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January 23, 2009

Wish #2: The End of Proficiency Only Accountability Systems

The No Child Left Behind Act may represent the largest threshold-based government accountability system in the country. Schools are evaluated not by how much progress students make, but by their success in pushing students over the proficiency bar. By now, you're probably familiar with the disconten...

December 17, 2008

NYC's Trojan Horse

skoolboy has absolutely nothing of substance to say about Education Secretary nominee Arne Duncan, whom he has met exactly once. But he continues to mouth off about New York City's Teacher Data Reports, the NYC Department of Education's version of value-added assessment. Which are not to be used...

December 15, 2008

Don't Think about Elephants

"Don’t think about elephants," skoolboy’s father used to joke, long before George Lakoff’s manifesto with a similar name. The joke, of course, is that by trying not to think about elephants, all that you can think about is elephants. The harder I tried not to think about elephants, the mor...

November 12, 2008

School Progress Grade Effects on NYC Achievement: Tame, Fierce, or a Hot Mess?

skoolboy ventured into the rarified air of NYC’s Harvard Club yesterday to hear Marcus Winters present his new Manhattan Institute research on the effects of the 2006-07 New York City School Progress Reports on students’ 2008 performance on state math and English tests in grades four through e...

October 01, 2008

Why skoolboy Is Uncertain about the NYC School Progress Reports

It’s election season, which means that we’re being inundated with polls. The reporting of poll results drives statisticians nuts, because the press often reports the percentage of those surveyed who favor one candidate or another, without taking into account the poll’s margin of error. The m...

September 30, 2008

No Child Left Behind: Looking Back, Looking Forward

I'm knee deep in old NCLB documents, and ran across the Department of Education's NCLB song. NCLB represented not only a major shift in federal education policy, but an embrace of policy/PR boosterism that's enough to make all of us giggle (Remember Armstrong Williams?). Back from 2002, here are the...

September 24, 2008

Could a Monkey Do a Better Job of Predicting Which Schools Show Student Progress in English Skills than the New York City Department of Education?

eduwonkette and I have been blogging about the School Progress Reports released last week by the New York City Department of Education. We’ve shown that, although the performance and environment scores of schools were pretty consistent from last year to this year, the student progress scores we...

September 23, 2008

What Does Educational Testing Really Tell Us? An Interview with Daniel Koretz

Daniel Koretz, a professor who teaches educational measurement at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, generously agreed to field a few questions about educational testing. He is the author of Measuring Up: What Educational Testing Really Tells Us. EW: What are the three most common misconcepti...

September 17, 2008

Between a Political Rock and a Statistical Hard Place

Some days, skoolboy feels bad for the hard-working folks in the New York City Department of Education. They’re caught between a political rock and a statistical hard place. The political rock is the New York State accountability system, which complies with No Child Left Behind’s requirements...

September 17, 2008

Guest Blogger Daniel Koretz on New York City's Progress Reports

Daniel Koretz is a professor who teaches educational measurement at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. He is the author of Measuring Up: What Educational Testing Really Tells Us. Below, he weighs in on the NYC Progress Reports that were released yesterday. eduwonkette: One of the key points o...

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