Private companies make public tests?
This should stop. Now.
It’s easy to look at Pearson and its lazy pineapple question. Or its impossible trapezoid. It’s easy to say “bad Pearson.”
But wrong. Pearson got a contract, made money, and threw together tests for as little money as they could. Recycled the bad pineapple. Didn’t proofread the math.
Why were they in the position to do so?
Because New York State abdicated its responsibility for education in this state. The State used to produce tests. Fine ones, or so say those who appreciate a good standardized test. (that probably is not a group I am in). But they farmed the writing out to teachers across the state. Smart teachers. Wrote good questions. Proofread. But when no one at SED was centrally responsible, quality suffered.
They then started farming tests out to contractors. And now quality, never before an issue, is in the papers every week.
This is not about proper oversight. Nor about proper proofreading. Nor about having bad standards (although… New York State… guess what?)
This is about public education remaining public. Private companies, profit, they should not be here. If tests are to be written (and there should be fewer, or perhaps none), but if tests are to be written, New York State, and not some skeevy profiteers, New York State should be doing the writing.