- An article in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review about how some high schools are starting to drop the practice of determining class rank. As you might imagine, this is a load off of the minds of some kids and parents---but not so much for college admissions. If lack of a stated class rank hurts a student's chances of getting into college, then I don't think we should hurt the kid. But I also have to say that if college admissions hasn't figured out how to select students after 100 years of practice, then maybe they need to take a long hard look at themselves instead of depending on a number.
- Or, perhaps you might be interested in thinking about other ideas related to evaluating students? As Hugh noted, some Canadian schools are dropping grades as measures of student achievement. (How do you like them apples, college admissions officers?) Hugh probes things a bit further in Do We Really Need Grades?
- On the other hand, there is the Gates Foundation, who is looking at supporting a Cash for Grades program. I think the Gates Foundation has made some significant humanitarian efforts, but I am not convinced that they have ever made the right choices with any of their initiatives. (Small schools fiasco, anyone?) They are now looking to pour tens of millions of dollars into various educational efforts in several states. If cash for grades is any indication, they are off to a poor start.
- There has been a lot of rumbling and grumbling in the edusphere about this recent report on students lying, cheating, and stealing (and liking themselves). Most of the educators I've seen posting about this seem unfazed and have something to say about the decline of western civilization. The part that I find interesting however, is that we are not asking why kids don't perceive these activities as being wrong. I'm particularly interested in the "cheating" part---because I think that in the digital environment kids are growing up with is greatly changing what "cheating" means. In an age where you have all sorts of tools available to mash up text, video, and audio, where does cheating start and creativity end? And is this the same as in the past? This is more or less a continuation of the conversation started with Cyberspace and Meatspace, only we have some numbers now to attach to things.
18 December 2008
Snow Day Two: Electric Boogaloo
I'm housebound again. Good thing I brought home plenty of work to do. My job responsibilities are undergoing a significant change when the new year begins, so I'm trying to finish up various projects now. I also have a few personal projects in the mix...and, of course, I have other things I'm chewing on. So, here are some things I won't be thinking about while working today---but perhaps you'd like to take some time with: