Perdido 03

Perdido 03

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Questar Assessment Brands Itself As "Fresh, Innovative," But Sounds Just As Problematic As Pearson

Press release from Questar Assessment, loaded with the usual reformy claptrap:

MINNEAPOLIS, June 19, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Questar Assessment Inc., a K–12 assessment solutions provider focused on building a bridge between accountability and student learning, has announced a brand update to highlight its market-leading approach to large scale and local assessments. 

 
Questar Assessment is reimagining how assessments can empower educators to see opportunities for change to improve instruction and fully prepare students for college or career. The new logo features bold colors and an open, dynamic form that brings the company's forward-thinking spirit to life, while the change to a sans serif font complements the logo and reflects the company's 21st century mindset. The new brand aligns Questar's visual identity to its mission of building a bridge between accountability and learning and shows the company's singular, creative, and technology-driven approach to both state and local assessments. 

"Questar is a unique assessment provider and our new brand speaks to our differences. We are helping states and districts rediscover the power of assessments and reimagine the value they can offer to educators, students, and parents," said Jamie Post Candee, Questar Assessment president and CEO. "Our new brand reflects the originality of our approach to student assessment and we are incredibly excited about the results and the new direction of the Questar brand."  

About Questar Assessment Inc.

Questar Assessment Inc. is a K–12 assessment solutions provider focused on building a bridge between accountability and student learning. We take a fresh and innovative approach to meaningful assessment design, delivery, scoring, analysis, and reporting. And we are reimagining how assessments can empower educators to see opportunities for change to improve instruction and fully prepare students for college or career. Our high-quality, reliable assessment products and services are easily scaled and tailored to meet state and districts' specific needs at an unprecedented value. 
Educators trust our high-performing teams and proven processes to minimize risks and ensure success for states, districts, schools, and students. Questar is based in Minneapolis, Minnesota and can be reached at www.questarai.com/ or 800-800-2598.

Yes, they're excited at Questar about the direction of the new brand and they really like the new logo - isn't that swell!

Alas, some employees aren't so excited:

Too many chiefs in way over their heads. Let go many of the best and the brightest last July-the people with the experience, positive reputations, and contacts/relationships to move us forward. Remaining management got rid of people who they felt would not support their "new direction." However, it also left them without the knowledge and experience base to maintain the high standards we had always provided. What they really did was to eliminate anyone who would ask questions and not just blindly follow.

Advice to Management

You have created an atmosphere of anxiety because most of the people who did not lose their job last July are in constant fear of losing them now- either by being fired or because the company will go under. Many if us jumped switch when we saw the writing on the wall. Take care of the people you have left. Ask questions and really listen to the answers.

Sounds like they got rid of long-time employees, perhaps because they wanted to knock off the institutional memory to ease the "new direction" they wanted to pursue, perhaps because they wanted to cut costs, perhaps because of a combination of the two.

In any case, while Questar pushes its new brand with cliche-ridden press releases, the story from inside Questar from some current and some former employees seems to be there are a lot of problems (I covered complaints about cost-squeezing, a glitch-laden testing process, and managerial incompetence here.)

It's great that Pearson got the axe, but I'm not going to get too excited that New York dropped Pearson for Questar now that I see some red flags coming from current and former employees at the company.

Under-staffed, overworked, managers who can't answer questions about the tests, glitch-laden test scanning and scheduling, departments that don't communicate with each other and employees in constant fear and anxiety over their jobs - doesn't sound like much improvement to me over Pearson.

9 comments:

  1. Did anyone honestly expect a improvement?

    The Pearson had become toxic. They needed a new testing company to pull the wool over parents eyes, a least for a while so thousands of educators can lose their jobs .

    New name, same shit.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Did anyone honestly expect an improvement?

    The Pearson name had become toxic. They needed a new testing company to pull the wool over parents' eyes, a least for a while so thousands of educators can lose their jobs .

    New name, same shit.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Wishing upon a Questar for a pot of gold from the education market. This is classic re-branding from fantasy Marketing 101

    Ka-Ching for the Uber Rich! Hurrah hurrah Hurrah!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Is Questar a Buy , Sell or Hold, Cramer?

    ReplyDelete
  5. Wishing upon a Questar for a pot of gold from the education market. This is classic re-branding from fantasy Marketing 101

    Ka-Ching for the Uber Rich! Hurrah hurrah Hurrah!

    ReplyDelete

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    ReplyDelete