Sciencepolitica: Science Debate Seeks to Find Out What Politicians Know About Science

Update:  Shawn Otto of Science Debate will be featured on NPR’s Talk of the Nation: Science Friday at 2 ET.  Discussion on science in the elections.

In 2007, a small group of American citizens, lead by Shawn Otto, created Science Debate 2008, an organization that called on the 2008 presidential candidates to hold a debate on science and its political implications for society.  A presidential debate on science was never held.  Here, according to Science Debate 2008, is the story:

The candidates refused. 

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Peter Smagorinsky–>Great Georgia Teachers: Beyond Test Scores

Guest Post by Peter Smagorinsky

Peter Smagorinsky is a former high school teacher turned University of Georgia professor.  His columns on education issues have been featured in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution (AJC) and the Washington Post.  This article appeared on the EmpowerED Georgia newsletter, and was originally published on the AJC.

Teachers sure are taking a beating these days. Not all teachers, however. If you’re in a private school or charter school, you must be pretty danged good.… Read more

Georgia Department of Education Says Evaluation Plan Won’t Work But Will Implement it Anyway?

The Georgia Department of Education claims that the evaluation system they developed along Federal guidelines needs to be modified. . They  think one part will not work because it will put the state at risk from lawsuits by teachers.

When I first saw the headline in the Atlanta Journal Constitution newspaper, I thought that maybe the state officials got the message written by more than 30 professors.  The message, in the form of a letter sent to Georgia officials including the governor and state school superintendent, challenges the teacher and leader evaluation system, identifies the unintended negative consequences, and recommends the state opt out of this invalidated and unreliable system.… Read more

Anthony Cody: Designer of Value-Added Tests a Skeptic About Current Test Mania

Guest Post by Anthony Cody

Follow Anthony on Twitter at @AnthonyCody

Defenders of our current obsession over test scores claim that new, better tests will rescue us from the educational stagnation caused by a test prep curriculum. And one of those new types of tests is an adaptive test, which adjusts the difficulty of questions as students work, so that students are always challenged. This gives a better measure of student ability than a traditional test, and can be given in the fall and spring to measure student growth over the year.

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Georgia Educators’ Open Letter: Proposed Teacher Evaluation Invalid, Unreliable, & Detrimental to Student Learning

Starting this Fall, Georgia will carry out a teacher and leader assessment system that will use student progress on content tests and administrator evaluation based on a checklist of teacher classroom behaviors to evaluate teachers.

A group of Georgia professors has prepared a letter sent to key politicians including the governor,  the GA state school superintendent, and the superintendents of 29 school systems.  The letter challenges the teacher and leader evaluation system, identifies the unintended negative consequences, and recommends the state opt out of this invalidated and unreliable system.… Read more

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