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Topic: Re: Time for Moderation
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me@talmanl1.mscd.edu

Posts: 1,815
Registered: 12/6/04
Re: Time for Moderation
Posted: Aug 3, 2000 2:11 AM
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Charlie Masenas wrote:

> I know if God had wanted us to be concise he wouldn't
> have given us educators but maybe you can try anyway,
> Lou. What is your point?
>
> You think no accountability, no measurement for
> educational reform experiments is better than the
> best measurement tools at the time?
>
> What are the best educational measurement tools?
> Do you think it is High School grade point average
> (correlation .36 with college freshman GPA)? I
> know you don't like the SAT (correlation .35 with
> freshman GPA, these numbers from "Predictions of
> Freshman Grade-Point Average From the Revised and
> Recentered SAT I: Reasoning Test" Brent Bridgeman,
> Laura Camley-Jenkins, and Nancy Ervin, ETS No. 00-1).
>
> Do you like GPA as a measure of future productivity
> for REAL life productivity? Here is your chance
> to be constructive. Tell us what YOU like for
> measurement tools (or is your choice NO measurements).


I respond with a parable:

Now it came to pass that the Most High, the CEO of the company that
employed Carolus the Masenite did say unto himself "My engineers have
waxed sloth and their work is not what I would. Now therefore let Steps
Be Taken."

Upon the morrow did Carolus' overseer announce "The Engineering Testing
Service hath brought forth the Engineering Achievement Test, and, lo, it
is good. It is the best measurement tool known to man or woman. Yea,
though it correlateth with engineering practice only to the extent of
thirty-and-five hundredths--meaning that it doth measure but one-eighth
of what it is good for an engineer to know--ye shall all take part in
it, even in both parts of it; both the Verbal EAT and the Math EAT shall
ye take. The mean score upon each part doth well approximate unto a
score-and-five of scores, and the standard deviation even unto five
score; and no-one may score above the perfection of two scores of scores
upon either part. Yet shall thy total score amount to no less than
three-score-and-ten of scores else shalt thou be terminated. And shall
thy scores not amount in their fullness to four-score-less-five of
scores then shalt thou be banished even unto the ranks of the Junior
Engineers, Third Grade--never to enjoy promotion or increase in thy
emolument. This hath the Most High ordained, and so it must be, for it
is good."

And it was so. And it came to pass that Carolus did came to pass to the
examining room, and to this end he went in to the examining room, and
mightily did he strive, and he did turn in his test booklet and his
number two pencil and his answer sheet, that the all-knowing and
objective machine might consider his works and find them good. And he
returned unto the place of his work where it was meet that he await the
arrival of his scores.

And the days were accomplished that the scores should be delivered, and
most of them were so delivered. But Carolus received only the score for
his Math EAT, his other score being "Delayed". And his Math EAT was
pretty good but not real good, being six-hundred-and-two-score-and-
nine. And Carolus went in unto his overseer and shewed unto his
overseer this score, and the overseer was not pleased. And he said unto
Carolus, "Get thee hence, and take thy place amongst the Junior
Engineers, Third Grade, for, lo, thou canst not under any circumstances
meet the requirements for anything better. And know thee that thy
pay-raises and thy promotions are from this time hence held in abeyance
for aye, and thou shalt not have them." And Carolus waxed wroth, for he
knew that his deeds as an engineer were mighty; but he took his place
amongst the Junior Engineers, Third Grade, for he feared losing his
paycheck altogether.

And more days passed, and it chanced that two weeks later Carlous'
second score did arrive. And it was very good, but it was not good
enough, for it was seven-hurdred and two-score and ten. And Carolus
went in unto his overseer and said "See how mightily I have prevailed
upon the Verbal EAT."

And the overseer said unto Carolus "How are the mighty fallen, for thou
hast not garnered a total of four-score-less-five of scores; now shalt
thou get thee hence for thou art not longer employed here."

And Carolus sought mercy even in this way: "But consider my works for
the company. Have I not been a faithful employee? And have I not
worked long hours and developed myself professionally? And have I not
accomplished mighty feats of engineering for the company? And am I not
just one measly little point short of the required total? Can this not
be overlooked? Knowest thou not about correlation coefficients and
margins of error? Knowest thou not that standardized tests are a heap
of male bovine excrement?"

And the overseer--who knew Carolus well and was not such a bad fellow,
really--hardened his heart and said "It is even as thou hast said. But.
Thou hast heard the word of Him Whose Laws May Not Be Broken, even the
CEO. 1400 it must be; 1399 doesn't cut the cheese. I rose even unto
that height and more--for I was not sent to dwell amongst the Junior
Engineers, Third Grade--and so must you. Sorry, Charlie. Get thee
hence. Thou hast but an hour to clean out thy desk. Thy final paycheck
awaiteth thee at the cashier's window. And consider thou thyself lucky
for the two-week's extra pay thou wouldst not have had hadst thy score
not been delayed. Slam not the door as thou departest."

And Carolus the Masenite was cast into outer darkness, and there was
weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth.

But not much of it came, I think, from the AMTE list or from people who
are getting straight A's at second- and third-tier institutions--even
though their SAT scores weren't very good.

--Lou Talman






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