We are the parents and we are united! We will stand together for our rights to raise our children and be the primary authority in their lives. Our children do not belong to the government, the schools or society.
Monday, January 31, 2022
We are the parents and we are united! We will stand together for our rights to raise our children and be the primary authority in their lives. Our children do not belong to the government, the schools or society.
Governor Greg Abbott has decided that he needs to step up his attack on teachers, proposing some new rules to undercut teacher authority and autonomy, because he wants to "make clear that parents are the primary decision makers in all matters involving their children." So here comes his Parents Bill of Rights.
What does that mean, exactly?
Well, for one thing, that means jumping on the Krause List Of Naughty Books bandwagon by setting up mechanisms for banning all books with "overtly sexual" content. In fact, he's ready to see any instances of making "pornography available" in public schools referred for "prosecution to the fullest extent of the law." This all comes, of course, on top of the usual directives that students should not be subjected to anything that makes them feel discomfort-- none of that race stuff for Texas students.
And just in case that doesn't seem hard hitting enough, Abbott wants any teacher who's caught with naughty books to be stripped of their license, lose their pension, and be placed on a do not hire list for public schools (it's not clear if this list would also apply to charter and private schools).
No word yet on whether Abbott intends to shut down the internet for all minors.
Also, in a bizarre new slant on "parental rights," Abbott wants parents to be the final arbiters of whether a child passes or fails. This is kind of nuts. "Yes, my child failed Algebra I, but I want them in Algebra II next year." Most teachers who have been in the classroom for more than ten years have probably seen this happen without the force of law (just the application of parent force on a boneless administrator), and it never ends particularly well. On the one hand, the student lacks the base necessary to succeed at the next level; on the other hand, the student now understands that passing the course is not really necessary to move forward.
And as a slab of icing on the cake, public school districts would be required to do marketing for charter schools and other "alternatives."
Just to be sure all of these grand ideas really stick, Abbott intends to fly his ideas as a state constitutional amendment.
None of this seems likely to help fix Texas's problem finding teachers to fill vacancies. But the target here is not helping Texas education, but in helping Abbott's reelection campaign. If he has to step on public school teachers to get back to the governor's mansion, that's apparently okay with him,
Sunday, January 30, 2022
“The strategy here is to use a non-threatening, liberal value — ‘transparency’ — to force ideological actors to undergo public scrutiny,” Rufo said.
|(Rick Egan/Salt Lake Tribune) Doesn't she look happy? |
President of Utah Parents United
So that kind of blew up as the issue of the week. What a whacky time to be alive! Here's some stuff to read, because reading is good.
Incidentally, if you are new around here, this is a regular Sunday feature, in which I collect stuff from the previous week that I found worthwhile and interesting. If something here strikes your fancy, I strongly encourage you to amplify it and share it through your usual channels.
Jan Resseger looks at the damage created by treating education as a free market commodity, and how Ohio has demonstrated that very damage.
Adam Laats at Slate, providing a useful historical perspective to the new wave of teacher attacks and surveillance. We've been here before.
And he does it in front of the state house education committee. And he gets it right.
EdWeek takes a look at a new UCLA study that gives some hard data about just how bad the new trend in teacher gag laws has become. Bad.
Will Bunch in the Philadelphia Inquirer talks to some folks about how bad it is out there. Informative and infuriating.
Yikes. From Texas Monthly, a look at just how far out these folks have become. Incidentally, the candidate in question alko "works with" the local Moms for Liberty group.
Vice has this story of big tech co-opting education, and it's just about as bad as you would expect.
Of all the live action responses to banning activity that cropped up this week, this is one of my favorites. This 11th grade honors student has some words.
Like many states, Pennsylvania has a tax credit scholarship program. But there is virtually no oversight. The Philadelphia Inquirer counts the many ways that nobody is paying any attention.
Maurice Cunningham, the dark money expert from Massachusetts, takes a look at the Michigan version for the Detroit Free Press
Seacoast online looks at teacher pushing back against New Hampshire's damn fool loyalty law.
From Stephanie Jankowski at Bored Teachers, a list that will strike teachers as all too familiar.
Remember how Chris Rufo explained exactly what he was going to do to use crt as a tool to attack schools (and Democrats)? Well, he's doing it again to explain why transparency will be the next weapon of choice. NBC News has this story.
Gary Rubinstein keeps an eye on the big star of NYC charterdom and finds that one secret to its success remains chasing away every student who might make it look unsuccessful.
