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A “Round-Up” Of Recent Good Posts On Education Policy

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Here are several recent good posts and articles on education policy issues:

American Students Are Not Failing is a post by Diane Ravitch that talks about the video I’ve embedded below. I’m adding it to The Best Sites For Getting Some Perspective On International Test Comparison Demagoguery.

Lies, Damn Lies, and Statistics, or What’s Really Up With Automated Essay Scoring is by Todd Farley. I’m adding it to The Best Posts On Computer-Graded Essays.

Computers Grade Essays Fast … But Not Always Well is from NPR. I’m adding it to the same list.

Top 10 List of Public Education Success is from the National School Boards Association.

Here’s a fascinating study that might provide some evidence that “teaching to the test” could provide short-term gains but not be effective over the long-term. I’m just going to reprint the summary from ‘Cengage” (Thanks to Professor Jesse Rothstein for the tip):

At the Air Force Academy, instructors get advance copies of the standardized tests that will be administered to all those taking a given introductory course, and students are randomly assigned to those classes. Instructors must decide how to allocate class time between material that will directly boost test scores and material of perhaps deeper and more lasting value. Scott E. Carrell of UC-Davis and James E. West of the Air Force Academy find that students with less experienced professors perform significantly better in that introductory course, whereas students with more experienced professors perform better in the follow-on related curriculum. One possible explanation is that less experienced professors teach to the test, while more experienced professors offer more comprehensive and more probing analysis. Another possibility is that students who have been spoon-fed test material develop poorer study habits and this shows up in the later courses. A third, more cynical, explanation is that students with the experienced professors work harder in the later courses to make up for the disappointing grade in the introductory course. Regardless, teachers who emphasize the test get better course evaluations than those who provide deeper learning. See “Does Professor Quality Matter? Evidence from the Random Assignment of Students to Professors,” Journal of Political Economy, 118 (June 2010): 409-432.

Are Charter Schools Public Schools? is by Diane Ravitch. I’m adding it to The Best Posts & Articles Analyzing Charter Schools.

‘Flipping’ classrooms: Does it make sense? is by Valerie Strauss at The Washington Post.

Evil geniuses or good simpletons? is by Gary Rubenstein.

The Case of Melinda Gates’ Statement, Solved
is by Diane Ravitch.

Taking Teacher Quality Seriously: A collaborative approach to teacher evaluation
is by Stan Karp at Rethinking Schools. I’m adding it to The Best Resources For Learning About Effective Student & Teacher Assessments.

Backtracking on Florida Exams Flunked by Many, Even an Educator is from The New York Times.

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Author: Larry Ferlazzo

I'm a high school teacher in Sacramento, CA.

3 Comments

  1. Larry, I am a student in EDM 310 at the University of South Alabama and loved this particular blog post of yours. Your video on U.S students vs the world in student performance was very interesting in that it was a reassurance that the students of the U.S are not so bad after all. Your post on computers grading essays faster but maybe not always well could not be any more true. I have always wondered about computer grading myself. I am so glad that you shared the link to the top ten list of public education success. As you stated in your post, there is so many negative outlooks made on public schools and not enough positive. It is so refreshing to know that someone took the time to acknowledge the accomplishments of public schools and to allow them a small pat on the back. The last link that really caught my attention in this post was the flipping of classrooms site. I thought it was very appropriate of you to post this link within this certain post of yours. Once again great job Mr. Larry on your blog and keep up the good work!

  2. Larry, I loved this particular blog post of yours. Your video on U.S students vs the world in student performance was very interesting in that it was a reassurance that the students of the U.S are not so bad after all. Your post on computers grading essays faster but maybe not always well could not be any more true. I have always wondered about computer grading myself. I am so glad that you shared the link to the top ten list of public education success. As you stated in your post, there is so many negative outlooks made on public schools and not enough positive. It is so refreshing to know that someone took the time to acknowledge the accomplishments of public schools and to allow them a small pat on the back. The last link that really caught my attention in this post was the flipping of classrooms site. I thought it was very appropriate of you to post this link within this certain post of yours. Once again great job Mr. Larry on your blog and keep up the good work!

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