Category Archives: testing

December 10, 2013, 9:38 am

Education Shorts for the Snowbound


A dendrite snow crystal, which occurs when the temperature is between 27 and 30 degrees Fahrenhite (see? You have learned something already!) Photo Credit: Kenneth Librecht

I don’t know what it is doing where you are, but in the mid-Atlantic States and New England, we are getting snow and everyone is canceling stuff. In New York City, of course, you can get around pretty well in the snow because of all the underground transportation.

Nevertheless, if you are home anywhere in the country (or worse, grading), here are some education news items from around the web, full of commentary by Tenured Radical:

  • Mayor Michael Bloomberg is ending his term with a few career-buffing moves. The most recent is to rename a new school located at Brooklyn Boys and Girls High School in Bedford-Stuyvesant The Nelson Mandela…

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December 15, 2010, 8:29 pm

What Time Is It? It’s Exam Time! Ladies and Gentlemen, Start Your Blue Books!

Cowabunga, Buffalo Bob!

Truth be told, I am actually writing this post while proctoring my exam.  You would think a Tenured Radical like myself wouldn’t even believe in exams, wouldn’t you?

Wrong.  True, I think this generation of students comes to college so stressed-out, and so tested-out, that in many ways it is an act of mercy not to plan any kind of evaluation that awakens their anxieties (see this article for the use of therapy dogs during exam period at Tufts University.)  In fact, here at Zenith, students have been heard to complain that quizzes (particularly of the “Pop!” variety) and exams are “like high school” and unworthy of college-level scholars.  The desire to administer such forms of evaluation, it is implied, reveals the professor hirself as not quite cool for school. (“Like, man, if you really knew me, you would know what grade to give me!”)

And yet I give exams, and here…

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January 23, 2009, 4:05 pm

Barack Is (Not) Responsible For Making All Things Good: The Radical Disputes The Proposal That There Is An “Obama Effect” On Education

Much as I would like Barack Obama to sprinkle magic dust all over the country, fixing racism, poverty, and absolutely everything we hated about the Bushies, each policy question will have to be tackled thoughtfully, one by one. Today’s topic is the national education agenda.

A crucial issue here is the continuing mania for using public school children as a vast pool of customers for corporations specializing in both mass curriculum distribution and in the endless testing through which students — on pain of humiliation, summer school, and being held back a grade — are asked to regurgitate these educational products. (I use the phrase “educational products” consciously: currently, a standard curriculum in the United States is to education what Cheez Whiz is to cheese.) The sad backstory of test scores going up in any given school are the number of students who drop out, or are…

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