More states opting to ‘robo-grade’ student essays by computer

“I’ve been working on this now for about 25 years, and I feel that … the time is right and it’s really starting to be used now,” says Peter Foltz, a research professor at the University of Colorado, Boulder. He’s also vice president for research for Pearson, the company whose automated scoring program graded some…

Vermont Law strips tenure from 14 professors

After being informed by the chair of Vermont Law School’s retention committee that the school stripped 14 law professors of tenure, the American Association of University Professors has questioned whether the school followed proper regulations. In a June 19 letter sent to the school’s tenure and retention committee chair, the AAUP conceded that under “extraordinary circumstances because…

If monopolies are bad, what about traditional public ed?

Many of my friends who defend public education are also the political type who are very worried about monopolies. They often point to the damage that companies with large market shares—think Amazon, Wal-Mart, and Google—can do. These friends point out how these companies’ large market presence allows them to squeeze out competitors, exploit employees, and…

More data on human feces in SF

A foul odor permeated from a massive bag of human excrement sludge left on a street corner in San Francisco’s Tenderloin district Saturday. The horrendous smell and sight quickly gained notoriety when a Reddit user posted a screen shot of a report made to San Francisco’s Citizen app for identifying crimes. “Twenty pounds of feces…

Elon Musk also runs his own K-12 school

Ad Astra encompasses students, not employees. For the past four years, this experimental non-profit school has been quietly educating Musk’s sons, the children of select SpaceX employees, and a few high-achievers from nearby Los Angeles. It started back in 2014, when Musk pulled his five young sons out of one of Los Angeles’ most prestigious…

Faculty respond to incentives; who would have guessed?

National policies take varied approaches to encouraging university-based innovation. This paper studies a natural experiment: the end of the “professor’s privilege” in Norway, where university researchers previously enjoyed full rights to their innovations. Upon the reform, Norway moved toward the typical US model, where the university holds majority rights. Using comprehensive data on Norwegian workers,…

Data on human feces in San Francisco

Block-by-block surveillance reveals the deterioration of downtown San Francisco. Of 153 city blocks surveyed, 41 contained used drug needles and 96 had human feces present. Yikes! That’s about 2/3 of city blocks with human feces. https://www.city-journal.org/html/left-coast-lawlessness-15976.html

I have received the highest honor in educational research

I was criticized by that famous nutjob Diane Ravitch: https://dianeravitch.net/2018/06/13/north-carolina-44-8-million-for-vouchers-no-accountability/ https://dianeravitch.net/2018/06/13/another-analysis-of-the-fatally-flawed-n-c-voucher-evaluation/ The second post links to a pretty hilarious review of our study (http://pulse.ncpolicywatch.org/2018/06/12/n-c-states-hyped-voucher-study-tells-us-nothing-about-n-c-s-voucher-program/). The writer, Kris Nordstrom, writes as if he’s uncovered a nefarious plot. Sorry, it’s just a propensity score analysis paper written by some nerds. Over several paragraphs he breathlessly states that…