Schools Matter offers a short, clear lesson in how to study something, learn that it has failed, ad draw exactly the wrong conclusion anyway.
This is a repeat, but unfortunately, as more and more districts use this list as a reference, it's worth pulling this close analysis of the 850 books out again, because it is a really bad list.
Meanwhile, in What I Wrote For Forbes, this was the week that Ed Voters for Pennsylvania unveiled what they'd learned from 3500 pages of cyber school marketing invoices. Enough money spent on marketing to run a small school district.
Saturday, January 29, 2022
Let's set aside, for a moment, the problems with trying stifle thoughts and ideas and the moral and ethical issues involved, or the heavy irony of people who say they hate cancel culture but want to cancel some authors. Banning books is just dumb for some very practical reasons.
Want to make something popular? Ban it.
This has been true forever. Mark Twain took out newspaper ads to thank the people who banned Huck Finn because they helped make copies. When our local scolds got up in arms about a performance of La Cage Aux Folles, it sold out. Today, after news spread of the banning of Maus, it was suddenly on the best-seller list again. No high school teacher with half a brain ever tells students, "Do not do X." Never, for instance, say, "I don't want another peep out of you guys," because you know what the next sound you hear will be.
This is the 21st Century.
I keep thinking that the current wave of book banners will be really upset when they hear about the internet. Smart phones! Snap chat! Tik tok! There are so many avenues for children to access whatever content they want to find that there could be nothing less productive than pulling a book from the school library. That's before we even get to publicly available stuff like streaming Squid Games (of course, that's only violence, which is somehow less distressing to folks). Trying to control all the media paths to your own child is a major challenge, but trying to control them for other people's children is just folly. You will fail.
And the effects of exposure are...?
For the life of me, I can't find research showing any kind of trauma or damage coming from reading books that some parents disapprove of. Nothing. And we've been at the whole Objecting To Books thing for a while--back in the late 18th to early 19th century, lots of folks were pretty sure that reading novels was Very Bad for women. Fredric Wertham published Seduction of the Innocent in 1954 to make everyone aware that comic books were going to lead to all sorts of juvenile delinquency and homosexuality. And yet after all this time, zero evidence that reading causes trauma or delinquency.
And the thing is, one of the features of a book is that the moment something alarms or even just discomfits you, you can instantly disengage--not like a movie or video.
From a student objecting to a book ban in TexasI'm simply going to say that no government—and public school is an extension of government—has ever banned books and banned information from its public and been remembered in history as the good guys.
Friday, January 28, 2022
Nationally, we're seeing a great surge of bad bills being proposed as pseudo-conservative legialtors rush to prove that they are the banniest, teacher-gaggingest legislators out there. And as always, we can find Florida providing an example of how that looks.
Here are just some of the bills under consideration in America's Swampland.
There is of course all the activity around Ron DeSantis's STOP Woke Act, which has a spectacular level of hostility toward public ed and teachers. But what else does Florida's legislature have up its sweaty sleeve? All icky, and I've saved the worst for last.
SB 148 Individual Freedom
The bill isn't exactly related individual freedom; it's just the Florida version of the critical race theory bans sweeping pseudo-conservative legislators. This forbids the usual list of naughty "discomforts" for both schools and businesses, so if you're a business owner, it's not your individual freedom that the GOP is concerned with. Also, abstinence education is in, but for some reason, the list of health education subjects hereby eliminates "mental and emotional health." and instead adds a requirement for teaching life skills like resiliency and self-awareness that "support mental and emotional health." Yes, the state legislature will now tell you what mental and emotional health entail.
The individual freedom part arrives at the end, where the bill takes the usual list of anti-crt boiler plate (nobody is inherently racist, meritocracy is fundamental to the pursuit of happiness, no individual is responsible for past bad stuff, no discomfort, etc) are now acknowledged and enshrined in education programs as the "principles of individual freedom." This is kind of mind blowing, but a fine codification of the pseudo-conservative belief that if you are less wealthy and less free than other folks, it's your own damned fault for failing to make good choices.
This dumb bill wants to install video cameras and body mics for teachers. These may be used to investigate an "incident," defined as "an event, a circumstance, an act, or an omission that results in the abuse or the neglect of a student" by either the teacher or another student. The camera should be mounted in such a way that it can cover the entire room, but not anywhere students change their clothes. If a district installs such a camera, they must inform everyone who could conceivably be affected.
