PARCC’s Massive Failure

Pearson is profiting on the ruin of public education

Pearson is profiting on the ruin of public education

This morning students started texting parents shortly after school began as they found out their  scheduled PARCC testing was canceled due to a problem with technology from the multinational, multimillion dollar testing company Pearson. Pearson acknowledged the problem, down playing the massive inconvenience and stress put upon schools, as an issue they were addressing.

Districts scrambled to figure out how to rearrange the schedules of students whose schedules had been altered already to accommodate testing. Teachers scrambled to get their students back into classrooms. Hours of wasted time. No teaching. No learning. Schools at the mercy of Pearson.

Just how Pearson likes it.

And as this unfolded, Commissioner of Education Hespe appeared before the Assembly Budget Committee. His answer to questions about this massive Pearson failure was that he was trying to get details, and it was totally unacceptable.  Like Pearson, he downplayed the massive inconvenience caused to hundreds of schools across the state. In fact he sounded a bit like spokesperson for Pearson.

Commissioner Hespe, pay attention: What is totally unacceptable is the use of New Jersey’s children as forced consumers of a flawed product. What is totally unacceptable is the diversion of millions of scarce education dollars for the purchase of computers used solely for tests provided through a multi-million dollar contract with Pearson as the company profits. What is totally unacceptable is that the Department of Education has led the charge in intimidating and bullying parents and students into taking the PARCC test when it is not required for graduation and does not inform instruction.  What is totally unacceptable is that the NJDOE continues to force PARCC upon us despite all the evidence that it is a bad test, costing us millions and interfering with real teaching and learning.

Alaska opted out of all standardized testing this year. Who thinks New Jersey would do well to follow suit?

Comments (10)

  1. Wolf Krochmal

    Unacceptable is to have purchased a system so vulnerable to failure in the first place. Past time for some real accountability and a change in leadership.

    http://bill.from.net/autonomy

    Reply
  2. Jeanine Branch

    Just REFUSE it already! Go to http://www.unparcc.org and http://www.njkidsandfamilies.org to find out how and why.

    Reply
  3. Joe

    Please edit the title “Massve” so I can share this with integrity.

    Reply
  4. Debra Sanford

    I think it’s a waste of time stressing our children out in the process get rid of PARCC New Jersey !!

    Reply
  5. Talaiporia (Post author)

    Sorry about that typo!

    Reply
  6. Pat Munyan

    I taught many years in Catholic schools. In each school, we tested in March and finished up in about a week, just using mornings usually. Used ITBS and good old bubble sheets. Our only technical problems came when students needed a new pencil. ITBS measures growth over time, and although we would all use the results to tailor our instruction in future years, our jobs were not on the line, and our students were rarely stressed. We mailed away the bubble sheets, and results showed up a few weeks later via delivery service.

    Reply
    1. Dawn

      My son’s Catholic school tests using Terra Nova. One week of morning testing and done. Tests science and social studies as well as language arts and math. I feel that he is better prepared and well rounded.

      Reply
      1. Karen

        I went to Catholic school and my children go to public school. I feel the exact opposite is true.

        Reply
  7. sarah

    I cannot comprehend why our schools would by chrome books for the SOLE purpose of PAARC testing. Our schools have cut our librarians, and have urgent financial needs related overcrowding and building upkeep. This is a disgraceful waste of school money. Private companies should not profit off of our public schools.

    Reply
  8. Billy Rayburn

    Tennessee had the same problem. Millions of money wasted. Schedules had to be rescheduled. Students continue to miss instruction time because the state of TN worship the god of Pearson.

    Reply

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