December 1st, 2012

Expediency and Profit Over Education

Todd Farley

I am not anti-technology, and I know the day will come when computers will read and understand writing, will assess writing, will teach writing. The automated scoring engines that currently exist will probably also prove fundamental to those later developments, too. But until the time comes that automated scoring engines can read and understand, the benefits of those systems seem quite limited to me, not to mention negligible when it comes to high-stakes assessment. It seems to me that claiming otherwise — claiming automated essay scoring will change assessment as we know it or will lead to miraculously robust Common Core tests — is to be more concerned with expediency (and, surely, profit) than anything at all to do with the education and enrichment of this country’s students and writers.

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