Are We Overtesting?
The New York Times has a section entitled "Room for Debate" where various education experts opine about the topics related to the New York city school system. The content though applies to Charlotte-Mecklenburg schools. It's worth a few minutes of time to read through.
The opening piece by Linda Darling-Hammond, "A Dangerous Obsession" is especially relevant.
How Solid is Value Added Modeling?
The Washington Post's blog column, The Answer Sheet, had a great post back in May about the troubles with Value Added Modeling. It'll take a few extra minutes to read, but very much worthwhile.
I'm going to block quote one of the salient points brought up as a partial teaser to entice you to click into the article:
"The modern classroom is more variable than people imagine. What if students are team-taught? How do you apportion credit or blame among various teachers? Do teachers in one class (say mathematics) affect the learning in another (say science)?"
Here's the link: "Leading mathematician debunks 'value-added'"
Planet Money: The Case for Preschool
The Perry Preschool Project in Ypsilanti, Michigan is a longitudinal study about the effects of preschool on economicially disadvantaged children. It's a fascinating study that has generated lots of comments both in favor and against the outcomes.
The Planet Money team talked with economist James Heckman who has used the data from the project to come up with some interesting conclusions.