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Who is more qualified to judge academic achievement, a teacher or a low-paid temp?

This is the heart of the problem with standardized testing. Once you get past multiple-choice tests (which we can all agree are awful) you *need* someone to actually grade what students write. And nobody wants to pay actual professionals to grade tests so we end up with this: low-paid temps in a factory farm determining your kid's future, her teacher's future, and her principal's future.

The Biggest Testing Scandal of All -- Diane Ravitch's blog

Pearson has a contract with the state of Texas for five years that is worth close to $500 million.

That ought to bring gold-plated service and products to the children of Texas, right?

Wrong.

Pearson is advertising for test graders in Texas on craigslist!

The graders need only a bachelor’s degree, and they will be paid $12 an hour.

They will be “trained,” of course, but think of it. Their snap decisions will decide the fate of students, teachers, and schools. If they aren’t that good at what they do, children will fail, teachers will be fired, and schools will be closed. Because of decisions made by a temp worker.

Shocking as this is, it is nothing new. Todd Farley wrote a book called Making the Grades: My Misadventures in the Testing Industry, in which he described his many years inside the testing industry.
. . .
Why trust the judgment of a fallible teacher or principal, when you can rely on the judgment of a $12 an hour temp, supervised by a Target manager?

This is crazy.