Pay to Play and NCLB, Pennsylvania style
by Debbie Wei on May 27 2009
OK, so who is it that actually does the PSSA testing in Pennsylvania – by that I mean, who designs the tests, does those reports we get back, and thinks up ever more ways to spend our money administering more tests – some of which don’t even “count” for anything?
Columnist Paul Carpenter followed the money in the testing biz and boy, it didn’t smell very good.
He reports that according to Democracy Rising Pennsylvania, officers of the Data Recognition Corp. (DRC) of Minnesota sent at least $22,000 to Harrisburg as contributions to the campaign coffers of Gov. Ed Rendell. Interesting how much a Minnesota based company cares about who gets elected in Pennsylvania. And how about that $201 million contract the Rendell administration gave DRC to develop high school exams in math, science, English and social studies?
This is above and beyond what they get for the PSSAs. And how strange that Rendell came out touting the value of a high school graduation test just 2 weeks after getting $15,000 worth of donations from DRC head honchos. Carpenter ends his column with this delicious math statistic: "If there are 10 test subjects and each test has 100 questions, that's 1,000 questions, or $201,000 per question in the DRC contract."