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.
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.
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.
Educational Testing Service (ETS)–famed (or notorious?) publisher of the AP, SAT, LSAT, GRE, TOEFL, GMAT and most recently the HSEE–has again been granted an exclusive contract to administer the “mammoth” testing program for California students, grades 2-11, through 2008-09. According to ETS estimates, the contract is worth $170 million. The final price has yet to be negotiated.
Mistakes in the scoring of an examination that 18 states use in licensing teachers caused more than 4,000 people who should have passed it to fail instead, the Educational Testing Service said yesterday. The errors may have prevented many from getting full-time jobs as teachers in the last year.
Educational Testing Service has been at the top of its class for decades: The Princeton (N.J.) company administers the Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT), the Graduate Record Exam (GRE), and, since 1954, the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT). But now, the testing giant’s grades are slipping. On Dec. 12, the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC), the outfit that oversees the internationally accepted B-school entrance exam, said it was severing its ties with ETS. Instead, the GMAC awarded a $200 million, seven-year contract to administer, score, and develop the test to Pearson VUE, a subsidiary of global media giant Pearson PLC, and its subcontractor ACT Inc.
The major firms in the U.S. K-12 testing industry are all for-profit companies. But the financial structure of the primary sponsors of college and graduate school admissions tests is superficially different. Companies such as the Educational Testing Service (ETS), the College Entrance Examination Board (College Board), and ACT (formerly American College Testing) are all set up as non-profit, tax exempt entities, allegedly because of their primarily educational missions.
However, a review of the informational tax returns of ETS, the College Board and ACT (public documents for exempt organizations under federal law) indicates that it is hard to tell the difference between the supposed “non profits” and their for-profit cousins. The companies all have substantial end-of-year surpluses, top heavy management, and very well paid executives.
The Educational Testing Service has the trappings of an affluent small college or an adjunct campus of nearby Princeton University in New Jersey. Its lush 360-acre property is dotted with low, tasteful brick buildings, tennis courts, a swimming pool, a private hotel and an impressive home where its president lives rent free. Employees are often referred to as faculty and one in five holds an advanced degree.