My chapter, included as an appendix alongside a contribution from Andrew Sabisky, is – to no-one’s surprise – about education data. In it, I look at the data available on schools before examining what is wrong – in my view - with education data. As I say in the book, ‘The thinking behind education data is flawed on multiple levels and is – in the main – completely wrong.’
I hope that you will get a chance to read both my appendix and David’s excellent and challenging book, which is a tour de force designed to make you think hard about education. As Dylan Wiliam says in his introduction, ‘Anyone seriously interested in education should read this book’.
Since I’m blogging somewhat differently now, I’d like to take the opportunity to recommend the following blogs published in May:
Progress 8: Looks like Data Garbage to me by Tom Sherrington with the excellent follow up by Rebecca Allan and Dave Thompson of Edudatalab, The Hocus Pocus of Progress 8?.
Edudatalab are on a roll, having started extremely well earlier in the year, with Why do pupils at schools with the most able intakes tend to make the most progress? by Dave Thompson and We cannot compare the effectiveness of schools with different types of intakes by Rebecca Allan both being essential reading.
May was SATs month in Primary, and Why I don’t Like SATs (Take 2) by HeyMissSmith explained eloquently why many primary teachers dislike their effect. I wrote about this for the TES (not online, but drop me a line if you want a copy):
Everyone’s favourite bogey man gets a good going over in Everything You Wanted To Know About A Rogue Inspector… But Were Too Afraid To Ask and You’re Only As Good As The Sum Of Your Parts by The Primary Head, When is the Right Time To Go? by JordyJax and School Improvement vs Educational Politics by Tom Sherrington (Tom’s is about government policy, primarily, but relevant in this context). Basically, despite all the lovely noises from clearly dedicated inspectors, the data drives the beast and no-one escapes the tyranny of a bad recent Not Even Wrong RAISEonline.
More Teacher bloggers visited Ofsted Towers, and they reported back, some positively Brand New Shiny Ofsted by Debra Kidd, Visit to Ofsted – May 18th 2015 by Tim Taylor, and some were somewhat disillusioned by the wider effects of government micro-management of education: HeyMissSmith’s My Blog Not About Ofsted 'There is now no room for error and therefore no room for humanity within our schools'.
Meanwhile, in the States, some interesting perspectives appeared, with Common Core and classroom instruction: The good, the bad, and the ugly by Tom Loveless and Reading and Vision by Robert Slavin being worth a detour.
This month’s Must Read bloggers, who published regularly and are worth reading in full:
Daisy Christodoulou is blogging regularly again
The frustration with inspection continues at http://oldprimaryhead.com
David Didau should be renamed Blogging Machine, with 29 (Twenty Nine!) different blogs.
Insightful commentary on the USA’s use of Value Added Measures: http://vamboozled.com
https://thequirkyteacher.wordpress.com because, whatever many may say, no-one writes this much about Primary Education without passion and insight. Although he is quite rude at times. And goodness only knows what will happen when his colleagues find out who he is…
It’s worth looking at @profstig's slides from his excellent presentation at ResearchED Literacy
In the news:
The new Reception Baseline Tests appear to have been wholly subverted, with most schools choosing not to uses tests for the Test: Thousands of primaries opt for test-free baseline assessments and @Ed_Dorrell at the TES explains Why it’s time to accept that Sats are not fit for purpose.
From the USA, Some parents across the country are revolting against standardized testing in the Washington Post, and We Have Gone Mad, and Our Children Are Paying the Price by Diana Ravitch
Finally, some films for you to show at staff meetings:
The Final, Best Cut of Yong Zhao’s Great and Funny Speech at NPE
Researcher asks kids what’s Wrong With US Schools? Here Are Their Ideas
Finally: Hitler Gets The SATs Results, in the meme which keeps on giving: