Recruitment & Retention

Temps Tempest

By Laura Greifner — March 28, 2006 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

Florida’s hiring of temporary workers to grade the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Tests, or FCAT, is under fire.

At issue is a testing contractor’s use of workers from Troy, Mich.-based Kelly Services to grade certain portions of the FCAT.

“What I’ve heard from teachers is that they are demoralized,” said Rep. Shelley Vana, a Democrat on the House education committee and a former president of the Palm Beach County Classroom Teachers Association. Ms. Vana is also a curriculum coordinator for the 180,000-student Palm Beach County school district.

The situation raises new questions about the FCAT with those lawmakers already skeptical of the test, Ms. Vana said.

Monterey-Calif.-based CTB/McGraw-Hill is under contract with the state to administer the test.

In an e-mail last week CTB spokeswoman Kelley Carpenter wrote, “Kelly Services has a long-standing relationship with CTB as its recruiting arm for professional evaluators.”

A state education department spokeswoman, Cathy Schroeder, said that temporary employees have always been hired to grade the exams. But this year, she said, Kelly Services ran an ad for the scorers that contained the phrase “no experience required,” which garnered media attention.

The FCAT contains sections on reading, writing, mathematics, and science. Multiple-choice questions are scored by a machine, while human graders evaluate essay responses and math problems in which points are awarded for the process as well as the answer.

Students’ grades on the FCAT determine whether they advance to the next grade or receive a high school diploma.

CTB scores standardized achievement tests in 22 states, Ms. Carpenter said. She also wrote that testing companies employ qualified temporary employees to grade responses in “nearly all states.”

State officials say the outcry stems from misunderstanding.

“More than half of the people we hire are former educators,” said Ms. Schroeder, the education department spokeswoman. She said all graders must have a bachelor’s degree, and that they are assigned to grade portions of the test that correspond best to their areas of expertise. She also said they receive weeklong training and must score practice essays correctly in order to grade real exams. Each exam is graded twice, and if there are discrepancies between the scores, a supervisor grades it.

A version of this article appeared in the March 29, 2006 edition of Education Week


This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Student Well-Being Webinar
A Whole Child Approach to Supporting Positive Student Behavior 
To improve student behavior, it’s important to look at the root causes. Social-emotional learning may play a preventative role.

A whole child approach can proactively support positive student behaviors.

Join this webinar to learn how.
Content provided by Panorama
Recruitment & Retention Live Online Discussion A Seat at the Table: Why Retaining Education Leaders of Color Is Key for Student Success
Today, in the United States roughly 53 percent of our public school students are young people of color, while approximately 80 percent of the educators who lead their classrooms, schools, and districts are white. Racial
Jobs January 2022 Virtual Career Fair for Teachers and K-12 Staff
Find teaching jobs and other jobs in K-12 education at the EdWeek Top School Jobs virtual career fair.

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Recruitment & Retention From Our Research Center The School Staffing Crisis Won't End Any Time Soon
As uncertainty around COVID persists, the personnel shortages that have been crushing schools for months are getting worse, not better.
6 min read
One hundred dollar bill attached to a fishing hook on a blue background
iStock/Getty Images Plus
Recruitment & Retention To Keep Teachers From Quitting, Address These 5 Key Issues
Pay matters, but is often not the main point of dissatisfaction. Here are five common problems teachers say make them want to quit.
Marina Whiteleather
3 min read
Human resource recruiting candidates with big employer's hand using magnet power to draw new employees.
iStock/Getty Images Plus
Recruitment & Retention 4 Changes Schools Can Make to Recruit Teachers of Color and Keep Them Around
America’s K-12 teaching force today remains predominantly white in stark contrast to its rapidly diversifying student body.
5 min read
Freda Arnold chats with some of her students at Booker Junior High school in Little Rock, Ark., on Dec. 21, 1965. Arnold is one of four white educators on the faculty of the all-Black school.
Freda Arnold chats with some of her students at Booker Junior High school in Little Rock, Ark., on Dec. 21, 1965. Arnold is one of four white educators on the faculty of the all-Black school.
Recruitment & Retention Districts Are Screening for Racial Biases During Teacher Job Interviews. Here's How
Increasingly, school systems ask applicants questions about cultural competency, race, and equity during the interview process.
9 min read
Image of chairs in a line.