The following is information taken from “Educational Testing Service” by Stephen Petrina in Encyclopedia of Curriculum Studies.

The Educational Testing Service (ETS) was established in 1947 as a nonprofit corporation in the United States. At that time, 60 million tests were given to 20 million people. Currently their revenue is $900 million from 24 million test takers. The ETS produces tests like the Graduate Record Examination (GRE), The National Teacher Exam (now called the Praxis Series), The Test of English as a Foreign language (TOEFL), and the Scholastic Aptitude/Achievement Tests (SAT). In 1993, Sylvan Learning Centre won an exclusive contract to administer the ETS’ tests in their centres and landing contracts in city schools to standardize curriculum for the SAT and other tests throughout the 1990s. In 1980, Ralph Nader released report called The Reign of ETS: The corporation that makes up minds asking why the ETS is considered a nonprofit corporation. However, the ETS maintains that they are an independent non-profit research and educational organization.

The ETS defines their mission as follows:

“To advance quality and equity in education by providing fair and valid assessments, research and related services. Our products and services measure knowledge and skills, promote learning and educational performance, and support education and professional development for all people worldwide.”

Similarly in British Columbia, we have the Fraser Institute, an independent non-partisan research and educational organization that depends entirely on donations to operate. They rate schools based on performance on a standardized test called the Foundation Skills Assessment (FSA), a province-wide exam that measures reading, writing and numeracy of grade 4, 7, and 10 students. The ranking of schools published in the newspaper which is supposedly done to help parents choose a school for their children and to encourage those schools that get low rankings to improve. In 2010, “Burnaby’s top five schools were all private. Edmonds Elementary, one of the city’s poorest schools, was ranked last – 870 on a list of 876 schools province wide” (Moreau).

As one would image, many educators are against these type of tests and the publicity they receive.

“It’s the BC Liberal’s agenda to undermine public education, to go private,” said Judy Richardson, president of the Peace River South Teachers’ Association (Bains).

“The Fraser Institute is a right-wing think tank and part of their agenda is to see an increase in private schools, and we’re firmly against that. We want to see the best public education system in the world,” said Beth Miller, Sea to Sky Teacher’s Union President (Burke).

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