Sunday, September 12, 2010

KIDS START EGALITARIAN, END UP MERITOCRATIC

Let the competition begin! It seems we develop ideas of inequality when we progress through grade school. We start out believing in equality for everyone, but by adolescence, we're deeply committed to meritocracies. Find out why.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Turning Study Habits on its Head

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/07/health/views/07mind.html
Turns out it's not always a good idea to set aside one place to study every night...

Monday, September 6, 2010

WHEN DOES HOLDING TEACHERS ACCOUNTABLE GO TOO FAR?

The Los Angeles Times invited pandemonium when a team of its reporters published a value-added analysis of Los Angeles School Districts' individual teachers' progress scores, saying it was providing transparency for parents. The technique used is controversial, to say nothing of the report and its release. And then in Washington, school chancellor Michelle Rhee fired over 100 teachers before school started, based on value-added scores. Is it an appropriate measure of accountability? As this article points out, value-added scores are often swayed by the appointment of students to classes; it's not a random system, so lower scores accompany low-skilled learners in the first place. Some suggestions included here: improving standardized tests and adding peer reports to teacher evaluations. And here's one: how about transparency for student homework and studying? 

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Value-Added Modeling

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/01/education/01teacher.html
Value-added modeling: is it a fair system of evaluating teachers?