Category Archives: Pearson

Pearson’s Intellectual Property — Why Is This Even a Thing?

Bob Braun, a five decade veteran of the Newark Star Ledger and currently an independent blogger, blew up a portion of the internet on Friday by reporting that Pearson, the international education giant responsible for the PARCC examinations currently underway, was “spying” on students’ social media activity.  According to a letter from Watchung Hills Regional High School District Superintendent Elizabeth Jewett, the district test coordinator got a late night phone call from New Jersey DOE after Pearson initiated a “priority one alert” for a breech of test security within the district.  NJDOE informed the district that they believed Pearson’s alert was for a student who took a picture of a test item during testing and posted it to Twitter, and the state suggested that the district should discipline the offending student.  However, upon examination, the district ascertained that a student had tweeted a comment well after testing was over and included no picture at all.  The tweet has since been deleted by the student, but given the 140 character limit on Twitter, it is extremely unlikely that any significant breech of test security could have possibly occurred.  However, the incident revealed that Pearson is monitoring social media for any and all references to the testing going on and is prepared to initiate state level investigations of individual students (how else would NJDOE know the district and student involved?) over very flimsy circumstances.

The story took off very quickly as did Mr. Braun’s accusation that Pearson is “spying” on students’ social media.  The web site was loading very slowly on Friday night likely due to very high traffic, but by later that night it was completely inaccessible and Mr. Braun reported on Facebook that his web host informed him a denial of service attack was underway from an as of yet unidentified sources.  Meanwhile, outraged parents and anti-testing/anti-PARCC sentiments took off in social media:

Let me state that I am unconvinced that “spying” is exactly the correct word over “monitoring.”  The reality is that most corporations of any size are monitoring social media routinely to check on their reputations and potential scandals.  In a world where social word of mouth is genuinely a thing, it makes business sense for them to do so, and social media is not communication in the private space.  If you don’t believe me, wait until you have a bad customer experience with your cable company and then take to Twitter about it — If you don’t get a response from someone in corporate within 24 hours, I owe you a coffee.

However, even from a “monitoring” social media perspective, Pearson’s actions are troubling.  I will concede that the company — and participating PARCC states — have an interest in test security while a standardized test is being deployed (although I also agree with Peter Greene that this level of test security does not bode well for the quality of these exams), but what, exactly, causes Pearson to raise a “priority one alert” and contact a state department of education with sufficient information to locate a district and specific child in question?  What information about a minor’s social media use does Pearson consider its business to pass along to the top education officers in a state?  To what depth does Pearson consider itself able to impose a gag order on other people’s children and use state capitols to enforce it?

Remember — the child in question did not send out a photograph of the exam, merely a single tweet limited to 140 characters AFTER testing for the day was over.  For that, Pearson initiated contact with the NJDOE that sent Trenton thundering into the student’s social media account and alerting district officials when frankly, nothing should have happened at all.  Thankfully, Superintendent Jewett is reasonable and knowledgeable about social media; it could have easily gone south really quickly.

Pearson’s hyperactive attitude towards test security is disturbing not only because of how it is being enacted without concern of proportion, privacy, and the implications of initiating state level investigations into unremarkable student speech.  It is also disturbing because of its connection to Pearson’s larger perspective on its intellectual property and the allowance the public sector gives them in defense of it.  While discussing this on Twitter, I encountered a user who stated that he “applauded” Pearson “defending its intellectual property,” which led me to a single question:

Why is Pearson’s intellectual property even a thing after it delivers a exam to be used for public education?

Considering the following:

  • PARRC was seeded with part of a federal grant worth over $300 million to create examinations for the Common Core State Standards.
  • Pearson was the only bidder for the contract to write the examinations for PARCC.
  • That makes the Pearson written PARCC examinations the only CCSS examination in 12 states and the District of Columbia — Pearson writes CCSS aligned examinations for other states such as New York.
  • Pearson’s contract with New Jersey alone is worth more than $100 million over 4 years.
  • The examination is high stakes – with implications for teacher evaluation and a possible future role in graduation requirements.
  • The examination is used by the state to fulfill federal requirements under the No Child Left Behind Act that all students in all schools between grades 3-8 and in grade 11 be tested in English and Mathematics.  Unlike other standardized examinations students takes, these exams are mandated by state and federal laws.
  • Pearson has no intention of releasing complete copies of this year’s exams even after they have been fully deployed and assessed.

