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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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The new normal, a term coined most likely by economist Paul Krugman during the early stages of our current low-grade depression, is something we’ve got to fight against. Otherwise, we’re all dumbed down frogs, comfortable in our slowly heating economic waters that will eventually boil us financially dry.

The new normal is high unemployment, lower wages and benefits, and redistributing more and more income and wealth from the 99 to the 1 percent via federal legislation, such as free trade treaties and deregulation. It’s about tax bases that support schools, fire, police and other government services being gutted like fish as the jobs that make up our tax base are shipped overseas and the difference between the old higher wages and the new lower wages are swept directly into the already fat wallets of the 1 percent. It’s about letting the government spy on us in violation of the fourth amendment of the US Constitution. The new normal means the end of the American dream for more and more citizens. It’s about massive unemployment and lost opportunity, especially for the young. It’s about creeping poverty until it surrounds us all, starving us physically and intellectually. That’s why we cannot accept the new normal. The new normal is about the end of democracy, a line we’ve already crossed. That’s why we’re fighting in a rigged economic and political game.

The 1 percent is constantly turning up the heat, so everything will continue to get worse for the 99 percent. We’re a nation in decline, with a court system, a congress and a presidency bought by the 1 percent and completely corrupted. Don’t accept the new normal.

Check out the link below for more reasons why US Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont thinks we cannot accept the new normal.

Bernie Sanders: Fight the New Normal

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