March 12, 2009

Joel Klein as DM

John Thompson's blog entry today, God Does Not Play Dice, is in response to Charles Barone's Ed Sector report on value-added or growth models used for high-stakes accountability. (It's on my to-read list along with the IES/Mathematica study on teacher ed programs and various other things.) Thompson describes a number of caveats and then says,

...none of my objections would be major if the model was used for purposes of diagnosis, science, or a "consumers' report." We should pursue social science fearlessly, but we must not play dice with the lives of teachers by evaluating them with some theoretical work in progress.

That plays off Einstein's quip, "God does not play dice," in reference to quantum mechanics. That comment always made me think that if God does not play dice, maybe God forces you to pick up the dice and roll.

And that gave me the image of Joel Klein as Dungeonmaster.

A troll has just entered your classroom. He has a mace, a strength of 11, and 16 hit points.

After the Cafeteria Blob you threw at us, I only have 4 hit points, and I lost my Spitball Blocking spell.

Fight or run away?

Better fight; if I run away, I lose the Memo Spindle.

Better hope you're lucky. You need to roll a 17 to block the mace, 20 to break it.

But you're only giving me a D12!!

This is New York. You're tough enough. Roll.

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Tags: Charles Barone, growth models, Joel Klein, Tennessee, value-added
Posted in Accountability Frankenstein on March 12, 2009 10:40 AM |