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This article brings up some VERY important points about the condition of public education in this country. Teachers' unions, of course, have been verbally protesting this move towards robotization of our country's children, but their protests are summarily pooh-poohed by the media as being the whines of spoiled teachers who only care about their summer vacations. Call it a monopoly, a trust, a cartel - what we have here is a very real case of industry (e.g. Pearson Inc.) being in bed with government officials (from state houses to state education departments and beyond) and doing what is best for their bottom lines and/or re-election campaigns. At the same time that more and more valuable school programs are being cut and school personnel being laid off due to severe budget constraints, taxpayers are footing the bill for latest new textbook series with all the bells and whistles, "benchmarking" software, and the mandated high-stakes exams themselves to the tune of tens of thousands of dollars per school district - all to "be in compliance" with newly adopted state and federal laws that mandate testing our children to death. Oh, and, yes, all of the above are produced/published by PEARSON. Perhaps Pearson will have cleaned up its act by the time the deluge of spring 2013 tests begin. I hope so, because for every year I have been administering various high-stakes tests to public school children, I have found egregious errors on nearly every exam - from minor grammar mistakes to gross logical fallacies. These tests do NOT measure what is really important in the education and growth of a child. Parents need to educate themselves about the efficacy of the whole examination processes and then start making some noise. Teachers, apparently, do not make up an important enough percentage of the electorate to affect any meaningful change in the right direction. But parents do!
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