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Ghost in the Machine, except to other Scorers

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

I worked at Pearson as a contractor for less than a year

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 ManagementAdvice

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.

Recommends
Neutral Outlook
No opinion of CEO

Other Reviews for Pearson

  1. 3 people found this helpful  

    Years ago, a great company. Now, not so much.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Procurement  in  Upper Saddle River, NJ
    Current Employee - Procurement in Upper Saddle River, NJ

    I have been working at Pearson full-time for more than 10 years

    Pros

    Flexible working hours. Great vacation, sick and personal time benefits

    Cons

    The overall vibe and energy of this company is poor. It's making people bitter that every month there are more and more people losing their jobs, and management can't give us guidelines. to the remaining folks, to follow, to keep our jobs. The negative people are allowed to contitne to be negative, and it spoils the vibe for everyone.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Try to show you care about the working environment. Say thank you occassionally.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  2. 2 people found this helpful  

    Must love publishing, and be willing to work for cheap.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Marketing Assistant  in  San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Marketing Assistant in San Francisco, CA

    I have been working at Pearson full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    If you're passionate about publishing, this is a good place to be. However, the pay is very low and the way to move up is to either work longer hours with no extra pay, or to become a sales rep and move. If you have no interest in being a textbook sales rep, I wouldn't necessarily recommend this to you. But, if it's more important to you to have a good work-life balance and time off, this is a great place to be! They have summer hours from Memorial day to Labor Day where you can work extra hours in the day Mon-Thurs to have a half day on Friday. There are plenty of days off and for the most part, everyone in the building is a job to work with!

    Cons

    As I've mentioned before, the pay is below adequate. And there is no clear path for growth or development. On the editorial team there is a clear direction for how to move up. Marketing does not have this.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Management never thinks about the little people in the company. They're all too worried about how much money they will make. The new policy has been, when someone leaves, to not replace them. With this model, the people who hurt are the lowest men and women on the totem pole. They end up doing multiple jobs for the same amount of pay.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
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