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

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Pearson's $300 Toll Road to Teaching

If you need some extra holiday cash, you might consider working part-time from home to help Pearson decide who will become teachers and who won't. It's easy--just complete a few online tutorials, and Pearson will send you a bunch of student teaching portfolios, complete with video clips of student teachers and classes with students whose parents have no idea that Pearson now has in their permanent libraries.  All to become part of Big Data.

In working for Pearson, you will help universities to decide the curriculum for teacher candidates, for remember, what gets tested gets taught.  So efficient.  Combined with Pearson's canned teaching modules, professors will have less prep time and more time to drive between universities, which will allow them to increase their adjunct teaching loads.  After all, academic sharecroppers these days have holiday bills, too, and $3000 per course won't buy a whole lot these days.

Is this what the NYTimes editorial board had in mind when it talked about creating a teaching force like Finland and Singapore?

Here is the ad as it appears in Chronicle of Higher Education (apparently Pearson has a need for editors of ad copy, too), and below that is an explanation as to why this is a very bad idea by teacher educator Julie Gorlewski at SUNY New Paltz, via the Ravitch blog:

Teacher Educators
 needed to score edTPA!

Designed for the profession by the profession, edTPA was developed by teachers and teacher educators from across the nation in collaboration with faculty and staff from the Stanford Center for Assessment, Learning and Equity (SCALE) and the American Association of Colleges of Teacher Education (AACTE). Aligned with widely used content standards for student learning and subject specific standards for teaching, edTPA assesses teaching that promotes student learning.

SCALE, AACTE and Pearson invite teacher educators and accomplished teachers to score edTPA. Pearson is hiring teacher educators and accomplished teachers to score edTPA from a secure, private location such as home or office. Qualified candidates will complete training, pass a qualification and then score edTPA assessments.
Scoring training includes about 25 hours of self-paced online modules and interactive web-based sessions, once qualified, scoring will begin.The system is available for online-training and scoring 6am - 11:59pm CST seven days a week.
The posiTion requires a parT-Time commiTmenT, in addiTion To The foLLowing:
Expertise in the subject matter and developmental level of the teaching field (degree and/or professional experience)
Teaching experience in that field (or teaching methods or supervising student teachers in that field)
Experience mentoring or supervising beginning teachers 
Share your expertise in our professional community. Scoring is underway, so please apply today.

See more at: https://chroniclevitae.com/jobs/0000812863-01#sthash.SU83HD58.dpuf

From teacher educator, Julie Gorlewski:

The edTPA is a standardized assessment of teaching that is being required in many states, including New York State as of May 2014, for teacher certification. The edTPA is being marketed as a way to “professionalize” the field of education, a contention that is deeply insulting to those of us who have dedicated our lives to the art and craft of teaching. The edTPA will be administered during student teaching. It is a high-stakes assessment because certification depends on its successful completion. This assessment has raised concerns of teachers and teacher educators for several reasons:
Although its initial versions were developed at Stanford, the instrument is being sold and administered by Pearson, Inc. It is expected to cost candidates around $300.
Assessments will not be scored by teacher educators; they will be scored by temporary workers paid about $75 per exam. These scorers are not allowed to know the teacher candidates, nor are they to be affiliated with the community in which student teaching occurs. These conditions negate the importance of relationships in the development of teaching, preferring the pretense of objectivity over trust, authenticity, and cultural responsiveness.
The assessment requires that candidates submit videos of themselves in K-12 teaching situations. This means that Pearson will own videos of young people who have student teachers in their classrooms. This is being implemented without widespread knowledge or consent of parents in states where edTPA is being mandated.
Will the edTPA affect the experience of learning to teach? You bet it will. A recent conversation I had with a student in our teacher education program highlights the potential effects of this assessment. Joel, who is enrolled in my undergraduate Introduction to Curriculum and Assessment course approached me after class and asked if I had time to talk. He was excited and concerned. He was excited because the teacher he had been assigned to for Fieldwork I, where students spend 35 hours observing and participating in secondary settings, had invited him to student teach with her. Because he had tremendous respect and admiration for this teacher, Joel was thrilled by the opportunity. But he was also worried, so worried that he hesitated to accept the offer.
Joel was apprehensive about completing the edTPA in this school. It is an urban environment in a community noted for poverty and gang activity. He had forged relationships with the young people in the school, as well as several faculty members there, but the judgment of an objective scorer who might not understand if the classroom was not filled with compliant, well-behaved learners had made my student hesitate. My heart sank.
I encouraged Joel to follow his heart and reassured him that the edTPA scorers would appreciate the diverse experiences of teacher candidates in a range of settings. I reassured Joel because I have faith in him, in his mentor teacher, and in the relationships they will form with their students. I have no such faith in Pearson, and I fear the consequences of its corporate incursions into education. But I will not allow fear to triumph over optimism, nor will I allow anonymity to erase relationships. The possibilities of education are intensely human and cannot be reduced to a number.

Julie A. Gorlewski, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Department of Secondary Education
Incoming Co-Editor of English Journal
SUNY New Paltz
800 Hawk Drive
Old Main 321B
New Paltz, NY 12561
845-257-2854 Fax

1 comment:

  1. This is a seriously bad joke on our society. They guys who cannot finish the software have the time to put up a fake, uncertified teacher evaluation by people with a whole of 25 hours of on line self training to evaluate people in a community they do not know or their community. Who thought up this "Junk Science" as usual from the crafty ruiners of education? All contracts with this company should be terminated as they have no sense of anything except making as much money as possible with as little work as possible as their partner in electronic devices Apple also does.