This isn’t even like copyright rules preventing photocopying textbooks — textbooks publishers rightly expect that schools will buy enough copies of their texts for students using them, and they are in direct competition with other potential text providers.  Pearson has an exclusive contract to provide examinations for millions of students (a contract it did not exactly sweat bullets to obtain).  These examinations are used for high stakes purposes.  The examinations fulfill federal mandates for testing in our public schools, and they inform personnel decisions locally, administrative decisions at the district and state levels, and federal actions nationally.  The company is providing a contracted service in our public education system which is, itself, compulsory and, for the time being at least, democratically controlled.

Once they are done writing the exams, why isn’t Pearson required to turn the entire kit and kaboodle over to the state and thus to the voters and tax payers who provide the vast majority of decision making and funding to public education?

I am unaware of a construction company that, after delivering a highway project, reserves lanes for its own use or to pull up and recycle in other projects.  Generally speaking, government buildings do not have entire floors blocked off for use of the contractors who built them.  When Northrop Grumman delivered the USS Ronald Reagan to the Navy, they did not block off sections of the ship that the Navy cannot access.  If such companies create or develop a process of construction or tool for use in construction, they can protect that via patents, but once the contracted item is finished, we generally understand it as belonging to the public who paid for it.

But when it comes to items that are not physical in nature, we accept an arrangement where the public foots enormous costs to only lease the product in question.  Think of electronic voting machines.  I can think of few things as important as protecting public confidence in the integrity of their vote, but companies are not required to make the code for voting machines open source and the public depends upon leaks to inform us of potential security holes in the devices.  Similarly, Pearson is providing a mandated service for our compulsory public education system, and the results of that service will have actual consequences not just for the individual teachers and students involved, but also for the entire system.  Confidence in what they are providing and informed decision making about whether or not what they are providing is desirable requires open and informed discussion and debate — such discussion and debate is impossible while Pearson’s intellectual property is valued more highly than the public purposes it allegedly serves.

In a small way, you cannot even blame Pearson.  They made contracts with states that allowed them to behave this way, and they are a publicly traded company with $17.75 billion in market capital.  Doing everything to maximize their revenue and return to investors is what they do and not a secret.  However, we elect governors who appoint leaders to state education departments; they represent us.  Craven obsequiousness in making contracts worth 100s of millions of taxpayers’ dollars is unnecessary and unacceptable.  It is possible, I suppose, that if our elected leaders and their appointees insisted upon reasonable contracts and the full disclosure of all test materials after the tests are over, then the cost would go up, perhaps to a level states could ill afford and leading to pulling back of the test and punish regime that is currently driving education policy and warping curriculum into test preparation.

Heavens.  That would be terrible.

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Filed under Common Core, Corruption, PARCC, Pearson, Testing

Common Core Reading – What You See is What You’ll Likely Get

Robert Pondiscio, senior fellow at the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, is concerned about reading instruction in the Common Core State Standards.  More specifically, he is concerned that the standards will be perceived as demanding exclusivity of close reading in the classroom which will lead  to damage both to the standards and to reading achievement.  Mr. Pondiscio does not seem to hold the criticisms of the standards in much esteem, but he is sensitive to the potential for close reading to be overused in classrooms trying to align themselves with the CCSS English Language Arts standards.  Teachers who try to use the standards to stamp out students’ prior knowledge, experiences and preferences are on a fool’s errand.  Mr Pondiscio writes:

In a recent piece on RealClearEducation, University of Virginia cognitive scientist Dan Willingham rightly takes exception to a common interpretation of close reading. “We will read the text as though we know nothing about the subject at hand; the author’s words will be not only necessary for our interpretation, we’ll consider them sufficient.” Says Willingham, “That seems crazy to me.”

It doesn’t just seem crazy. It is crazy. It’s impossible not to bring your prior knowledge to reading. It’s like being told, “Don’t think of a pink elephant!” It’s suddenly hard to think of anything else.

Writing is not interpretive dance. When authors commit words to paper, they do so expressly to create associations in the reader’s mind. As Willingham notes, “Writers count on their audience to bring knowledge to bear on the text.” Students may lack background knowledge to fully appreciate a work of literature or an historical document. But it does no good whatsoever to keep them in a state of ignorance on purpose, let alone make a virtue of it. If teachers are being told that close reading means telling students to disregard all their prior knowledge, they’re being given bad advice.

