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Thursday, June 14, 2012

Is Pearson sponsoring the school board conference a conflict of interest??? What the beep!?!

From the Orlando Sentinel by Leslie Postal

As we’ve been reporting, School Board members across Florida are none too happy with FCAT and how the state uses standardized test scores to make high-stakes decisions.

The FCAT is administered by Pearson, the private testing company.

At yesterday’s Florida School Boards Association meeting — during a discussion about adopting an anti-testing resolution — Pearson was criticized, most notably by Osceola County School Board member Jay Wheeler.

Wheeler said the FCAT, started “with the best intentions,” has turned into a successful “business model for Pearson” — which earns millions from Florida — but not something meant “to help kids.”

Barbara Murray, a Brevard County board member, said she was interested in learning more about how much Florida spent on testing and who benefited.

She also noted, to chuckles from her colleagues, that Pearson was a sponsor of the annual conference they were all attending at a Tampa hotel.

The company paid $2,500 to help sponsor the “welcome reception” held for board members last night, according to the conference program.

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