gooddogbestfriend said:

I've been a nanny for a family for the past five or so years. The son, especially last year, began displaying symptoms of ADHD, which I only really noticed because they're the same ones I have - difficulty focusing on tasks, hyperfocus on thing he likes, forgetfulness, difficulty organizing, etc. I want to bring this up to his parents, but I'm not sure how to start going about that. Do you have any tips for suggesting to people that their kid might have ADHD and they should look into testing?

Telling parents that their kid might have a disability of some kind is always touchy. Most won’t take kindly to the idea that their children are anything but perfect.

If the parents know that you have ADHD then it will be easier, because you can bring up some of the things he does as being similar to things you do. This will plant the seed and you don’t have to say “I think your son has ADHD” because you’re saying “I have ADHD and I do X, Y, and Z, and your son does X, Y, and Z too.”

In some respects, it is easier for you to bring it up than if you were just a family friend, because you are the child’s nanny and you do have a responsibility to talk to them about any concerns you might have about their children’s development. So you could sit down with them in that capacity and say “I wanted to talk to you about Johnny because I’ve noticed that he has a lot of the same difficulties I do with [these things]. I have these problems because I have ADHD, and I think it might be beneficial if you had him assessed so that if he also has it you can decide on a treatment plan and get him help early.” (If you weren’t diagnosed as a child you can talk about how much easier things might have been if you had been; if you were diagnosed as a child, you can talk about whether that was helpful for you and why.)

The one thing I would caution you on here is that many of the things that are common to ADHD are things that children naturally are not developmentally ready for prior to age seven. So if this kid is younger than that, some of the things may be developmentally appropriate for him and it would be better to wait a couple of years to see if he develops the skills later on. However, if he’s over seven and having these difficulties it’s probably time he be evaluated.

Good luck!


Followers, what’s your advice? Parents, what approach would you prefer?

As the College Board overhauls the panic-inducing SAT admissions exam, it’ll be giving Khan Academy access to actual test questions in the hopes of creating a sophisticated learning program aimed at test prep otherwise reserved to wealthier students. “So big picture success is that access to college (and success in life) becomes much less dependent on income and much more dependent on merit,” Khan Academy Founder, Sal Khan, writes to me. “We think we can make the playing field more level by making the best-in-class tool and making it free. We hope that beyond individual students, these tools become adopted by after-school and college readiness programs.”

Get ready for more extreme weather and increasingly serious impacts on health, the economy and the environment, courtesy global climate change.

  • The U.S. average temperature has increased by about 1.5 degrees Fahrenheit since 1895, with more than 80 percent of the increase occurring since 1980.
  • Extreme weather and climate events have risen in recent decades, with “new and stronger evidence” that many of these increases are related to human activities.
  • Climate change impacts already are evident and expected to become “increasingly challenging” across the U.S. through this century and beyond.
  • Climate change threatens human physical and mental health in many ways due to rising extreme weather events, wildfires, degrading air quality, disease transmitted by insects, food and water.

Wielicki noted that coastal areas are particularly vulnerable because of rising sea levels. Yet, the coastal population is increasing by 1,000,000 people per year. Many of these areas have key infrastructure such as ports, military bases, power plants and tourism.

This has to be the coolest app ever. Create a quiz on Quick Key and then you can print out a bubble sheet. Snap a picture of the quiz with your iphone and it will grade it for you! Wow. Just remember that if all you do is bubble in - you’re probably not testing very well. Hat tip to Richard Byrne’s Awesome Facebook page for this one! (Free Technology for Teachers)

(via Quick Key Turns Your iPhone Into a Scanner | iPad Apps for School)

“Human intelligence is so multifaceted, so complex, so varied, that no standardized testing system can be expected to capture it,” says William Hiss, the study’s main author. Hiss is the former dean of admissions at Bates College in Lewiston, Maine — one of the nation’s first test-optional schools — and has been conducting similar research for a number of years.

Lyrics to “Blurred Lines” song by ROBIN THICKE: [Intro: Pharrell] Everybody get up Everybody get up Hey, hey, hey Hey, hey, hey Hey, hey, hey [Vers…

Okay, so here’s the deal. I’ve heard comments going back and forth, rage and frustration over this song and its lyrics. People are calling the lyrics offensive, rapey, and misogynistic. So I figured I’d go look them up myself, since the video doesn’t really lend itself to focusing on the words without the imagery influencing it. 

I read the lyrics over several times, pored over each individual line and its place in the whole song, and read articles and interviews on both sides of the argument about Thicke’s song. I’m not coming at this from a perspective of deep, psychological research, but I am coming at it from the position of a woman who has been through abusive and triggering situations, seeing a video with naked women prancing around the singer, and someone who counts herself a pretty solid equalist.

I got very mixed messages from the interviews and articles, and then when I read the lyrics again, it hit me. That was the point. Blurred lines wasn’t blurred lines of consent, it was blurred lines of intent on the woman’s part. He’s talking about how much he hates these blurred lines and mixed messages of a woman behaving toward him as though she wants him, but never being clear about it, so he isn’t quite sure what she wants. 

Maybe some of you missed this, but people (women AND men) have a great tendency to give off mixed signals, and they can be really frustrating, but only to someone who actually fucking respects them enough to not take advantage. Robin Thicke isn’t singing about blurring a woman’s lines of consent so he can have what he wants. He’s singing about being insanely frustrated by a woman who is giving him the signals, but not the words to solidify it. Why is he frustrated by this? Because he knows he won’t do anything without that consent.

