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Do 5-Year-Olds Really Need Career Testing?

The makers of the ACT are developing a tool that will test K-12 students and determine their career interests and academic performance.


Forget about kindergarteners having the freedom to learn through play and dream about being a firefighter one day and a ballerina the next. The folks at ACT, Inc.—yes the same ACT test that high school students take while applying to college— are pouring millions into developing a tool that will test kids as young as 5-years-old and determine their career interests and academic performance.

Although career testing kindergarteners sounds like the kind of thing you read about in The Onion, Jon Whitmore, ACT's chief executive officer, says that doing so will enable them to offer teachers, students and their families "an integrated, multidimensional approach to college and career readiness that focuses on measuring achievements and behavior relative to goals." The results "will providing critical information to guide students along their journeys toward success in school and their future work lives."

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What Teachers Want to Know: When Will Testing Company Employees Get Laid Off?

Everyone has to feel the pain of budget cuts—except the companies being paid millions to make standardized tests.


This spring, school districts across the nation sent record numbers of layoff notices to teachers, all in the name of balancing education budgets. But, there's one area that most states and districts aren't cutting—the cost of standardized tests. States and local school districts pay testing companies millions of dollars annually, and with calls to evaluate teachers according to tests results and expand the number of subjects tested coming from the White House and Department of Education, the amount of cash being shelled out to testing companies is sure to skyrocket.

Here's how it works: In order to be compliant with the federal No Child Left Behind Act—which requires student testing—states first pay consultants and testing companies to write multiple choice tests aligned with individual state standards. Once kids take the tests, the states then pay those same companies to score them. The federal government does kicks in some cash to help cover the costs, but thanks to cutbacks, that money doesn't defray the whole expense or pay for the people districts and states hire to manage the entire process.

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Psst, Scott Walker: Unionized Teachers Might Boost SAT Scores

Before the Wisconsin governor wipes out teacher's collective bargaining rights, he might want to look at student test score data.


With the standoff between Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker and the state's unions now approaching its second week, the rhetoric both for and against collective bargaining for teachers is flying fast and furious. One piece of data floating around the web says that students from states where teachers don't have collective bargaining have lower SAT and ACT scores.

Michael Moore, a professor at Georgia Southern University, told the Atlanta Journal Constitution that only five states don't have collective bargaining because they prohibit it by law.

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