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Comment: Re:Classroom vs self-guided (Score 4, Informative) 47

Colleges definetly use advanced courses such as AP as a basis for admission (Advice From a Dean of Admissions on Selecting High School Courses). Whether it's right or not, colleges consider academic "rigor" in high school to admit students, and the AP courses have a standardized curriculum which makes it easier for colleges to judge their difficulty.

Comment: Re:The correct decision (Score 1) 355

by dmiller1984 (#49570885) Attached to: University Overrules Professor Who Failed Entire Management Class
Not sure how long their semester is, but most schools would be ending in the next few weeks so he should have stuck it out. If he failed the students he knew were misbehaving he would have been on much higher ground. Most universities have an appeal policy for grades, but the student has a high bar to pass to appeal a grade given by a professor. The university will almost always defer to the professor in a he-said, she-said scenario.

Comment: Re:Hard to take sides (Score 1) 355

by dmiller1984 (#49570847) Attached to: University Overrules Professor Who Failed Entire Management Class
Definitely agree that both sides are at fault here. Classroom management is one of the toughest jobs for a teacher, and I think professors sometimes feel they don't need to worry about it since college students are paying their way and there won't be the discipline issues you have at lower grade levels. The students clearly demonstrated that isn't true, but the need for security guards showed this was building over a long period of time. I wish I had more details, but this should have been addressed much earlier.

Comment: Re:Fabricating a Crisis? (Score 1) 165

by dmiller1984 (#49553123) Attached to: Think Tanks: How a Bill [Gates Agenda] Becomes a Law
I don't think the powers behind Code.org and the B&M Gates Foundation care about bringing more students into unviersities. They are trying to bring more CS students into universities. Those students would probably be going to college anyway so it would be revenue-neutral for the schools.

Comment: Re:Fabricating a Crisis? (Score 1) 165

by dmiller1984 (#49553107) Attached to: Think Tanks: How a Bill [Gates Agenda] Becomes a Law

MR. SMITH: "One of the things I've learned from all of the various anti-trust and intellectual property negotiations I've handled over the years is this, sometimes when a small problem proves intractable you have to make it bigger. You have to make the problem big enough so that the solution is exciting enough to galvanize people's attention..."

That actually makes my point. The summary states that they fabricated a crisis, but what you just posted shows that they thought it was a smaller problem that just needed to be made bigger to find a solution.

Comment: Fabricating a Crisis? (Score -1, Troll) 165

by dmiller1984 (#49552711) Attached to: Think Tanks: How a Bill [Gates Agenda] Becomes a Law
Not sure where the idea comes from that they are "producing a crisis" or "fabricating a crisis." Everything from the articles and PowerPoint appear to show that they were trying to bring awareness to an already existing crisis. At least they believed it was already a crisis. Not nearly as underhanded as TFA makes it out to be.

Comment: Re:Instead... (Score 1) 356

That's exactly what they're doing. From the USA Today article:

This means that people who use Google to search on their smartphone may not find many of their favorite sites at the top of the rankings. Sites that haven't updated could find themselves ranked way lower, which in turn could mean a huge loss of business.

Comment: Re:Certified != Competent (Score 1) 700

by dmiller1984 (#48980849) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Pros and Cons of Homeschooling?
I apparently chose not to read that part. I agree that the classes aren't where you necessarily learn how to be a teacher. I think management is emphasized because that is what most teachers fail at early on in their careers. You learn your pedagogy from your supervising teacher during student teaching, but that can be a bad thing if you don't have a good supervising teacher.

Comment: Re:Perhaps use Waze's analytics against it (Score 1) 611

by dmiller1984 (#48603537) Attached to: Waze Causing Anger Among LA Residents

If it looks for passive movement data, why not create a bunch of accounts and put some old cell phones to good use broadcasting traffic data? Hook them up to wireless, use a VPN if needed to mask the IP, and show "cars" stopped. You could add in accident reports to make it more realistic. Maybe even some VMs running an iPhone simulator to increase the number of spoofed cars. Remember, technology is your friend if used correctly; just don't get any on you...

The problem is there would be more cars moving through the area than the "stopped" cars. Waze ignores obviously false reports as it states in the article.

Comment: Bucking the Trend (Score 1) 415

So the trend seems to be to give the OS away for free as Apple, Google, Linux (for the most part) are doing. Microsoft decides to be different any make people constantly pay for the OS instead of just paying up front. Sounds like a great plan, and I really hope it stays in the rumor realm.

Comment: Re:Why all the fuss about Common Core? (Score 1) 273

by dmiller1984 (#46475509) Attached to: Is the New "Common Core SAT" Bill Gates' Doing?

Also, most states only have one of these evaluative tests a year, so you're not comparing students to their own scores, you're comparing them to the scores of the previous year's class.

If that's how the test is being interpreted, the administrators are idiots. You have test results for each class from last year, look at the difference between those results and the results from this year. That gives you the change in test results as affected by the teacher under scrutiny.

This isn't quantum loop gravity, if your only argument against holding teachers to a standard is that the administration is too stupid to apply one correctly, then it's time to nuke the whole district and start over.

It's harder than it seems. First of all, it's the states who administer these exams, not the schools. The public schools have no choice as to how or when these exams are administered. Students are held to different standards during each school year so comparing them to their scores from the previous year doesn't make sense since the material isn't the same. Also, how do you evaluate teachers who teach non-core subjects such as music, PE, or computer science? The whole data driven movement in schools is fine, but not everything in education can be quantified. Teaching is more of an art than it is a science.

Comment: Re:Why all the fuss about Common Core? (Score 1) 273

by dmiller1984 (#46474719) Attached to: Is the New "Common Core SAT" Bill Gates' Doing?

"First off, getting stuck with a class of crappy students can cost you your job . . ."

No, that's not how the evaluations would work. The improvement of individual students could be tracked and evaluated against the standard.

"Once they receive tenure, they should no longer be subject to evaluation . . ."

That should not be true of anyone.

Is it really fair to judge a teacher on a test that doesn't mean anything to the students? Also, most states only have one of these evaluative tests a year, so you're not comparing students to their own scores, you're comparing them to the scores of the previous year's class. So the class of crappy students certainly could cost a teacher their job if their previous class was much better.

Air pollution is really making us pay through the nose.

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