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Measured Progress and Its Temporary Test Scorers

March 29, 2015

The standardized testing industry is taking over the American public school classroom.

Increasingly more class time is being devoted to preparing for and administering standardized tests in the name of “global competitiveness” and ensuring students are “college and career ready.”

Even though promoters of corporate reform idolize standardized testing to the degree that many seem to honestly believe standardized testing a flawless indicator of both student progress and teacher worth, there are many weak points to such a position.

For the time being, let us just consider one: The test scorers.

The constructed response portions of most standardized tests are graded by human beings.

Who are these people?

Temp workers with at least some college experience and who are hired en masse with little to no supervision– and whose college transcripts need might not even be verified.

Take the assessment company, Measured Progress. It directs individuals interested in temporary test scorer positions to Kelly Services, a temp company Measured Progress apparently retains for securing its necessary herd of temporary test scorers:

Temporary Reader Positions

With training provided, Readers evaluate open-ended student responses to elementary and secondary test questions in their assigned subject, and assign scores according to prescribed standards. Measured Progress fills Reader positions seasonally at its scoring locations in Dover, NH; Menands, NY; and Longmont, CO. These and most other temporary positions are staffed through Kelly Services. Please contact your local Kelly Services office to learn more about these positions.

Dover, NH
(603) 742-4934

Menands, NY
(518) 429-2636

Longmont, CO
(866) 238-9853

Speaking of Measured Progress and Kelly Services, this ad appeared on the Denver, CO, Craigslist only hours before I wrote this post:

TEST EVALUATORS NEEDED FOR BOTH DAY AND EVENING SHIFT TEMPORARY WORK (Longmont)

PUT YOUR COLLEGE DEGREE TO WORK!

Salary: $11.50/hour ($13.50/hour for Spanish/English scoring when available)

K-12 Test Evaluators needed to score elementary through high school tests. Both day and evening shift temporary work available.

Kelly Services is hiring hundreds of temporary day and evening shift Test Evaluators to score student achievement tests in Longmont, CO.

DAY-SHIFT SCORING WORK
8:00 am — 4:30 pm; Monday through Friday

First round of day-shift projects starts on Monday, April 6 with multiple starts throughout April. Work runs through June/July.

EVENING-SHIFT SCORING WORK

5:30-10:30 pm; Monday through Friday

Evening-shift scoring work starts on Monday, April 27 and will run through June.

(You must be available to work Monday through Friday for each project you accept, day or evening shift. We cannot accommodate partial week schedules.)

PLEASE NOTE: To be considered for this temporary Test Evaluator position, all candidates must be able to provide college transcripts (unofficial copies will suffice) or original diploma verifying he/she has completed at least 48 college credit hours.

JOB DESCRIPTION

Working from our client’s scoring center in Longmont, Test Evaluators will evaluate student responses to non-multiple-choice questions at the elementary and secondary school levels, and assign scores via computers according to established standards in the areas of reading, writing, science and mathematics.

Training is provided; scoring accuracy and efficiency is required.

All work performed at our client’s site in Longmont (3 miles west of I-25 off Hwy 119.) (close to Boulder, Loveland, Fort Collins, Westminster, Firestone, Louisville, Broomfield, Lafayette, Berthoud.) This is not a work-from-home opportunity.

All candidates must attend a group interview/hiring event at the client’s site in Longmont to complete the Kelly Services hiring process (which you can schedule via our website… see below.)

All candidates must be able to provide the following:

– A copy of your college transcripts (an unofficial web-based or photo copy will suffice) or your original college diploma (transcripts preferred because by verifying actual course work completed, you will likely be eligible to score more project work.)
– The email addresses and/or fax numbers for two professional references (you may also provide each person’s phone number, but an email address and/or fax number is also required.)
– Two forms of legal ID (to complete the employment eligibility verification process.)
– A voided check or direct deposit authorization document from your bank (to sign up for direct deposit electronic pay; weekly pay via payroll card is also an option.)

BENEFITS:

– Salary: $11.50/hour ($13.50/hour for Spanish/English scoring when available)
– Weekly Pay via Direct Deposit or Payroll Card
– Paid Training
– Casual Dress
– Nice work environment that includes a large break area, free coffee, tea, and cocoa; vending machines, refrigerators and microwaves.
– Take advantage of potential promotional opportunities within the Test Evaluator workforce.
– Eligible to work at other Kelly customer locations after the project ends.
– Access to a comprehensive array of insurance plans.

HOW TO APPLY

To schedule an interview date and time and request the online application please go to: http://www.scoreforkelly.com. Through this scheduling site you can read job details again, provide basic contact information, answer three brief screening questions, and then choose the date and time you want to come in to complete our hiring process.

If you prefer, you may also call us directly between 8am-4pm at 866-238-9853 to schedule your appointment or ask questions.

——————————————————————

KELLY SERVICES COMPANY DESCRIPTION

Our vision is to provide the world’s best workforce solutions through a comprehensive array of outsourcing, consulting and world-class staffing services. Around the globe, we achieve this vision by providing unmatched levels of personal and trusted service, building long-term relationships and always putting people first. We welcome the varied talents of all people who share this philosophy of service, team work, and integrity. For these people, we offer a wide range of opportunities to cultivate their talents and employ them in our ever-changing global workplace.