There are protections in the bill for students, and they are dumb. When showing the video to involved parties, you should blur out the faces of other students, which provides little actual confidentiality ("Pat, who sits next to you in Mrs. Whinglebutter's room?") Presumably the bill is intended to give parents one more tool to catch teachers who are abusing their child with indoctrinatin' stuff, but it looks like an excellent tool for using the school to harass other ("Sam says that Winslow kid is causing trouble every day, so let's pull Winslow junior up on video, shall we?") There are no items in the bill about providing due process for the teachers or students who become the subjects of this increased surveillance. Stay tuned for teacher evaluation form that includes "number of times administration had to watch your tape."
SB 1300: Transparency etc
One of the side debates raging in Florida is what to do with school board pay. Before it gets into its real meat, this bill proposes making school board member salaries equal to the pay given legislators, which is not a hell of a lot (a useful method of keeping the poors out of government).
Any adoption or review of instructional materials must be public, and the committee must include parents. Library and school materials must be selected by professionals, and all materials must appear on line in a searchable format (otherwise, how can you check to see if your school has That Naughty Book you heard about on OAN).
All materials must be available to the public (including teacher editions), allowing the public to inspect and copy anything they wish (far use copyright laws apply, somehow). Adoption of materials must be a separate line item so that the public can comment on them. Also, submit a banned book report annually to the state ed chief. And the state must develop a training program so that folks have been taught How Not To Select Naughty Books.
Is the sibling of SB 1300--except that it eliminates school board pay entirely. A sponsor thinks that will take the politics out of school board elections, somehow?We want to make sure our schools are focused on parental engagement, parental involvement, and by eliminating, quite frankly, the financial incentive for politicians to use this as an opportunity either as a launching pad to a political career, or maybe a landing pad by which to get a salary.
SB 1348 is trying to clean up after the mess that Florida made when they combined and expanded their various voucher programs, creating a voucher behemoth that turned out to be a lumbering bureaucratic mess. So this bill is supposed to make it faster and more efficient to give public tax dollars to private education-flavored businesses and religious schools.
Okay, it's actually called "an act relating to parental rights in education." This is perhaps one of the scariest bills out there. The headline making part of the bill is this one:
A school district may not encourage classroom discussion about sexual orientation or gender identity in the primary grade levels or in a manner that is not age-appropriate or developmentally appropriate for students.
Pat: Teacher, my older brother says he's gay, and I'm confused about what that means.
Teacher: Shut up, Pat.
But the scarier part for teachers is that on the one hand, the bill absolutely forbids the school to withhold any personal information about the child.
The procedures must reinforce the fundamental right of parents to make decisions regarding the upbringing and control of their children by requiring school district personnel to encourage a student to discuss issues relating to hie or her well-being with his or her parent or to seek permission to discuss or facilitate discussion of the issue with the parent.
And, boy, howdy, we could talk about that word "control," but instead, let's imagine another day in Florida schools.
Teacher: Students, I want you to know that you can share anything you're struggling with me. This classroom is a safe space, and whether we're having a private discussion or you're just sharing in your journal, I want you to know that's okay. Also, I'm required to report everything you tell me to your parents.
The bill tries to have things both ways, acknowledging that teachers still have a responsibility to report suspected abuse, and even acknowledging that teachers might want to hold off on that parental sharing thing if they have reason to believe that the student will be subject to abuse if the parent gets Certain Information.
So teachers have to somehow straddle that line and --oh yeah. Parents have the right to sue the school district if they think you got it wrong. The court can award damages to parents who think the school didn't tell them everything they were supposed to be told.
So call this bill Don't Say Gay, or call it Teachers Must Narc or No Safe Space. Florida Rep. Joe Harding, who introduced the bill says that it's about defending the "awesome responsibility" or being a parent. "That job can only be given to you by above." But Chase Buttigieg was more on point when he said "This will kill kids." Struggling LGBTQ kids in Florida will have no safe place to turn, and teachers will have their hands tied in a dozen new ways.
On the plus side, I'm not sure this bill wouldn't open the door for parents to sue schools over not letting their children discuss LGBTQ issues in class. That would be fun, and well deserved, but unfortunately would simply further the goal of sowing chaos and destruction for public education.
Thursday, January 27, 2022
Senator Ron Johnson started out the old-fashioned way--working at company created and funded by his father-in-law, as an accountant. In 2010, as a previous political virgin, he rode the Tea Party Wave into a Senate seat for Wisconsin (he defeated Russ Feingold). When he ran again in 2016, he was backed by the Club for Growth and won with 50.2% of the vote.
