Saturday July 19, 2008
The GuardianOver the past month ETS Europe has not only been handling the biggest crisis in Sats history but also one of the toughest recruitment jobs in finding a new marking director. Senior people at every exam board have been approached. The post, which the company insisted was vacated for reasons entirely unrelated to the marking problems, is not yet filled.
Minutes of the Qualification and Curriculum Authority meeting when the decision was made to give ETS the £165m contract to process 9.5m papers this summer and for the next four years say they offered "best value for money". It has since transpired theirs was also the cheapest bid and there were only a handful of other contenders.
The Conservatives, who first warned ministers of the problems surrounding ETS in May, produced a dossier on the board's record. In 2002 software errors by ETS led to serious failures, including giving the wrong marks, in the graduate management admission test (GMAT).
The New York Times reported in 2004 that mismanagement by ETS led to over 40,000 teachers taking a flawed exam. Thousands were given the wrong marks and there was a shortage of teachers. ETS paid millions of dollars in compensation. . . .
"A child's learning is the function more of the characteristics of his classmates than those of the teacher." James Coleman, 1972
. . .a pupil attitude factor, which appears to have a stronger relationship to achievement than do all the “school” factors together, is the extent to which an individual feels that he has some control over his own destiny. James Coleman, 1966
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
ETS Shows Serial Incompetence Abroad
Not all the gold-covered lavatory handles in its Princeton, NJ headquarters can bail ETS out of another fiasco that demonstrates their dominant cultural characteristics: