I've published the second article in my "Top Ed-Tech Trends of 2015" series. You can find it here.
I also wanted to make note some of the news items that didn't make the story. So I've decided to include those below.
Via Education Week: “The state of Maine, which pulled out of the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium earlier this year, awarded its newest assessment contract to Measured Progress, the state department of education announced Thursday. The $4.14 million contract is for the 2015–16 Maine Educational Assessments in mathematics and ELA/literacy for grades 3–8 and the third-year high school.”
Is New York’s algebra exam too hard?
Coal-rich West Virginia opted to change its version of the Next Generation Science Standards to express doubts about climate change, but then reversed its decision.
Purdue University president Mitch Daniels (formerly the governor of Indiana) wants standardized testing on campus to assess whether or not Purdue students are learning.
From In These Times: “How Mexican Teachers Are Fighting Standardized Tests and Corporate Education Reform.”
Also in January, the Wyoming House of Representatives took steps to overturn a budget provision that banned the state from adopting the Next Generation Science Standards.
“Testing company Pearson – slated to run Indiana’s statewide ISTEP+ tests beginning in 2016 – is facing criticism over security of assessments it handles in other states,” Indiana Public Media reports. (Indiana has chosen to ditch its current testing provider CTB-McGraw Hill to go with Pearson. LOL. Good luck with that!)
“Sen. Rand Paul, Presidential Candidate, Not Opposed to National Testing.” (Just a “national curriculum,” I guess?)
Via Inside Higher Ed: “Chinese applicants to the University of San Francisco need not submit a transcript or an SAT score under a newly announced pilot program. Rather, the private Jesuit institution plans to admit students based on their scores on the grueling, multiday Chinese university entrance exam, the gaokao, and their performance in an in-person interview in Beijing.”
Via the BBC: “Students at Oxford University are voting on whether or not they should continue being forced to wear special clothes to sit their exams. At the moment, students and examiners have to wear a gown over an outfit known as ‘sub fusc.’ The compulsory clothing includes a dark suit, black shoes, a plain white shirt or blouse with a bow tie, long tie or ribbon.”
Are the licensing tests for teachers racially biased?
Via The New York Times: “There is no easy translation or even a firm concept of the word ‘coping’ in French, so when it turned up last week in a question on the national exam to earn a high school degree, it set off a fracas among the 350,000 or so students who took the test.”
[Florida] “School Libraries: Closed For Business, Open For Testing”
Via The Washington Post: “U.S. Education Department bars states from offering alternative tests to most students with disabilities.”
Fulton County GA Superior Court Judge Jerry Baxter has sentenced the final educator in the Atlanta schools cheating scandal. Elementary school teacher Shani Robinson will spend a year in prison.
“Would assigned seating during exams curb cheating?” is the Education Dive headline about an algorithm that purports to identify potential cheaters.
Via the AP: “A federal judge has issued a final judgment rejecting Gov. Bobby Jindal’s federal lawsuit against the Common Core education standards, clearing the way for him to take his case to an appeals court.” Jindal’s lawsuit contends that the Department of Education is illegally compelling states to adopt the Common Core.
“These are the states that really have the best schools in the US,” Vox suggests – that is if you look at test scores and adjust for student demographics.
Via The New York Times: “Superintendents in Florida Say Tests Failed State’s Schools, Not Vice Versa.”
Echoing what’s happening with scores from the ACTs, “Some SAT Score Reports Are Delayed,” says Inside Higher Ed.
NYC will make the SAT free for public school juniors.
Via The Atlantic: “The Law-School Scam Continues.” (More, via The NYT, on a study that has discovered schools are admitting students who are unlikely to ever pass the bar.)
“ACT Says All September Scores Released.”
“Everything You Need to Know About the New SAT.”
“The Northwest Evaluation Association has been chosen to develop and implement one of the tests overseen by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, in a move that will broaden the U.S. testing organization’s international reach,” Education Week reports.
Via The Oregonian: “Oregon teachers despise the Smarter Balanced tests, survey says.”
Mark Guzdial writes “A Call to Action for Higher Education to make AP CS Principles Work.”
Via Edsurge: “BenchPrep Partners with Hobsons to Universalize Test Prep.” Woohoo! Universal test prep!
“Secretary of Education Arne Duncan sought – and received – advice from Jeb Bush about how to deal with Florida Gov. Rick Scott’s concerns about Common Core, emails obtained by BuzzFeed News show.”