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 Time, cost, security, well-intentioned but ill-conceived federal regulations, and outdated peer review expectations all tightly shape the who, what, when, where, why, and how of state testing.Continue reading “Don’t Be Constrained by Constraints”

Matrix Sampling: Resurrected

It is impossible to read an article or hear a presentation about the future of large-scale state testing without some discussion of matrix sampling. If your primary concerns about large-scale testing are time and cost, the answer is matrix sampling. If your primary concern is coverage of comprehensive and complex standards like the Next GenerationContinue reading “Matrix Sampling: Resurrected”