Blogger Timothy Horrigan is a former test scorer with Measured Progress. He has written extensively about his experience, which I have excerpted here:

Test scoring is arguably the most important part of the process, since a mediocre test scored accurately is more valuable than a good test scored badly. Even the best possible test would be worthless if it was scored badly enough. However, at Measured Progress (and apparently at its competitors, judging from what I have heard), the scoring gets less attention and fewer resources than the other steps. …

Once the database is loaded on the scoring center servers, an army of test scorers comes in to score the questions. A test scorer can be just about anyone who has at least two years of college education and who is willing to take a dead-end temp job for ten dollars an hour and no benefits and not much scope for advancement. You don’t really need to be an expert in the field you are scoring: in fact, it’s easier to accept the set scoring standards in a given subject area if you don’t have advanced training in that area. The scorers fall into three main groups: college students who are not in school this semester, adults who have other careers but are unemployed (or have flexible schedules), and retirees who still want to work part of the year but not year-round. I fall into the second group, who are gradually being pushed out of the scoring work force in favor of the first and third groups (who make fewer demands.) …

One not so cool thing was that no one paid much attention to us: for example, during two years of hard work, I personally never once got even a perfunctory performance evaluation of any type. I never even got a simple individual “Thank You.” Our immediate supervisors were temps, as were our immediate supervisors’ supervisors, and the permanent managers three-plus layers above us were too busy with more important duties to bother themselves with mentoring a mob of temporary test scorers. Our immediate supervisors tended to get very frustrated. They were expected to manage without any means of rewarding good scorers, of retraining mediocre ones, or even of punishing bad ones. They were also expected to manage without telephones or email, or even their own private desks. Moreover, they had virtually no hard data about which scorers were in fact good, bad, or mediocre.

Testing companies such as Measured Progress depend upon a temp labor force to score the non-machine-scored portions of their standardized tests. And these folks are arguably labor “on the cheap,” not only for their hourly wages and seasonal work, but also for the obvious lack of quality control that begins with the “unofficial transcripts accepted” in the temp ad.

weak link

______________________________________________

Schneider is a southern Louisiana native, career teacher, trained researcher, and author of the ed reform whistle blower, A Chronicle of Echoes: Who’s Who In the Implosion of American Public Education.

She also has her second book available on pre-order, Common Core Dilemma: Who Owns Our Schools?, due for publication May/June 2015.

 

13 Comments
  1. Candyce Watsey permalink

    This is a sin. The well-being of children, the well- being of teachers and their careers, the well-being of entire communities connected to local schools depend on a shabby business model built on nothing but greed.

  2. Laura H. Chapman permalink

    Testing on the cheap.

    Educational Testing Service has a score-it at home operation. https://www.ets.org/scoring_opportunities/online

    Big companies are getting ANSI certificates for proctors of e-learning exams.

  3. E. Maurek permalink

    Same thing here in Indiana, only the ad was on Craigslist….

  4. Threatened out West permalink

    In Utah, the ELA teachers were all required to take two days or more, and get substitutes, to go to a central location and hand grade the essays. This is admittedly better than temps doing it, but then we had two or three substitutes for our English department per day for two weeks.

  5. Howard Beale permalink

    It seems some testing companies pay even less.
    http://curmudgucation.blogspot.com/2015/03/whos-scoring-test.html

  6. Many years ago, prior to my career in teaching, I did a summer temp test scoring job with Measurement Inc. This was long before NCLB, and they never checked my college transcripts. The scoring was a joke. They passed out books of examples for the scorers. The training and work consisted of whether or not a student’s writing “felt like” a 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5. To their credit, there were at least two readers; if scores differed, they took the higher of the two. On this particular scoring project, the supervisors were worried that those with teaching experience might be too harsh on “unimportant things” such as grammar, spelling, and punctuation.

  7. It’s all about authoritarian control. The whole process is based on a bad theory of education. Standardized education is bad theory and high stakes testing has a demonic effect on civilization.
    http://t.co/TVoFLiv3zj

  8. Jill Reifschneider permalink

    Thank you for exposing how “important” test scores truly are to the moneymakers. To think of the huge judgments and decisions being made by how these tests are scored. This is one piece of the absurd machine against public education that needs to be understood by parents.

  9. Ken Watanabe permalink

    This really makes me wonder how giant testing companies like ETS and Pearson are screwing students and examinees at home and abroad.

  10. Donna permalink

    I’m surprised Wendy Kopp has not opened up “Score for America” at a per employee finder’s fee to districts of $5,000 down and $50,000 annually, with housing and weekend masters degrees. Come on now…who better to condemn our youths, close our public schools and union bust? The best and the brightest test scorers. We don’t need no stinking Craig’s List….Wendy to the rescue. Coming to a test taking district near you. Get ready America.

    • Mike permalink

      Hahaha. Love the jab at TFA. Many young people with whom I volunteered back in undergrad wanted to join TFA rather than go the traditional route of obtaining a state-accredited credential. I guess it’s only for prestige.

      After graduating from college, I immediately started my credential program and worked as a paraprofessional. That was quite rewarding.

  11. Todd Farley -Making the Grades
    You want to read this book !

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