Uneducated Guesses

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2011-08-08
  • Publisher: Princeton Univ Pr

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Uneducated Guesseschallenges everything our policymakers thought they knew about education and education reform, from how to close the achievement gap in public schools to admission standards for top universities. In this explosive book, Howard Wainer uses statistical evidence to show why some of the most widely held beliefs in education today--and the policies that have resulted--are wrong. He shows why colleges that make the SAT optional for applicants end up with underperforming students and inflated national rankings, and why the push to substitute achievement tests for aptitude tests makes no sense. Wainer challenges the thinking behind the enormous rise of advanced placement courses in high schools, and demonstrates why assessing teachers based on how well their students perform on tests--a central pillar of recent education reforms--is woefully misguided. He explains why college rankings are often lacking in hard evidence, why essay questions on tests disadvantage women, why the most grievous errors in education testing are not made by testing organizations--and much more. No one concerned about seeing our children achieve their full potential can afford to ignore this book. With forceful storytelling, wry insight, and a wealth of real-world examples, Uneducated Guessesexposes today's educational policies to the light of empirical evidence, and offers solutions for fairer and more viable future policies.

Table of Contents

Prefacep. xi
Introductionp. 1
On the Value of Entrance Exams: What Happens When the SAT Is Made Optional?p. 8
On Substituting Achievement Tests for Aptitude Tests in College Admissionsp. 20
On Rigid Decision Rules for Scholarshipsp. 29
The Aptitude-Achievement Connection: Using an Aptitude Test to Aid in Allocating Educational Resourcesp. 32
Comparing the Incomparable: On the Importance of Big Assumptions and Scant Evidencep. 57
On Examinee Choice in Education Testingp. 73
What If Choice is Part of the Test?p. 103
A Little Ignorance is a Dangerous Thing: How Statistics Rescued a Damsel in Distressp. 110
Assessing Teachers from Student Scores: On the Practicality of Value-Added Modelsp. 120
Shopping for Colleges When What We Know Ain'tp. 139
Of CATs and Claims: The First Step toward Wisdomp. 147
Epiloguep. 156
Referencesp. 159
Indexp. 165
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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