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[Susan notes: I provide more info on the New Jersey outrage here: http://www.susanohanian.org/core.php?id=412]

Published in New Jersey Spotlight
02/05/2013

To the editor

Online Testing Is Coming to New Jersey Schools -- Ready or Not



"by the spring of 2015, close to

1 million students between Grades 3 and 11 are expected to sit at laptops or tablets taking their annual state math and language arts exams. That will be no small technological feat for an education infrastructure that plays catch-up every year as it is."



Remember the old joke about the worker who left the factory everyday with a wheelbarrow full of sand? The guards suspected him of stealing and examined the sand carefully each day. It turned out he was stealing wheelbarrows.



How will the private sector make money from the move to online testing? The money will come from stealing wheelbarrows: To take the new common core tests, students need to be connected to the internet. Right now, many are not:



Making this happen will cost billions, and it will be a never-ending source of profit for testing and computer companies: We can be sure that the equipment will be obsolete soon after it is installed, and when the brave new electronic tests do not result in academic improvement, technology companies will convince us that the next version, requiring more sophisticated and expensive equipment, will be better.



All this comes from tax dollars. Take from the needy, give to the greedy.



This is happening everywhere: The Florida Board of Education is proposing to spend nearly a half a billion dollars to build the infrastructure for all-computerized state testing.



Stephen Krashen


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