All the BEST conspiracies are factual... especially the ones that seem so unlikely no sane person could believe them to be true...
Anyway... Putting all the privacy/Evil Overlords/Brainwashing arguments aside it hasn't been signed by anyone under duress. It is really just a starting point for negotiations between the "entity" and code.org. In the corporate world you never sign anything without legal looking at it. If it is for something important (like this is) you always negotiate better terms especially when the other party needs you more than you need them (code.org needs the schools more than the schools need code.org).
The first contract isn't much more than a wish list by the one drafting it. Sometimes they only include unreasonable terms just so they have something to give up in discussions instead of something less extreme that they need more. If schools/districts/whoever sign up to this unmodified they need a change of management.
But if things were different what would the best moan about on
Teaching styles and results vary however due to the way data is gathered, averaged and analysed it is always possible to prove one is better than the other. If I could be be bothered (which I can't) I'm sure I could dig out several peer reviewed studies that show the bigger the class and the more standardised the material the better the education level of the population... The small class, focused teaching case falls apart compared to the fixed lesson plans scenario any time the teacher for whatever reason doesn't want to be teaching at that particular point in his/her life (this can be for many reasons ranging from illness, death of a relative all the way to plain overwork or being just an incompetent teacher).
You can determine this from anonymous aggregated data
There isare two things that I would change... 2) the extended performance data needs to be anonymous.
You're mostly agreeing with me here... The larger data set should be anonymous but there are several good reasons that at least some of the data isn't.
And there is why so many educational programmes only ever give average results. They measure averaged data against averaged data and surprisingly normally come out around average. The result is an average level of education.
Understanding if the programme benefits students with higher or lower abilities is important not only statistically important but also for any educational programme to make sense. There is no point to the programme if while the overall class did better than average it was down to one or two super bright students doing really well while most of the class actually fell behind - especially when a program is intended to help students that may be struggling or to promote knowledge across a wide range of abilities.
I started on a ZX81 then moved to a ZX Spectrum, and then to a +3. did some basic programming, played some games and was content with what I had. I was in effect vendor locked into Sinclair as it was the only system I had access to or knew how to use.
Then I got access to BBC Masters at school and I was even more content learning to program in Comal. It was the only system I had any programming teaching in until my Uni days.
Then I moved to an Amiga 500, Rexx, Amos, and others. All learned on the totally different environment of my Sinclair and BBC days and all was good for a while.
Shortly after my first PC (an old second-hand 386) which came with MS dos and windows 3.1. For about a year I used nothing but Dos, Windows, Turbo C and this matched what I had access to at Uni (not counting the VAX cluster).
I heard about this thing called Linux and I promptly repartitioned my flatmates 486DX and spent the next week downloading slackware one disk bundle at a time (I only owned 10 floppies.. I was a student and they were expensive!)
Today I switch between Windows, Linux, Android, Mac and others and program to varying extents in most, using several different languages as needed (cursing some, loving others).
Anyway my point is just because you start somewhere doesn't mean that's where you stay. If those backing code.org thing that the brightest students will stick to the products they were trained in they are deluded. Only the average and below students will never expand their knowledge beyond their training and I'm fine with that.
The good and best will still end up doing what they like, make their own choices, making a difference where they can and will have the intelligence to use the best tools for the job rather than the one their peers pressure them into using for whatever reason.
There's noting like a good conspiracy story to get a rise from
Some achievement tracking is justified and useful (and even necessary) for the project itself. For code.org to justify its efforts (both to itself and to schools in general) it needs to prove that they made a difference and its hard to do that with no data on how well students improved compared to those not involved. Also since there seems to be some kind of grading/tests/qualifications involved and code.org is issuing them they need to be (as for any examining body) able to keep records of what student did what and that they achieved the required competency and how the difficulty of these achievements compare to other disciplines the students are involved with.
The power to veto teachers is also justified to some extent given how many bad teachers there are out there and bad teaching of the material will likely have the opposite effect than the project wants (that is put talented kids off coding for life). As there are 'small teacher stipends' involved this seems very reasonable to me as does training teachers... something that there isn't nearly enough of (especially in the sciences and technology given how fast things change) which just results in even more bad teaching.
Committing to teach for two years also makes sense given the first year the teachers are likely learning the material just in time to teach it, the second (and presumably subsequent) years the teacher will be able to teach it better due to familiarity. It also ensures at least some consistency for students from one year to the next.
There is two things that I would change from what I read and they are 1) Parents need to have the option to opt-out their sprogs from the achievement tracking but since it would seem that they need to give permission to participate in the first place this is a moot point and 2) the extended performance data needs to be anonymous.
There is a distinct difference between a test for a specific disease and a test that tells you if you have DNA that may make you susceptible to possibly, maybe getting a disease compared to someone else's.
Also it isn't Food or a Drug or Medicine that involves ingesting/injecting/inhaling and can't cause physical harm if misused. It is a non diagnostic test that as at no point will it say 'you have disease x' or 'you don't have disease y'.
Its only a super advanced version of taking blood pressure and pulse... If someone chooses not to consult a doctor because they think their own pulse is normal should the FDA ban everyone from putting a finger on an artery and counting the beats in 30 seconds?
If it doesn't show a genetic tendency for say breast cancer someone who finds a lump will still likely go to their doctor and is unlikely to check less often than before.
If it does show a tendency then that same person may check more often or even go sooner to get a suspect lump checked.
If someone that shows a genetic tendency overreacts and decides they need their breasts removed now to prevent any possibility of cancer in the future they have to go to their doctor who should at the very least do more tests, arrange counselling and only proceed if in his professional opinion it is warranted.
The "clear option" is a greyed-out "Decline" button on the bottom left of the installer.
More or less the same reasons I stopped recommending Avast to friends who often ended up malware infected due to pre-installed Mcaffee not doing anything useful... Constant popups prompting to download a version 'upgrade' with the version that costs more button in bright yellow and the free or currently paid for version on a practically invisible 'greyed out' button. Even when I knew they were doing this I found it difficult to avoid ending up on a shop page...
Imagine if every time you got in your car and turned on the engine you had to decline an upgrade to a car that cost twice as much or every single bite of your burger at someone came up to you and tried to sell you another complete meal...
True, but you seem to be losing your edge faster... just a few years earlier (2003-2007), U.S. fire departments responded to an average of 287,000 [car fires per year]
Yeah its not as if petrol/diesel cars ever catch fire...
14,000 or so in the UK last year, which is a massive drop from the 28,800 in 1993 and those are just the accidental fires...
Newsflash: technology gets more reliable over time and the Tesla is still brand new compared to internal combustion that has had over 130 years of safety problems, development work and improvements. How often do you hear of mobile phones and laptops bursting into flames these days? For a while it seemed to be happening all the time...
I'd be more worried about... "Secret" updates that could be doing anything to my system more than a small boost to my battery life...
If you ask me Microsoft need to get back on track, put the brakes and stop the Metro bandwagon before they hit the buffers and their share price crashes.
Chances are the trademark also includes unreported logos and new variations of wording. Also there is the reported updated usage wording which lawyers feel make it necessary.
... AOL 2.0