Assessment & Standards

Job Losses Hurt How A Community's Children Perform In School, Study Says

International Business Times

Plenty of research has documented the adverse impact of a parent's sudden job loss on the average child, in terms of mental health and economic prospects. A 1 percent sudden statewide loss in jobs affects 1.5 percent of students directly -- and indirectly led the remaining 98.5 percent of students to experience "learning losses ... that are about one-third the size of those experienced by children whose parents lose jobs." More specifically, that 1 percent job loss lowered the state's eighth-grade math test scores by 0.057 standard deviations, an amount roughly the same size as the increase that results from intervention efforts intended to boost test scores. "What I see as one of the main points in our study is that the effects on people who lost their job or the children of people who lost their jobs -- there are spillover effects," said Dania Francis, one of the study's authors and an assistant professor of economics at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.

Machine passes EM gaokao /EM math test - China -


A smart machine made by a company in Chengdu, Sichuan province, took the math test of the national college entrance examination, or gaokao, on Wednesday. AI-MATHS is an artificial intelligence program developed in 2014, based on cutting-edge big data technology, artificial intelligence and natural language recognition from Tsinghua University. Before Wednesday's test, the developer had the machine answer 12,000 math questions to improve its logical reasoning and computer algorithms. In February, AI-MATHS took a math test with Grade 3 students at Chengdu Shishi Tianfu High School and scored 93, slightly higher than the passing grade of 90.

Will robots soon be conducting pupil-assessments?


So what might an alternative education assessment system, based on Artificial Intelligence, actually look like? Rose Luckin argues that nowadays AI is capable of "forming an evaluation of each student's progress (…) over a period of time." AI techniques, such as computer modelling and machine learning, would then be applied to this information and the AI assessment system would form an evaluation of the student's knowledge of the subject area being studied. Based on this data, the software system guides each student towards the solution to each problem, providing hints and tips geared to the student's individual profile.

Pymble Ladies' College using data to track students' performance


With a focus on numbers to measure a student's success flagged as passé, Justin Raymond, Dean of Curriculum Innovation at Pymble Ladies' College in Sydney, has implemented an analytics platform at the all-girls school that tracks an individual to monitor their overall performance. As part of the digital journey at the school, Raymond implemented a platform that tracks students "from functioning to thriving", gathering their performance data from each teacher and class the student is in. The concept of sharing data on a student was a big paradigm shift for the school; Raymond said teachers would previously keep that information for themselves and share it on occasion with parents. He said that the school is now dabbling with business insights and its existing dashboards to gain further insights into each individual student's learning journey, and is also working with its dashboards from an enrolment perspective to be able to gain a better insight into areas such as where each student resides "It's about really making the most of our big data sets and being proactive," he said.

Educators could take page from machine learning handbook


As educators imagine the schools of the future, technology often has a central role, but in a particular way. Classrooms need to be organized around the needs of students, with technology that offers engaging, personalized learning experiences rather than ed tech that provides new platforms for worksheet-style assignments. The gap in school quality is clear when it comes to seeing what and how students learn. Students in upper-income neighborhoods more often learn how to think, while students in high-poverty districts are coached to memorize facts, especially when standardized test performance is largely dependent upon this memorization.

New AI Program Tested by Reading Harry Potter


Their goal is "building systems that replicate how human beings learn to read, understand, and reason using state-of-the-art deep learning techniques." To that end they gave it the very first Harry Potter novel to read, digest, understand and then prove reading comprehension. Specifically, the company had their Machine Comprehension System read Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, and answer some basic questions about it. After all, the Harry Potter fandom can be very nitpicky, as is any other fandom.