He doesn't believe in climate change (calling it "buillshit"). He has agitated to cut taxes and stop raising the debt ceiling, and he's a sup0porter of tax cuts for the wealthy (trickle down, you know). When John McCain kept Obamacare alive with his vote, Johnson speculated that it was late and McCain had a brain tumor "So some of that might have factored in." As chair of the Senate Homeland Security Committee, he has held hearings to platform some fringe ideas about COVID, and he has fed a number of baseless rumors, including the vaccinations being fatal; YouTube suspended his account. He supported the end of DACA, and he has been a big Trump supporter, including arguing for the idea that there was a conspiracy against Trump at high levels in the FBI. He was all wrapped up in the Ukraine-Trump scandal as well, and backed several of Trump's fraud claims about the 2020 election. January 6 was, in his estimate, just a bunch of patriotic folks and not as scary as if they had been Black Lives Matter.
There's plenty more, but you get the idea. He's that guy. Not as fringe as you might hope he was (also, he turns out to be about my age, which surprised me--I somehow imagined that he was a much older guy), but definitely over on the Trump-Koch corner of the political spectrum.
So when Johnson offered this quote--well, it fits with what a certain slice of the political world appears to think. It's the quiet part out loud.
During a tour of a business headquarters in La Crosse, Wisconsin, Johnson offered some thoughts, including blaming the Biden administration for inflation. Then this:“People decide to have families and become parents, that’s something they need to consider when they make that choice,” Johnson said. “I’ve never really felt it was society’s responsibility to take care of other people’s children.”
Johnson says instead, it’s society’s responsibility to provide the opportunity for people to get good jobs to support their entire families.
Wednesday, January 26, 2022
Figuring that pitting parents against schools had won him an election, Governor Glenn Youngkin has made good on his pledge to attack public education and the teachers who work there.
He started right in with an edict that schools should not teach anything "inherently divisive," one more anti-CRT law so fuzzy, subjective, and poorly-conceived that it will chill teaching of any subjects that anybody might object to. The text is spectacularly vague, and though it contains a list of some "divisive concepts" that are specifically naughty, its reliance on that "divisive concept" language guarantees that schools across the state will have no clear idea what exactly is forbidden, and so administrations not in the mood for a fight will simply instruct teachers not to talk about race, gender, or pretty much anything that might upset anybody. Is evolution divisive? History of the Civil War (particularly in Virginia)? My students were pretty divided on whether Lady MacBeth is a redeemable character or not. In fact, we used to stage debates, but I suppose those are inherently divisive, too.
To insure that the decree carries maximum power to intimidate and silence teachers, the governor has followed the lead of states like Texas and Florida and instituted a means for parents and community members to turn in any teachers for being naughty. As he explained in one interview:For parents to send us any instances where they feel that their fundamental rights are being violated, where their children are not being respected, where there are inherently divisive practices in their schools. We’re asking for input right from parents to make sure we can go right to the source as we continue to work to make sure that Virginia’s education system is on the path to reestablish excellence.
Tuesday, January 25, 2022
Parents Defending Education is one of the several totally-not-astroturf groups that has turned up to fight against left-wing indoctrinatin' in schools. They are just regular folks and not at all representative of a conservative attempt to turn school controversy into political power.
PDE's vice president for strategy and investigations Asra Nomani dropped what I think was supposed to be a bombshell (like most PDE leaders, Nomani is a seasoned political operator--she voted for Trump and helped back his Muslim ban). It's those darned Diversity, Equity and Inclusion programs."The amount of money put into social justice consulting since the tragedy of the George Floyd killing has just exploded," Asra Nomani, the vice president for strategy and investigations at Parents Defending Education, told Newsweek.
I'm not sure that's fair-- with around 54 million K-12 students, that works out to about thirty-eight cents per student, so it's way less than the cost of breakfast.
Meanwhile, today we also learned that the about ten cyber charter schools in Pennsylvania spent around $35 million over two years--just for marketing.
There are several pieces missing here. For instance, it's an odd choice to start counting "since the George Floyd killing," as if these kinds of programs were just invented after that murder was committed, and yet I could swear these programs, and the concerns the6y address, have been around for a while.
And the huge missing piece here is the explanation of why, exactly, DEI programs are evil and terrible. The theory, per PDE website and many CRT panic folks, is that DEI is obviously just a front for CRT, which imbues DEI with some vaguely second-hand badness.
