In China, there are now more than 200 Waldorf elementary schools
, filled with the children whose parents are looking for a more child-centered alternative to the test-driven state education system
. Why can't Chinese schools be more like American schools? Meanwhile, in America, Stephen Pinker argues that Harvard and other elite universities are wasting their resources on athletes and musicians, and should select students by standardized test scores
, the way Chinese colleges do. Why can't American schools be more like Chinese schools?
"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]
"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
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]
A Didactic Tale
to Illustrate Just How Much the (new NYC) Teacher Rating
System Pisses Me Off.
'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
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.
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".
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]
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
No Child Left Behind?
States dumb down tests to avoid losing federal education funding.
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?
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.
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?
California offers schools payola for improved test scores.
Why not just pay the students directly? That would raise scores a lot faster!