"A child's learning is the function more of the characteristics of his classmates than those of the teacher." James Coleman, 1972

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Kelly Girls Hired for High Stakes Test Scoring

In Florida as in Ohio, it seems that the courts may be the last recourse for getting some light shed on the money lust driving the ed industry's sleazy affair with elected officials charged with the education of America's children. Not only is McGraw-Hill hiring temps to score the FCAT, but now it would appear that there is enough doubt about the truthfulness of McGraw-Hill's claim regarding their qualifications to warrant a lawsuit:

Senate Democrats sued Education Commissioner John Winn on Monday, saying his department violated Florida's public-records laws by not releasing information on people who grade the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test.

The suit, filed in Leon County Circuit Court by Senate Minority Leader Les Miller, D-Tampa, and Sen. Walter "Skip" Campbell, D-Fort Lauderdale, requests more information on a contractor's use of low-wage, temporary employees to grade the high-stakes Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test.

Kelly Services, a temporary-employment firm subcontracting with test developers CTB/McGraw-Hill and the state, put out a call in February for 300 temporary workers in the Lake Mary area to grade the FCAT. The Department of Education said more than 50 percent of the scorers were teachers or had teaching experience.

But a letter received by Miller's office Monday morning from the DOE made him doubt if the department knows anything about the graders' background.

The letter said that "because the names or other identifiers of the graders are not needed for the management of the contract the Department does not require CTB/McGraw-Hill to provide this information."

Miller said that's not good enough.

"The Department of Education lied to two senators," Miller said. "They told us that 50 percent of the people who graded the tests were retired teachers or had educated degrees, and now they don't know." . . . .

1 comment:

  1. I am not defending CTB on any point but this: I worked for them in 2001 through Kelly Educational and if you knew the rigor that they require before they will let an evaluator score, you wouldn't worry. I am more concerned about the test construction and some ambiguous questions than about the scorers: by far the majority are Masters level or above, [I hold a doctorate], they are trained with almost as manyhours as they score the exams, and proficiency levels are so strict that if you fall off even after you qualify, you are out of the session. You have to qualify for each set of exams from each area, and only the best are selected on top of minimum education requirements. The standards are so set and strict, that though I am a constant critic of public education and testing, I would have to say that McGraw Hill cannot be faulted on its scoring practices. ekb