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Why Students Shouldn't Be Mistaken for Data

There is a good little piece in this week's New York about the dangers (or at least the limitations) of data-mining when it comes to measuring how...


There is a good little piece in this week's New York about the dangers (or at least the limitations) of data-mining when it comes to measuring how well students and teachers are doing. The author points out how data can be manipulated to reflect certain measures of progress, and it's something New York School Chancellor Joel Klein-not a very well-liked man in man circles-appeared last week to be very good at.Still, while the piece allows that our obsession with measuring success based on data might oversimplify what's needed, it's not without merit. The trick is getting the balance right:"There are good macro-level intentions behind the mania for metrics. What [New York City Mayor Michael] Bloomberg and Klein are still trying to figure out is how to apply the numbers to lift actual flesh-and-blood individuals, starting with principals and teachers. If they can get closer to that elusive mix of art and science in the next four years, they'll deserve an entire brick-and-mortar library's worth of books devoted to the triumph."Image via
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