Colbert is hilarious on ‘robo teachers’ and Common Core

Stephen Colbert was hilarious Monday night on “The Colbert Report” in a brief bit on the Common Core State Standards and the “robo teachers”  — computers — that will be grading standardized tests aligned to the core. Here’s the video and a partial transcript.


Excerpts from transcript:

It’s no secret that America has fallen behind other countries in education… A recent report in Harvard’s Kennedy School found that students in Latvia, Chile and Brazil are improving on standardized tests three times faster than American students. Three times faster. That’s almost twice as much.

Now America is addressing this problem with something called the Common Core State Standards, which The New York Times called “an ambitious set of goals for math, reading and writing skills that children should acquire as they move through school.”

I’m all in favor of raising standards.  If we can help even one kid do better in school, we will help all the kids who copy off that kid.

But folks, there’s one problem with encouraging our children to grow to their full potential.  Someone has to grade all those papers. Which is why I am giving a tip of the hat to robo teachers. You see, tech companies have developed an automated reader which can grade 16,000 essays in 20 seconds. Finally we have the computing power to grade homework at the same blinding speed that it was plagiarized from Wikipedia.

And I’m giving a special additional rare tip of my hat to how these essays are being compu-graded by evaluating critical elements like: How long the average word is; how many words are in the average sentence; and how long is the essay. Because as Shakespeare wrote, “Brevity is the soul of writing but splendiferous loquaciousness is paramount to acing your Lit final.” — “Hamlet,” Act II Scene 2

Valerie Strauss covers education and runs The Answer Sheet blog.



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Valerie Strauss · October 22, 2013

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