For many students in New York, the approach of spring means getting ready for standardized test season. However, many parents, with the encouragement of their children's teachers and administrators, are opting out. [more inside]
posted by roomthreeseventeen
on Jan 23, 2014 -
"I hope we come to the meeting today with solutions and not excuses for me to wiggle myself out of the repeated lies I have told over the last 6 months."
Tony Bennett, the Indiana Superintendent of Public Instruction, had a big problem. Christel House Academy
, a public charter school in Indianapolis founded by time-share magnate
and major GOP donor
Christel DeHaan, had come in with a C on the state's A-F grading scale, thanks to poor scores by 9th and 10th graders in English and math. "They need to understand that anything less than an A for Christel House compromises all of our accountability work," Bennett wrote to a staffer. Fortunately, Bennett's team found a solution, revealed today in staff e-mails obtained by the AP
-- change the state's grading scale so that the offending grades didn't count. Will Bennett be able to hold on as Indiana's top education official? Not to worry: in January, he moved on to the same job in Florida
. [more inside]
posted by escabeche
on Jul 29, 2013 -
"Students are told, reassuringly, that there is no such thing as failing the Accuplacer or the COMPASS. But there is: students who score below a certain number, or “cut score,” flunk the
for credit-bearing work." The consequences can be dramatic
posted by eotvos
on Apr 21, 2013 -
With a database of over 5,000 scientists, from Nobel prize winners to postdocs and PhD students, Sense About Science
works in partnership with scientific bodies, research publishers, policy makers, the public and the media, to change public discussions about science and evidence. They make these scientists available for questions from civic organizations and the public looking for scientific advice from experts
, campaign for the promotion of scientific principles in public policy
, and publish neat guides to understanding science intended for laypeople. [more inside]
posted by Blasdelb
on Feb 28, 2013 -
"We worked through every possible disaster situation," Reed said. "We did three actual all-day sessions of destroying everything we had built
posted by Brandon Blatcher
on Nov 16, 2012 -
'In life, “no two people regard the world in exactly the same way,” as J. W. von Goethe says. Everyone sees and reacts to things in different ways. Even though they may see the world in similar ways, no two people’s views will ever be exactly the same. This statement is true since everyone sees things through different viewpoints
posted by crayz
on Feb 6, 2012 -
That's the drawback of the modern lab mouse. It's cheap, efficient, and highly standardized—all of which qualities have made it the favorite tool of large-scale biomedical research. But as Mattson points out, there's a danger to taking so much of our knowledge straight from the animal assembly line. The inbred, factory-farmed rodents in use today—raised by the millions in germ-free barrier rooms, overfed and understimulated and in some cases pumped through with antibiotics—may be placing unseen constraints on what we know and learn.
Slate has just finished a three part series on the pitfalls and promises of laboratory animals. (Part 1
, Part 2
, Part 3
) [more inside]
posted by tocts
on Nov 18, 2011 -
Lookout Mountain Laboratories (Hollywood, CA) was originally built in 1941 as an air defense station. But after WWII, the US Air Force repurposed it into a secret film studio which operated for 22 years during the Cold War. The studio produced classified movies for all branches of the US Armed Forces, as well as the Atomic Energy Commission, until it was deactivated in 1969. During this time, cameramen, who referred to themselves as "atomic" cinematographers, were hired to shoot footage of atomic bomb tests in Nevada, Utah, New Mexico and the South Pacific.
Some of their films have been declassified and can be seen here. [more inside]
posted by zarq
on Sep 14, 2010 -
: "When UC Berkeley officials came up with the idea of asking all new students to volunteer a DNA swab as part of an unusual fall orientation program, they expected to stimulate discussion. They weren't quite prepared for how much."
Inside Higher Ed: "Unwinding Berkeley's DNA Test
posted by andoatnp
on Jun 4, 2010 -
The Department of Veterans Affairs has reported that military scientists tested hundreds of chemical and biological substances on them, including VX, tabun, soman, sarin, cyanide, LSD, PCP, and World War I-era blister agents like phosgene and mustard. The full scope of the tests, however, may never be known. As a CIA official explained to the GAO, referring to the agency's infamous MKULTRA mind-control experiments, "The names of those involved in the tests are not available because names were not recorded or the records were subsequently destroyed." Besides, said the official, some of the tests involving LSD and other psychochemical drugs "were administered to an undetermined number of people without their knowledge."
posted by Joe Beese
on May 19, 2009 -
-- a testing service determining site accessibility for disabled users. They're only in the UK now, but it seems like a great idea. Organisations set up their tests online and submit them directly to disabled testers in our database. Testers are then free to complete these tests in their own time, earning money for each test they complete. As tests are completed by users, organisations can view test results, web page logs and other information in real time. More here at BBC, including some concerns.
posted by amberglow
on Mar 17, 2006 -
Who needs bunnies when you have kids to test on?
"Protections for Subjects in Human Research," a newly proposed EPA rule allows for: for government and industry scientists to treat children as human guinea pigs in chemical experiments in the following situations:
1. Children who "cannot be reasonably consulted," such as those that are mentally handicapped or orphaned newborns may be tested on. With permission from the institution or guardian in charge of the individual, the child may be exposed to chemicals for the sake of research.
2. Parental consent forms are not necessary for testing on children who have been neglected or abused.
3. Chemical studies on any children outside of the U.S. are acceptable.
And don't miss the Q&A section below. Sec. 26.408
of the EPA document is where you'll find the provisions and waivers mentioned (it refers to other sections absent from the document, weirdly).
posted by amberglow
on Nov 21, 2005 -
If the radiance of a thousand suns were to burst forth at once in the sky, that would be like the splendor of the Mighty One... I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds.
---> part one and Part two
of Operation Crossroads, one of many atomic testing operations conducted during WWII, documented extensively on film and preserved in excellent condition here at the Archive. For further viewing: Operation Ivy
, the testing of the first hydrogen fusion bomb. Operation Cue
(1955 version), testing bomb damage done to housing and infrastructure. Special Delivery
, a look at the preparation and technology, especially planes, used for the testing. Duck and Cover
, a classic safety film from 1951 detailing the best schoolyard response to a nuclear attack. Caution! Interesting, disturbing, and at least an hour's worth of viewing!
posted by BlackLeotardFront
on Sep 29, 2005 -
"A single test can now reveal the presence
of meat from any of 32 different species in food samples, enabling a wide range of important questions to be answered. These include whether chicken has been bulked up with beef or pork extracts; whether expensive albacore tuna is really cheap skipjack tuna; whether rats, mice or even bits of people fell into the mincer when your burger was being made..."
posted by taragl
on Mar 4, 2004 -
More on the Texas Miracle
It was called the “Texas Miracle,” and you may remember it because President Bush wanted everyone to know about it during his presidential campaign.
It was about an approach to education that was showing amazing results, particularly in Houston, where dropout rates plunged and test scores soared.
Houston School Superintendent Rod Paige was given credit for the school success, by making principals and administrators accountable for how well their students did.
Once he was elected president, Mr. Bush named Paige as secretary of education. And Houston became the model for the president’s “No Child Left Behind” education reform act.
After yesterday's fund raising and self congratulatory orgy in Knoxville TN it seems appropriate that the record be examined more closely. No child left behind indeed.
posted by nofundy
on Jan 9, 2004 -
Teaching the Test As a student at Jefferson Davis High here, Rosa Arevelo seemed the "Texas miracle" in motion. After years of classroom drills, she passed the high school exam required for graduation on her first try. A program of college prep courses earned her the designation "Texas scholar."
At the University of Houston, though, Ms. Arevelo discovered the distance between what Texas public schools called success and what she needed to know. Trained to write five-paragraph "persuasive essays" for the state exam, she was stumped by her first writing assignment. She failed the college entrance exam in math twice, even with a year of remedial algebra. At 19, she gave up and went to trade school.
This doesn't look good for our new, unfunded, "Leave No Child Behind" education bill. Smells like another bait and switch to me.
posted by nofundy
on Dec 3, 2003 -
On 2003 April 5th, a Saturday, at the age of 33, I threw away my dignity, mocked my Ivy League education, disgraced my Master's degree, and proved, in just over three hours, that humans can do things "The System" didn't anticipate. Rather than fight the test, I use the SAT's difficulty to my advantage, leveraging down to a new, elite level of distinction. Verbal: 200. Math: 200.
posted by gottabefunky
on Aug 7, 2003 -