Archive for July 25, 2010

More evidence for aptitude-treatment interactions

More evidence that what works for lower ability students doesn’t always also work for the higher ability students.

In a post on the Thomas B. Fordham Institute’s Flypaper blog, Mike Petrilli ponders the findings of a recent study from the Institute of Education Sciences on charter schools, which found that charters serving poor or low-performing kids generally had a significant positive impact on math achievement, while those serving better-off students had a negative effect on both math and reading. One could joke, writes Petrilli, that “this is evidence that charters are closing the achievement gap: They are helping low-performing poor kids make gains, and affluent kids lose ground.” But what do these results actually signify? Petrilli reasons that unlike their urban counterparts, these largely suburban charters achieve excellent results in terms of student success in college and beyond, but aren’t focused on helping students pass state standardized tests. In comparison, student scores suffer, leading to a paradox in Petrilli’s view. “Show me a high-poverty charter school serving lots of poor and minority kids, and if its test scores don’t match the neighboring public school I’d say, ‘shut it down!’ Sure, it might be safer than the alternative, or more engaging, or better at developing a sense of belonging, or strong values, or well-being. But if its kids are learning less math and reading than the crappy public school down the street? Lock the doors!”

Via Race, class, and charter schools

July 25, 2010 at 12:38 pm 6 comments

What do scientists and engineers need to know about supercomputing?

“Anyone looking to do relevant computational work today in the sciences and engineering must have these skills,” said Urick.

To address this fundamental need, the Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC) created a unique curriculum of courses for undergraduate and graduate students at The University of Texas at Austin. Offered through the College of Natural Sciences Division of Statistics and Scientific Computation, undergraduate students can complete coursework to earn a Certificate of Scientific Computation, while graduate students finish a Portfolio in Scientific Computation.

via Texas Advanced Computing Center: Building skills that count

It’s an interesting question. Given the importance of computational science, what do all scientists and engineers need to know about high-performance computing? That’s not the same as what everyone needs to know about computing. In some sense, the argument is that this is closer to vocational training, so it’s easier to sell.

July 25, 2010 at 10:57 am 8 comments


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