THE BLOG

Louisiana's PARCC Contract- But Not Really

03/26/2015 03:01 pm ET | Updated May 26, 2015

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The Louisiana Department of Education (LDOE) does not have a 2015 contract with official Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) test vendor, Pearson.

In fact, PARCC testing is not even mentioned in the contract LDOE does have with another testing company, Data Recognition Corporation (DRC), for testing in grades 3 through 8. The LDOE contract with DRC has been amended a number of times- but no mention of PARCC assessments.

That contract can be found here in a document cloud:

What is mentioned in the above LDOE-DRC contract is that it dates back to July 1, 2011 and is set to expire June 30, 2015.

The contract description includes the following "specific goals and objectives" related to testing in grades 3 through 8 and high school:

Data Recognition Corporation will provide support services for LEAP, GEE, LAA1 and LAA 2 and EDLA assessment implementation including development of test forms, printing, distribution, and collection of materials, scoring and reporting of all psychometric services related to these assessment activities.

Though no "PARCC" test is mentioned in the LDOE-DRC contract, DRC has indeed provided "PARCC" tests to Louisiana schools (shipping address is to Lake Charles, LA):

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LDOE has no other publicized contracts for spring 2015 testing in grades 3 through 8.

DRC is supposed to grade Louisiana "PARCC" tests.

No other PARCC state is having DRC grade its PARCC tests.

Supposedly, Louisiana "PARCC" test results will not be available until fall 2015; however, the LDOE-DRC contract- a contract for delivering other-named tests- expires June 30, 2015.

Sooo, DRC will have already been paid to deliver score reports via a contract that does not fit the "PARCC" testing situation in the first place and that will have expired months prior to the time that said score reports are supposedly available.

Lots of details lacking. However, one detail that is not lacking is the detailed disbursement schedule of State of Louisiana funds to DRC. The payment schedule for February through June 2015 is as follows:

$881, 179, invoice date February 28, 2015

Payable after February 28 annually provided that Spring test materials (Practice Test, LEAP, new LAA1, LAA2, and EDLA) have been delivered to local districts.

$2,950,349, invoice date April 30, 2015

Payable after April 30 annually provided that Spring tests (Practice Test, LEAP, new LAA1, LAA2, and EDLA) have occurred as scheduled and that all Spring test results are being scored and processed according to the negotiated schedule.

$2,327,264, invoice date June 30, 2015

Payable after June 30 annually provided that Spring tests (Practice Test, LEAP, new LAA1, LAA2, and EDLA) is proceeding as scheduled, and LEAP and LAA2 Summer Retest materials have arrived in districts.

Again, this contract in no way fits Louisiana "PARCC" testing. It includes no language that ties DRC to delivering PARCC consortium assessments in Louisiana.

The particulars connecting LDOE and officially-Pearson-developed PARCC (with DRC as the go-between) have purposely been withheld from the public. It's a beautiful arrangement for Louisiana superintendent John White: He waves the LDOE-DRC contract before the public and before a gullible media that burps back its support of the legitimacy of "PARCC." Meanwhile, the arrangement between DRC and Pearson is a private matter between two testing companies. Since LDOE has no above-board, direct arrangement with Pearson, it is off of the hook, all eyes are on DRC for a test it was officially not contracted to vend.

However, the "PARCC" tests arrived in Louisiana in DRC boxes, so DRC has clearly agreed to do for Louisiana what is clearly not detailed in the only grade-3-through-8 contract that LDOE has for its 2015 assessments.

Yep.

But let us turn our attention to the grading of our sort-of-PARCC tests.

If DRC is grading Louisiana's "PARCC" tests, it is drawing its graders from Craigslist. I found two active ads, one in Pittsburgh, and another in Austin.

Below is the text for the Pittsburgh ad:

Data Recognition Corporation is a national leader in educational testing and we are seeking temporary Test Scorers to assist us with our busy assessment season. You will score standardized tests for children in elementary through high school ages in the subjects of reading, writing and math. You must have a Bachelor's degree to qualify for this position.

Work begins in early March and continues to mid-June. The hours are Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. The pay is $13.00 per hour plus an attendance bonus. We offer paid training and a positive work environment.

To apply, please attend a recruiting event. Bring proof of your degree in the form of a diploma, official transcript or current teaching license. Please allow 1 to 2 hours, depending on turnout.
For recruiting event times, please see our website at http://www.datarecognitioncorp.com or call 412-249-5110. We are located at 5440 Campbells Run Road, Pittsburgh, PA (RobinsonTownship). Our phone number is 412-249-5110.

The Austin ad is similar:

Data Recognition Corporation is a national leader in educational testing and we are seeking temporary Test Scorers to assist us with our busy assessment season. You will be scoring standardized tests administered to children in elementary through high school grades. You must have a Bachelor's degree to qualify for this position.

Hours are Monday-Friday, 8:30 am to 4:00 pm. The pay is $13.00 hour plus eligibility for an attendance bonus. We offer paid training and a pleasant work atmosphere. Work begins in March,

To apply, please attend one of our recruiting events. Bring original proof of your degree in the form of a diploma, official transcript or current teaching license. Recruiting event times are listed on our website at http://www.datarecognitioncorp.com or you may call our office at 512-977-5000.

Here is "recruiting events" information referenced in the Craigslist ads: DRC's flyer advertising for test scorers. DRC has six scoring centers: Plymouth, MN; Woodbury, MN; Austin, TX; Pittsburgh, PA; Columbus, OH, and Sharonville, OH.

DRC also utilizes news ads, and it draws from college campuses and temp agencies. I learned this from reading DRC test scorer interview reviews on a job site called Glassdoor.

Based on reading the interviewer comments on Glassdoor, I determined that the testing for DRC test grader positions was early-high-school-level. DRC interviews are only a few minutes long, with interviewers particularly interested in applicants' ability to work long hours performing monotonous tasks in close quarters.

These are the individuals grading Louisiana's illegitimately-procured, supposedly "new generation, PARCC assessments": College graduates desperate enough for work to agree to crammed quarters for temporary full time hours- without the pay and benefits becoming a college education.

Envision college graduates seasonally corralled into testing company stalls in order to grade "newer and better" tests that are supposed to close achievement gaps and make all students "college ready"...

...ready, perhaps, for their own future testing company grading stalls.

The irony drips.

Originally posted 03-25-15 at deutsch29.wordpress.com

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.