Sunday, April 24, 2011

Hollowed Out

(From comment #9 at Borderland: The Six Hells of the Pacing Guide)

Many teachers I talk with observe that we’re seeing a shift in the normal curve of distribution, which shows spikes at the high and low ends of the achievement continuum and a middle range that is largely vacant – pretty much mirroring what we see happening socioeconomically.


  1. PsychMom says:

    I don't really understand that comment..a normal curve doesn't have spikes at the high and low ends. Does this person mean a bimodal distribution where kids are either excelling or flunking? I find that hard to believe, unless the standardized tests are creating that scenario.

    I would have thought that standardized tests would shift a normal curve up or down. Government would like to see it shift upwards....but still you should have massive amounts of scores in the middle range. That's really what is desired....huge numbers of people "meeting expectations". Just like everybody else.

  2. I think the curve is looking less like a normal curve, and more like a bimodal distribution.

    I think it's directly linked to the economic situation. Rich people hire tutors, and/or send their kids to private schools, and/or teach their kids at home. Poor people have none of these luxuries, and their kids are falling further and further behind, because of bad curricula and bad teaching.