Now let me state very clearly, that Mr. Pondiscio is quite correct on this (although I am unsure about the interpretive dance metaphor).  It is impossible to read without reliance on prior knowledge, personal experience, and personal preferences.  Literacy is a rich and often unpredictable interplay between the reader and the text, and within classroom settings, a range of other readers and a teacher mediator.  When a reader approaches a text, the ensuing transaction incorporates the reader’s knowledge of genre, audience, and textual features, the reader’s knowledge of other texts, the reader’s knowledge of society, culture, and history, the reader’s experiences in the world, the reader’s aesthetics preferences, and the reader’s sense of an author’s purpose in having written.  Further, readers do not merely set about the task of understanding and interpreting a text.  Readers create personal relationships with texts of widely various qualities.  Does my daughter see qualities of herself in Hermione Granger?  Does she fear for Harry Potter’s safety as he breaks the school rules trying to help his friends?  Does she empathize with Ron Weasley’s insecurities as he compares himself to others?  The answers to these questions (largely affirmative, by the way) impact not only how she understands the story, but also it impacts how she responds emotionally to it.

So yes, students will have to bring a variety of resources to their reading in a Common Core aligned curriculum just as all readers do with or without a curriculum.

But I am afraid that the standards, despite Mr. Pondiscio’s assurances that they do not intend this, provide so little room for anything other than close, textual reading that far too few classes will find the space and time to make reading more than exercises in close reading.  I have written on this at length before, and I stand by the concerns I laid out last month.  As written, the CCSS ELA standards purpose reading literature towards the textual analysis skills necessary for writing a successful piece of literary criticism in a college level English class, and then the standards backwards engineer that goal all the way to Kindergarten.  While this goal is not bad on its own, it is the exclusive goal embodied in the standards.  From grade 12 to Kindergarten, students are set about the read closely and to determine meaning from the text with no overt recognition of what resources students bring to their reading or to what purposes one might read other than to pry meaning from the text.  While I believe that Mr. Pondiscio is correct that reading so narrowly is impossible for lay readers, I cannot find overt room for readers to bring to bear all of their knowledge and dispositions to texts within the standards.  Mr. Pondiscio is concerned that an over emphasis on close, textual reading will harm the standards and will harm reading achievement.  I am concerned that such an over emphasis is baked right into the standards themselves.

Interestingly enough, the likelihood that the standards were written to embody a single perspective on literary analysis was one that I postulated based upon what I know about the standards’ chief architect, David Coleman and his likely literary interests based upon how the standards turned out.  This was, inadvertently, confirmed by Michael Petrilli, President of the Fordham Institute, in a Twitter discussion with New York Principal Carol Burris:

On their own, however, this narrow perspective would merely mean that the CCSS ELA standards are woefully narrow in how they envision students’ reading, but that would not necessitate the dreaded “over emphasis” on textual reading without attention to experience, culture or history.

However, the Common Core State Standards did not come to classrooms on their own.  They were super glued to a set of accountability measures and incentives that take the form of Common Core aligned mass standardized testing and teacher evaluations tied to students’ yearly progress in those tests.  Setting aside questions about the developmental appropriateness of the early grade standards and tests (of which there are many), the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Career (PARCC) provides sample questions of reading items at different grade levels, and they are, unsurprisingly, aligned with the standards’ intense focus on digging through a text for specific evidence of meaning contained within the text itself.  Left to its own devices, even the PARCC examinations would be a lengthy exercise in testing a relatively narrow band of reading skills that most middle and high schoolers will find uninteresting.  However, when coupled with value added measures of teacher effectiveness and when coupled to the tests and the accompanying drops in student proficiency, teachers have legitimate and compelling reasons to focus their instruction on the skills validated by the tests.

The Common Core reading standards have two powerful problems from the perspective of teaching children to appreciate a rich and multifaceted approach to reading, enjoying, and interpreting texts.  The first is the tightly delineated null curriculum embedded in the reading standards.  What is left out of the standards is powerful precisely because they make absolutely no mention of them, and because they repeatedly draw readers back to close textual reading in standard after standard.  A teacher conversant in literacy theories (not to mention literary critical perspectives less dependent on restricting oneself to the text) has no choice but to notice this absence and to conclude the standards privilege training students to be literary critics first.

