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NO Tests But For Learning: The Provocation Proceeds

The proceedings of  this blog began back in September with an invocation of the metaphor of exorcism. Some might have found that strange, but the comparison seemed apt to this old altar boy because impressions and ideas, objections and observations, frustrations and fancying associated with the world of testing do afflict me like distracting spirits. […]

Are Problems With Tests Really Problems With Authority?

An unexpected telephone conversation this morning, on the 27th day of for this blog, exposed me to a loved one who trusts what Joe Rogan and his guests say about the pandemic. In other words, that person believes that those voices speak with authority. To do so requires a corresponding belief that the so-called official […]

The failure to reconcile social learning with competitive testing schemes

Hard to believe that seven years have passed since Alina Von Davier and I with the expert assistance of Sue Borchardt created this brief animated video on  collaborative assessment as part of the Pulling to the Edge series to accelerate innovation in educational measurement. Alina offers some glittering insights in this short film such as “We (educational measurement scientists) measure very very well what we […]

Two Stories of Failed Testing — And Teaching

Stories  Day 2 is made much easier because two friends shared stories from their own personal histories of testing that allow me to riff off of them. First, my dear friend and former colleague, Vasu Murti related this example:  Sharing my testing story while pursuing Bachelors in India vs. Masters in the US.  Bachelors: 5-years Naval Architecure B.Tech program (Focus: ship design, construction […]

NO Tests But For Learning: Alphabet Soup and Irish Whiskey

This is it: January Jolt #31. Not a believer of numerology but… 31 is a black number on the roulette wheel that many players consider lucky perhaps because it is a prime number. Prime numbers are numbers that have only 2 factors: 1 and themselves. (Speaking of roulette, who can forget the classic movie line of […]

Question Authority Because Authority Should Ask More Questions

In yesterday’s post, the issue of increasing disregard of the authority that is necessary to create a meaningful test occupied my daily rant. But even then the need to consider the other side of authority — whether those with the decision-making rights about educational measurement seek sufficient counsel from the people who actually take the […]

The Baseball Hall Of Fame Is A Meritocracy; Our Society Is A Ganglion Of Oligarchies

Being a baseball fan my whole life, the conversation about yesterday’s most recent Hall of Fame (HOF) induction interested me because I think that institution for whatever its other faults acted in accordance with its meritocratic nature. Critics of yesterday’s election results missing that point also mistake how arguments for admission to a meritocracy should proceed.. To say that […]

Myths of Meritocracy Are Entangled in Myths about Testing

The Uses of Argument by Stephen Toulmin, a foundational text of modern assessment design, the science behind the making of tests, lays out the components of a formal argument that leads to a claim. (And remember the whole reason to have a test is to be able to make some claim about what someone knows […]

MailBox Monday #3: Tests, Time, Teachers, and Inertia

It is a beautiful but cold Monday morning here in Princeton New Jersey. Well, just barely morning as I am writing this a shade before noon. But my ebullience arises in part from finally shedding my obsession (as noted in y’day’s post) with reading critiques of the SAT. Earlier today, I gleefully informed the Google […]

Dog’s Breakfast or What My Algorithm Hath Wrought

According to Merriam-Webster, a Dog’s Breakfast is defined as “chiefly British. : a confused mess or mixture.” I don’t know about the British part because we certainly heard the phrase in our exclusively Irish household where I knew that it meant something that was thrown together. (The first use of the term cited by OED is […]