A Prof Debunks Standardized Testing & Pearson Strikes Back

All this emphasis on standardized testing in the schools sure makes lots of sense to the purveyors of standardized tests. Stroup testified that for $468 million the Legislature had bought a pile of stress and wasted time from Pearson Education, the biggest player in the standardized-testing industry. Lest anyone miss that Stroup’s message threatened Pearson’s hegemony in the accountability industry, Rep. Jimmie Don Aycock (R-Killeen) brought Stroup’s testimony to a…

Nervous job candidates.

What employers really want? Workers they don’t have to train

I do teach a number of very practical courses, but my overall goal as a teacher is not to train students to use any particular software that might be in demand; rather, my goal is to train students to solve problems, deal with the unexpected, etc. Those skills will help them get internships, which in turn will give them the practical experience employers want. More companies are hiring from the…


Highlighters and Intellectual Growth in College

Tucked away in this article on how to avoid being a helicopter parent is a little soliloquy on how a student’s use of a highlighter mirrors his or her intellectual growth. (In my freshman writing class, I usually make a big show, in the first week or two, of throwing one student’s highlighter out into the hallway, telling the class that with a highlighter, you can only agree with or ignore…

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Robot Dramas: Autonomous Machines in the Limelight on Stage and in Society

A thoughtful overview of robots in culture, addressing the fear and hope that go hand-in-hand when humans reflect upon, fictionalize, and create our relationships with with mechanical workers of all stripes. Aaron Dubrow, National Science Foundation media officer, includes his perceptions of a panel on robots in theater, where I brought up the legacy of the 1920s Czech play that introduced the word “robot.” Theater is not an arena where the NSF…


Robert Morris University to offer video game scholarships

Robert Morris University’s video game scholarships make exactly as much sense to me as sports scholarships. “It’s a team sport,” Melcher said. “There’s strategy involved. You have to know your role in the game. Obviously it’s not cardiovascular in any way, but it’s mental. There are elements that go into it that are just like any other sport.” Since news of the scholarships broke last week, Melcher said, the school…