Newsweek, which ought to be ashamed of itself for running with this silly story, at least includes some words from one of these evil DEI consultants so we can see just what they're up to:One of those agencies is Akoben LLC, which says it offers consulting, coaching services, speaking engagements and a variety of workshops meant to "stretch thinking, provoke reflection and stimulate action." Subjects taught include "restorative practices, trauma-informed care, cultural relevancy and agency and assets."
"No significant learning happens outside of a significant relationship—it requires a relationship between teachers and students, and the deeper that is, the more learning and more challenges we can confront," Malik Muhammad, CEO of Akoben, told Newsweek. The vast majority of Akoben's work, 95 percent, is with public schools.
Monday, January 24, 2022
North Carolina's public education system has been a mess for at least a decade, and some bright lights have another clever idea that will not help.
North Carolina is tied for #3 on the Public Education Hostility Index.Just to recap where we are, here's a partial listing of all the lousy ideas North Carolina has implemented so far.
NC implemented one of those flunk third graders if they don't as the Big Standardized Reading Test laws. They froze their already-lousy pay schedule for teachers (in NC, the state sets the pay levels) even as that pay was shown to be Very Not Good.. When a report showed charter schools not doing so great, the Lt. Governor ordered it rewritten to look less negative; then a few years later they did the same thing again. Maybe it's because they are a great haven for charter profiteers. They decided to shovel even more public money into the voucher pipeline, while cutting millions from public ed funding (for Democratic areas). They tried to follow the failed Tennessee model of a state-run achievement school district (but it failed). When the legislature tried and failed to end teacher tenure, they told teachers they could have a raise if they gave up their job protections. NC legislature is one of the ones that decided to fight on the hill of denying transgender bathrooms. And last year the Lt. Governor decided to oirganize a task force to catch any schools or teachers doing any naughty indoctrinatin' stuff--a state sponsored with hunt. This in a state where county commissioners can take school districts hostage if they don't like what the schools are teaching.
Periodically, leaders in North Carolina stop to scratch their heads and wonder why their public school system has trouble filling teaching positions.
Last week, the Governor's Teacher Advisory Committee listened to a presentation by the Professional Educator Preparation and Standards Commission about how to attract and retain teachers in North Carolina, and you probably can't guess what the solution is.
Licensure. The "most effective way to get and keep teachers [is] to change North Carolina's licensure process."
Hey--you know this is going to be a good idea because it grew out of discussions at the North Carolina Education Human Capital Roundtable, a group of "state education leaders and practitioners working together to find innovative ways to address the state's teacher shortage issue."
I'm guessing that "innovative" is the key word here, because ideas like "pay them more" and "treat them and the public education system with respect and support" are pretty inside-the-box old hat. As would be treating them like people and not "human capital."
The Human Capital Roundtable has been kicking this idea around for a while (they presented it to the state board about a year ago and they report that "there is nothing promised from the legislature at this particular point, but they are very interested in our work."
The proposal has a collection of old familiar reform parts.
Make the pool deeper. Right now, they note, people who want to be teachers go to four year teacher prep programs. So they propose to "widen the entrance" by letting any associate or bachelor degree qualify someone for licensure. I am not sure how this helps--is there a widespread problem with people who get a degree in some other area and are surprised and disappointed to discover that degree doesn't lead to teaching? People who want to be teachers, but who want to go to school for something else--well, I guess Teach for America has sort of introduced this idea? But okay--wider entryway.
Off ramps. The proposal calls for "clear exit points for ineffective teachers," aka the old "it should be easier to fire people from teaching." One reason would be a lack of content or pedagogical skills or competencies; if only they could have gone to college to get that kind of background.
Then there should be steps, so that there's a professional ladder for teachers to climb, because that will help. somehow. One of the presenters noted that teachers get good around years 5-7 and then plateau, and it's not clear if he thinks there are untapped levels of excellence that could be goosed or what.
So in this plan there are four "entry-level" certificates. Learning Permit, and Levels 1, 2 and 3. Learner Permits earn a co-teacher salary, while the others get a tad more. All these entry level teachers are paired with an Advanced Teacher mentor. Then there are three Professional-Level certificates that you can work up to.
The "working up to" part brings back some other old favorites, including getting competency-based micro-certificates. But the real kicker is called out in this quote:
The overarching goal is to create an outcomes-based licensure system.
