Friday, June 26, 2015


Alan Singer Headshot


by Alan Singer Social studies educator, Hofstra University/Huffington Post Contributor |

safe_image[1] 06/25/2015 2:56 pm EDT    ::  You can't make this stuff up. On June 23, 2015 the New York Times reported on Pearson mass Common Core grading centers where a college degree but no special knowledge is required to grade tests and temporary employees make between $12 and $14 an hour plus small bonuses if they "hit daily quality and volume targets." [4LAKidsNews:Grading the Common Core: NO TEACHING EXPERIENCE REQUIRED ]

According to the article, Pearson insists "strict training and scoring protocols are intended to ensure consistency, no matter who is marking the tests."

Pearson advertised for people to grade the Common Core aligned tests on Craigslist and Facebook and hired about 14,500 temporary employees. To ensure "quality," already grading exams were sorted in with new exams to see if the graders come up with the same score. It is not clear what happens if they don't.

Bob Sanders, vice president of content and scoring management at Pearson North America compared the scoring of high-stakes standardized Common Core-aligned exams to making hamburgers at McDonald's. "McDonald's has a process in place to make sure they put two patties on that Big Mac. We do that exact same thing. We have processes to oversee our processes, and to make sure they are being followed." Mr. Sanders, of course, has a degree from the University of Iowa in business and has never been a teacher. According to his Linkedin page, he cares about children and considers himself a "A respected dynamic leader, strategic thinker, and creative problem solver within technology, retail, and the educational assessment industries."

Comparing Common Core grading with McDonald's is certainly a great analogy. A Big Mac combo meal (Big Mac, large fries, and 32 oz. Coke) has a total of 1,330 fatting calories, about 65% of a recommended daily calorie intact, with almost no nutritional value. You also get 54 grams of fat, 83% of the recommended daily intake, and 1,320 mg of sodium, more than half of the normal daily allowance, and 85 grams of sugar, double the recommended daily dosage.

This year about 12 million children in grades three through twelve took Common Core aligned tests and were processed like hamburgers at McDonald's.

Thank you Mr. Sanders and Pearson for so aptly describing the value of the Common Core diet.

No comments: