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Children have Reacted Viscerally to the Tests

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 - 36 comments

 

Accountability in the Indiana school system

"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 - 72 comments

How the Other Half Tests

"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 test for credit-bearing work." The consequences can be dramatic.
posted by eotvos on Apr 21, 2013 - 55 comments

Michelle Rhee's "Reign of Error"

DCPS Chancellor Michelle Rhee oversaw radical reforms to Washington, DC's failing public schools. Amongst the results were widespread irregularities on standardized tests that suggest they were tampered with by adults. [more inside]
posted by Westringia F. on Apr 14, 2013 - 72 comments

E.U. to Ban Cosmetics With Animal-Tested Ingredients

E.U. regulators are expected to announce Monday a ban on the import and sale of cosmetics containing ingredients tested on animals and to pledge more efforts to push other parts of the world, like China, to accept alternatives. [more inside]
posted by The Illiterate Pundit on Mar 11, 2013 - 27 comments

Sense About Science

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 - 9 comments

Teachers boycott standardized testing

Teachers at two Seattle high schools have decided to boycott a district-required standardized test. [more inside]
posted by showbiz_liz on Jan 15, 2013 - 99 comments

Measure 4 times, cut once.

"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 - 30 comments

The Study of Cartridge Blowing

Did Blowing into Nintendo Cartridges Really Help? Mental_Floss takes a look at what a daily blow does to an NES cartridge.
posted by hot_monster on Sep 24, 2012 - 55 comments

Cave Prime from Earth One

25 extra minutes of Cave Johnson - taken Portal 2's Perpetual Testing Initiative DLC.
posted by Artw on May 11, 2012 - 33 comments

Teach to the test, or not

A Didactic Tale to Illustrate Just How Much the (new NYC) Teacher Rating System Pisses Me Off.
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Mar 12, 2012 - 69 comments

Science isn't about why - it's about why not

No GLaDOS. No Chell. No portals. Set in the 1980s. Competitive multiplayer. Multiple endings. The Portal 2 That Could Have Been.
posted by Artw on Mar 9, 2012 - 44 comments

they are creative in away that no one would imagen

'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 - 8 comments

When adults take the high school achievement test.

Could you pass your state's standard high school level achievement test today? One school board member, a successful business executive with multiple college degrees, took his state's 10th grade achievement test. He failed.
posted by COD on Dec 5, 2011 - 183 comments

The Mouse Trap

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 - 21 comments

Inside the multimillion-dollar essay-scoring business

With the institution of No Child Left Behind, educational testing in the US boomed. Now, some of the low paid temp workers hired to score these tests are speaking out about the behind the scenes manipulation that goes on to ensure test scores are in line with "customer expectations".
posted by reenum on Mar 7, 2011 - 142 comments

The Beagle Freedom Project

After lifetimes confined in a medical testing facility, beagles Freedom and Bigsby see sunlight and feel grass for the first time. [via America's second most famous beagle owner.]
posted by Joe Beese on Jan 25, 2011 - 53 comments

Anxiety and test-taking

A study just published in Science finds that students who briefly write about their testing anxieties do better on the subsequent test. The abstract at Science, and a podcast interview with Sian Beilock, one of the study authors.
posted by OmieWise on Jan 14, 2011 - 14 comments

Good News for Pregnant Needlephobes....

Invasive amniocentesis and chorionic villi sampling (CVS) tests are commonly used to determine the chromosomal, structural and genetic abnormalities in fetuses. But could they eventually become obsolete? A Chinese study has found that a complete copy of the fetal genome exists in the mother's blood, suggesting many prenatal diagnoses could potentially be performed noninvasively. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Dec 8, 2010 - 30 comments

Going SAT Free

Some colleges have decided to take SAT scores out of the admissions decision making process. But, some are alleging that this is only a way to game the rankings by excluding the scores of admitted students who didn't do well.
posted by reenum on Nov 5, 2010 - 105 comments

What about poor Drosophilia?

I am trained and experienced in animal testing, and I am not ashamed of this fact. There, I’m out.
posted by shiu mai baby on Oct 29, 2010 - 93 comments

“The purple glow in the sky — that was so eerie”

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 - 6 comments

"Don't think it hasn't been a little slice of heaven...'cause it hasn't!"

Three newly approved 'in vitro' toxicity tests using artificial human skin are reducing the need for animal testing of cosmetics and chemicals. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Sep 4, 2010 - 10 comments

"UC Berkeley offer to test DNA of incoming students sparks debate"

LA Times: "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 - 29 comments

Testing the game of play

Penny Arcade TV did an episode on game testing recently. It followed their thought process on coming up with a comic about Sony's reality show The Tester. [more inside]
posted by P.o.B. on Mar 5, 2010 - 19 comments

Google Asks: "What Would Email Look Like, If It Were Invented Today?"

Google began inviting volunteers to a public preview test of their new Wave web-based collaborative email and document communications platform yesterday, which enables users to "communicate and work together in real time." Initial reviews this past May seemed positive. (Previously) [more inside]
posted by zarq on Oct 1, 2009 - 75 comments

Under a Nuclear Cloud

Under a Nuclear Cloud (Reportage by Gettyimages) The results of using villagers as human guinea pigs in "preparing" for nuclear war.
posted by spock on Jul 30, 2009 - 25 comments

Be all that you can be

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 - 42 comments

common reactor

Babies born in 1954 have more Carbon-14 in their DNA ; trees have rings with a spike of C14 in that year, and even ringless equatorial trees will show an increase of radiocarbon if they were alive in 1954.

