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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

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

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

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

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

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

“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

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

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

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

Gifted elementary kids in California could go straight to college.

Gifted elementary kids in California could go straight to college. Students of any age, even kindergarten, could demand to take the state's high school proficiency examination under legislation approved recently by the Assembly. Passage of the test -- which measures reading, writing and arithmetic skills -- would qualify young students to enter community colleges as if they had obtained their high school diplomas.

Academically, these kids may be ready for college, but are they mature enough to handle being surrounded by students six to ten years their senior?
posted by DakotaPaul on Jun 20, 2002 - 42 comments

Today's high school seniors a bunch of scientific know nothings?

Today's high school seniors a bunch of scientific know nothings? According to the most recent national test results, it would appear so. Is this a case that the money is thrown in areas that will make the SATs look good? If that's the case, has that been money well spent? Is it really just a case of money? Whatever the answer, it sort of makes you fear for the future.
posted by MAYORBOB on Nov 21, 2001 - 37 comments

Math text battles.

Math text battles. Teachers unanimously recommended textbook series that helps students understand mathematical concepts. School Board ignored them and picked Saxon texts that promise to "raise scores on standardized tests." Are we teaching students to understand, or to score high and get politicians off the hook?
posted by darren on May 17, 2001 - 16 comments

warning! too much testing is hazardous to your health!

warning! too much testing is hazardous to your health! is it just me, or is this silly?
posted by fuzzygeek on Apr 26, 2001 - 30 comments

California offers schools payola for improved test scores.

California offers schools payola for improved test scores. Why not just pay the students directly? That would raise scores a lot faster!
posted by Mr. skullhead on Jul 14, 2000 - 1 comment

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