Peter MarcusPeter MarcusFebruary 14, 20175min343
The state’s public schools system went on trial Monday in the legislature. Lawmakers heard legislation regarding whether low-performing schools are doing enough to improve and whether assessments are properly evaluating student success. It’s a familiar debate, pitting advocates of charters, vouchers and other alternatives against supporters of a traditional system centered on neighborhood public schools. The assessment […]

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Paula NoonanPaula NoonanNovember 21, 20165min387

Most polls and big data analysts missed the target election night. After at least a year and a half of taking the country’s presidential preference temperature and analyzing voter behavior using complicated algorithms and finger crossing and concluding that Hillary Clinton would win, Donald Trump took the night. "If 'big data' is not that useful for predicting an election, then how much should we be relying on it for predicting civil uprisings in countries where we have an interest or predicting future terror attacks?" asked Patrick Tucker, the author of "The Naked Future: What Happens in a World That Anticipates Your Every Move?"


Rep. Su RydenRep. Su RydenApril 13, 20165min378

One of the joys of representing the great people of Aurora in the State Legislature is being able to hear from my constituents. One of my constituents, an educator in Aurora Public Schools, was kind enough to take the time to give me her classroom perspective about The Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) test. This is a test our students take and in her email, she illustrates the manic, often very flawed way this test factors into 50% of teacher evaluations: “We would like to let our legislators know what is happening during PARCC testing season. The PARCC test for this year has been a complete nightmare. The nightmare began last week when students, who were logged in to the test, sat in front of computers that wouldn’t load, for hours at a time. They weren’t allowed to talk, do anything else, etc. Testing protocols call for a “standard” environment where students have to sit quietly. I have to give my 8th graders credit. They did ok. The first time.