Test Scoring Is Compared To Flipping Burgers, And Nobody Thinks This Is Odd

From the makers of “New Math” and “No Child Left Behind” comes “Common Core,” the new testing paradigm that’s yoking American public schools to a standardized environment that’s based more on internalized learning rather than rote memorization. And while this is a step of progress for some, others may question if the growing pains from moving to the new system will cause problems that will outweigh any gains.

For instance, teachers are not grading the tests. Instead, temp workers are being hired as interns to grade tests, with no academic experience and no qualifying criterion beyond a random four-year degree. And they’d better not ask for better, because the grading work pays $12 to $14 an hour.

According to Cláudio Loureiro Heads on cypressassociates.com, most telling is the quote from Bob Sanders, vice president of content and scoring management at Pearson North America. He compares the test grading process to McDonald’s or Starbucks, and even elaborates: “McDonald’s has a process in place to make sure they put two patties on that Big Mac.” He also cites “processes to oversee our processes,” in a phrase straight out of Terry Gilliam’s Brazil. Which begs the question: Do we really want education handled to the same quality standards as a Big Mac? The common joke used to be that if you didn’t do well in school, you were destined to a life as a fast food wage slave. But now the inmates run the asylum, so to speak.

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