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

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

McGraw-Hill, Kelly Girls, and Bush's FCAT

On April 26, I put up this post on CBT/McGraw-Hill's hiring of Kelly Girls at 10 bucks an hour to score Florida's high stakes test that children must pass to move to the next grade. A closer look by the State has now uncovered deeper problems than first reported:

Hundreds of the thousands of part-time workers who scored part of the FCAT didn't have college degrees related to sections of the test they were assigned to grade, state Education Commissioner John Winn said Monday.

The problem was discovered when the state reviewed the qualifications of the short-term workers hired by testing company CTB/McGraw-Hill.

Winn said all graders have bachelor's degrees as required by the state's contract with the company.

But some of the workers have no experience as teachers or lack degrees directly linked to the subjects they graded.

The state requires that graders' degrees be matched with the subjects they are scoring on the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test.

CTB/McGraw-Hill and its subcontractors "did not fully implement the requirement of the related degree fields to a degree that we would like," Winn said. "I am not happy."

Legislative aides have examined about half — 1,255 of more than 2,500 — of the job applications. So far, 674 graders appear to have no experience as educators, or have degrees unrelated to the subjects they are grading.

Applications from the other 581 indicate they have an education background, teaching experience or related skills, but 353 failed to provide evidence to support their claims.

The state will come up with a list of acceptable pairings of graders' degrees with subject areas. Officials will have to decide many details, such as whether a grader with a degree in business administration who has taken several statistics classes is qualified to grade the math questions. . .

The rest of the story here.

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