Most English teachers that I know have something of a subversive side to them, and I fully expect that they will go beyond the strictures of the CCSS when possible.  “When possible” is a giant question mark, however, given the Sword of Damocles that accompanies the standards and aligned testing: value-added models of teacher effectiveness.  When rated as ineffective, a teacher can be denied promotion and tenure or can be removed from teaching regardless of tenure.  Given that even the American Statistical Association has warned that VAMs are unreliable and that teacher input explains only a small percentage of student variability on tests, the time that teachers may feel free to go beyond the standards’ narrowness could easily be “never.”  Even working with advanced students is not necessarily a guarantee of a favorable VAM assessment as was demonstrated by the experiences of Carolyn Abbott in New York City, whose gifted seventh and eighth grade math students got standardized test scores that labeled her as the LEAST effective teacher in New York City in 2011, even though all of her students who took the Regents Integrated Algebra exam, a high school level examination, in January of that year passed, a third of those passing with 100%.

Reading well and with passion, anywhere, requires everything that Mr. Pondiscio notes, and more.  However, if he wants to save the Common Core reading standards, he needs to do more than advocate for not forgetting everything that goes into genuine reading.  He needs to advocate that the standards be permanently decoupled from the toxic mix of testing and teacher evaluations that take their inherently narrow focus and demand that teachers produce students who can perform within that focus — or else.

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Filed under Common Core, Pearson, Testing, VAMs

#SupportTheCore: How Not To Do a Social Media Campaign

Michael Petrilli is not happy. The President of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute and leading supporter of the Common Core State Standards wanted Tuesday, August 12th to be a social media event.  With the standards becoming politically volatile, Petrilli concluded that CCSS backers needed to become “emotional” in order to shore up support:

So, backed with fresh funding from philanthropic supporters, including a $10.3 million grant awarded in May from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, supporters are gearing up for a major reboot of the Common Core campaign. “We’ve been fighting emotion with talking points, and it doesn’t work,” said Mike Petrilli, executive vice president of the Fordham Institute, a leading supporter of the standards. “There’s got to be a way to get more emotional with our arguments if we want to win this thing. That means we have a lot more work to do.”

This, of course, implies that the only opposition to CCSS is based upon raw appeals to emotions and that there are no fact based reasons to oppose or question the standards.  To be fair to core supporters, with outfits like Breitbart, Glenn Beck and Michelle Malkin agitating their followers against the CCSS, opposition to the core has a strong group of low information and high paranoia types in the fold:

I try to keep people like that at about 1000 arm lengths at all times. On every issue, not just CCSS.

Regardless of the disposition of some CCSS opponents, it is disingenuous to act as if there is no fact-based and legitimate concern about the project.  For example, it is entirely reasonable to be concerned that the project was constructed with a narrow range of interests represented, that the standards were researched, written and disseminated with unprecedented haste, that there is no known mechanism for review and revision of the standards when feedback from the classroom is generated, that the standards are being pushed into classrooms nationwide without having been tested in representative sample sites first, that materials “aligned” with the CCSS have been created so quickly that there is no time to evaluate them for actual usefulness, that the testing consortia producing tests for the CCSS are secretive and the tests themselves are of questionable quality, that the mass of data generated by those tests create privacy and legitimate use concerns that have not been addressed, that the Core aligned testing will be used for questionable teacher evaluation purposes, that — well, you get the idea.  These are legitimate points of debates that require CCSS proponents to actually discuss openly and fairly in the public sphere, a debate this new tactic still eschews.

Mr. Petrilli and supporters hoped that August 12th would be a good day on social media for CCSS proponents using #SupportTheCore in their tweets.  There was even a “social media toolkit” distributed by the group “Educators 4 Excellence” that gave suggested formats for posts on different media.  The kit has recently been taken down from their site, but this post of “top tweets” demonstrates ones that followed their suggested formats.  (Educators 4 Excellence is a Gates Foundation funded group that focuses on recruiting young educators to the “reform” agenda, and which requires all new members to sign a pledge to support, among other ideas, the use of value-added models of teacher evaluation.  These are the same VAMs which the American Statistical Association warns are not valid for the evaluation of teachers, but for which the Gates Foundation funded a major study that concluded they could be used that way.)