The grand idea includes references to effective teaching and positive impact on students, which gets us right back to a system in which professional advancement depends on student test scores on the Big Standardized Test, which of course means that teacher's professional future is based on which students you are assigned to or the results of some criminally-inaccurate magic formula. (Oh look--brand new evidence that the popular measures for "effectiveness" are lousy.) If North Carolina officials are interested in outcomes, I'd suggest that the outcome of this idea will not be a bunch more teachers being recruited and retained by the state.
In their pitch last year, the human capital folks claimed, among other things, that this will restore "the respect the professions deserves," and maybe that's just a passive-aggressive slam about how it doesn't deserve much, because this plan sure doesn't offer any. They also claim to be the first in the nation to innovate this way," but there isn't a single new idea here.
These folks are also trying to sell this as a money-maker for teachers, saying teachers could "top out" around $70K instead of the current $50K, and that teachers could earn "almost $200,000 over a 30-year career than they do now" which is not impressive (that's $6,666 more per year). Increases would depend on getting through all the hoops, since this system would completely do away with annual steps. Not that North Carolina teachers haven't been left stuck on one step of the pay scale before. Nowhere is there an indication of what the bottom of this new scale looks like, which is an important item to look at, since plans to let teachers climb a ladder to success invariably start by digging a hole and dropping the bottom of the ladder a few feet lower than it currently stands (because part of the goal is always to pull off this triuck without actually spending more money on teachers).
GTAC also heard from BEST NC, which is a business coalition of education meddler/kibbitzers that's also been working on a plan called NC STRIDE that is supposed to help recruit teachers to NC. They've collected data and written recommendations and almost all of it is vague bureaucratic hoop and tape shuffling. They came up with 8 recommendations, 20 strategies, 150 actions, and 5 gateways.The five gateways they examined are: interest, licensure, employment, exposure, and preparation. “Somewhere along these five gateways, they hit a wall,” Berg said of potential teacher candidates.
Sunday, January 23, 2022
Well, that was kind of sudden. Just last week we were all cozy and now it's all cold and that thing where the sun comes out and the world calls "Come on out--it's beautiful" and then you succumb to temptation and lose a couple of toes. So here's this week's reading list instead.
Your uplift for the week. An eight year old in Boise wrote a book and then snuck it onto the library shelf, because you got to reach your audience whatever it takes. \
Ten absolutely useful guidelines from Nancy Flanagan. If only more policy makers followed these.
This is good news. The University wanted to bar professors from serving as expert witnesses against the state. Turns out they can't do that kind of barring. New York Times has the story. "Stop acting like your contemporaries in Hong Kong," the judge told university administrators.
Yes, it's in Education Next, but this story from a school district IT director is an excellent look at the issue of schools suffering cyberattacks.
Angela Barton writes at Bored Teachers, explaining why submitting your detailed lesson plans should be the least of a teacher's problems right now.
From the blog Organized Chaos, a great luck at the Do's and Don't's of raising staff morale right now.
From blogger and teacher Barth Keck, another look at the real issues connected to Learning Loss.
From Public Funds Public Schools, the important information about an important lawsuit to stop vouchers before they get started in WV.
Virginia is turning out to be another front in the charter attack on public ed. This explainer from NPR does a good job of laying out the issues in this particular iteration of the oft-repeated conflict.
Former Arne Duncan sidekick and charter school founder Seth Andrews is in some trouble with a whole embezzlement thing. Leonie Haimson at NYC Public School Parents and the indispensable Mercedes Schneider both offer useful insights and history on this guy and his current problems.
Computerized testing for early childhood? Nancy Bailey looks at one more dumb idea being aimed at the littles, and offers a superior alternative.
McSweeney's continues to demonstrate that dark times for regular humans are peak times for satirists.
Friday, January 21, 2022
It is the dream that will not die. For some reason, there are still people who think the world would be a better place if student essays could be evaluated by software, because reasons. The problem has remained the same--for decades companies have searched for a software algorithm that can do the job, but other than deciding to call the algorithms "AI," progress has been slim to none.
The Feedback Prize is a coding competition being run through Kaggle, in which competitors are asked to root through a database of just under 26K student argumentative essays that have been previously scored by "experts" as part of state standardized assessments between 2010 and 2020 (which raises a whole other set of issues, but let's skip that for now). The goal is to have your algorithm come close to the human scoring results. Why? Well, they open their case with a sentence that deserves its own award for understatement.There are currently numerous automated writing feedback tools, but they all have limitations.