Kind of the opposite of what everyone is frothing at the mouth about, right? It gets better.

He’s talking about liberating this nameless woman from someone oppressing her, suppressing the natural sexuality she is exuding. He’s not trying to control her, he’s actually trying to release her from someone else who IS controlling her. I don’t know about the rest of the women here, but while I don’t “need” a man to liberate my sexuality, it feels really fucking good to have a partner who respects the kind of raw power I can exhibit. 

I would love very much for someone to point out to me where, in the lyrics linked above, he says anything that is overtly rapey, because I’m just not finding it. Maybe I missed something in reading those, but the title and the video seem to be what people are basing this on, not the actual lyrics to the song.

The video, mind you, is an entirely different issue. That I rolled my eyes at, it was so over-the-top ridiculously cocky. But the lyrics? Nah, just misconstrued. 

Plenty of Fish Assessments

One of the most interesting things about Plenty of Fish (other than all these fish who can’t spell for shit and don’t use any punctuation whatsoever) is that it is chock full of seemingly dead-on personality assessments that are designed to help you find a match and understand what you need and want out of a relationship.

First, there is the Relationship Needs Assessment:


After taking this 100+ question test, Plenty of Fish gives you a shockingly thorough assessment on your personal relationship needs according to the categories above. Then they summarize your assessment and you can choose to make it visible on your profile or not.

(It is so thorough and long, I won’t post my results here. Don’t worry, I post other results below.)

Then there is the Psychological Assessment which consists of only 30 questions and aims to “determine what you really want versus what you say you want” in a potential match based on the theory that there are three key issues that lead to misunderstand and conflict in relationships: (1) Accomplishment (2) Physical Chemistry and (3) Drive. 

I had some big doubts about whether this site could actually tell me this with any accuracy because, um, I’m not even sure I know what I want half the time I’m a very nuanced, unique flower but WHOA GUYS. They kinda nailed it:


So naturally, when I saw that there was a “Seduction Style Guide” I had to see what it was about. I mean, it says, ”If you dare to proceed, this test will generate a complete step by step guide on how someone would seduce you and you wouldn’t be able to resist.”

Yeah alright.

I’m game.

This was far more than 30 questions and they got super detailed especially when it comes to fetishes, fantasies, and locations where you may or may not want to get it on.  For example:


I honestly had no confidence that this assessment would actually get it right. But again, Plenty of Fish shocked me. Here is a selection of my results:



I mean, without going in to more detail than the ridiculously detailed assessment above, I can say very confidently that this is scary accurate.

You do not have to be a member of Plenty of Fish to take the test! Access it here.

So why are there so many sucky people on this website?! The science is there…. but the people are just not. It’s a travesty, really.

Although, I have to confess: I did go out on a date with one person from Plenty of Fish….

And it was a really great date.

So we went on another…

… and another…..

and a few others….

… and we’re still hanging out.

And he’s pretty fucking cool.

So, you know, there’s that.


Companies like Kaplan and Princeton Review, as well as smaller boutique test prep businesses, can charge more than $1,000 per course. Private tutors often charge more than $15,000 a year. According to the College Board, the industry is largely built on teaching kids “tricks” and gimmicks to outsmart the test, as well as other skills and facts that even Coleman now admits have been disconnected from what kids learn in school. Part of Coleman’s SAT overhaul will scrap esoteric vocabulary and the non-evidence-based essay, with the goal of making the test more tied to schools’ curricula so that any student who studies hard can be sufficiently prepared for the test.
First Steps

Sawyer’s assessment went very well on Tuesday.  There will be two specialists that come once a week to work with him.  From what I got, Sawyer may not fully understand what we’re doing or saying when we try to communicate with him.  He has no way to distinguish words with their meanings.  I hope I understood that correctly, but it’s a learning process I guess.

It just kind of breaks my heart that he is dealing with this, but who am I to judge?  He’s such a happy kid, and the biggest sweetheart.  I just wish that I could fix whatever problems he is having, or help him understand and learn.  I don’t know, I’m just a big worry wart.  

Here are seven questions to guide your thinking as you shape your classroom, school or district’s assessment toolkit.

  1. How will you use the information?
  2. What type of insight are you seeking?
  3. Can the assessment measure multiple targets?
  4. Does the assessment measure multiple targets?
  5. Does the assessment meet content and depth of knowledge standards?
  6. How do you ensure fair and accurate assessments?
  7. How can this assessment engage students?
But a professor’s job is to educate all of her students—to help as many of them as possible to thrive in their studies—not to foster competition between them to separate the wheat from the chaff. Let employers and graduate schools come up with their own ways to evaluate students; you’ve got more important things to do.

Never make a huge decision on the basis of a single test score because of both reliability and validity issues. It violates the ethics of measurement to do so.

That’s what makes the current one-shot high-stakes test situation in education so untenable. Judgments about students and teachers are being made on the basis of a single result. It’s wrong, and people who know better in the measurement community know it’s wrong, and ought to be up and arms about it.

The irony is that critics of testing typically claim that the tests are not valid. But that’s where they probably go wrong. The better argument concerns the questionable reliability of a single high-stakes score.

It’s no accident, in fact, that the World Series is best four out of seven.

But before we go with pitchforks to state education buildings, ACT and ETS, the same argument applies to YOUR tests and quizzes. What is the margin of error on a 20-question quiz in arithmetic? Most likely the answer is around plus or minus 3 points. So a 14, 17, and 20 are the same score – just as on the SAT.

In short, before the pot calls the kettle black, let’s look at local assessments carefully for validity AND reliability.