Is there another debt to deal with? Should colleges be put to the test?

The Internet is atwitter and abuzz and in some cases aghast at the decision by President Biden to cancel student loan debt. My brother Gene Bouie squarely raised the unsaid elements of at least some of that resistance in writing to a swath of engaging people this morning about the cancelling of student debt by […]

No Tests But For Learning Starts With Getting The Right Tools

Getting to NTFBL (No Tests But For Learning) will take time and enormous energy to flip the current status quo overwhelmingly favoring summative assessment. But we can start with formative assessment’s greater adoption by classroom teachers. Formative assessment seeks “to monitor student learning to provide ongoing feedback that can be used by instructors to improve their teaching […]

If the ‘learner is at the center’ then shouldn’t all tests already be for learning?

Former ETS colleague Kate MIllet published an intriguing article recently here that pointed me towards the Big Education report where I read this sentence: “When the learner is at the centre, it is their strengths and needs, passions and interests that become the focus for transformation, wherever that learner comes from and whatever system they […]

Games as Tests: Where Does That Movement Stand?

Educators have advocated weaving testing and learning into games for years. Where does that initiative stand now? The question occurred to me in reading Ethan Mollick writes highly engaging posts about a variety of subjects often intersecting with the world of education. In this recent post, he wrote, “Hire good gamers! Video game performance can […]

Nepotism, Networks, and Nature Outgun Test Scores

You cannot teach an old dog new tricks. Or is it possible that the saying really should be that venerable canines like your correspondent cannot unlearn their old tricks? This conundrum confronts me almost daily as my neural tentacles quiver at the sight of some factoid or phrase they were trained to retrieve — and […]

More to say

After thirty posts in thirty days in January of this year, I knew my connection with the overlapping subjects of testing, education, learning, knowledge, and (so-called) merit was not severed or dissolved. They still strike me as important and I still want to try to stir up some good trouble in those regions. At that […]

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 […]