Dr. Joseph P. Farrell
September 5, 2016
I know I’ve been ranting lately about Amairikuhn edgykayshun and the billionaire busybodies and corporate goofballs intent on continuing the ruination begun by the billionaire busybodies of yesteryear. But I have to rant again, because of some articles shared by my co-author of Rotten to the (Common) Core, and also because of some articles shared by other teachers. And you’re not going to believe it.
While this first article is not an article per se, I copy and paste exactly what Dr. Lawrence sent me:
Improving Graduation Rates: Predictive Analytics in Action
Dropping out is a process—not a single event. Disengaged students at risk for dropping out of school typically show warning signs years before the actual event occurs. However, many early warning systems only begin to identify at-risk students in late middle school or early high school and cannot detect discrete signs of risk in early grades.
West Virginia has been able to increase graduation rates by 5 percent over the last two years using information from a next generation predictive analytics early warning system. In this webinar you’ll learn:
- What predictive analytics is and how it works
- The differences between threshold and predictive analytics systems
- How to identify at-risk students as early as first grade with 90 percent accuracy
- Why states should move to a predictive analytics system
- How our guest successfully deployed a statewide early warning system
- The cost savings that can be realized with early identification and intervention
Kristal Ayres, director of professional services, BrightBytes
Michele Blatt, chief accountability officer, division of school effectiveness, West Virginia Department of Education
This webinar will be moderated by Holly Yettick, director, Education Week Research Center
While I’ve been unable to find this exact link (the constraints of time I’m afraid), a simple search for predictive analytics and education will yield a veritable minefield, such as this article (Unlocking Predictive Analytics to Improve Student Engagement and Retention). Almost uniformly, all these journals and webinars tout the wonderful benefits of this new technology for maintaining “student retention” and raising graduation rates. And to be sure, such technologies might indeed be beneficial. But there’s a “flip side” to this, and Dr. Lawrence and I attempted to point this out in our book Rotten to the (Common) Core: what the corporate and billionaire busybodies are really trying to do is to build out more of the surveillance state, and not only to mine data for their predictive analytics, but also to erect an education system even more draconian in its ability to ram “loyalty tests” in the form of standardized tests which will monitor an individual’s conformity to “approved narratives.” Indeed, as we also pointed out, the notorious Educational Testing (Dis)Service in Princeton once liaised with, and received grants from, the CIA’s MK-ULTRA mind control projects early during the tenure of its test-obsessed founder, Henry Chauncey. And from “predictive analytics” in schools, with their inevitable state-mandated “interventions,” will follow the ultimate nightmare of Philip K. Dick (one of my favorite science fiction authors): the application of predictive analytics to predict individual crimes ala a Department of Pre-Crime. Indeed, already certain localities are taking the first steps in this direction. And schools, of course, would be the perfect way to accustom people to a life lived under the “predictive analytics” microscope and mandated state interventions when potential aberrant behavior or departures from the narrative are detected.
But wait, there’s more!
Manuel Alfaro, a whistleblower, has pointed out that the “new and improved” Scholastic Aptitude test (SAT) is a fraud:
Of course, most of us already know that the whole idea of standardized tests is fraudulent, as are the corporations peddling them. But in this case, there’s real electricity percolating in the system, for Mr. Alfaro recently posted this statement on Linked In:
The first is an Open Letter to David Coleman, letting him know that Alfaro is defiant and will see him in court. He accuses Coleman of perpetrating a “global fraud.”
Alfaro wrote to Coleman and said (in part):
You have done an excellent job discrediting me so far. You have stopped news organizations from investigating my statements and allegations of the global fraud you have committed against millions of students and their families, College Board members, state governments, and the federal government. You have convinced the heads of the Department of Education using the SAT for accountability that—to use the words of your Chief Administrative Officer and General Counsel—I’m “a disgruntled former employee who has expressed anger at the college Board in a very public way. Though his employment ended over a year ago, he has not “moved on.”” However, even with all your resources, I feel that you are still at a disadvantage. So, I’m going to show you one of my cards: in order to properly defend myself against any charges you level against me, criminal or otherwise, a court will have to grant my legal team access to College Board records.
Well, anyone familiar with the racket that is the testing “industry” will know what a huge bag of gas it really is. But, now, apparently, merely questioning the whole thing can have you raided by the FBI:
And there, in a nutshell, is why standardized tests from corporations should never have been allowed to become the centerpiece of American education: they’re proprietary and remove parents and teachers from the oversight of the content of students’ texts and tests, and any attempt to rectify the fraud in them calls down the wrath of the federal colossus, not on those perpetrating the fraud, but on those trying to expose it.
And that means the system is broken. It works only for the 1%, and for no one else, and that 1% does not want a literate and critically thinking population of individuals; it wants only the hive, the collective, and mediocrity.[Bold & Underline Emphasis Added]
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