August 12th arrived, and as linked above, Twitter had a number of people declaring support for the Core.  And then things changed a bit.  While a fair amount of people declaring that they DO NOT #SupportTheCore came from Breitbart and Malkin’s efforts, a large number of grassroots teacher groups took to Twitter to provide their own take on the issue:

It went on like that, and after a while Mr. Petrilli could not contain his displeasure:

Now my Twitter feed is full of rank and file teachers and researchers, so I do not know exactly what the Breitbart and Malkin set did on Twitter, but Mr. Petrilli needs to understand a basic Law of Social Media: once you put it out there, it is out of your control.  CCSS may have well-funded allegedly “grassroots” groups like Educators 4 Excellence on its side, but genuine grassroots action and activists have an energy that mere funding cannot match.  Taking to Twitter and denouncing all criticism as coming from “bullies” instead of taking their criticism as an invitation to open a dialogue?  Petulant.  And not precisely sincere from someone who has been using millions of dollars and an influential position in society to wedge in “reforms” without a real debate with both teachers and communities.

Twitter, Mr. Petrilli, is not a private retreat in the woods with hedge fund managers and fellow think tankers.  It is a scrum, and everyone with Internet access is invited.  Complaining about that makes you look ill-prepared to have any form of public discussion, as was pointed out by Principal Carol Burris of South Side High School in Rockville Centre, NY:

Mr. Petrilli points out that in polls, a majority of teachers support the Common Core, and based upon 2013 data, he is correct up to a point.  The National Education Association polled teachers and found that 26% support them “whole heartedly” while another 50% support them with “reservations”.  That is solid support, and some of it is no doubt based upon substance.  Deborah Lowenberg Ball of University of Michigan has written positively about the Common Core math standards as has Jo Boaler of Stanford University, and I certainly trust their judgement.  As for the English Language Arts standards?  I have personal concerns that the standards unnecessarily emphasize informational reading for upper grades based upon the framework of the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP).  This flawed on two fronts: first, the NAEP is a no stakes assessment of the national educational landscape, and its targets for assessment are not meant to be translated into curriculum structures.  Second, David Coleman, now of the College Board, claims the 70% target was meant to be across the entire curriculum, but that was made clear nowhere in the standards themselves and since there are currently only math and ELA core standards, there is no guidance about how the task of teaching informational reading will be distributed.  Beyond the upper grade concerns, I am concerned that the early grade ELA standards rely upon an expectation that students’ skill levels will converge far too early, as if the authors wrote graduation standards for 12th grade and worked backwards from there without accounting for how early childhood development is high divergent.

But beyond this discussion (which is not happening among supporters of CCSS that I can tell) is the fact that Mr. Petrilli’s poll numbers get dicier the further down the path of education “reform” related to CCSS you get.  According to the same NEA poll, 55% of teachers say their districts are preparing to use standardized tests to evaluate them, 81% favor at least a 2-5 year long moratorium on those measures, only 26% of the 65% of teachers who have participated in CCSS training found it helpful and 67% have had to look for resources outside of school.  Among other changes teachers believe would assist students?  43% said smaller class sizes, 39% want more parental involvement and 22% said their students need up to date materials.  Reforms addressing those concerns have not been on the radar screen.

And this is the crux of the matter: Mr. Petrilli may be able to cite strong support or support with reservations from three quarters of teachers, but the reservations of 50% of those polled encompass the testing and teacher evaluations that are glued to the Common Core State Standards and have been from the beginning.  The standards were written by a group that heavily represented the testing industry, and they were adopted by states seeking grant money from the federal Race to the Top program – which required states to adopt common standards and tie teacher evaluations to student scores.  The Gates Foundation has spent heavily promoting the standards, and the foundation has a strong interest in evaluating teachers by student test scores as noted above. By now, the standards have been monetized and very well-connected interests have a stake in the testing system remaining in place, both technology entrepreneurs hoping to mine big data pools and the testing companies themselves.  At $24 dollars per student, Pearson looks to make over $20 million from New York City alone each time a Common Core aligned test is deployed.

Big interests both in private and public venues may be vested in the testing and evaluation of teachers tied to Common Core, but those reforms are driving a huge amount of the informed backlash.  While the standards themselves have flaws and controversies, the very teachers Mr. Petrilli has cited as supporting CCSS do not support either the heavy testing regimen coming with them or the flawed VAM evaluations tied to the testing.  Instead of trying to manufacture “emotion” among supporters of the standards, Mr. Petrilli would do better to try to disentangle them from the toxic mix of high stakes testing and evaluations that accompany them.  I have trouble picturing him doing so because both he and his allies are not simply supporting the standards — they are supporting the whole package the standards were designed to promote.

