Monthly Archives: March 2011

What should be on a high school exit exam in mathematics?

Personally, I think an exit exam for school (an exam a student needs to graduate from secondary school) is not necessarily the best way to determine if a student has been prepared by their school. That aside, some of sort of assessment of what a student has learned from their school, whatever form that would […]

It’s Spring!

My mom, my son and I went outside today and looked for signs of Spring together. (click on the photos to view them in a larger size) We found flowers blooming, buds and leaves on trees, new plants rising out of the soil, and a nest of baby spiders. My son was very interested in all […]


Reposted with permission from my school’s monthly magazine, the Imprint. Stratford Hall is not a school that uses carrots and sticks to get students to perform. Instead, we generally rely on building on students’ intrinsic motivation to learn. Daniel Pink, a researcher in the area of what motivates us all, says (in his book Drive) […]

Our words are not enough: It’s time for action

I’m fortunate to work in a school which gets it. We do a lot of the stuff that people on #edchat are describing as innovative, particularly in the area of student leadership and assessment policy. I feel respected every day, and my opinions and thoughts have a real impact on the direction our school goes. […]

ISTE 2011 Board Elections

I’m running for the International Society for Technology in Education General Board elections. Their objective is to promote and support the use of technology in education which is one I support largely because I personally support the appropriate use of technology in schools. When I saw the board elections coming up, I decided to submit […]

If high jumps were run like standardized tests

Howard Kellogg suggested over on the Edutopia assessment forum that "While the "test" may represent the "bar" we have to clear, it is not the "bar" that must occupy our total attention." I think the analogy of clearing the bar is a good one for a number of reasons. (image credit:Jeanine Besemer) Imagine you are […]

Misleading graphs

This graph, taken from Coca Cola’s Water stewardship page, presents a very misleading picture on how effectively Coca Cola has improved their water efficiency. This graph for me highlights an important reason that we need to teach critical analysis of graphs and statistics. Do you see the problem with the graph? (Hint: check the scale […]

TIMMS and Universal health care

Here are the top 10 TIMMS rankings for 2010 according to Wikipedia for math, science, and reading. Programme for International Student Assessment (2009)[1] (Top 10; OECD members as of the time of the study in boldface) Maths Sciences Reading 1. Shanghai, China 600 2.  Singapore 562 3.  Hong Kong, China 555 4.  South Korea 546 5. […]

Race to Nowhere

We had our mock exams today for math. There are a pair of exams students take so that they get a feel for what their real exams will be like in May. At the end of the first exam, we had a break, and during this break, one of the students came up to me […]

You want feedback on your public education policy? Here’s some feedback.

The Whitehouse has posted a form to gather feedback from parents, teachers, and students. I recommend adding your opinion about education in the United States here. Here is the letter I sent in through the form. Dear President Obama, The first suggestion I have is to abandon the notion that every child is going to […]