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Below are the 9 most recent journal entries recorded in dajamieson's LiveJournal:

    Wednesday, January 11th, 2012
    1:55 pm
    Places to eat in New York
    Can anyone (i.e. Martha and Doug:p) recommend some please? A friend is going to be over in August and he's looking for places to eat out. Nothing too upscale, and nothing that's mainly seafood - and reasonably kid-friendly if possible.
    Wednesday, March 10th, 2010
    1:24 pm
    So much for the Lib Dem edumacation policy...

    "The bottom line is that half of schools inspected were not good enough" - David Laws MP, Liberal Democrats education spokesman

    Well, since Ofsted inspections are base on an average, BY DEFINITION half the schools are going to be 'not good enough', i.e. below average. If you massively improve standards, half the schools will still be below average.*

    Seriously, this guy is a fucking education secratary and he can't even grasp the most basic statistical concepts?

    *For any clever clogs suggesting a non-normal distribution, it's a 4 category classification - inadequate, satisfactory**, good and oustanding. Not quite sure how the classification is done from the reports, but 50% of schools will always be in the inadequate and satisfactory categories.

    **Why is it satisfactory if the schools are going to be talked about as if they're failing? Shouldn't it be 'unsatisfactory'?

    Edit to add a link, it's from 2006 but is still applicable: http://www.tes.co.uk/article.aspx?storycode=2316500. Quote...

    Each of these tools is framed in the same way: a comparison is made as to how good the school's results are, compared to the national average. This can be plotted graphically, with the national average represented as a line in the middle. Those schools which finish well above the line are likely to be "outstanding" for standards.

    Those slightly above the national norm will be "good"; those in line or slightly below will be "satisfactory", and those well below the national average will be "inadequate". What does this allow us to say about standards overall? Virtually nothing, according to the sceptics. For "inadequate" could simply be translated as "below average", while "satisfactory", in a system defined such as this, simply means "average".

    It is not surprising, in a regime constructed like this, that many schools will be average, and many will be below average, since by definition all schools cannot be above average. Yet Ofsted and the media appears to be saying it is unacceptable that more schools are not above average. Given how this measurement system worked, how could it be any other way?

    To put it another way, if standards improved so that England's schools were acknowledged as the best in the world, a system which adjudged below average performers as "inadequate" would still generate negative headlines
    Thursday, April 23rd, 2009
    12:28 pm
    It's nice to be famous....and misused
    Found out this morning, courtesy of a phone call from a very confused jobseeker, that for quite a few years we've been used as the basis for recruitment into the UK TA and regular army without our knowledge!

    Check out http://www.armyjobs.mod.uk/howdoijoin/canijoin/Pages/EntryRequirements.aspx. Look under the qualifications section.

    Explanation: I work for something called the ALIS project at the University of Durham. ALIS = A-Level Information System. Amongst other things, we analyse performance data for schools and colleges at the post-16 level, ASs, A-Levels, IBs, BTECs etc. The project's been running for about 25 years.

    The qualifications the army's after appear to be 35 'ALIS points' to qualify as an officer.

    The problem is....there's no such thing as 'ALIS points', and never has been.

    After spending the morning on the phone to the Army Careers Office (who were none the wiser, but could confirm that they'd been using the term for at least 10 years and that 'ALIS' did refer to the A-Level Information System, they were hopelessly confused when I said "I'm calling from ALIS":p) the nearest we can figure out is....way back in the mists of time, before there was an official numerical scale for GCSEs, the A*=8, A=7, B=6 etc scale was used informally. Eventually this was adopted by UCAS and later superseeded by A*=58, A=50, B=42 etc (don't ask me why). But since we were openly using the scale in data we sent to schools, the MoD started referring to it as these mythical 'ALIS points' - and it seems they've since arbiterally adopted it as some kind of conversion for non-GCSE subjects.

    So, in theory, we could sue the government for.....what, copyright infringement? Misrepresentation? Misuse of research data?

    But we won't of course. You don't sue people who have no money.
    Saturday, February 7th, 2009
    11:36 am
    Thanks...
    ...for all the goodluck wishes folks. Must have worked, does 98.5% count as aceing it?:p
    Friday, February 6th, 2009
    10:01 am
    Ugh
    Great, final exam for my MCITP tomorrow at 9am and I've got the mother and father of all colds. Headache, aching throat...the works. No sleep last night, and probably none tonight. Perfect timing:/
    Thursday, December 25th, 2008
    1:08 pm
    Xmas wishes
    Merry Christmas to everyone I haven't already said it to, and again to the ones I have. Hope everyone has a great 2009:)
    Thursday, December 4th, 2008
    9:19 am
    Let it snow, let it snow...
    Fun, fun here in the North East. I'm one of 3 people out of 70+ who's actually made it in to work, and I WALKED 5 miles you soft Jessies!
    Friday, October 24th, 2008
    4:16 pm
    It's the little things....
    Like finding a week's worth of leave you didn't know you had:)
    Tuesday, July 29th, 2008
    6:16 pm
    In case anyone's wondering....
    ...yes, I deleted all my entries. Was poking around and realised I'd never actually said anything worthwhile on this thing. So, yeah....all that'll change.





    Wait...this post is a waste of time too. Damn!
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