From Nashville School Board Member Amy Frogge on her Facebook page — comments regarding Tennessee’s commitment to testing:
Here’s how much our state is paying for all of the assessments it’s conducting on our students:
$4,060,157.37 to Measurement, Inc. over five years (English language learner test).
$95,820,439.54 to Pearson over eight years (TCAP).
$25,740,312.75 to Measurement, Inc. over five years (TCAP).
$57,726,914.20 over five years to NCS Pearson, Inc. (end of course assessments)
And this is just scratching the surface. How about costs for training, prep materials, local district test costs, teacher time to conduct the tests, etc.?
Is your head spinning yet? Just think what we could do if we could use this money for our schools instead of paying for tests used to “evaluate” teachers.
Frogge is lamenting the use of $183 million plus associated costs just for testing. She poses the very good question of what else might we do with these funds? What if we could cut testing costs in half, even? And have $100 million over 5 years to use on something besides testing? What’s the highest and best use of $20 million a year in education dollars? Are taxpayers even aware of how much of their money is spent on testing kids?
These are all good questions, and as the issue gets discussed more and more, they may be asked during the 2014 legislative session – the one just before most legislators face re-election.