Aaron Johnson 
Member since Feb 19, 2013


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Re: “Computers Grading Common Core Essay Questions? What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

I am irritated that: 1) literate people think machine-grading of K-12 written responses is a new concept and practice, and 2), that many may think that such machine-grading has been mainly or solely pushed by private corporations, instead of public institutions (education departments and colleges).
There are publicly available articles online debating, promoting, and critiquing machine-grading, or "scoring"; they are not hard to locate.
I do agree with Mr. Warbeck above that software used should be tried out by the public, but primarily to engage more of the population in actually helping kids and adults learn.
For Mr. Safier, after noting that I appreciate much of what you do to broadcast education issues here, an edit question: Article states "PARCC (part of Pearson Education)"--was this a goof-up, or a belief?
I hope the former. For good and ill, the states involved in PARCC put their education department representatives to work on it. They are people belonging to both major political parties, they are people who have worked for years within state institutions, and they are people who are known (inside the states) to reporters or commentators. If their involvement is not recognized, I suggest willful ignorance by citizens and journalists. This applies whether to PARCC, its rival SBAC, and Common Core (whether to standards' content or the separate topic of test question design.) The public dropped the ball a long time ago; then kicked it down an alley along with the kids and forgot about it.

1 like, 2 dislikes
Posted by Aaron Johnson on 11/19/2014 at 2:57 PM

Re: “I Could Tell You What's On The Common Core Test, But Then I'd Have To Kill You

Just noting, the article here and the quotes do not specify multiple-choice nor fill-in-the-blank, and the photo is from shutterstock. I agree that MC and filling blanks can be of low use, but it would help if this article had noted if the principle had stated the formats of the questions, which could be found elsewhere, and which would not be confidential--some may be written responses, for "authentic testing" (which is another discussion about the quality of test item creation.)

Posted by Aaron Johnson on 04/17/2014 at 3:09 PM

Re: “Tumamoc Hill: A User's Guide

I like Tumamoc for the sights, the people, and the challenge of trotting up it. But, some people have been bring dogs up; I like dogs, but, the Tumamoc area has some restrictions to preserve it for nature study. The "mayors" and we other users have some responsibility to be mean grown ups about this--as do members UofA admin and faculty. Also--no bikes; I respect those who want to try it, like the couple I up their two Sundays ago, but just because the UofA and the City don't really guard the area the have responsiblity for doesn't mean the citizens should blow off posted rules.

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Aaron Johnson on 04/12/2014 at 10:27 AM

Re: “Oh Great, Arizona. Now George Takei is Pissed Off.

There are many enthusiastic now in the western world for LGBT rights around the world, who were earlier silent, or if young now, uncurious, about harsh laws in the Soviet Union, and the many now freed former colonial nations. Any person currently thinking such nations as Iran, Russia or Uganda are doing something actually new, have minds quite similar to those voters and legislators whom they detest.

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Aaron Johnson on 02/24/2014 at 9:29 AM

Re: “Senate Passes Controversial Religious Freedom Bill

I wonder what these Senate Republicans would say if a Muslim-owned business used this to refuse service to gays, Jews, or Christians. (Not that I'm saying that most progressives would say much either, unless it were to embarrass the Republicans.)

8 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Aaron Johnson on 02/20/2014 at 10:14 AM

Re: “Background Noise

I agree that the strong arguments deriding the usefulness of background checks furthers the argument of requiring licenses for owning and/or operating firearms. But, skipping past discussion of the mess of federal, state and local confusion over what kinds and levels of restrictions legally or practically can or ought be made on the Second Amendment, and sliding around how licensing ownership requires widespread inspection of housing and other properties to actually effect a decrease in criminal or looney use of firearms, I think that firearms owners and possessors should be required to have gunsafes and be required to participate in serious training in possession and handling of weapons.
I believe that investment in maintaining and handling any weapons has been and is being frequently blown off. Law enforcement agencies have better training, but still often neglect to start or maintain what would get their people home safely, and a majority of gun-possessors, whether upright citizens or various criminals blow-off training. What and how such safekeeping and skill practice is to be encouraged or enforced is discussable.
I also think that those who are uninterested in owning firearms, and those who oppose general or even particular civilian ownership of such, should help pay for safekeeping and training. Why? Because the vast majority of those people are as guilty as many gun-possessors of choosing to spend much of life in mutual-reassurance instead of building safe and healthy neighborhoods and communities.
The Tucson Weekly has published several repeat stories on one neighborhood where a kid was shot, where many people must know exactly who did it, but nobody was coming forward. For large-scale, see how a Chicago woman has started a campaign to get people to snitch on the murderers. Chicago, and all the other large cities, have plenty of violence and plenty of "social activists". Much good progress has been done, but really, people there on many opposite sides have been comfortable with symbolic actions, often done by somebody else, and relayed to make comfy-womfy feelings that substitute for getting off rear-ends in mass numbers.
One specific example of how to help is for people to organize more (far more) voluntary respite care for parents. Larger organizations could more easily back people up, there might be classes held, with regular practice and discussion of how to parent, and widespread presence and practice would be more useful to problematic homes, such as in Newtown. Yes, I am accusing the majority of the population, whether they label themselves progressive or conservative, of abeting mass killing.
Thank you for your time, Aaron F Johnson.

Posted by Aaron Johnson on 02/19/2013 at 2:52 PM

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