Posts Tagged ‘Standardized test’

Since George W. Bush’s No Child Left Behind Act (which was the business plan of McGraw-Hill, the McGraw’s being family friends with the Bush’s) was passed in 2002, testing in the United States has skyrocketed, because it’s profitable for the private publishing corporations. Before NCLB, under Bill Clinton’s Improving America’s Schools Act, the federal government  required students to take six tests total — a reading and math test in elementary, middle and high school. Under NCLB, in order to receive federal funding, schools are required to make students take 14 tests total — a reading and math test from grades 3-8 and once in high school, plus a science test in elementary, middle and high school. But some districts require even more tests.

Barack Obama’s $500 million competitive grant program Race to the Top, enacted in 2009, chiefly inspired school districts to give more tests. Amidst the recession, state budgets were hit hard, and government officials were willing to do whatever they could to receive money. Now, at least 25 states mandate one formal assessment test in kindergarten. Race to the Top’s 2011 Early Learning Challenge awarded schools that could prove their students’ “readiness” to begin school — meaning how well four-year-olds did on “entry assessments.”

In order to execute these policies that significantly expanded testing, school districts needed test providers. This, in turn, made some educational corporations very rich. Bob Schaeffer, public education director of FairTest, a nonprofit advocacy organization working to prevent the misuse of standardized testing, said he is inclined to blame politicians, rather than corporations, for the testing boom.

He said, “In a capitalist society, if there’s a market, somebody will figure out how to serve it. But the corporations reinforce the stupidity of the bad policies of politicians.”

Pearson is the largest corporation serving this testing market. Pearson is the world’s largest education company and book publisher, bringing in more than $9 billion annually.

Check out the complete story below.

8 Things You Should Know About Corporations Like Pearson that Make Huge Profits from Standardized Tests–Alternet.org

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Virtually everything going on in public education today is determined by Wall Street and the corporations that it serves. Corporate standardized tests are sold to school districts across the nation because these corporations have used their financial muscle in the corrupt federal government and in corrupt state houses to ensure that US children are the most tested in the world, which makes America’s school children big profit makers for the testing industry, which includes such publishing giants as McGraw-Hill. The McGraws have been close buddies with the Bush family since the Great Depression. This is why George W. Bush selected the McGraw-Hill business plan as his standard for education reform, and which he erroneously titled the No Child Left Behind Act. Of course, it had nothing to do with enhancing the education of US children.

Standardized testing is all about redistributing income from the taxpayers of the 99 percent to the parasites of the 1 percent. The reality is that standardized testing has absolutely nothing to do with student achievement, but it has everything to do with generating corporate profits.

Finland has the highest standardized test scores in the world. The children of that nation are the least tested in the world. That’s because the Finnish educational system is for its children, and it is not used to generate corporate profits.

Because of the massive reliance on standardized tests, over the last thirty years, US school districts have shaped their curriculum to meet Wall Street’s expectations for testing industry profits. You read that correctly!

Now the billionaires and millionaires are going after more of the $1.3 trillion public education market, helped along by bought off Wall Street senators such as Ron Wyden and Mitch McConnell, and it won’t have anything to do with ensuring better education for our children. It’s all about profits, not children, and certainly not education. That’s precisely what education reform has been about for the last thirty years: profits, profits, and more profits, and all at the expense of the education of our children.

For more on Wall Street’s latest attack to redistribute taxpayer funds for public education to the publishing corporations, Wall Street and the rest of the parasites of the 1 percent, click the link below.


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