The multiple brand names for water and high stakes standardized tests are misleading – to say the least.
Do not celebrate when a state pulls out of the Common Core tests – of the state’s brand.
Too many politicians are scamming us and our children when they simply shift public education tax money from one brand of high stakes testing to another. Who gets the new billion dollar contracts? Obviously, the corporations who contribute to the re-election campaigns of the officials who grant the funds. Same old, same old – new name. It is still the insane testing craze with an arbitrarily and politically created cut-off point (failure level) for political power and private profit.
It’s called re-branding.This is no cause to celebrate.
Zephyhills Spring Water doesn’t come from Zephyrhills or a spring even though the front label says, “100% Natural Spring Water.” Nestle’s Global is perhaps the largest private, water bottling corporation in the world. Lobbyists have financed American legislation to legalize this. Tap water is simply branded for profit – immense profit. See the * info below for more. Read the Tampa Bay Times investigative article HERE. For lists of water brands, read HERE.
Pearson, CTB/McGrawhIll, Education Testing Services (ETS), Riverside Publishing and its mother company Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, mostly located outside the United States in order to collect their immense profits from American taxes to avoid paying American taxes on their profits, are part of the Corporate Industrial Education Complex that last year alone made $800 billion. None of this horrific profit making at the expense of taxpayers and children existed before the year 2000. There was no need for this craze then; there is no need for it now.
“The Thomas B. Fordham Institute, a conservative think tank, estimates implementing the new standards will cost the nation between $1 billion and $8 billion. Nearly all the profits will go to book publishers and test creators like Pearson and CTB/McGraw-Hill.
“Shael Polakow-Suransky, the chief academic officer of New York City schools, has warned: ‘There’s lots and lots of books that have got fancy, pretty stickers on them saying ‘Common Core,’ but they actually haven’t changed anything in the inside.’
“Pearson Foundation underwent investigation for paying for state officials trips to education conferences overseas. The foundation, which is a non-profit and tax-exempt, was charged with using its resources to benefit the Pearson for-profit company.
“Possibly the most egregious activity was uncovered in a recent report published by In the Public Interest, which found that Pearson helps fund Foundation for Excellence in Education and its partner Chiefs for Change — both Jeb Bush-founded, conservative education policy advocacy organizations. In turn, the foundation crafts policy that profits Pearson. The report disclosed emails between the two organizations that show they are working on writing state laws benefiting their corporate funders. The organizations have already written education policies that benefit its funders in Florida, Louisiana, Maine, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Rhode Island.
These corporations, like all brands of any product, hype new-and-improved standards, to make new tests to make more money. The water aisles in food stores are jammed with brands of tap water, and the book aisles in bookstores are jammed with CCSS edu-products. Online sources produce another glut of CCSS edu-glut.
The brands of state mandated high stakes tests are simply labels for states to use. Florida has FCAT. Illinois has ISAT, not to be confused with Idaho’s I-SAT. How about NPEP, MCS, CSAP, DCAS, NECAP, WASL? The generic alphabet soup of edu-corp acronyms goes on and on. For a list of state brands of high stakes tests, read HERE.
Trying to follow the money in each legislative/corporate education reform chain in all of the states and cities in the USA is nearly impossible.
Go to your schools and board of education offices. Demand the actual tests, questions and all, that your children have been mandated to take. You have a right to see what your children have been judged by and how the scoring was decided upon. Secret tests and secret scoring are un-America for public schools.
Better yet, refuse, opt out of the testing craze. Go to United Opt Out for a state by state series of letters and instructions for how to legally get your child out of this insanity.
It is your child and your tax money.
*Read the label on Zephrhills alone; it lists five other locations and the possibility that the water may be blended. Other Nestle’s brands (Poland Springs, Ozarka, Nestle Aquarel, Ice Mountain, Deer Park, Calistoga, Arrowhead, etc.) do the same for their lists of tap water. What does your state call its branded CCSS compliant high stakes testing?.