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Helpful (2)

Ghost in the Machine, except to other Scorers

  • Work/Life Balance
  • Culture & Values
  • Career Opportunities
  • Comp & Benefits
  • Senior Management
Former Contractor - Test Scorer in Austin, TX
Former Contractor - Test Scorer in Austin, TX

I worked at Pearson as a contractor (Less than a year)

Recommends
Neutral Outlook
No opinion of CEO
Recommends
Neutral Outlook
No opinion of CEO

Pros

If you qualify for the test being scored (yes, you must re-qualify for each test) they want you and need you desperately. People were dropping like flies on my last temp contract. Pearson was authorizing up to 70 hours a week the last week, and paying time and a half over 40. It was ten+ days past the due date when we finished. If you make an effort, other scorers will be friendly. Most people are retired/working, job hunting, or working two+ jobs, with a sprinkling of college students and new graduates. Pearson will pay for some training (16 hours on my assignment) and if you qualify and meet a minimum they will pay hourly with a slight incentive if you turn out to be both fast and accurate. Most of the regular supervising staff are encouraging and will try to give you individual attention to help you get the rubric for that exam. They want you to succeed--they want people to come back. Location is a fairly new, isolated office park in far north Austin. Lunch room has ten microwaves and six large refrigerators for lunch. There are two paid fifteen minute breaks. Lunch is 30 minutes and not paid. My supervisor was good about job interviews, when told in advance. Because there is a second shift, you can make up time up to your forty hours. We were not authorized for overtime until the last two weeks, and then only if your hourly scoring was past a certain number of papers. They do note if they like you and your work, and will recommend you for rehire. I have a friend over on the design side, and that person likes the company, the benefits, the work. This is not the same Pearson.

Cons

This is a meat market. Other than a couple of key people you are invisible to regular staff at that location. Regular staff not on your assignment will ignore you. You'll be gone soon--why bother? Networking happens with other temps. I doubt there is much advancement to full time except for supervisor of a test--you get $1.00 more an hour and will be worked like a dog, with higher-ups carping about overtime. There is more money to be made scoring, once you get the knack. The building is not healthy somewhere deep--I was warned by regulars that people get sick all the time there. This is not always simple work because the rubrics can be intricate and demand an intuitive understanding to gain speed and keep accuracy. It took me longer than I'd hoped to get fast and keep up my accuracy. Teachers regularly bomb out because they can't use their own judgement on many things--it's all the client. Largest problem is that some clients now require your work to be measured against certain criteria from the first test scored (no warmup period before rating) so you may flunk out the first regular day of scoring. I saw a lot of regulars resign rather than have a test fail on their record. There's always another test to try. No places nearby to eat--you will be brown-bagging. This is strictly work for hire, no benefits--you'll sign a lot of paperwork making sure you understand that. You are working in a huge room reading scans of test papers where some kids compete to make it as illegible as possible. You work on laptops, in rows like at a church camp. Ear plugs are encouraged, head phones and private music allowed.

Advice to Management

All that said, this pays better than fast food and is a better environment overall. However, the wage paid for this has dropped considerably, talking to friends who scored there a few years ago. I found out that their competitor pays better and will watch for the next time that company needs scorers. But I would go back here if I needed a temp job. Like IRS this is seasonal, mostly 4th-12th grade. If you know what you are getting going in, then I'd say go for it. I'd recommend that Pearson let people know that if they get good at this, their hourly wage will increase. Give them some incentive to stay with you other than an odd job market. Your web site says you are dedicated to kids and to education. Dedicating some time and effort to retaining temp worker's loyalty would be a good investment. You might keep the best scorers and also get good people applying to the other side of the wall. Also, check out the facilities. I never saw so many people getting sick so fast.

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  1. Helpful (1)

    Massive global educational conglomerate in disruption, but self-aware, professional, and conscientious.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY

    I have been working at Pearson full-time (More than 3 years)

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Its a British culture and staff treat each other, vendors, and customers with great respect and demeanor. As of late, first-class facilities in NYC. Excellent pay and benefits. Speaking your mind is encouraged and does not result in repercussions even if controversial.

    Cons

    Institutional education is a very frustrating business to be in because of the limitations of what schools are budgeted and trained to purchase. This is a very siloed company due to numerous acquisitions, so work experiences may vary greatly - its impossible to 'see' the whole company.

    Advice to Management

    Scardino and Shore were on the right track - Pearson needs to continue to reinvent itself on an ongoing basis by each employee working to change the culture to modern standards. Fallon is right too - we need to service our revenue products to make sure we are funded. Its a challenge I don't envy, but there cannot be big gaps of time in which staff are not clearly communicated the message, direction we are going in today, and the status of their resources with which to do it. The tech side is fast-emerging, but is hamstrung by non-engineering management.


  2. Helpful (2)

    Great place to make a difference

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Software Developer in Centennial, CO
    Current Employee - Senior Software Developer in Centennial, CO

    I have been working at Pearson full-time (More than 5 years)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Smart people. Challenging projects. You can use more modern technologies. Hackathons are fun. Innovation is rewarded.

    Cons

    Infrastructure changes are causing some hiccups. Some parts of the organization have too much red tape involved and that can really slow you down.

    Advice to Management

    There are a ton of great people at Pearson but there are some bad apples with bad attitudes that tend to bring others down. Let them go and make room for some more positive people.


There are newer employer reviews for Pearson
There are newer employer reviews for Pearson

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