From The Guide to Wrangling Freelancers: Help Freelancers Love Their Work

“All paid jobs absorb and degrade the mind.” In the immortal words of Aristotle. The question is does work have to make people miserable? (If you don’t know whether you hate your job, you can take this quiz to find out.) I propose that it doesn’t; we don’t all have to feel like drafthorses harnessed to pull wagons […]

Follow Your Dream: How I Got Started in K-12 Test Development

Consider that of all of the people I know in K-12 assessment content development, of all the people I know who write the reading passages and questions that appear on tests, not a single one entered this business intentionally. Not one. No one as a child ever looked up from bubbling in circles on a standardized […]

From The Guide to Wrangling Freelancers: Sweet Talk the Talent by Showing Appreciation

Compliments seem like a good idea, but don’t always work out as planned. Some people view compliments with suspicion; others are mildly allergic to them. I like them when they seem real, but when they devolve into flattery, I find them irritating. When I say that in wrangling freelancers we need to sweet talk the talent, […]

Mark-up: Annotating Text for Item Writing

Consider this Part II of how to avoid writing superficial items. I thought it might be helpful to give a real example of what annotating text for item writing might look like. I started out by doing what I usually do: printing out a page and marking it up. But! My handwriting is bad. Not […]

The Dunce Is Us: The Real Problem with the Common Core Standards

Oh, come on. Sometimes it is just plain embarrassing to be American: ….fewer than half of Americans have heard a “fair amount” or “great deal” about the Common Core. Despite that lack of familiarity with the standards, 60 percent of the poll respondents say they oppose the Common Core being used in their own local […]