Questioning the PACT scam

The folks at the Voice for School Choice blog (we think that's the SCRG?) recently looked at the ongoing debate over the great boondoggle that is the PACT test:

If South Carolina is serious about K-12 assessment, lawmakers need to look to the successfully model of private schools across the state. These schools employ commercially developed, off-the-shelf standardized tests such as the Iowa Test of Basic Skills and the Stanford 10 test. Such tests cost a fraction of the PACT and allow for speedy, specific, and diagnostic results for each child. They are also being used by public schools in other states to meet NCLB requirements.

You know what? They're right.

Here in the Blogland, we've talked about the PACT test and compared it to other standardized testing which we're familiar with: the GRE exam which was required for graduate school admission, which is scored instantly, and the WorkKeys workforce skills assessment test, which is a broad test of skills needed in today's workforce, which is scored in about a week:

While comparing PACT to WorkKeys and the GRE may not be a perfect comparison, it stands to reason that if many standardized skill and educational tests take days, then it's simply inexcusable for the PACT test to take half a year to score.

One can't help but wonder if profit or children is the real priority behind those who advocate keeping the PACT test. That's what the SCRG people are asking, and it's something we'd like to know as well.

8 Response to "Questioning the PACT scam"

  1. Anonymous 15/4/08 08:16
    As evidenced by your links in this blogg piece, Earl, it's a matter of "following the money trail" to figure out the motivations as to why the educrats do what they do regarding testing. And when they want more, and they always do, "IT'S FOR THE CHILDREN".
  2. Anonymous 15/4/08 08:47
    Brian McCarty is somehow behind this push polling. Mr. Capps, this is your last chance to condemm Brian McCarty once and for all.
  3. Anonymous 15/4/08 10:05
    wow - you sure have it bad for mccarty. not sure why, but it sounds awful personal.

    shouldn't you have posted that comment in the push polling article, instead of the pact test discussion?
  4. west_rhino 15/4/08 11:19
    Earl, do we have one facet of the PACT SCAM being that, as SC owns PACT and the SC Dept of Ed is its steward, the "timely" reporting of the results and the interpretation from the haruspexion of those reuslts may have a unethical political influence in the timing of its release? If not relfecting well in the educrats that must be re-elected, the release is delayed, else it is hurried to benefit an incumbent. Witness the State's heel dragging over the past few election cycles in the release of PACT's data.

    Too much like the US Dept of State, the inmates are running Arkham Asylum, ergo, does it matter if they are Howie Rich's dark minions or the dark minions of another more sinister Darth Sidious?
  5. left charleston in chicago moye 15/4/08 15:32
    I am open to it.
  6. Anonymous 15/4/08 16:57
    We waste tens of millions every year on the PACT because their lobbyist is Warren Tompkins and our legislators have no backbone.

    Tompkins was also the lobbyist for the former legislator's insurance company that had the 20 year no- bid contract with the state that wasted tens of millions MORE of our tax dollars.
  7. Anonymous 16/4/08 12:22
    if it's a scam, how come i'm not making anything off of it?
  8. Terry Hardesty 16/4/08 14:31
    Berkeley County School District currently pays for diagnostic testing because PACT test results do not provide results of any sort on a timely basis. Our diagnostic testing is called MAP(measure of academic progress)and takes very little time to assess where a student's strength and weakness exist. The teacher gets the results immediately.

    If the state used a similar test and tested at the beginning and end of the school year we would get the following benefits:

    * More of our state's students would get diagnostic testing.
    * Accountability could remain at the existing level.
    * The data could be used to evaluate the teacher's ability to teach.
    * The taxpayers would spend less money.

    Terry Hardesty, Realtor, ePRO
    567 Crowfield Blvd.
    Goose Creek, SC 29445

    Office 843-574-3110
    Fax 843-202-8612
    Cell 843-312-1949

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