Dangers of Switching to New Testing Company

May 21, 2015 by

fact-based and academic (not full of social-emotional-behavioral verbiage and not saturated with biases, opinions, beliefs, and subjective content).

TEKS: Fact-based and academic (not full of social-emotional-behavioral verbiage and not saturated with biases, opinions, beliefs, and subjective content).

“Dangers of Switching to New Testing Company”

by Donna Garner

5.21.15

 

 

The Texas Education Agency has recently announced that Education Testing Services (ETS) will be in charge of our Texas students’ STAAR/End-of-Course tests.

 

ACCIDENTAL TRUTH

 

The Houston Chronicle (excerpts posted below) has a very important statement in it even though Monty Exter, lobbyist for the Association of Texas Professional Educators, did not mean to say what he said.  Exter stated, “…educators believe Pearson has been too involved in Texas’ practice of drafting educational standards. He said the standards, known as Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills, or TEKS, were narrowly drafted primarily so they could be easily tested.”

 

Did you get that?  Even though Monty Exter is inaccurate about Pearson being too involved with the writing of the TEKS, he was right when he accidentally focused on why the present TEKS are so excellent – because they are explicit and grade-level-specific.  They are also fact-based and academic (not full of social-emotional-behavioral verbiage and not saturated with biases, opinions, beliefs, and subjective content). 

 

Yes, it certainly is easier to write test questions for Type #1 curriculum standards because there is no guesswork. A state-level test should be based upon right-or-wrong answers that are objectively scored.

It is also much easier for teachers to develop curriculum materials that match Type #1 standards that contain clearly worded goals for each grade level/course.

 

Our Type #1 TEKS make Texas unique.  These TEKS give direction to the teacher as to WHAT to teach, but the teacher is free to decide HOW to teach them.  

 

The Type #1 TEKS mean that neither Pearson, Education Testing Services, the Texas Education Agency, the education establishment, the Education Service Centers, the lobbyists, administrators, vendors, and all the rest get to make up their own curriculum and tests.  They have to align their curriculum and tests with the explicit and clearly worded “measuring stick” of the Type #1 TEKS IF THEY ARE FOLLOWING THE LAW! 

 

[To understand the Type #1 vs. Type #2 philosophies of education, please see chart:  http://www.educationviews.org/comparison-types-education-type-1-traditional-vs-type-2-cscope-common-core/ ]

 

 

TEKS DIRECT THE SHIP

 

The various education entities are not free to throw in their own nefarious social justice agenda and the rest of the Type #2 philosophy of education. The TEKS direct the ship. 

 

The elected members of the Texas State Board of Education who represent us, the grassroots citizens of Texas, have gone through many public hearings where the public had ample opportunities to express their views and concerns about what Texas public school students are to be taught.  Writing and review teams were chosen to present their views.  Then after much time and attention, the TEKS came forth from the SBOE and formed the basis for the school students’ curriculum and STAAR/End-of-Course tests.  

 

Texas is the only state in the entire country that has Type #1 curriculum standards in the four foundational courses (ELAR, Science, Social Studies, and Math). The rest of the states are at the mercy of the publishers and testing companies that decide what goes into their products, and those people are undoubtedly going to follow the Type #2 philosophy of education.    

 

PEARSON NOT INVOLVED WITH TYPE #1 TEKS

 

As someone who was personally involved in the 1997 and 2008-2012 TEKS process, I do not remember anyone from Pearson ever helping the SBOE to pass the Type #1 TEKS. If anything, the Pearson people are Type #2 all the way since they support the Common Core Standards Initiative. They were forced to develop STAAR/EOC’s that are Type #1 because the Texas Education Code required them to do so since the tests have to be aligned with the Type #1 TEKS.  

 

It is possible that supporters of the Type #1 philosophy of education were hired by Pearson to help them word the STAAR/EOC questions, but that was AFTER the TEKS had already been adopted by the SBOE.  Frankly, those Type #1 experts were needed by Pearson because most of their own staffers from across the country adhere to the Type #2 Common Core philosophy of education.

 

Education Testing Services (ETS) will be forced to do the same thing because they also must align the STAAR/EOC’s with the Type #1 TEKS.  This is why the Type #1 TEKS are so important. Without them, the vendors such as ETS and others would be free to work at will their Type #2 indoctrination upon our Texas public school children.

 

God help us if we lose those Type #1 TEKS at each grade level/course K-12!  