In the mid 1950s the United States, Britain, France and Russia tested not quite a million nuclear weapons. Maybe some part of them is still with you.
posted by plexi on Nov 16, 2008 - 63 comments

Tiered internet use

Timewarner has set a precedent by creating tiered internet use that is capped at certain levels. Pricing will be about $29.95 per month for a 5 GB monthly cap to $54.90 per month for a 40 GB cap.
posted by ejaned8 on Jun 4, 2008 - 64 comments

pee in this!

Federal Court rules Drug-Free Workplace Laws are unconstitutional. A federal appeals court ruled Thursday a city can't require all job applicants to be tested for narcotics and must instead show why drug use in a particular job would be dangerous. Decision here (warning PDF)
posted by parmanparman on Mar 14, 2008 - 87 comments

Unique aircraft testing videos.

Load testing a Boeing 777 wing. To failure! Also, engine testing, and maximum rejected takeoff.
posted by loquacious on Jan 22, 2007 - 26 comments

HIV Test for Everyone?

CDC Recommends it for Everyone between 13 and 60 This seems like a very expensive proposition. It appears more people are living with this virus without knowing about it.
posted by henryw on Sep 21, 2006 - 57 comments

"We were surprised by how few had tested their websites with disabled users," he said.

Usability Exchange -- 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 - 17 comments

This subpart applies to all research involving children as

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 - 43 comments

Boom

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 - 15 comments

Protestors Finished in Under a Minute

Scary Sci-fi inspired riot control being discussed in the New Scientist. I did check to see if this had been posted before...
posted by lerrup on Jul 21, 2005 - 29 comments

Got psychic powers?

GotPsi online testing. Many people have had precognitive dreams and successful intuitive hunches and would like to know if they have psychic abilities.
posted by nickyskye on Jun 20, 2005 - 32 comments

New SAT - Know the score

This month the first batch of students will take the newly revised SAT. While the test has been modified before, an entirely new writing section will be added, and the top score will now be 2400. While parents panic, the $960 million test-prep industry is poised to teach the test that was once considered uncoachable. Not every school will be using the new writing section, but some big ones (pdf) were behind the push for its adoption. What’s a student to do?
posted by Coffeemate on Mar 1, 2005 - 78 comments

The FDA's for Losers.

New York's HIV Experiment. Need test subjects for your highly experimental, possibly lethal drugs but don't want to deal with consent issues? Don't worry, New York City's Association for Children's Services has got you covered! Just ask GlaxoSmithKline about its continuing antiretroviral drug trials. Not only does the ACS provide it and other pharmaceutical companies with high-quality HIV-positive orphans and foster children, but it administers the drugs to them as well! Kids not willing to take the pills? The ACS will stick peg-tubes in their stomachs. Foster parents refusing to give kids the drugs? The ACS will charge them with abuse and put the kids somewhere else. Wondering about Tuskegee comparisons or how the combination of side-effects like diarrhea and swollen joints with no evidence of benefits fits into a cost-benefit analysis? Why? This is the ACS! They can do whatever they want.
posted by schroedinger on Dec 2, 2004 - 81 comments

Forced medical testing

I found this and was quite surprised that it would happen to anyone (then I kept reading and was more surprised). But at least this kid was a semi-adult and chose the school he went to. But, it's been done to children, too. Perhaps they've never heard of HIPAA. (via Entertainer)
posted by nospecialfx on Nov 28, 2004 - 22 comments

updated server

The new server's up and until MetaTalk comes back to life, I wanted to keep this post up to track bugs. If you find one, let me know here.
posted by mathowie on Oct 29, 2004 - 54 comments

Check out the big brains on these guys!

Human Intelligence is a good site from Indiana University that looks at historical influences and current controversies surrounding the study of intelligence. Find out more about topics such as "the Mozart Effect", the theory of multiple intelligences, and the influence of birth order on intelligence, and then browse the brains behind the history of inquiry into human intellect.
posted by taz on Sep 23, 2004 - 2 comments

patents gone wild

Which abuse of the patent system are you? Take this test to find out. Now that they got it, they're beating distance learning colleges over the head with it, for money. Another obvious bit of programming turns lucrative for one company.
posted by mathowie on Mar 30, 2004 - 12 comments

FoodExpert-ID Chip

"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 - 15 comments

The Texas Miracle

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 - 28 comments

Teaching the Test in Texas

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 - 31 comments

Lowest of the low

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 - 17 comments

No Child Left Behind?

No Child Left Behind? States dumb down tests to avoid losing federal education funding.
posted by dogmatic on May 22, 2003 - 8 comments

The Inkblot, Revealed

Is that a blot I see before me?

Actually, no. At least not a Rorschach blot... "Most people have heard of the Rorschach test (pronounced "raw-shock"), but few have ever seen a real Rorschach inkblot. The blots are kept secret. When you see an inkblot in a popular article on the test, it's a fake: it's an inkblot, but not one of the inkblots. There are only ten Rorschach inkblots." Viewing the information on this page will compromise administration of the Rorschach test, invalidating your answers, so if you want to take the test in the future, don't peek. The site creators, however, recommend that you don't take the controversial test, and provide an outline (literally) of the blots, including information regarding scoring, analysis, and expected or "normal" answers, as well as some "red-flag" responses. In other words, a Rorschach cheat-sheet. (more..)
posted by taz on Feb 15, 2003 - 39 comments

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