Academic publishing in two sentences

Time it took my article to appear in print: 3 years.

Time it took this blog post to appear online: 5 seconds.

[P.S. Not trying to pick on JSL; they’re great. This is an issue endemic to most of our print publications in higher education…]

ADDENDUM: Time it took to edit this post four times: 3 minutes. Time it would take to edit a printed journal article post-production: ha ha ha ha!

Journal of School Leadership

The dangers of a single story

Nadia Behizadeh said:

If a child does not perform well on [one timed large-scale assessment essay], there will be a single story told about this student: he/she has below basic skills in writing, or maybe even far below basic skills. Yet this same student may be a brilliant poet or have a hundred pages of a first novel carefully stowed in his/her backpack. However, when a single story of deficiency is repeated again and again to a student, that student develops low writing self-efficacy and a poor self-concept of himself/herself as a writer. . . . [T]he danger of the single story is the negative effect on students when one piece of writing on a decontextualized prompt is used to represent writing ability. (pp. 125-126)

via http://edr.sagepub.com/content/43/3/125

Jump in a bowl of excellent teaching practices

Vicki Davis says:

Sometimes people ask me why I write and teach. Part of me has to write – I feel made to do it and to not write would be like asking me not to breathe or be me. But I also know that all the research I have to pour into my writing projects make me a better teacher.

If you jump in a bowl of clam chowder – you start fitting in — likewise if I jump in a bowl of excellent teaching practices each time I work – I feel like my own practices level up and become scented with the aromatic greatness of incredible teachers around the world.

via http://vickidavis.me/post/61189999330/this-is-the-view-from-my-writing-chair-got-the

Just another reminder of how important it is for educators to be connected to others online…

A concatenation of glittering vagaries

Robert Shepherd says:

One cannot tell [how sophisticated the Xerox automated essay grader] is from the marketing literature, which is a concatenation of glittering vagaries. But even if one had a perfect system of this kind that almost perfectly correlated with scoring by human readers, it would still be the case that NO ONE was actually reading the student’s writing and attending to what he or she has to say and how it is said. The whole point of the enterprise of teaching kids how to write is for them to master a form of COMMUNICATION BETWEEN PERSONS, and one cannot eliminate the person who is the audience of the communication and have an authentic interchange.

via http://dianeravitch.net/2013/05/16/can-machines-grade-essays-should-they

Is computerized essay grading groundbreaking?

the study’s major finding states only that “the results demonstrated that overall, automated essay scoring was capable of producing scores similar to human scores for extended-response writing items.” A paragraph on p. 21 reiterates the same thing: “By and large, the scoring engines did a good [job] of replicating the mean scores for all of the data sets.” In other words, all this hoopla about a study Tom Vander Ark calls “groundbreaking” is based on a final conclusion saying only that automated essay scoring engines are able to spew out a number that “by and large” might be “similar” to what a bored, over-worked, under-paid, possibly-underqualified, temporarily-employed human scorer skimming through an essay every two minutes might also spew out. I ask you, has there ever been a lower bar?

Todd Farley via http://www.joebower.org/2012/11/ravitch-should-computers-grade-essays.html.