MCAS 2001 – Hindsight is 220

Last week, with relatively little fanfare, the Massachusetts Board of Elementary and Secondary Education voted to “raise MCAS graduation requirements” beginning with the Class of 2026 (i.e., students beginning high school this fall). Although the approved requirements do have the effect of “raising” the test-based graduation requirements as reported, what they actually do is alignContinue reading “MCAS 2001 – Hindsight is 220”

Public Schools – In Need of Serious Change

Back To School season is here!  It’s one of the few special times of the year that marketers cannot overextend, although they have tried. We accept Halloween candy appearing in the aisles as soon as Christmas in July ends and non-stop Christmas movies and music beginning the week before Halloween, but nobody wants to seeContinue reading “Public Schools – In Need of Serious Change”

Slow Down, You Move Too Fast

Once again, those of us on the technical side of large-scale assessment and educational measurement find ourselves behind the curve. In the 1990s, the public clamored for achievement levels and criterion-based results while we were comfortable reporting percentile ranks and grade equivalent scores. Just as we were “getting a handle” on standard setting and percentContinue reading “Slow Down, You Move Too Fast”

Grading the Grading Arguments

Recently, Daniel Buck, a Fordham Institute Teaching Fellow, argued against grading policies that arbitrarily place a lower limit on student scores of 50 points on a 100-point scale.  Buck’s piece elicited a response from Douglas Reeves. The Buck-Reeves exchange and the very mention of Zero Grades incited a response from Scott Marion. Thinking about theirContinue reading “Grading the Grading Arguments”

10,000 Hours

The so-called “Ten-Thousand Hour Rule” became popularized after the 2008 publication of Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers: The Story of Success. By popularized, of course, I mean that the discussion of the relationship between success and 10,000 hours of preparation presented by Gladwell was simplified and bastardized so that it could be deliberately misapplied when presented toContinue reading “10,000 Hours”