Sunday, January 20, 2013

National Movement Hits a Nerve in the Reformer Camp

Certainly a sign that media mogul, owner of the NY Post, and education reform entrepreneur Rupert Murdoch and cronies are noticing the national movement by parents, community members and taxpayers against excessive, experimental, and expensive standardized testing. Groups all over the nation are organized, state legislatures are revisiting decisions on standards, testing, and database development. Washington State teachers are refusing to implement the tests.

What is the sign? Yellow journalism or presenting manufactured sensationalized new reporting and a personal attacks - classic and consistent with the NY Post reputation. Why else would yellow journalists Susan Edelman and Candice Giove fail to report on standardized testing itself and the national opposition rather than choose to launch a personal attack on Lisa Nielsen,  ONE long time critic of excessive national testing. The national opposition is large, but then real journalists with integrity would know that.

So what does the NY Post care about standardized testing? Its owner cares.

In June 2011 Forbes reported that Murdoch's News Corp hired New York State Chancellor Joel Klein to develop an education division. Kristen Kane, former chief operating officer of the New York City Department of Education, was tagged to become COO of this News Corp unit. Two weeks later, Murdoch purchased Wireless Generation, a company that develops software and data systems to track student progress. The company is a contractor for the New York city school system. But Wireless Generation was awarded a $27 million no-bid contract, it got attention - too much attention, and the deal was investigated and the contract was "quietly rejected" by New York State Controller Thomas DiNapoli.

Regarding the $360 million dollar purchase price for Wireless Generation, Murdoch had this to say:

"Education in the U.S. is a $500 billion sector “waiting desperately to be transformed by big breakthroughs that extend the reach of great teaching,” said Murdoch in a statement, and Wireless Generation is at the “forefront” of individualized, tech-based learning."

No testing, no data. No data, no need for million dollar contracts in each state and school district in the U.S. No contracts, no return on big investments.

Who pays? Who benefits???  The critics will not be so easily silenced. There are far too many now and far too smart to be fooled.

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