Welcome back to “7 Hidden Truths of Testing,” a blog series for MSEdBlog examining standardized testing in Mississippi.
Last time, I discussed the negative effects the modern testing culture has on teaching as a profession. Today, it’s all about the money.
Truth #4: Standardized testing these days is a BIG business.
- It’s estimated standardized testing is a $1.7 Billion a year industry.
- This year, the State of Mississippi will pay Questar Assessment, Inc., over $13 million, despite the fact Mississippi is so broke we had to slash budget spending for this year, twice. The 10-year contract with Questar is worth over $110 million.
- According to the Center for Media and Democracy, between 2009 and 2014, for-profit testing companies spent over $20 million influencing our governments to implement pro-testing policies in our public school systems.
- Today, our public school system has perhaps the biggest, most intensive testing culture in the history of Mississippi public education. The National Education Association, the Network for Public Education, and professional teacher organizations in Mississippi have all made statements suggesting standardized testing has gone too far.
If Mississippi educators say the current size of the testing culture is not what’s best for our kids, then why does it continue to grow?
- Again: Standardized testing is a $1.7 BILLION a year industry, spending plenty of lobbying money to keep it that way.
I think the facts pretty much speak for themselves. Don’t you?
Join me tomorrow, when I will discuss the effect testing has on the minds and bodies of teachers.
James Comans is an 8th grade science teacher in Southaven and contributor to MSEdBlog. His views are his own and do not represent the views of any other entity.