Spare Change, State Tests and other Anachronisms

I emptied our spare change jar the other day.  The actual “jar” itself has at times been an empty ricotta container or peanut butter jar. But for years it has sat in the same spot collecting the loose change from our pockets at the end of the day. It’s right there at the entrance toContinue reading “Spare Change, State Tests and other Anachronisms”

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”

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”

Don’t Be Constrained by Constraints

We all know that large scale state testing is bound by constraints. Some might go so far as to argue that state testing is defined by these constraints. Time, cost, security, well-intentioned but ill-conceived federal regulations, and outdated peer review expectations all tightly shape the who, what, when, where, why, and how of state testing.Continue reading “Don’t Be Constrained by Constraints”