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View Diary: A personal perspective on education statistics in Florida (19 comments)

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  •  Statistical analyses of human behavior and (0+ / 0-)

    projections therefrom are based on the assumption that humans are creatures of habit.  Some are.  The percentage of humans whose behavior is habitual is unknown.  I suspect it is correlated to maternal health and prenatal experience.  Which would account for the instinct-driven making an appearance at all times and in all climes. Jesus of Nazareth identified them as people who "know not what they do." That is, their behavior is mostly reactive to internal or external prompts -- i.e. they don't think before they act and make good soldiers for the culture of obedience. Their primary modes of action are imitation and repetition and, once their habits are fixed by the latter, they are very difficult to dislodge.

    Btw, reading and writing require very different skill sets. Reading is a visual skill; writing is tactile.  Many people do not have the necessary small muscle co-ordination to write successfully.  Computer key-boards and icons activated with the thumbs are a godsend to them.
    "The right tool for the job" is often defined not in terms of the work to be done, but in terms of the physical requirements of the tool user.  Some people, for example, can carve rather expertly with a chain saw, while others do better with a hammer and chisel. Some people have a lower threshold of pain and can't use a hammer for even a half hour.  So, they never become expert.

    People to Wall Street: "LET OUR MONEY GO"

    by hannah on Tue May 22, 2012 at 03:47:24 AM PDT

    •  Very true hannah, but I think.. (0+ / 0-)

      the author was referring to writing in the academic sense rather than the physical act. I.E. writing as in putting sentences, paragraphs and words together rather than how they get on paper. Composition as opposed to writing would be a better description. Though illegible handwriting may be an issue on these tests as well.

      "Madness! Total and complete madness! This never would've happened if the humans hadn't started fighting one another!" Londo Mollari

      by FloridaSNMOM on Tue May 22, 2012 at 05:38:50 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I might note that I have a grandson (0+ / 0-)

        whose ability to process information is poor.  He simply can't think things through.  However, he is able to memorize and regurgitate information quite acceptably in the sense that he can compose essays in response to questions without actually thinking about or having digested the subject matter. So, his grades on the SAT were surprisingly high.  Taking practice tests which enabled him to get clued into what the desired responses would be obviously helped.
        It isn't just garbage that goes in and out.

        Just look at robotic Willard.  He responds to prompts.  Sometimes the responses are germane, sometimes not. Ditto for Dubya.  He had to be "protected" from unscheduled contacts, lest the "talking points" he'd been given were disrupted. The political campaign industry values candidates who do and say what they are told. The operatives "sell" figureheads, which is what most of the private corporate CEOs are, as well.

        People to Wall Street: "LET OUR MONEY GO"

        by hannah on Tue May 22, 2012 at 06:08:34 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Oh, the horrendous writing tests! (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      teacherken, FloridaSNMOM

      I remember seeing the sample questions the year my son's writing instruction was hijacked by the writing test (4th grade, Illinois.) The following year the state ran out of money to administer the test and my son got a more-rounded writing curriculum. Parents and teachers rejoiced. If the continuing recession means Illinois can never again offer the writing test, I will be very happy.

      Anyway, my son, who always scores very high on standardized tests, somehow managed to score in the high 90s percentile for reading while achieving a "below standards" score in writing. This was while he was writing a short novel in his spare time.

      The tests are horrible. They ask ridiculous questions, asking children to read about a situation completely outside of their experience and then "relate it to your own life." (Can we please ban that phrase? Because when you are 8 or 9, it turns a simple writing exercise into a brain-twisting, philosophical puzzle.)

      The tests are looking for a formulaic response. I saw my son's sample responses and the problem with them is that they were thoughtful and gave much more information than the test wanted. The tests want an answer as written by a machine, not as written by a writer.

      Finally, the tests are scored by temps who are paid by the test! What a racket. If I were a less-principled person I'd look into test writing as a business opportunity.

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