Standardized Testing
3

An Opt Out Letter That Speaks to All Parents

One household notifies the authorities that their son will no longer be participating in state-mandated high-stakes testing, citing the impact it has on the child. Here is an excerpt from the letter, as published by Education Roundtable. Students – who mature at vastly different paces – should not ever be measured by a mass-produced blunt instrument. I will no longer allow our son to be a part of this mythological…

20131011-112833.jpg
2

SAT essay section: Problems with grading, instruction, and prompts.

In my freshman writing courses I work hard to convince students that many of the strategies that helped them get by in high school simply won’t lead to college-level work. For instance, I actually read their drafts, ask probing questions about their goals, options, and strategic choices, and then expect their revisions to follow up on that feedback. I had high school English teachers who worked some drafting and revision…

Screen Shot 2013-10-10 at 1.34.45 PM

Obamacare’s broken website cost more than LinkedIn, Spotify combined

Much of the criticism of Healthcare.gov has come from people who are fundamentally opposed to the idea of a government-mandaded website that manages the individual citizen’s purchase of health insurance from private providers. So, while I have been following with shock and dismay the  horror stories (long waits, incomprehensible error message, unhelpful live chats, unpopulated drop-down lists, etc.), when the critique of the website is used to justify opposition to…

A teacher’s troubling account of giving a 106-question standardized test to 11 year olds

All of that test-taking robs students of real learning time. This teacher reports that her students lost four class periods alone taking the GRADE. Even worse, her students are about to take another round of tests, the CDT’s, which are given on computers. Because the school’s classes are too large to fit in the computer lab, and there are so many classes that need to schedule testing, the lab won’t…

A Catholic Case Against MOOCs

Catholic universities can be true leaders in higher education. Instead of following the hype, they can reassert the belief that education is a moral enterprise that develops human dignity and promotes social justice.MOOCs not only fail to accomplish those goals; they undermine them. And if large Catholic universities pursued strategic aims through MOOCs, they could end up pushing smaller Catholic colleges, including ones sponsored by the same religious orders, out…

20130930-092839.jpg
3

Computer grading will destroy our schools (says a humanist whose appeal to the humanities will be ignored by technologists)

Sadly, the people who are spending (and receiving) the huge sums of money to support the dehumanization of essay-grading are not the ones who will be swayed by an appeal to the humanities. Once the use of automated essay grading becomes common knowledge, the implicit message will be hard to miss. For any self-aware, warm-blooded American teenager, the conclusion will be all but inescapable: Nobody cares what you have to…

Comedian punches reporter who tweet-heckled him at ‘Funniest Celebrity in Washington’ contest

The tweets in question were pretty mild. In my journalism class, we’ve been talking a bit about the value of having a thick skin and taking the high road. Here’s an example of what can happen in the real world. Stand-up comic Dan Nainan, a comedy club road warrior whose credits include performing for President Obama, was arrested for allegedly punching a reporter in the face Wednesday night after his…