Consultants: +$8.6 Million
State Workers:  -$7 Million
It Just Doesn't Add Up!

Under the “No Child Left Behind” mandate, our state and federal governments are mandating more and more “high stakes” testing of our children — testing that will determine whether our children and our schools pass or fail. But just when they’re needed the most, the state is cutting funding that should be used to hire testing professionals in the Education Department. 

Despite the sharp increase in testing, the state is proposing to cut $7 million in funding which will hurt our own highly trained testing professionals. In their place, the state is relying on costly out-of-state consultants, and wasting millions of taxpayer dollars by doing so. 

The state already spends more than $8.6 million a year on pricey private contractors to develop tests, while over the past ten years the State Education Department has eliminated 38 percent of the professionals who develop these tests. And because the agency uses consultants rather than in-house testing experts, those consultants’ tests are often flawed. Remember the fiasco over the Regents Math A exam last summer? 

Now the state is seeking proposals from more consultants to develop tests, preparing to outsource millions more on development of a slew of new tests affecting our children’s educational future.

Here’s a pop quiz for the State Education Department:
Why aren’t you hiring more of your own assessment development professionals to work in your department at a significantly lower cost than you’re paying the consultants? 

And why are you leaving it up to some consultants in California, North Carolina or New Hampshire to determine whether our children pass or fail? 

Tell the State Education Department to do the math, and stop wasting taxpayers’ money. 

Stop outsourcing our kids’ test development, and let New York’s professional public employees do the job.

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This ad appeared in the March 22, 2004 edition of The Legislative Gazette only.
This ad was originally created by PEF's Public Relations Dept. © Copyright 2004.