Category Archives: Richard P. Phelps

“Organizationally orchestrated propaganda” at ETS

With the testing opt-out movement growing in popularity in 2016, Common Core’s profiteers began to worry. Lower participation enough and the entire enterprise could be threatened: with meaningless aggregate scores; compromised test statistics vital to quality control; and a strong … Continue reading

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Yes, President Trump can do something about Common Core

For starters, he can shut down the federal funding of organizations that have supplied the misinformation that begat and continues to propagandize Common Core. While the Gates Foundation gets the most attention, government-funded entities play their part. For example, our … Continue reading

Posted in Common Core, Education policy, K-12, research ethics, Richard P. Phelps, Testing/Assessment | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Among the Constructivists

The online journal Aeon posted (6 October, 2016) The Examined Life, by John Taylor, director of Learning, Teaching and Innovation at Cranleigh boarding school in Surrey (U.K.). https://aeon.co/essays/can-school-today-teach-anything-more-than-how-to-pass-exams Taylor advocates “independent learning” in describing his “ideal classroom”: “The atmosphere in … Continue reading

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More Common Core salespersons’ salaries

In a previous post, I summarized recent Form 990s—the financial reporting documents required of large US non-profits by the Internal Revenue Service—filed by three organizations. The Thomas B. Fordham Institute, the Alliance for Excellent Education, and the National Center on … Continue reading

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101 Terms for Denigrating Others’ Research

In scholarly terms, a review of the literature or literature review is a summation of the previous research conducted on a particular topic. With a dismissive literature review, a researcher assures the public that no one has yet studied a … Continue reading

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‘One size fits all’ national tests not deeper or more rigorous

http://www.educationnews.org/education-policy-and-politics/one-size-fits-all-national-tests-not-deeper-or-more-rigorous/ Some say that now is a wonderful time to be a psychometrician — a testing and measurement professional. There are jobs aplenty, with high pay and great benefits. Work is available in the private sector at test development firms; … Continue reading

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Censorship at Education Next

In response to their recent misleading articles about a fall 2015 Mathematica report that claims to (but does not) find predictive validity for the PARCC test with Massachusetts college students, I wrote the text below and submitted it to EdNext … Continue reading

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The Education Writers Association casts its narrowing gaze on Boston, May 1-3

The Education Writers Association casts its narrowing gaze on Boston, May 1-3 Billions have been spent, and continue to be spent, promoting the Common Core Standards and their associated consortium tests, PARCC and SBAC. Nonetheless, the “Initiative” has been stopped … Continue reading

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Fordham Institute’s pretend research

The Thomas B. Fordham Institute has released a report, Evaluating the Content and Quality of Next Generation Assessments,[i] ostensibly an evaluative comparison of four testing programs, the Common Core-derived SBAC and PARCC, ACT’s Aspire, and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts’ MCAS.[ii] … Continue reading

Posted in College prep, Common Core, Education policy, Education Reform, Ethics, K-12, Mathematics, Reading & Writing, research ethics, Richard P. Phelps, Testing/Assessment, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Fordham report predictable, conflicted

On November 17, the Massachusetts Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) will decide the fate of the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System (MCAS) and the Partnership for Assessment of College Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) in the Bay State. … Continue reading

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Common Core’s Language Arts

It is often said that scientific writing is dull and boring to read. Writers choose words carefully; mean for them to be interpreted precisely and, so, employ vocabulary that may be precise, but is often obscure. Judgmental terms—particularly the many … Continue reading

Posted in Common Core, Education policy, Education Reform, Ethics, K-12, research ethics, Richard P. Phelps, Testing/Assessment, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

David Coleman in Charge

Wayne Bishop recently made me aware of the unfortunately completely one-sided discussion of US mathematics education at the recent Aspen Ideas Festival. David Leonhardt is Washington Bureau Chief for the New York Times, won a Pulitzer Prize for his reporting … Continue reading

Posted in College prep, Common Core, Education policy, K-12, math, Mathematics, Richard P. Phelps, Testing/Assessment | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Starting school already behind

Underprivileged students start first grade already two grade levels behind more privileged students. The obvious solution to this discrepancy is to give the underprivileged kids more time, as in another year at the beginning of primary school. That would appear … Continue reading

Posted in Education policy, K-12, Richard P. Phelps | 3 Comments

Robert T. Oliphant, 1924-2014

Robert T. Oliphant 1924-2014 Bob Oliphant passed away in June, 2014. He was one of the most optimistic and generous people I’ve ever met, and one of my best friends. That despite the fact that we never met face-to-face—a typical … Continue reading

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Beware of Test Scores Masquerading as Data

A semi-taboo area of insufficient discussion is the reliability of the test score data from the statewide, nationwide, and international standard tests; for example, our National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), but not nearly just the NAEP test scores. You … Continue reading

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No Child Left Behind Renewal: Blinders on the Education Policy Horse

Two weeks ago, The Honorable Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, the chair of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) invited three allegedly independent education researchers to discuss possible revisions to the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, currently … Continue reading

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Using middle schoolers for anti-testing advocacy?

Superintendent Mark D. LaRoach Vestal School District, New York Dear Superintendent LaRoach: I conduct research on the effects of standardized testing on student achievement. I have read over 3 thousand studies dating back a century and spanning over thirty countries. … Continue reading

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Overtesting or Overcounting?

Commenting on the Center for American Progress’s (CAP’s) report, Testing Overload in America’s Schools, https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/education/report/2014/10/16/99073/testing-overload-in-americas-schools/ …and the Education Writers’ Association coverage of it, http://www.ewa.org/blog-ed-beat/how-much-time-do-students-spend-taking-tests … Some testing opponents have always said there is overtesting, no matter how much there has … Continue reading

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Kamenetz, A. (2015). The Test: Why our schools are obsessed with standardized testing—but you don’t have to be. New York: Public Affairs. Book Review, by Richard P. Phelps

Perhaps it is because I avoid most tabloid journalism that I found journalist Anya Kamenetz’s loose cannon Introduction to The Test: Why our schools are obsessed with standardized testing—but you don’t have to be so jarring. In the space of … Continue reading

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The Gauntlet: How think tanks and federally-funded centers misrepresent and suppress other education research

New in the Nonpartisan Education Review: http://nonpartisaneducation.org/Review/Essays/v10n1.htm The aggressive, career-strategic behavior of researchers in federally funded centers and think tanks creates many problems, including a loss of useful information and bad public policies based on skewed information. But, two adverse … Continue reading

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