The Fraud of Computer Scoring on the Common Core Exams
By Leonie Haimson, co-chair, Parent Coalition for Student Privacy and a member of the Board of Directors of the Network for Public Education
On April 5, 2016 the Parent Coalition for Student Privacy, Parents Across America, Network for Public Education, FairTest and many state and local parent groups sent a letter to the Education Commissioners in the PARCC and SBAC states, asking about the scoring of these exams.
We asked them the following questions:
- What percentage of the ELA exams in our state are being scored by machines this year, and how many of these exams will then be re-scored by a human being?
- What happens if the machine score varies significantly from the score given by the human being?
- Will parents have the opportunity to learn whether their children’s ELA exam was scored by a human being or a machine?
- Will you provide the “proof of concept” or efficacy studies promised months ago by Pearson in the case of PARCC, and AIR in the case of SBAC, and cited in the contracts as attesting to the validity and reliability of the machine-scoring method being used?
- Will you provide any independent research that provides evidence of the reliability of this method, and preferably studies published in peer-reviewed journals?
Our concerns had been prompted by seeing the standard contracts that Pearson and AIR had signed with states. The standard PARCC contract indicates that this year, Pearson would score two thirds of the students’ writing responses by computers, with only 10 percent of these rechecked by a human being. In 2017, the contract said, all of PARCC The Fraud of Computer Scoring on the Common Core Exams - Network For Public Education: