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August 22, 2008

skoolboy Goes to the Olympics, IV: Differences across Schools

skoolboy’s jaunt to the Olympics concludes today with an examination of how much going to one school versus another matters for students’ achievement in different countries. The basic approach is to look at the average achievement in a sample of schools within a country, and to see how much tho...

August 12, 2008

skoolboy Goes to the Olympics, III: Socioeconomic Status

skoolboy doesn’t know who was the first to say that the true measure of a society is how it treats its weakest members, but it’s an appealing proposition. All societies have children and adults who vary in their economic, social and cultural status within the society. In virtually every modern...

August 11, 2008

skoolboy Goes to the Olympics, II: Gender

On Friday, eduwonkette wondered about how gender figured into my Olympics-inspired international comparison of high student literacy in math and science. Ask and you shall receive, e. Today I’m reporting data on the percentage of males and females in different countries and economies that are hi...

August 08, 2008

skoolboy Goes to the Olympics

skoolboy has always found Olympic medal counts by country to be silly. Sure, it's fine to take pride in the accomplisments of one's countrymen and countrywomen. But the Olympics for me are about appreciating excellence, regardless of the flag (or swoosh) on the uniform. Ah, but student achievement...

August 06, 2008

Cool People You Should Know: Suet-Ling Pong

Regular readers know that eduwonkette was an early endorser of the Broader, Bolder Approach to Education policy statement crafted by Sunny Ladd, Pedro Noguera, and Tom Payzant, and co-signed by some of skoolboy’s favorite scholars, policymakers and activists. The fundamental premise of the pol...

July 28, 2008

Cool People You Should Know: Jim Spillane

The current policy discourse about teachers and teaching in the U.S. emphasizes the recruitment and retention of “high-quality” teachers, defined either by the teachers’ credentials, or their value-added influence on students’ achievement, or both. It has not, in skoolboy’s view, paid s...

July 09, 2008

The Rhetoric of Reform: Does Research Count?

“Better schools. Higher scores. And satisfied parents. That's the record of the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program.” Thus begins Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings’ column in yesterday’s Washington Post. In this piece, she seeks to rally public support to renew the DC Opportunit...

July 04, 2008

Happy Independence Day!

Happy Independence Day! Today is an opportunity to reflect on the ideals and principles that founded this great country, and to renew our commitment to uphold and support them when we see signs of erosion and compromise. What does it mean to be a citizen in the modern world? In the coming yea...

July 02, 2008

Educational Testing: A Brief Glossary

While you’re waiting for Dan Koretz’ book on testing to arrive – I think eduwonkette and I should get some kind of consideration for shilling for this book so often here – here’s a brief skoolboy’s-eye view on testing. Actual psychometricians are welcome to correct what I have to say. ...

July 01, 2008

An Immodest Proposal

This year’s statewide fourth-grade math exam administered in New York State -- the one with the remarkably high gains -- contained the following item: “Janice bought a notebook for $3.75 and a pencil for $0.47. She gave the cashier $5.00. How much money did Janice receive in change?” Th...

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