Monday, January 31, 2011

Links for 1/31/11

Stephen Brockmann
If I go to a doctor’s office and witness doctors and nurses fighting about whether or not I should take a particular medication, I’m likely to go elsewhere for my health care needs. I think something analogous happened to the humanities in the 1980s, and it is continuing to happen today…
Michael Alison Chandler
South Korea… newly minted admissions officers, who have undergone training to evaluate hard-to-quantify traits, such as leadership potential and independent thinking. The change in admissions is the centerpiece of a slate of policy reforms aimed at coaxing creativity from students trained to memorize…

But reversing a centuries-old testing culture could prove to be as difficult here as anywhere. High schools and families need time to catch up in a society where "extracurricular" is often understood to mean extra English or math classes, and where competition is so stiff for entrance to top colleges that extra tutoring is hard to avoid and students don't have time to do anything except study…

the country's famed education system is blamed for a plummeting birth rate, record numbers of suicides, and a deepening rift between rich and poor…
Derek Neal
This chapter analyzes the design of incentive schemes in education while reviewing empirical studies that evaluate performance pay programs for educators. Several themes emerge. First, it is difficult to use one assessment system to create both educator performance metrics and measures of student achievement. To mitigate incentives for coaching, incentive systems should employ assessments that vary in both format and item content. Separate no-stakes assessments provide more reliable information about student achievement because they create no incentives for educators to take hidden actions that contaminate student test scores. Second, relative performance schemes are rare in education even though they are more difficult to manipulate than systems built around psychometric or subjective performance standards. Third, assessment-based incentive schemes are mechanisms that complement rather than substitute for systems that promote parental choice, e.g. vouchers and charter schools.
The Chronicle on this year’s freshman.

A Sign of the Recovery? Law School Applications Fall

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