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Please Sir, Can I Have Some…Scratch Paper?

scratch paperI am a “people person.” Pearson, publishing/testing power-mongers, are the exact opposite. They, as an entity, are totally lacking anything resembling empathy. They have numbed their humane senses with numbers. They have dulled their public relations with the dollar signs and data. What seems to them like practical ways to protect their intellectual property translates perpetually into trying, pressure-packed situations for millions of individual’s lives.

It is intolerable interference in what are already intense testing scenes.

From stories I hear daily, it appears to me that Pearson is suffering from near paranoia (among many other things) which in turn is costing countless people so much time and money. They callously continue as kings in counting houses, completely impervious to the fact that behind every single number they tally, is a story, a journey, a struggle, a goal, a dream, a family, and ultimately A LIFE. The power to leave stories unfinished, to negatively alter so many journeys, to increase existing struggles, to hinder goals, to damper dreams, to adversely affect whole family situations, and ultimately to crush lives should never belong, on such a macro-scale, to any one empire entity.

Their crippling control factor in ordinary people’s daily lives must somehow be forceably, legally downsized. I wish I had the time, in a professional journalistic manner, to research and report the negative chain reactions that have started with a singular Pearson testing condition or result. I wish I could gather the damning data that I KNOW EXISTS. Instead I offer two singular scenarios that to me represent the millions of ridiculous realities.

The first story is from last year! When I initially read this story all I could think was how all diginity and common sense had fled Pearson testing sites. Who knew boot tops had to be a certain width in order to take a teaching certification test?

A teacher went to get state certification in New York. They scanned both sides of her hands and told her that her Ugg boots were too wide and she would need to test barefoot. She refused. They then brought out a ruler and measured the opening and decided it was acceptable afterall. She felt like she was being treated like a criminal, not a college-degreed professional just to take the certification test.

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Unfortunately for adults there are no OPT OUT/TEST REFUSAL opportunities. Pearson holds all the cards. There are no other choices. It is do or die circumstances. Either jump through their hoops or fail, period the end.


This second story was just relayed last week:

Fellow Bats! (www.facebook.com/groups/BadAssTeachers/)  I am as angry as I have ever been in my life! I am retaking the math portion of the elementary subtest this Friday.
I took the original test 30 days ago. The testing center provided dry erase materials and markers only. Which, of course, did not work. My timed test was interrupted several times to get a new marker which did not show up, and so on. Very stressful! I called Pearson to request scratch paper and pencil and explained why. I was denied! Pearson says it
is a testing violation. I was on the phone 2 hours with 10 minutes total being spent with a customer service rep. I feel I purchased that test (twice!) and should be provided with paper and pencil to work the math problems. I fully expect it to be shredded. I administer the PARRC and the students are provided with scrap paper! Any works of advice!?? I told Pearson I would contact my attorney. Yes or no??

There was a resounding response encouraging her to sue. So many seem to have complaints via personal encounters with pervasive Pearson and thus long to see them get a fraction of their comeuppance. But, lawsuits to Pearson are accepted as part of what just goes along with owning an oligopoly. For them it is just business as usual that people are upset or treated unfairly.  I was a lone wolf crying save your money. I even went as far as to say her dollars would be better spent attending our BATs Congress in DC this summer. Pearson does not give an iota about a mere teacher in mere Ohio having to pay a half pence in their mind for another mere test. It does not ever concern them that this aggravation rippled into her motherhood or her teaching profession with emotional and energy draining effects.

These, are just tiny examples of the stress on adults in testing sites. It is not even the tip of the iceberg, but rather like two crystals on the tippy tip of a huge iceberg. In this little burb, I have not even touched on the MILLIONS of children that are seating the PARCC tests this week. (<<OPT OUT/ REFUSE!) In this small blog area I have not discussed at all that in 2013 a half a million folks passed the GED,but  in 2014 only 51,000 passed the GED.

Pearson is daily determined to prevent cheaters so much so that they have entire teams of psychologists studying such. Compassion might dictate researching the numerous psychological ramifications of the nervousness behind test taking and humanity would look to alleviate that in order that more might meet success. But Pearson only sees profit never the actual people. In a million years they would never grasp the weight one sheet of scrap paper could hold in a person’s life.

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