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Posts Tagged ‘standardized testing’

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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/

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The United States has the highest productivity in the world per worker. So why do K-12 students need to take standardized tests if the US educational system is already producing the world’s most productive workers? The answer is simple.

Everyone of those tests administered to students represents corporate profits, since such publishing giants as Pearson and McGraw-Hill manufacture these tests. These tests and testing materials increase their profits at the expense of students, teachers, parents, public education and taxpayers. The money and time it takes for students, parents and teachers to prepare for the tests go straight into the pockets of the 1 percent.

These tests are an income redistribution scam perpetuated by the 1 percent and forced on the 99 percent by legislators corrupted by the money of the 1 percent. Otherwise, the tests are valueless, and in fact, since they take so much time from real studies to prepare for them, they have a negative value for the 99 percent. They take away from playtime, from music, from the arts, from wood and metal classes, and force students to take an overabundance of math and writing classes which most will never use.

And that’s why the public students of the USA are the most tested in the world; Profits!

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In the USA, the buying off of the politicians of the Federal and State governments never ends, and it’s just as true for the publishing industry as any other industry.

Our kids are forced to take standardized tests pushed by the publishing corporations. These tests have nothing to do with learning, and they have everything to do with enhancing the profits of the publishing industry at the expense of the education of our students, parents, and our tax bases.

According to Yahoo news!

“The litany of frighteningly stupid Common Core math worksheets never ends. Perhaps now, though, kids are starting to fight back in satisfyingly creative ways.

An alert reader sent The Daily Caller this image of her seven-year-old son’s perfectly reasonable homework answer. The boy attends a public elementary school in San Jose, Calif. He is in the second grade.

The math curriculum used by the school is GO Math! The publisher of GO Math! is produced by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

The parent who sent the homework question to TheDC noted that the curriculum aligns with the Common Core math standards.

“If you look closely under the math question, you will be able to see the Common Core standards in a blue-colored print that aligns to that particular question,” she explained.”

Check out the picture below for the stupidity, but profitable for the 1 percent, question the kid is forced to answer. Long before standardized testing, teachers made up tests just like this, only without the stupid and necessary response. Why are school districts forced into purchasing this worthless and unnecessary testing? It’s all about money.

The United States has the most corrupt, that is to say bought off, government in the industrialized world, and by a wide margin. That’s precisely why US kids are forced to take stupid tests like the one above, and that’s why US students are the most tested in the world. The more tests the public is forced to purchase with taxpayer dollars, the greater the profits of the publishing corporations, and all of the tax dollars used to purchase these tests go to the 1 percent via higher share prices and dividends. Testing our public students is all about redistributing income from the 99 to the 1 percent.

If we were to take the profits out of education, that is stop the 1 percent from redistributing income from the 99 to themselves, then the people of the USA would most likely be able to develop curriculum and build the best school systems in the world. Currently, CEO’s of the publishing industry and Wall Street executives determine the curriculum of all public school districts through the development of these tests, and teachers are forced to teach to the test. That coincidentally is why many politicians support the idea that teacher’s salaries should be aligned to the test results of their students.

The students of Finland, where the people rule, have the highest test scores in the world, and they’re also the least tested. This gave parents, teachers and administrators the room to develop an educational system second to none in the world. Of course, the government of Finland is not on anybody’s list of the most corrupt governments in the world. The USA is. Once you realize this, you can see the cause and effect of educational failure in the USA compared to say, educational success in Finland.

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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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