[IAEP] Pearson Foundation -- the non-profit arm of Pearson Corp

Kevin Cole dc.loco at gmail.com
Thu Sep 24 17:40:44 EDT 2009


Disclaimer: I'm not endorsing or opposing, merely informing.  Do with
the following what you will.

In my "day job" one of my tasks involves perverting -- er,
reinterpreting and renorming -- standardized test scores. (In a
nutshell, standardized tests often compare test takers to a national,
demographically representative sample, and then crank out a
percentile.  Deaf students historically score so badly on those tests
that the percentile ranking is meaningless.  Our office gathers enough
data to create a national, DEAF demographically representative sample,
and cranks out a "hearing-impaired percentile".)

Recently, representatives of Pearson (nee Harcourt, nee
Harcourt-Brace, nee Harcourt-Brace-Javonovich, nee Psychological
Corporation or PsychCorp) were on campus to touch base with our office
about a new edition of the Stanford Achievement Test coming up.  It
was the usual boring stuff that keeps food in my belly.

However, as an aside, one of the reps mentioned a test for gifted and
talented that was "language independent" that might be suitable for
deaf students and mentioned they were looking into international
markets. Specifically the Naglieri Nonverbal Ability Test, 2nd edition
(NNAT2) http://pearsonassess.com/haiweb/Cultures/en-US/site/Community/Education/Products/NNAT2/NNAT2.htm

As she spoke about it, I asked if Pearson had done any work w/ OLPC.
She said as a corporation, no, but that she'd personally purchased
several XO's via G1G1 to give to nieces and nephews, but hadn't
actually seen one.  So, I showed off a few, briefly (as it was clear
my colleagues weren't happy with me hijacking the meeting).  She was
intrigued, and mentioned the Pearson Foundation, their non-profit arm,
might be interested...


I have doubts that it's a great idea to get in bed with a company that
profits from standardized testing -- a religion to which I don't
subscribe, at least not now that I've seen it from the inside.  (I
think there's value in standards, and in measuring questions that have
unambiguous answers. I'm just not certain that what I've seen of the
process actually accomplishes the stated goals.)  That said, there may
be some synergy worth establishing.

Ubuntu Linux DC LoCo
Washington, DC

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