It’s Not About the Score; It’s the Cut-Score

***As this information continues to change and develop, this post will be updated.

There has been a lot of news about cut-scores in the last few days; but the only thing people really seem to understand, is that they don’t really understand cut scores. So, let’s break it down.

What is a “cut score”? This one is pretty straight-forward: It is a cut-off point. If you had a number line, and divided it by what

Continue reading… It’s Not About the Score; It’s the Cut-Score

TN House IEA Bill (Special Ed Vouchers)

These are notes from the final House debate on the IEA bill (sometimes called IEP vouchers), on April 22, 2015, and is not meant to serve as minutes or a full transcript.

A list of those voting for and against is available at the bottom of the page.


Representative Calfee asks whether this is a voucher bill. Representative Moody says it is not.

Calfee asks whether there is a list of approved vendors. Moody

Continue reading… TN House IEA Bill (Special Ed Vouchers)

Florida Fails to Deliver Useful Testing Schedule

Florida is now saying they will not have test results until sometime next fall, partially due to the process used in computing “cut scores.”

I thought these tests are supposed to be used to “inform instruction.” Isn’t that what they keep telling us? How do they “inform instruction” when the results aren’t available for MONTHS???

When I take a computer based certification test, I get my score IMMEDIATELY – on the screen, with a copy

Continue reading… Florida Fails to Deliver Useful Testing Schedule


Some Knox County Board of Education members have recently said that they have never heard of the Broad Foundation, which is odd, because

The community has been telling the Board about Broad since 2010 The KCS superintendent’s “credentials” are from Broad Several “Broad Fellows” have been hired as employees of the KCS BOE It has been all over education news outlets and social media – for YEARS

Did I mention that we have been telling

Continue reading… The “Broad Virus” in Knox County Schools

Stop TN School Voucher Bill HB1049


UPDATE: The House has voted to suspend the rules and allow items to “Flow” through committees, even if they are not on the calendar! That means the voucher bill could pass through the subcommittee and on to the full committee very, quickly.

This bill needs to be stopped now.

Please encourage your relatives, co-workers, neighbors, and friends (heck, even call on your enemies!) to do a little letter writing, to tell the Finance Ways

Continue reading… Stop TN School Voucher Bill HB1049

Knox County District 2 BOE Election

A friend messaged me today, with this paraphrased question:

“I was looking over the sample ballot and have no idea who these people are. I’ve gotten tons of mailers, but still don’t know anything about them. What is your opinion?”

Others have also asked about the 2nd District Board of Ed candidates, so here are my opinions, and how I arrived at them:

I don’t know much about Dorsey. She is a retired principal, and

Continue reading… Knox County District 2 BOE Election

Transcript: Datapalooza 2012

How much data is currently being stored about YOUR children? Do you have any idea who is storing that data, what they know, or how that information can be used?

This is a work in progress – as a slightly improved version of the transcript of the Knewton data video below:

So the human race is about to enter a totally data mined existence and it’s going to be really fun to watch. It’s

Continue reading… Transcript: Datapalooza 2012

More Tests!

From the “Dumbest Thing I’ve Heard All Day” department:

Dr. Jared Bigham is Director of College and Career Readiness at the State Collaborative on Reforming Education (SCORE) and a leader of the Expect More, Achieve More Coalition: “We can’t afford to wait until students are 17 yrs old to determine if they are college & career ready.”


When should we determine whether students have reached the point we expect them to reach by age

Continue reading… More Tests!

Problems Didn't Start Yesterday

A supporter contacted me to ask that I make some of the dates in this article more clear. While doing so, I have also added pieces of the video transcripts and made my photos from the 2011 Rally more accessible.

One thing that I cannot add, is YOUR voice – and I hope you will help, by adding your experiences in the comments. If you have spent years, trying to communicate these problems to our

Continue reading… Problems Didn’t Start Yesterday

Enough Nuance – Get to the Truth

There is some disagreement over whether the story of possible agreements between the KCS BOE and the superintendent are something over which constituents should be concerned. Without a doubt, the story has changed in the last 24 hours. When a reporter says that we will have a more “nuanced” version of the story, I see a red flag, right there. Nuance is part of the problem. We don’t need to see the kinder, gentler version

Continue reading… Enough Nuance – Get to the Truth

Alexander & Jeb Bush, Supporting CCSS

Where are the educators in this discussion???

“U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) will appear with former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R) and Gov. Bill Haslam (R-TN) Wednesday at an education roundtable discussion sponsored by pro-Common Core Tennessee Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Tennessee Business Roundtable.”

Essay Test Scoring

The more we find out about the scoring of essay tests, the uglier it gets…

“After three years working as a scorer, Dan DiMaggio says he’s a skimming machine. “It’s ugly,” he says. “You just go as fast as possible.”


“Eventually, DiMaggio got used to not asking questions. He got used to skimming the essays as fast as possible, glancing over the responses for about two minutes apiece before clicking a score.”


Continue reading… Essay Test Scoring

“Faux” Parent Groups are VERY Real

Speaking of Tennessee’s Education Commissioner, Kevin Huffman:

“As with many of the “problems” he pointed to during his talk, he didn’t offer up any suggestions on how to rectify the lack of parental input in his reform process, nor did he ask for ideas from the audience. He went on to give a very convoluted reason for not reaching out to parents which made my jaw drop in disbelief: He told the CEOs that “there

Continue reading… “Faux” Parent Groups are VERY Real

America’s Top Colleges & TFA

by Mark Naison

“I wonder what future historians will say about the nation’s top colleges- especially the Ivies,- enthusiastically welcoming a program that systematically undermines the teaching profession and provides replacement labor for cities trying to weaken, if not destroy teachers unions and fire veteran union teachers. That organization is Teach for America and those schools are its major recruiting ground.”

Please read Mark’s entire post here.


Reforming Michelle Rhee

Reforming Michelle Rhee: Running the show in D.C. didn’t work out. Now in Tennessee, she’s hoping cash is king.

“Ever since she resigned as chancellor of Washington, D.C. public schools in 2010 and started StudentsFirst, Rhee has raised millions of dollars from rich donors, which she funnels to local lawmakers who support her policies. Nowhere has her influence been felt more acutely than in Tennessee, where campaigns are a bargain and where legislators eager to

Continue reading… Reforming Michelle Rhee