A libertarian inclined blog for teachers and learners of all ages. Comments, emails and links to other educational stuff welcome.

Home

www.google.co.uk


Recent Comments


Monthly Archives


Most recent entries


Search


Advanced Search


Blogroll

A don's life
children are people
Dare to Know
Educating Outside The Box
Elemental Mom
Ewan McIntosh's edu.blogs.com
Green House by the Sea
HE&OS
It Shouldn't Happen to a Teacher
Joanne Jacobs
kitchen table math, the sequel
Life WIthout School
Mr. Chalk
Mortarboard
O'DonnellWeb
school of everything
Stay at home dad
Successful Teaching
The ARCH Blog
The Core Knowledge Blog
The DeHavilland Blog
To Miss with Love


Websites


Mainstream Media education sections

BBC
Guardian
Independent
Telegraph
Times


Syndicate

RSS 1.0
RSS 2.0
Atom
Feedburner


Categories

Adult education
Africa
Architecture
Asia
Australasia
Bias
Bits from books
Bloggers and blogging
Books
Boys
Brian teaches
Bullying
Business education
Canada
China
Class size
Comprehensive schools
Compulsion
Computers
Consent
Crime
dcsf
Diet
Discipline
Distance learning
Drama
Economics
Educational memories
Equality
Europe
Examinations
Exclusion
Famous educations
Gerald Hartup
Girls
Globalisation
Grammar
Grammar schools
Higher education
History
Home education
How the mind works
India
Initiatives
Intelligence
Languages
League tables
Learning by doing
Links
Literacy
Maths
Medicine
Middle East
Movies
Music
OFSTED
Parents
Physical education
Play
Podcasts
Politics
Primary schools
Qualifications
Quote unquote
Reading
Real life
Religion
Russia
Safety
School choice
Science
Scotland
Self education
Sex education
Socialising
South America
Sovietisation
Spelling
Sport
Targets
Teacher training
Technology
Television
Testing
The internet
The private sector
This blog
Three Rs
Training
Truancy
UK
USA
Video
Violence
Vouchers
West Indies


Other Blogs I write for

CNE Competition
CNE Intellectual Property
Samizdata
Transport Blog
Brian Micklethwait
(the personal blog)


Category archive: Testing

Monday July 28 2008

As I said, maybe the occasional thing:

image

Photoed in a local newsagent lask week.  Well, I’ve always thought that children can sometimes also be teachers.

Typical media coverage here.

Tuesday July 22 2008

If you want educational fun, read what is being said at the Coffee House about the nightmare day had by Ed Balls, the politician doing his best not to take the blame for the SATs disaster.  Here, here, and hereHere is what opposition spokesman Gove has to say.

Friday July 18 2008

Coffee House did a posting today about the SATs fiasco, and this comment, from “Sam”, caught my attention:

Now, we must remember that ETS, the American company entrusted with the contract for this year’s SATs grading, was only allowed a look in because of EU regulations. The regulations allowed for a closed bid and the lowest bidder wins. Nothing to do with, say, competence or familiarity with the system? No. I certainly didn’t vote for that, did you? There’s more than Balls cocking things up, that’s for sure!

I can remember when clever Thatcherites were rejoicing at how clever they were to be compelling public sector institutions to buy things from the lowest bidder.  And I can remember lefties saying it was daft.  In this case, the lefties have been proved correct.

Wednesday July 16 2008

From the Times, yesterday:

The fiasco over delayed school test results affecting millions of children could result in the company responsible being sacked and forced to pay back tens of millions of pounds.

Ken Boston, the head of the exams regulator, said after an emergency hearing of MPs yesterday, that the testing system was under stress and needed modernising. He added that problems were unlikely to be resolved in time for next year’s tests.

Thousands of parents are expected to challenge the results, encouraged by the adverse publicity surrounding this year’s exams.

This week Mick Brookes, general secretary of the National Association of Head Teachers, said schools were reporting “all kinds of problems” with marking, and told parents that they should not rely on SATs [national curriculum test] results as the sole indicator of their child’s progress. He urged schools to give parents teachers’ assessments of pupils, as well as SATs results, and advised that these be treated as “provisional”.

Yesterday Dr Boston, the chief executive of the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority, claimed that the company, ETS, had failed to respond to 10,000 e-mails. His officials were forced to set up and pay for a call centre to cope with complaints to the company.

However, MPs also raised questions about Dr Boston’s future, ...

The free market is one thing, and the government awarding the national contract to one national contractor is quite another.

Sunday March 30 2008

For once, a threat to commit a school massacre/suicide is being taken seriously:

A middle school principal threatened to kill a group of science teachers if their students did not improve their standardized test scores, according to a complaint filed with the New Braunfels Police Department.

Anita White, who taught at New Braunfels Middle School for 18 years before being transferred this month to the district’s Learning Center, said Principal John Burks made the threat in a Jan. 21 meeting with eighth-grade science teachers.

She said Burks was angry that scores on benchmark tests were not better, and the scores on the upcoming Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills tests must show improvement.

“He said if the TAKS scores were not as expected he would kill the teachers,” White said. “He said ‘I will kill you all and kill myself.’ He finished the meeting that way and we were in shock.

Obviously, we talked about it among ourselves. He just threatened our lives. After he threatened to kill us, he said, ‘You don’t know how ruthless I can be.’

“We walked out of the meeting just totally dumbfounded because it was not a joke,” White said.

New Braunfels Police spokesman Mike Penshorn said the incident was filed as a verbal assault, but is being investigated as a terroristic threat.

Via the always educational Dave Barry.

Wednesday February 27 2008

This is very odd.  The headline at the top says:

Local union/board officials say Fraser Institute ranking helpful for education

But the first sentence of the story immediately below this headline goes:

Local education administrators and union officials are saying that the Fraser Institute Report ranking Ontario’s schools is less than helpful.

It’s all about how a Free Market Institute (the Fraser Institute) is judging the quality of schools, in accordance with a restricted notion of what school quality consists of.  Test results basically.

I think that free market institutes should be saying not: This is how we judge schools; but rather: How can schools be re-arranged to the point where people can judge schools for themselves?  (See the previous posting.)

Saturday February 16 2008

The Independent reports on how educating otherwise is on the rise.  Partly it’s the fear of violence and bullying. 

Ann Newstead, the charity’s spokeswoman, said there had been a steady increase in the number of families teaching their children at home. “Whether it is perceived or real, the apparent rise in drugs and knife culture in schools is shocking and makes people think their child might not be safe in school. We have had a big increase in people joining with pre-school children. They are looking at the state system but do not believe it is working.

Mrs Newstead, who has four children, aged 12, 10, 5 and 8 months, withdrew her two eldest sons from school in July 2005 because of bullying. “My seven-year-old [now aged 10] was being badly bullied,” she said. “When we took him out of school we gave our eldest son the choice. It’s worked so well that this September we made the decision not to send our third child to school.”

But now there is a new fear, of too much testing:

Last week the biggest review of primary education for decades revealed that parents were increasingly choosing to educate children at home because they objected to the state school regime of testing and targets.

The link at the bottom, where it says “Interesting? Click here to explore further”, leads to further interesting stuff.