Laura Chapman, retired arts educator and researcher, offers reasons why you should opt out of PARCC:
“Here is one more reason to be a very serious and unrelenting critic of PARCC.
It has “teamed up” with greatschools.org, a website that rates schools and leases data for commercial exploitation (about which I have commented before).
MONDAY, DECEMBER 7, 2015 ( from http://www.parcconline.org/news-and-video/382-greatschools-parcc-launch-new-parent-tool)
“PARCC states have partnered with GreatSchools to launch the GreatKids Test Guide for Parents, a new resource to assist parents in helping their children prepare academically for college and careers, and for the next grade level. “…”The Guide gives … information about what a child needs to know at each grade level and how parents can help their children succeed academically, based on how their child performed on the PARCC assessment.”
“About GreatSchools. Founded in 1998, GreatSchools is a national nonpartisan nonprofit helping millions of parents find quality schools, support great learning and guide their kids to great futures. GreatSchools offers thousands of articles, videos and worksheets to help parents support their children’s learning. Last year, more than 59 million unique visitors accessed the GreatSchools website including more than half of all US families with school-age children. Headquartered in Oakland, California, GreatSchools partners with cities and states across the country.“
Do not be deceived by sweet talk about “partnerships.” This non-profit is a sophisticated and well-funded system for gathering test scores and other information reported by schools, converting this information into ratings, and selling the data and ratings. The website literally sells ads and licenses for access to test scores and other data on schools—public, private, and charter—with expansions planned for pre-school and daycare-centers.
This national data hog is funded by billionaire foundations unfriendly to public schools. The logos of the Gates, Walton, Robertson, and Arnold Foundations are prominently displayed. A list of 19 other supporters includes the Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice, Bradley Foundation, Goldman Sachs Gives, New Schools Venture Fund among others. All of these supporters want to make public schools an artifact from the past.
“Here is what GreatSchools does with the test scores, now including PARCC scores.
“The overall GreatSchools Rating is an average of how well students at a given school do on each grade and subject test. For each test, ratings are assigned based on how well students perform relative to all other students in the state, and these ratings are averaged into an overall rating of 1 to 10.”
“The distribution of the GreatSchools Rating in a given state looks like a bell curve, with higher numbers of schools getting ratings in the “average” category, and fewer schools getting ratings in the “above average” or “below average” categories.”
The ratings are based on the manipulation of data classified in one of three ways: As a proficiency measure, a growth measure (including discredited VAM), and a rating for “how well schools are preparing students for success in college and beyond” (high school graduation rate, SAT, ACT scores). The system is rigged so most schools are rated average or below.
The fraudulent rating system gives the notoriously test-driven Success Academy in NY the highest possible rating here
This non-profit is the front for a mega for-profit operation serving big box stores, and multiple industries— financial, real estate, charter expansions, testing and text publishers. It is designed to capture the interest of media outlets and merchandizers as “partners,” co-opt entire school districts and federal agencies into “partnerships.” The gigantic “partner” basket includes Walmart, Target, Yale Center for Social Emotional Intelligence, Survey Monkey, Forbes, US Department of Housing and Urban Development, Dunn & Bradstreet, US Department of Education, Goldman Sachs, and more
JUST A SAMPLING:
CONTENT 321 Fast Draw; Algonquin Books; Ashoka Foundation; Bay Citizen; California Watch; College Board; Common Sense Media; DK Publishing; Film Sight Productions; IDEO; Learning Ally; Learning and Leadership Center; Mind/Shift; National Center for Learning Disabilities; Parenting.com; Reading Rockets; Scholastic; Treasure Bay, Inc.; UCLA Department of Psychology; US Department of Education; Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence.
COMMUNITY AND FAMILY ENGAGEMENT Families Empowered; Hillsborough County Public Schools, Iridescent Learning; KIPP; Magnet Schools of America; Miami Dade County Public Schools; Rocketship Education; Stand Up for Students; Step Up for Students; US Department of Housing and Urban Development
RESEARCH Gallup Education; SurveyMonkey (see also Licensees); SRI; Rockman Et Al.
MARKETING & OUTBOUND MEDIA Care2.com; Common Sense Media; Forbes; NBC News Education; The Bully Project; Univision.
LICENSEES Apartments.com, Brain Pop; Digital Map Products; Dunn & Bradstreet; Fannie Mae; Maponics; Michael & Susan Dell Foundation; Military Child Education Coalition; Move Sales, Inc.; National Association of Charter School Authorizers; National Housing Trust; Onboard Informatics; Policy Map; Realtors Property Resource; SurveyMonkey; Target, US Department of Housing and Urban Development; Walmart; WolfNet; Zillow.
What do these “partners get” for signing on? At minimum, it is the opportunity to become an advertiser or license holder who can gain access to your student’s test scores—for a fee. You can find some of the ad rates here. https://selfserve.rubiconproject.com/advertise3/products/29619
At the bottom of the rate page you can see that these “packages” are offered via the Rubicon Project. Click on Rubicon Project to see what this “project “is. The Rubicon Project is the name for a company that scoops all of greatschool’s data and ratings and comments from users and puts them in Rubicon’s “Advertising Automation Cloud.”
This data warehousing operation “brings buyers and sellers closer together on a robust advertising technology platform. One of the largest cloud and Big Data computing systems in the world, the Automation Cloud leverages over 50,000 algorithms and analyzes billions of data points in real-time to deliver the best results for sellers and buyers,” with 300 real-time data-driven decisions per transaction.”
Follow the money. The billionaire foundations gather the test scores and other information about schools. They are notoriously in favor of market-based education. The scores are translated into a their dubious but “custom” rating scheme with direct links to the great red-lining guru, Zillow (who has paid for a high end license). The data and ratings migrate out from the greatschools website to Rubicon. For a fee, Rubicon facilitates rapid and custom access to the data and ratings from their “cloud,” (a data warehouse), promising their clients they can “Efficiently find your target audience;” “build brand awareness,” “acquire new customers, and re-engage existing customers.”
I hope that this information gives parents another reason to opt out of the tests and especially PARCC. Greatschools has test data from every state, has a map of district boundaries searchable by zipcodes, and it is seeking data well beyond that required by state or federal regulation such as such as schools safety, cleanliness, and parent involvement. Next up: Scores for school climate and social-emotional learning, and “customer satisfaction surveys.”
Remember, taxpayers made PARCC possible. Time to say bye, bye and good riddance.