No Fixed Stars: Thoughts on I.Q. Testing

by Matthew Koslowski on February 3, 2010
in Essays

In This Essay

The Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything by Ken Robinson, Ph.D., with Lou Aronica
Alfred Binet, Wikipedia
Lewis Terman, Wikipedia
 

I have always been aware of ideas of intelligence and, therefore, ideas of Intelligence Quotient (I.Q.).

Unless you count a silly Internet test I took in college, I have never taken an I.Q. test. Often I have wondered what my I.Q. was, assuming as I did that I.Q. was a valid measure of intelligence. Since I did well in my scholastic subjects, I thought I would score high on an I.Q. test and I wanted in my insecurity about my own talents an objective verification of what I wanted to believe about myself but doubted.

When I moved to Ohio for college, I learned from friends that administering I.Q. tests is routine procedure in Ohio. I felt cheated then that Massachusetts did not do the same.

Now, however, having read more about the history of the Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scales, I am thankful not to have had my I.Q. measured in this way.

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Digitally Divided

by Matthew Koslowski on December 16, 2009
in Essays

In This Essay

Digital divide narrowed, but lives on for students across US by Annie Gowen, The Washington Post via boston.com
 

How do we provide equal access to education when one-third of households do not have Internet access?

In our fervor to embrace technology, we are leaving children behind. We are creating a two classes: the digital haves and the digital have-nots.

The idea of a digital divide had occurred to me before I read Annie Gowen’s article. But the full impact had not occurred to me. I had not thought of how stressful it would be for a child of eleven or twelve to try to juggle getting to and from school when is computer lab is open with getting to and from the library when its computer lab is open.

When I first moved back to Massachusetts after more than six years in Illinois and the Midwest, I lived something of the digital divide myself. My experience illuminates problems the students have.

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Weekly Review: December 4th to December 10th

by Matthew Koslowski on December 11, 2009
in Weekly Reviews

This has been the first week that I’ve managed to keep to a form my dedication, made some weeks back, and worked on my Weekly Review several nights rather than just one. I am still overwhelmed by the streams of information that I am trying to swim in. I am learning to manage, though, and I think the quality of the Weekly Reviews is only going to increase in 2010.

These Things Caught My Eye

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Weekly Review: October 9th to October 15th

by Matthew Koslowski on October 16, 2009
in Weekly Reviews

Running a blog is a job in and of itself. Since starting this blog, my respect for journalists has grown because I have learned how much time it takes to craft a single post.

My essays are pure opinion pieces. I read a book, a poem, an essay, or a news article. Then I think about what I’ve read and then look at my world and see if its relevant, judge if I think others might enjoy reading about my interaction with that work.

And it takes me between two and four hours to write these essays.

Yet I’m hooked. I love writing here because I feel more alive because I am again engaging the world in ways that I haven’t since college. Each essays calls upon me to look at my world and analyze it and reflect upon it.

This is another great gift of literature.

And, yes, I call even bad newspaper essays literature.

These Things Caught My Eye

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Children Left Behind: Statistics and Abstractions

by Matthew Koslowski on September 23, 2009
in Essays

In This Essay

No Child Left Behind and the Spirit of Democratic Education”, Why School? by Mike Rose
Monday Metaphor: Growth, Learning with Impact by John Spencer
“Why Our Standards-Based Grading Sucks”, Learning with Impact by John Spencer
“MCAS scores fall shy of target”, Boston Globe, by James Vaznis
“Charter schools see more attrition”, Boston Globe by James Vaznis
“The next chapter on education reform”, Boston Globe by Gov. Deval Patrick
“Critical thinking? You need knowledge”, Boston Globe by Diane Ravitch
“These test-score jitters are a sign of high standards”, Boston Globe

Ideals and Realities

I had some great conversations about education and public policy with a friend. She would take the pragmatic side of the argument while I would take the idealistic side. While I would speak of sweeping visions of what education should be, she would want specific plans on implementation.

Our arguments usually ended with me saying that so much depended on implementation, that what I thought could really have a great impact, and her saying that no implementation would be perfect and I needed to get my head out of the clouds.

Implementing High Stakes Testing

Last week saw the publication of the test scores for the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System, or MCAS. Part of the Massachusetts Education Reform Act of 1993, this standardized test fulfills the requirements of No Child Left Behind.

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