Mass emails & creepy algorithms

Posted on October 3, 2017


Okay, this blogpost about creepy twist to MAP test kinda hit home:    the test is also supposed to measure students’ “engagement,” and the teacher was supposed to intervene because, it would seem, a student was clicking through too quickly and was therefore deemed “disengaged.”   Well, the student just works that fast.  Yes, there are teachers out there who would have intervened.   I would get annoyed enough when I was using REading Plus and it kept telling me I was reading too fast.  It already tested my reading speed.   I read that fast.  At least it didn’t have the last word and I could just click through.

Speaking of algorithms,   I got an email in my personal account :

Dear Susan,
I am excited to introduce myself as the newly designated Account Executive for Carnegie Learning to Parkland College. I will be working alongside _____b to help transform math learning in your classrooms.
To tell you a little about myself,  [bio stuff – sped background, math teacher, left classroom]I am excited to work with school districts to help students love learning, and especially love learning math.
With a deep focus on mathematics, Carnegie Learning uniquely equips students and teachers to excel in 21st Century work environments with research-proven curriculum supporting 6-12 grade learners and data-driven, job-embedded professional development supporting K-12 educators.
In an independent “Gold Standard” study funded by US DOE and independently conducted by the RAND Corporation, the Carnegie-Learning blended approach  nearly doubled math growth  over the performance of randomized control classrooms on standardized tests. The study, which was conducted with 18,000 students across 147 schools in seven states, reflected 2x further improvement for classrooms implementing with moderate fidelity.
I would like to make myself available for an informal call or visit to become acquainted and learn of the math goals at your district. Even if there is no change on the immediate horizon for your district, it would be great to meet you briefly. Please let me know your level of availability.
Of course, Parkland COllege … isn’t K-12.    It’s an algorithm thing.
I’m on his list ’cause I asked to hear about MathiaX when it was released… and I did!    My review of MathiaX   gets lots of hits but … don’t think this guy’s seen it …
This does inform me that basically crappy programs with  procedural practice with bells and whistles can a t least create the illusion of “growth” on standardized tests.   My respect for standardized tests diminishes.
I’ve replied to these kind before; they’re like politicians and keep reciting their “talking points” and imploring you to let them visit,  do a “pilot…” and this program is so cheesy that no, I wouldn’t inflict it on students even if it were free.
Tomorrow:   Get next lesson evaluation done, and then… work on how to make a blended learning for math phobes thing work.