If Bubble Tests are the Wrong Answer, What's the Right One?

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Bubble tests are the wrong answer. The 1914 inventor of the item-response test, Frederick Kelly, recanted this reductive, standardized way of assessment as soon as the national crisis of a teacher shortage during World War I ended. I tell his story in the Washington Post editorial and at greater length in Now You See It. I also tell the story of so many teachers, parents, educators, and others who are working to find a better way to measure achievement. I am confident that, together, we can find much better answers than A, B, C, D, or none of the above.

Cathy Speaks to a Packed House at CUNY

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Cathy spoke to a packed house at CUNY Graduate Humanities Center on Monday, September 13. Thanks to Kandice Chuh for a great action shot! Can you see the gorilla???

See Cat in NYC!

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Two upcoming events at universities in New York City are free and open to the public. Come on out! Monday, September 12, @CUNY, 6:30pm CUNY Graduate Humanities Center Tuesday, September 13, @NYU, 5pm… Read more »

Catch me in California this week!

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I am thrilled to be speaking at the Vision and Voices series at USC this Thursday, September 8, at 7pm. The event is free and open to the public with a reception to… Read more »

Stagnant Future, Standard Tests: Pointed Response to NY Times "Grading the Digital School""

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The point I am making in response to this very long and often exceptionally thoughtful essay by Richtel is that the issue of “technology” is inseparable from all the ways we think, communicate, and interact today. Of course we need to teach kids how to be successful in their world. That also means not “teaching to the test” but working with teachers to teach this technology in the best ways possible. In studying how to do this in the course of my research for Now You See It, some of the most brilliant and inspiring teaching I observed prepared students for technology with things like scissors, construction paper, popsicle sticks. It taught them to think structurally and interactively, not just to Google the right answer. That’s the deal. We are wasting our money and the time our kids spend in school if we just throw a bunch of technology into the classroom without helping them to understand that technology.

The Human Library: Check Me Out!

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I wish every library and every school adopted this “human library” program. Think of the human resources we could take advantage of! Think about what a great project it would be for kids to be able to nominate a human resource, to pitch the nominee to their fellow students. A beloved grandfather who fought in the Vietnam War. A blind grandmother with stories to tell. A friend down the block from Afghanistan. An entrepreneur who once did jail time and learned, in prison, how to read. Every child knows someone amazing. This could be a no-cost learning opportunity that everyone would learn from. Let’s do it!

Productivity? Or Standardizing Mediocrity? Pointed Response to Flawed U Texas Brief on Higher Ed

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Everything is lopsided in this study. There is no innovation in this model, only the most stale version of an education proposed as mass production pretending to be “productivity.” If this is proposed as a model that benefits the tax payer and their children, Texas is in very, very bad shape. The future of youth in Texas is being traded away on the notion of a very false and obsolete notion of “productivity.”

Cathy N. Davidson

Cathy N. Davidson

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