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Ross Abels
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Speaker, Trainer, Consultant, Author, Educator
Speaker, Trainer, Consultant, Author, Educator

147 followers
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This report provides the first comprehensive description of the use of suspensions by more than 5,250 charter schools by analyzing Office of Civil Right data. The report focuses on out-of-school suspension rates at the elementary and secondary levels, specifically examining the extent to which charter schools suspend children of color and children with disabilities at excessive and disparate rates.
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David C. Berliner, Regents’ Professor Emeritus at Arizona State University (ASU) recently took up research on the use of test scores to evaluate teachers, for example, using value-added models (VAMs). While Berliner is world-renowned for his research in educational psychology, and more specific to this case, his expertise on effective teaching behaviors and how to capture and observe them, he has also now ventured into the VAM-related debates.
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Consumers have apparently taken a liking to the iPad Pro following its November release, as new data suggests that Apple moved nearly half a million more of the jumbo tablets alone than Microsoft did of its entire Surface lineup.
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Standards-based grading is a more complex set of issues than would initially appear. The shift for teachers entering standards-based (read rubric) scores instead of a point value, percent or letter grade is among the least complex. Many educators have been doing this for decades by using coded indicators informed by rubrics and other assessing protocols. The shift to standards-based grading is most likely the greatest for educators who had not previously used rubrics and other assessing protocols and relied on points and/or percentages to calculate a final grade.

The shift to standards-based grading for students and parents who have not had prior experiences with rubrics and other assessing protocols adds to the complexity. This is more applicable for secondary students and parents of secondary student as they consider the application process for post-secondary education.

The greatest complexity is not with the entry or display of standards-based grades but with calculations performed on the entered data resulting in a “final grade”. Most modern student information systems supporting standards-based grading allow for a variety of calculation methods (Mean, Weighted Mean, Median, Mode, Most Recent, and Weighted Most Recent). Regardless of the data type entered or method selected, a standards-based grade is converted to a numerical value and used in the selected final grade calculation. In some sense a standards-based grade is not much different from a traditional grade, both are a result of a calculation of numerical values.

Speaking of numerical values and calculations, scales of measurement in statistics (in order of precision from least to greatest — Nominal, Ordinal, Interval and Ratio) should be considered. Rubric scores and standards-based grades are at best an ordinal scale of measurement. Ordinal scales allow for rank order but do not allow for assigning relative degrees of difference between rankings. A complication occurs when ordinal values are entered and used in a final grade (ratio) calculation that assumes interval and/ratio measures. Problematic is that results of calculation of various levels of precision are reduced to the least level of precision of the data used in the calculation. Allowed measures of central tendency for ordinal scales are median and mode. Mean is prohibited since is assumes greater precision than is inherent in the data. Many standards-based grading protocols ignore this tenant of statistics.
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Research shows that dual-language programs really encourage cross-language, cross-ethnic friendships and relationships.
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"The problem with sweeping, generic claims about the power of attitudes or beliefs isn’t just a risk of overstating the benefits but a tendency to divert attention from the nature of the tasks themselves…"
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Somehow, somewhere, an idyllic version of childhood and schooling morphed into something very different — a high-stakes, cutthroat race to the top.
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"The over-emphasis on early grade test scores has evolved into a self-fulfilling (and self-perpetuating) prophecy of failure for Indian students. We believe it is this labeling effect, coupled with limited instructional methods that cause many if not most dropouts."
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Current education reform movements (NCLB, Race to the Top, Common Core) seek to reduce variation among schools in favor of greater centralized standardization and control.
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