 

ETS TO COST $15 MILLION MORE THAN PEARSON CONTRACT

 

Something interesting that the The Dallas Morning News on 5.18.15 pointed out is that ETS will cost Texas $15 Million more than Pearson would cost: 

 

Both companies offered discounted bids to get all of the programs. Pearson’s offer was $325.8 million; ETS came in at $329.2 million. By breaking the contract into parts, the cost would be about $15 million more than the Pearson bid alone. (http://www.dallasnews.com/news/education/headlines/20150518-pearson-loses-texas-contract-for-standardized-exams.ece )

 

MY MAJOR CONCERN WITH ETS

 

I am quite concerned about Education Testing Services getting the bid for Texas because they have very questionable ties to the Coalition of Essential Schools as explained in the following article written by Danette Clark:  “The People Behind the Largest Progressive Indoctrination Movement in the U. S. – The Coalition of Essential Schools” — https://danetteclark.wordpress.com/name-names-2/

 

Danette Clark points out that the Carnegie Foundation underwrote Education Testing Services.  

 

Vartan Gregorian is the president of the Carnegie Corporation. Gregorian helped to create the Chicago Annenberg Challenge (CAC). 

 

Gregorian selected domestic terrorist Bill Ayers, who personally selected Barack Obama to work on the CAC Board.  The CAC’s mission was to expand Theodore Sizer’s Coalition of Essential Schools (Type #2 philosophy of education) throughout Chicago and the United States.  

 

In 2009, Obama appointed Gregorian to the President’s Commission on White House Fellowships; and Gregorian also sits on the Qatar Foundation.

 

The Qatar Foundation was started by the founder of Al Jazeera which currently employs the grandson of Muslim Brotherhood founder, Hassan Al Banna.  Obama and his State Department have paid little heed to these ties to Islamic terrorists and have also entered into a partnership with the Qatar Foundation to implement the Connect All Schools Initiative.    

 

To learn more about Connect All Schools, please go to:  1.23.13 – “Muslim Brotherood Group To Connect All U. S. Schools” – by Aaron Klein — World Net Dailyhttp://www.wnd.com/2013/01/muslim-brotherhood-group-to-connect-all-u-s-schools/

 

BOTTOM LINE

 

Pearson (that had the Texas bid for 15 years for the STAAR/EOC’s) is far from perfect.  Pearson is making a fortune out of its Type #2 Common Core products in other states and even in our own Texas schools in spite of the fact that the Texas Attorney General has ruled that Common Core is illegal in Texas. 

 

However, I am even more ill at ease about Education Testing Services being in charge of making up the questions and scoring the STAAR/EOC’s for our Texas public school children.  ETS’s ties can be easily traced to the Qatar Foundation, the Muslim Brotherhood, and Islamic terrorist groups.  Will Texans feel at ease with ETS having ready access to Texas public school children, to all of their personal data, and to that of their parents and teachers?  To where and to whom could that data be sent? 

 

5.21.15 – EducationViews.org

 

http://www.educationviews.org/texas-set-switch-testing-vendor-reducing-role-british-education-giant/

 

Texas set to switch testing vendor, reducing role of British education giant

 

By Lauren McGaughy – Houston Chronicle

 

Excerpts from this article:

 

AUSTIN – Pearson, the British education giant, has lost its 15-year lock on Texas’ lucrative standardized testing contract to another company that will get the bulk of the business, state officials said Monday.

 

The Texas Education Agency announced it had given preliminary approval to a four-year, $280 million “student assessment” contract with New Jersey-based Education Testing Services, or ETS.

 

Pearson has held the contract since Texas administered its first statewide test in 2000-2001. In 2010, Pearson received nearly $469 million over five years to develop, administer and score the K-12-required tests known as the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness, or STAAR.

 

Over the last 15 years, Pearson has received $1.18 billion to administer the tests, according to the TEA. It is the agency’s largest contract.

 

Pearson has come under fire in recent years by educators and conservative lawmakers in Texas and elsewhere. Critics say the company maintained an unhealthy monopoly on testing and other educational contracts, and a 2013 audit unveiled shortcomings such as the company’s failure to disclose former education agency officials who went to work for the company.

 

Change welcomed

 

Monty Exter, lobbyist for the Association of Texas Professional Educators, the state’s largest educator group, welcomed the change.

 

Exter said educators believe Pearson has been too involved in Texas’ practice of drafting educational standards. He said the standards, known as Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills, or TEKS, were narrowly drafted primarily so they could be easily tested

 

 

Donna Garner

Wgarner1@hot.rr.com

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2 Comments

  1. Avatar
    Mohammed Ben Abbes

    “ETS’s ties can be easily traced to the Qatar Foundation, the Muslim Brotherhood, and Islamic terrorist groups.”

    Are you serious? Look out! While you children are taking their tests, aliens are going to break into your house, put Korans in place of all of the Bibles, steal your guns, and pour bottles of autism into your water supply.

  2. Avatar
    Manuel Sada

    Type #1 questions make it easy to teach to the test. Regurgitation is the perfect for a type #1 system. In type # 2 teacher need to teach critical thinking. What wrong with C-Scope is it assumes students are on grade level. When you work in district with students that are four levels below grade, it is an injustice to the teacher.

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