Who Profits From Teacher Testing? Murdoch, That's Who

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From Media Matters, a pertinent reminder about just who profits from the insistence on teacher testing as part of the CTU contract. Imagine that, I guess it just slipped their minds. I mean, we're only talking about $4.7 million, right? Greedy creeps:

In an op-ed in Sunday's Wall Street Journal, News Corp. executive vice president Joel Klein attacked the ongoing teachers' strike in Chicago without disclosing his role in administering $4.7 million in educational testing contracts at the heart of the dispute.

In 2010, News Corp. purchased 90 percent of the education technology company Wireless Generation for $360 million, incorporating that company into the education subsidiary of News Corp. now known as Amplify.

Klein, the former schools chancellor for New York City, was hired by Rupert Murdoch to run News Corp.'s education division in July of 2010 and is now the CEO of Amplify. While the Journal -- which is also owned by News Corp. -- identified Klein as Amplify's CEO, neither the paper nor Klein himself disclosed that the company has millions of dollars in contracts for the very testing that is a central issue in the strike.

In May, Chicago Public Schools entered into an agreement with Wireless Generation to provide "math assessment services" and "literacy assessment services" to the school district. The math agreement is for "a total cost not to exceed $1,700,000" while the literacy assessment cites a cost "not to exceed $3,000,000." The Progressive Change Campaign Committee first reported on these contracts in a September 12 blog post.

In his op-ed, Klein downplays the teachers' rationale for taking action, writing that the strike "feels more about attitude -- 'the mayor doesn't respect us' -- than substance." In fact, the Chicago Teacher's Union objects to a reformulation of the existing teacher evaluation system which would make standardized tests -- like those administered by Wireless Generation -- count for 40 percent of the score, which will be used to determine teacher pay and whether certain teachers will be laid off.

[...] In previous news stories discussing education reform, the Journal has disclosed its financial connection to News Corp. and Wireless Generation. In a May story on education standards, the Journal wrote about "Wireless Generation, an education-technology company owned by News Corp., which also owns The Wall Street Journal." In a January story on the "Race to the Top" education program, they made a similar disclosure. But the paper has not disclosed the contracts with Chicago Public Schools in their coverage of the strike.

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