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Testing Demands

Business 2.0 magazine has a ranking of the ten fastest-growing jobs for the next decade. However, nowhere on that list will you find psychometrician.

That’s the name given to an expert in the creation and scoring of tests. And with all the standardized tests being rolled out in this country, you won’t be surprised to find there is a shortage of this particular job skill.

With federal law requiring wider testing of schoolchildren, the nation faces a critical shortage of people like Mr. Wu with the mathematical, scientific, psychological and educational skills to create tests and analyze the results. The problem has sent states, testing companies and big school districts into a heated hiring competition, with test companies offering salaries as high as $200,000 a year or more plus perks.

A result is a peculiar outcome of the No Child Left Behind act. Psychometrics, one of the most obscure, esoteric and cerebral professions in America, is also one of the hottest.

It would be a much better better indicator for American education if the demand for psychometricians was far less hot.

standardized testing, psychometrician, jobs

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1 Comment

  1. It would also be3 a better indicator for American education if the psychometricians knew what the hell they were doing. Aside from the recent SAT scandals, in my job as an ESL teacher, I see standardized English tests that test nothing.

    For several years, NYC gave a test that was far too easy, allowing people who spoke virtually no Englsih test into native classes. Concurrently, the state gave a test that was too difficult for anyone to pass, resulting in a particularly scathing column by Mike Winerip in the NY Times.

    Now, the state test is too easy as well, and foreign kids no longer get the instruction they need to prepare them for college.

    I can write better tests than they can, and I’m just a lowly teacher.

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