Archives for 2009

Fun with Point Biserials

A few weeks ago, I was spending a lot of time analyzing test data, specifically, the p values and pt. biserials of a set of English language arts tests for grades 3 through 11, in order to determine What Went Wrong. In the preponderance of cases, of course, nothing went wrong. The items performed more […]

An Angry Little Toot from a Lone Brave Whistle-Blower

The books I am reading right now are: Love and Will by Rollo May, Aretha Franklin’s autobiography Aretha: From These Roots, and Daniel Goleman’s Vital Lies, Simple Truths: The Psychology of Self-Deception. And I just finished Making the Grades: My Misadventures in the Standardized Testing Industry. There may not, at first glance, appear to be […]

Poppycock, Folderal, Nonsense

. . . in the immortal words of Todd Farley. About a week ago, someone sent me a link to an Op-Ed piece in the New York Times by Todd Farley, author of Making the Grades: My Misadventures in the Standardized Testing Industry. Farley’s experiences aren’t unique. Like Farley, I am a writer who sort […]

Moral Failings

One of my many, many flaws is that I harbor a regrettable fondness for being right. I won’t say that I told you this just recently, but: Students at Mount Vernon receive an extra 25 days of school a year, comprised of optional intersessions attended by 98 percent of the student body. According to the […]

Why American Kids Fall Behind

Or maybe we should say, “Why American kids who are poor fall behind.” There are many reasons, including the morally reprehensible way schools are funded, which inevitably leads to segregation by class and race and socioeconomic status. (Which adds up to the same thing, really.) Yesterday I was reading Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell, so I […]