But until that happens, I cannot even consider saying that I #SupportTheCore — and I bet most teachers won’t either.

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Filed under Common Core, Gates Foundation, Media, Pearson, politics, VAMs

Who is more important? Pearson? Or our children?

Some background:

My wife and I have two children who are public school students in New York City.  We, as many other parents do, had our eldest tested for admission to the city’s gifted and talented program.  I’ll be honest – this child is exceptionally bright, but creative use of verbal language, imagination, story telling (our eldest’s strengths), are not really part of the tests used to qualify.  Regardless, the score was high enough to qualify for a seat which was assigned by lottery.

Our youngest sat for this year’s examinations in January. Sibling preference in admission at the G&T programs meant that if that score had qualified as well both our children would be in the same school next year.

Our youngest missed by the smallest margin.

Now I must be clear about this.  Our family does not deserve anyone’s sympathy.  It was by sheer luck of a random drawing among the many children who qualified that got our eldest a seat.  Our youngest was not owed a seat, and our zoned school is another one of the highest regarded schools in the city and is very close to the other school.  We know families who schlep across town to three different schools in pursuit of the cherry that the NYC Department of Education has placed on top the public school system.  Then there are the families whose kids qualify but for whom there are no seats because they’ve greatly overpromised what they can deliver.  Then there is the entire issue of how so many of the qualifying students are concentrated in affluent districts in the city.

So we will be fine, but since we would prefer our family’s attention to concentrate on one school for as long as possible, we took the opportunity to make an appointment with the DOE to review our youngest’s test.  That appointment was today, and we were given twenty minutes to sit with the exam and the answer key under the supervision of a DOE employee.  It was actually a more helpful experience than I anticipated, and our DOE representative was really quite delightful and very skilled at explaining the tests and how they were administered.  I can tell you the following:  We found that our child was prone to picking distractors, especially as each section of the exam progressed. We found one indisputably incorrectly scored item which means the exam is flagged for an immediate rescore.  We also found a handful of items that I strongly suspect would make my friends in measurement and quantitative methods cringe.

And that’s all that I can tell you.

You see, our child was assessed using the Otis-Lennon School Ability Test (OLSAT) and the Naglieri Nonverbal Ability Test (NNAT-2), both of which are products of Pearson, and in order to get a look at the examinations, I had to sign a non-disclosure form.  Chew on that for a minute.  An official of the New York Department of Education had me and my wife sign a form promising that we would not specifically or generally disclose the contents of an examination that was administered to our child for the purpose of selecting a public school.  The contents of that examination, several of which arguably violate principles of good test design for young children, must be kept secret even though, of course, it will be redesigned for the next year’s exams and even though I can purchase any number of OLSAT related materials directly from Pearson.

I cannot even really blame Pearson here.  They have developed the examination, and there is significant money at stake for them in a) keeping too much of their material from being seen by competitors and 2) making certain that people have to purchase exam related materials from them.

On the other hand, I have no trouble blaming craven politicians and bureaucrats who contracted Pearson and agreed to terms like this which are good for business, but bad for public discussion of education policy.  What we did today allows my family to pursue our interests as a household, but it disallows any informed discussion with the broader community about the nature of measurements that determine substantial educational opportunities.  And there are real discussions that ought to be had.  This year, three times as many children qualified for seats in the coveted citywide G&T programs as there were seats available, but these qualified children are not randomly distributed across the city.  Districts 2 and 3 in Manhattan combined for 623 of those Kindergarten aged children qualified for entry to citywide programs while districts 7,8, 9, 12 (The Bronx), 16, 23, 32 (Brooklyn), and 29 (Queens) had none.  With an income segregation index of 57 in New York City, there is an important discussion to be had about the nature of these tests and whether they identify gifted or privileged children.  But Pearson’s intellectual property is more important than that discussion.

NYRISI

Which is ironic given how eager New York was to join with InBloom, the data storage cloud service that was going to provide storage for student records and allow technology and publishing companies to mine that data to create products for sale.  It was only the vigorous activism by advocates like Leonie Haimson on Class Size Matters that put enough pressure on Albany to halt the project, but it is by no means the only one that sees student data as a commodity.

What does it say that your child’s school records are able to be used without your consent for private purposes but that private materials with profound impact upon public school children and their opportunity must be protected?

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Filed under Pearson, Privacy, Stories, Testing