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Measuring Student Growth? Really?

Measuring "academic growth" has been all the rage in recent years in education policy circles. Sounds like a good thing, right?  I wonder. Are the right tools being used? I also wonder?

Now, I don't claim to have particularly deep expertise in this arena, I am more of a policy generalist and observer who counts among his friends a number of deep thinking experts in various specialties and whose brains I occasionally pick, but that would be the extent of my "expertise" in education assessment policy from a statistical perspective. I do not come from an education background. I have a BS in Economics, which means I did have my share of upper level courses in math and statistics in college. I also have been privileged to be in some pretty interesting and unique positions professionally to watch the evolution of the data accountability model in education since the early nineties on a state/local level and then on the national stage, for the past almost thirty years.

Double Take in the Skyclub

Arriving at LaGuardia Airport a bit early, I headed to the Delta Skyclub to relax for a few minutes before my flight.

The Fun of Air Travel

Every now and then I get to laugh at myself, along with others.

WiFi in the Sky

Wi-Fi on airplanes. Thirty years ago, after having spent a few weeks in New Hampshire in February before the Presidential primary, my wife and I were up late watching broadcast news. The phone rang. It was a friend who was on a cross country flight...calling from the airplane! Say what? Yes, he paid like ten dollars a minute to call as he was at 35000 feet and over the Rockies and called, just because he could. Fast forward thirty years. Now, while we can't make a phone call, for a nominal fee you can surf the internet, text and email friends and yes, even do some work, like I do ????, while in flight. So, it's kinda fun to watch people enjoying their pursuits. Some are intense as they bang away on their keyboards with a fervor that I can only interpret as a life or death email or text exchange that simply can't wait. Others engross themselves in a movie, complete with sound deadening headphones and then some get on Facebook and write "pithy" stories. I can't imagine anyone doing that but I am told it happens. ???? In any event, I am on a plane headed home, enjoying the wonders of technology, surfing the internet, watching a movie, texting friends and doing some work. (Just in case anyone asks) But I'm not making a phone call...that is so old school. lol

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