Simply, the biggest problem with tests like the GRE is that one cannot challenge the validity of the test itself. Instead, the test-taker must work within the established rules of the test, whether or not he or she accepts them, or face permanent consequences to the future of his or her education. This is the antithesis of empowering education. In essence, the GRE represents the colonization of a student’s ideas or possibilities. High-stakes standardized testing is about artificially reproducing an unequal class system in education that bars access for students that don’t fit into the dominant culture.
Americans for Educational Testing Reform has a simple mission: to repeal the 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status granted to ETS, Collegeboard, and ACT, Inc.
From Policy Mic:
Eliminating this stressful, and quite frankly, painful process would help students see the road to college in a different light. Rather than focusing on the immense pressures and destroyed dreams, students could actually focus on the college’s actual attributes and the opportunities of attending. A student’s academic intelligence can’t be summed up in a three-hour test; forcing them to endure such an anxiety makes what should be an exciting experience a dreadful one.
The president of the College Board, the nonprofit owner of the SAT entrance exam, has seen his compensation triple since 1999 and now gets more than the head of the American Red Cross, which has more than five times the revenue.
The value of Gaston Caperton’s compensation was $1.3 million including deferred compensation in 2009, according to tax filings, also surpassing that of the president of Harvard University. Richard Ferguson, the now-retired chief executive officer of rival testing company ACT Inc., got compensation valued at $1.1 million. Nineteen executives at the New York- based College Board got more than $300,000.
Over the past month ETS Europe has not only been handling the biggest crisis in Sats history but also one of the toughest recruitment jobs in finding a new marking director. Senior people at every exam board have been approached. The post, which the company insisted was vacated for reasons entirely unrelated to the marking problems, is not yet filled.
Concerns about the administration of this year’s school tests in England have prompted a call for payment to be withheld from the test contractor, ETS.
The Attorney General of Iowa has asked the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to investigate the high fees ACT Inc., a non-profit corporation, pays its board members and officers. The test development and education research firm is based in Iowa City.
The call for a federal review came in response to a Des Moines Register newspaper exposé, which disclosed that some ACT board members received more than $40,000 annually to attend four meetings, review documents and participate in conference calls. In addition, the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Richard Ferguson, received total compensation of $596,000 in the company’s fiscal year ending in August 2005, the most recent on record. Four other top officers were paid more than a quarter million dollars each. FairTest assisted Register investigative reporter Lee Rood, who researched and wrote the article.
The Iowa City-based nonprofit organization that develops ACT college entrance tests pays its board and its top executive more than almost all other nonprofit organizations in the United States.
ACT Inc. pays its 14-member board of directors about $520,000 a year and its chairman and CEO Richard Ferguson a base salary of about $508,000 annually, according to a copyright story in the Des Moines Sunday Register.
More than $1.2 million in fees paid every year by students, school districts, states and others to ACT Inc. of Iowa City is profiting the nonprofit company’s board of directors, a Des Moines Sunday Register investigation shows.
Their flagship products, such as the SAT and PRAXIS, are under increasing criticism in the media and the courtroom (see stories, this issue) for poor quality control. But top managers at the College Board and the Educational Testing Service (ETS) continue to reap ever-higher salaries, according to the most recent annual reports filed by the firms with the Internal Revenue Service.
The College Board disclosed yesterday that the problems resulting from the misscoring of its October SAT examination were larger than it had previously reported.
In a statement, the organization said it discovered last weekend that 27,000 of the 495,000 October tests had not been rechecked for errors. It said that after checking those exams and one other overlooked set, it had found that 400 more students than previously reported had received scores that were too low.