Since Bubble Testing Season is upon us, it seems only fitting to talk about the Bubble Tests.
Today is just a link… one that makes me want to vomit when I see the downright farce being perpetrated on American education.
Here are but a few quote from this former “test scorer”. (No, the tests are not machine scored; one of tons of worthwhile reasons to read the link.)
“Test scoring is a huge business, dominated by a few multinational corporations, which arrange the work in order to extract maximum profit.”
“Test-scoring companies make their money by hiring a temporary workforce each spring, people willing to work for low wages (generally $11 to $13 an hour), no benefits, and no hope of long-term employment—not exactly the most attractive conditions for trained and licensed educators. So all it takes to become a test scorer is a bachelor’s degree, a lack of a steady job, and a willingness to throw independent thinking out the window and follow the absurd and ever-changing guidelines set by the test-scoring companies. Some of us scorers are retired teachers, but most are former office workers, former security guards, or former holders of any of the diverse array of jobs previously done by the currently unemployed. When I began working in test scoring three years ago, my first “team leader” was qualified to supervise, not because of his credentials in the field of education, but because he had been a low-level manager at a local Target.”
“Company communications with test-scoring employees often feel like they have been lifted from a Kafka novel. Scorers working from home almost never talk to an actual human being.”
“Scoring is particularly rushed when scorers are paid by piece-rate, as is the case when you are scoring from home, where a growing part of the industry’s work is done. At 30 to 70 cents per paper, depending on the test, the incentive, especially for a home worker, is to score as quickly as possible in order to earn any money: at 30 cents per paper, you have to score forty papers an hour to make $12 an hour, and test scoring requires a lot of mental breaks. Presumably, the score-from-home model is more profitable for testing companies than setting up an office, especially since it avoids the prospect of overtime pay, the bane of existence for companies operating on tight deadlines. But overtime pay is a gift from heaven for impoverished test scorers; on one project, I worked in an office for twenty-three days straight, including numerous nine-hour days operating on four to five hours sleep—such was my excitement about overtime.”
Excuse me while I go puke. (Props to Diane Ravitch for turning me on to this article.)