Last time we looked at Pearson’s methods of silencing opposition. Today we’re looking at their $108 million dollar contract in New Jersey associated with the PARCC tests.
Given the number of jobs Pearson has listed in the state, it is a darn good bet the testing is not the only contract Pearson has in New Jersey. Some of those positions make some nice cash. Pearson is also sucking jobs out of the state.
It also appears that Governor Christie in the past liked giving Pearson a subsidy? Would be interesting to see if that practice is still going on. More on the subsidy story: Chris Christie can’t afford to pay public teacher pensions… but still hands education megacorp $82m in subsidies
Citizen in New Jersey fighting Common Core and PARCC would do well to send a Freedom of Information Act request to the NJ Department of Education for copies of all contracts and purchase orders for Pearson going back at least to 2009.
The state Department of Education says the new exams will take about 10 hours of a 1,200-hour school year, and most of the tests that children take aren’t mandatory standardized exams but are chosen by local teachers.
New Jersey’s exams are being devised by the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers, a consortium of 11 states and the District of Columbia.
Mr. Hespe said the state Department of Education would be fair in reviewing how the PARCC process unfolds. He said the intensity of the anxiety is partly driven by the power of the tests to hold teachers accountable for student performance.
“PARCC has to deliver on its ability to drive learning,” Mr. Hespe said. “If it delivers on supporting learning then this is going to be an excellent marriage” with the state’s new standards, instruction and evaluations, he said.
The state Department of Education has a contract with Pearson PLC for $108 million to administer the tests for four years, through the 2017-18 school year, though officials said that total might fluctuate as New Jersey adjusts its options.
As a counterweight to criticism of the tests, a coalition called “We Raise NJ” emerged last week to encourage people to give them a chance. Led by the New Jersey PTA, it includes the state Chamber of Commerce and associations representing school boards, principals, superintendents and community colleges. The group says it wants to promote accurate information about the transition to new tests and help “children put their best feet forward.”
“We Raise NJ” is the same type of outfit that springing up to defend Common Core. Without these tests, Common Core will shrivel and no data will be collected.