Assessment

Who’s Scoring the PARCC and Smarter Balanced Assessments?

By Catherine Gewertz — May 26, 2015 1 min read

I had to sign a hair-raising release, but I got inside a Pearson scoring center. In that vast room in a forgettable brick building outside Columbus, Ohio, people were being trained to score the PARCC test.

These were just a few dozen of the 42,000 folks who are scoring the common-core tests designed by PARCC and Smarter Balanced. But they’re part of the biggest and most controversial hand-scoring project in the country. For that reason alone, it was worth weeks of lobbying to get inside and find out who was doing the scoring, and how they’re being trained.

Some of what we found might surprise you. For instance: How does Pearson recruit people to score tests? Craigslist.com, among other places. And you don’t have to be a teacher, either.

It’s complicated and fascinating terrain, this massive hand-scoring project. I’ve got lots more detail for you in my story on edweek.org.


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A version of this news article first appeared in the Curriculum Matters blog.