-An Open Letter to America from a Public School Teacher

Read Full Post »

Only in the United States can every kindergarten through twelfth grade public school child be turned into a profit making commodity and have the complete process of doing so be labeled “educational reform,” despite the fact that this process has nothing to do with improving the education of children. In fact, it appears the profit making process has everything to do with eliminating important aspects of education, such as teaching critical thinking, art, theater, automotive classes, wood and metal shops, as well as limiting (or in some cases eliminating) recess for elementary students. Apparently, developing social skills and learning concepts of right and wrong on the playground are not important in K-8 education, and that makes sense because there is no profit to be had for the publishing giants with regard to these extremely important life-enhancing skills.

On behalf of ever rising profits and ever rising share prices of the corporate publishing giants Pearson Limited, McGraw-Hill and a few others, the United States has turned public kindergarten through high school students into commodities for profit. On behalf of the shareholders of the 1 percent, the corporate press, which is nothing more than a propaganda machine for and of the 1 percent, has dutifully called this educational reform, and brainwashed much of the American public into believing this lie to be true. That is of course, the job of the corporate press; taking obvious lies created by conservative think tanks and other organizations and pundits of the 1 percent, and getting the public to believe these lies to be truth.

Students and testing are necessary pieces of the profit making motive, just like any other manufactured product. Manufacture a car tire without the existence of cars wouldn’t make anybody a dime. Tires and cars profitably go together like hands in gloves, bodies in clothes, hats on your heads. Nobody would manufacture gloves, clothes or hats if there were no hands, heads or bodies because no profits could be had if the two didn’t go together. The same is true of state and federally mandated testing of K-12 students.

Manufacturing tests are profitless without students to be tested, and so, quite naturally, the corporate propaganda machine engineered over a period of years a campaign to convince the American public of the need to test students more and more, until the tests were legislatively adopted, first at the state levels, and then at the federal level.

No mention was ever made by that mighty propaganda machine that Finland has the highest test scores in the world, and students there are the least tested on Earth. No mention was made of significant differences between the education of students in the USA and Finland, such as Finish boys and girls begin first grade one year later than their American counterparts because that’s when boys brains are sufficiently developed to handle first grade materials.

Beginning first grade a year later than is currently the case in the USA, not so coincidentally, would call for less testing, which would be called educational reform if adopted elsewhere, but not here. This idea would never be adopted because it would mean less profits, and to keep the share prices of the publishing giants rising requires more and more profits, which means more and more testing.

Several public grade school teachers have complained to me that the profit motive standards called Common Core are not “developmentally appropriate” for their students. In other words, for example, these new tests are geared for fifth grade students, but are being taken by third grade students. This requires many students to retake the tests over and over again until they pass the tests or move up a grade. That’s precisely the point of common core testing, as well as previous mandated standardized testing.

Having children retake the test over and over again means more and more profits for the publishing giants, so naturally, there will be a clarion call by pundits of the 1 percent to require students to reach for higher and higher standards, as if 95 percent of all high school student are going to use calculus after high school in a job. That might be true for a small fraction of high school graduates who move on to college, but it’s not true for the vast majority of high school and college graduates.

The one thing that becomes obvious is that educational reform in the United States is nothing more than a scam to redistribute income from the 99 to the 1 percent in the form of higher corporate profits, rising share prices, and mounting dividends. The 99 percent pays the price of this scam in lost tax revenue that goes to schools for testing, time away from other forms of education, such as art, as well as mounting stress on students, parents, teachers and administrators to meet higher and higher profits for the testing corporations via a corporate conduit of propaganda called higher standards.

If you want real educational reform, simply look to Finland and adopt some of that nation’s practices. However, the propaganda machine of the 1 percent will scream loud and clear that such notions will ruin education in the USA, but they will not mention that adopting such practices will only push the profit motive out of public education, which would be a tragedy for the 1 percent, but create great joy and better education for everybody else.

Read Full Post »

Last week, I asked a public elementary teacher what she thought of Common Core standards.

“Common Core testing is developmentally inappropriate for the ages of which the tests have been designed,” the third grade teacher said.

Several teachers sitting near us agreed with her.

When I asked what she meant, the teacher said the standards for third graders were developmentally more appropriate for fifth or sixth grade students.

“Do your third grade students need to retake the tests if they fail?” I asked.

“Yes,” she said. “Over and over again until they pass. All I do anymore is teach to the test at the expense of all other learning.”

“That’s precisely why they’ve been created,” I said. “Each test is more profit for the testing industry. The more students fail, the higher the profits for the industry giants.”

“Like Pearson Limited,” she said.

“And McGraw-Hill,” I said. “And their shareholders and CEOs. And it also means the tests are intended to maximize public educational failure because that maximizes corporate profits.”

“I agree,” the teacher said. “Educational reform is all about using education as a conduit to maximize publishing industry profits, even if it means destroying public education.”

I couldn’t disagree with the teacher, not at all. If you want more students to fail to maximize profits, there’s also another way to push the nation’s public school districts in that direction; expand classroom sizes. That gives every teacher less time to spend with each student, especially those that need individualized help to pass the tests that have been developed to ensure they fail, just to maximize profits at taxpayer expense.

Let’s face reality. Public schools are funded by local and state tax dollars. Common Core Standards ensure that income is redistributed from the 99 to the 1 percent via taxpayer dollars.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

%d bloggers like this: