Measured Progress and Its Temporary Test Scorers
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.
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.
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.)
– 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.
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.
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.