Will the College Board continue to delay SAT II scores?

Thanks to a blog reader for calling my attention to this issue. As she pointed out, it’s remained largely unpublicized. As many readers will know, the College Board has delayed the release of rSAT scores since the first administration of the new exam in March. Whereas standard release time for the old exam was about two-and-a-half weeks, waiting periods for scores from the new test have ranged from six weeks to over two months. While the delay was understandable for SAT scores, it was entirely unjustified for SAT...
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Beware of free practice tests offered by test-prep companies

At the behest of a colleague, I’m taking a time-out from my current series of diatribes against the current state of the American education system and posting this public service announcement. If you’re just starting test-prep this summer and looking into take a class or working with a tutor affiliated with a company, please tread carefully when dealing with the free practice tests offered by these organizations. Many of these companies do not use official material produced by either the College Board or the ACT, but rather rely on...
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School is not work, students are not experts (some thoughts on group work)

In continuation of my previous post, some thoughts on one of progressive education’s favorite tools: group work.  A good deal of fuss is currently being made of the importance of preparing students to work collaboratively in groups, in preparation for the twenty-first century economy. In the context of these discussions, group work, much like “critical thinking,” is typically presented as a formal skill that can be developed in the absence of any specific context. On the surface, this is one of those claims that seems eminently reasonable. Because many...
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Hannah Arendt takes on progressive education

About a week ago, I was wasting time browsing articles on aldaily.com, and I happened to stumble across a link to Hannah Arendt’s 1954 article “The Crisis in Education.” I’ve had a minor a fascination with Arendt since finally getting around to reading Eichmann in Jerusalem a couple of years ago (and discovering that “the banality of evil” doesn’t quite mean what it’s usually understood to mean), and I had no idea that she had ever written about education in the United States. It was...
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If I were in school today…

A couple of days ago, I came across this article from Boston WBUR, courtesy of Diane Ravitch’s blog. It tells the story of David Weinstein, who has taught first grade at the Pierce School in Brookline, MA for 29 years but is retiring because he can no longer tolerate being a data-collector for six year-olds. As Weinstein explain:  [Retirement is] something I’ve been thinking about for a long time now, just in terms of how the profession has changed and what we’re asking of kids....
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A teacher’s perspective, part 2: when the arc of teaching is lost

This is the second post of a two-part series written by a friend and colleague who teaches at large public school in New York City. Part one described some of the changes brought about by the introduction of the evaluation system known as the Danielson Framework as well as the continuing pressure to involve technology in every aspect of the learning and teaching process. Here, the writer discusses some of the effects of those changes, on both a small and a large scale.   The abandonment of chalk and...
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A teacher’s perspective, part 1: the 21st century classroom

The following guest post was written by a friend and colleague who teaches at a large, selective New York City public high school. Over the last several years, her descriptions of the changes wrought by various new technologies, the imposition of Common Core, and an increasingly byzantine evaluation system that effectively punishes teachers for teaching, have provided me with an illuminating glimpse into some of the more alarming changes the public school system has recently undergone (and continues to undergo), and piqued my interest in...
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