My first thought on first seeing Yojimbo years ago was that Kurosawa had been watching a lot of spaghetti westerns. Then I remember which came first...
Schlock Mercenary: February 23, 2017
32 minutes ago
Comments, observations and thoughts from two left coast bloggers on applied statistics, higher education and epidemiology. Joseph is a new assistant professor. Mark is a marketing statistician and former math teacher.
That’s been the story of technology in the classroom, pretty much from the start. Great hope, ambition, and expense. Followed by disappointment.At this point, for no apparent reason, the tone shifts radically.
Back in 1922, for instance, Thomas Edison thought he'd figured out the future of education.
“I believe that the motion picture is destined to revolutionize our education system,” he said, according to Larry Cuban's Teachers and Machines: The Classroom Use of Technology Since 1920, “and that in a few years it will supplant largely, if not entirely, the use of textbooks.”
“Edison was a better inventor than prognosticator,” said Robert Reiser, Associate Dean for Research in the College of Education at Florida State University.
Films fizzled out. They were expensive. Projectors were unreliable. It was hard to find the right film for the right class.
School boards and universities, even commercial networks like CBS and NBC, poured money into creating classroom broadcasts, or “textbooks of the air.” Then, said Reiser, “the enthusiasm died out.”
Next up were “teaching machines” with names like Cyclo Teacher, Instructocard, and the Edumator.
One of the best known was created by psychologist BF Skinner, in 1954. Here he is explaining the devices.
According to the 1962 book Teaching Machines and Programmed Learning, there were dozens of companies that made these devices in the early 60s.
Turns out buttons and levers weren’t a great way to learn.
Which brings us to television.
TV combined sight and sound, and could bring live events — like space missions — right into the classroom. It was also seen as one answer to the teacher shortage. The money poured in. The Ford Foundation invested millions into programming, according to Cuban's book. The federal government also pitched in cash. By 1971 more than $100 million had been poured into educational TV.
Again, the same story. “We see one medium after another coming along, a lot of enthusiasm for that medium, followed by disappointment in the extent to which that medium changed the nature of the instruction taking place in classrooms,” said Reiser.
So, when computers exploded into classrooms in the early 80s, with basic video games like Oregon Trail.
And when, as Todd Oppenheimer writes in The Flickering Mind, the numbers of computers tripled between 1980 and 1982, and tripled again by 1984.
And when Time magazine ran a cover story called “Here Come the Microkids,” in 1982. Educators were skeptical.
But now, some are reconsidering. Maybe this time is different.and
“We’re on the cusp now of that big revolution,” said Themistocles Sparangis, chief technology director at Los Angeles Unified School District. LA Unified has bet big on tech--a billion dollars big-- to give every student an iPad.It turns out that Los Angeles schools Supt. John Deasy, who has a rather cozy relationship with Apple, paid more than he had to for those iPads and way more than he would have if other tablet makers had been allowed to bid. Furthermore, they didn't work as promised (particularly not the firewall) and -- here's the part that jumps out for me -- the team that put together the proposal didn't check the specs closely enough and later discovered the district had to come up with an additional $38 million for keyboards.
Lesson Two: Mathematical thinking is not bookable.There's an important point here but I don't think Kilpatrick quite nails it. For starters, speaking as someone who has recently been working with a number of students coming of different courses, grades and schools, I can attest that being familiar with the ideas doesn't always help and sometimes hurts (see Feynman for details). Until you've done it, you have no idea how distracting it can be to teach out of a text where the authors don't really understand the material.
"Bookable" is a term used by publishers to describe the capability of a concept or mental process to be captured in print in a form that teachers will accept and can use. Many of the new math projects concentrated on bringing about reform primarily through the production of innovative materials. In particular, by providing sample textbooks for mathematics courses, the SMSG attempted to influence the commercial textbook publishing process, which would presumably then change how mathematics was taught. The SMSG author teams, by providing fewer problems for students to work, expected that those problems would be treated by teachers in greater depth and detail. The problem-solving process, however, proved not to be bookable. Books are not good at handling tentative hypotheses, erroneous formulations, blind alleys, or partial solutions. Teachers misunderstood what they were to do and called for more problems instead.
Max Beberman, in the new math materials he designed for the University of Illinois Committee on School Mathematics, attempted to incorporate into many lessons what he called guided discovery. Students would be led to see patterns in mathematical expressions and thus to arrive at generalizations that would not need to be made explicit in the materials (until a later lesson). The materials apparently worked well when restricted to teachers who had been trained in their use. When they were later published in the form of commercial textbooks, however, the guided discovery feature was greatly attenuated in order to capture a larger market.
Several recent curriculum projects have run into the same phenomenon. When efforts are made to encourage students to think about mathematical ideas rather than having them enshrined in a text, teachers who are not familiar with how those ideas might be handled criticize the books as incomplete and unsatisfactory. Textbooks are expected to contain authoritative rules, definitions, theorems, and solutions. Consequently, asking students to think about and formulate their own versions of these things rather than providing them ready-made can make a textbook unusable for many teachers.
I understood what they were trying to do. Many [Americans] thought we were behind the Russians after Sputnik, and some mathematicians were asked to give advice on how to teach math by using some of the rather interesting modern concepts of mathematics. The purpose was to enhance mathematics for the children who found it dull.Part of the standard narrative about New Math was that the new concepts being introduced were too advanced and unfamiliar for teachers to handle or parents to accept, but in many cases, the greater tension was between authors of the reforms and the people who actually understood the math.
I'll give you an example: They would talk about different bases of numbers -- five, six, and so on -- to show the possibilities. That would be interesting for a kid who could understand base ten -- something to entertain his mind. But what they turned it into, in these books, was that every child had to learn another base! And then the usual horror would come: "Translate these numbers, which are written in base seven, to base five." Translating from one base to another is an utterly useless thing. If you can do it, maybe it's entertaining; if you can't do it, forget it. There's no point to it.
When the guns fell silent in the Spring of 1865, they all went home. They scattered across the country, back across the devastated south and the invigorated north. Then they made love to their wives, played with their children, found new jobs or stepped back into their old ones, and in general they tried to get on with their lives. These men were no longer soldiers; they were now veterans of the Civil War, never to wear the uniform again. But before long they started noticing that things were not as they had been before.
Now, they had memories of things that they could not erase. There were the friends who were no longer there, or who were hobbling through town on one or two pegs, or who had a sleeve pinned up on their chest. There were the nights that they could not shake the feeling that something really bad was about to happen. And, aside from those who had seen what they had seen and lived that life, they came to realize that they did not have a lot of people to talk to about these things. Those who had been at home, men and women, just did not "get it." A basic tale about life in camp would need a lot of explanation, so it was frustrating even to talk. Terminology like "what is a picket line" and "what do you mean oblique order?" and a million other elements, got in the way. These were the details of a life they had lived for years but which was now suddenly so complex that they never could get the story across to those who had not been there. Many felt they just could not explain about what had happened, to them, to their friends, to the nation.
So they started to congregate. First in little groups, then in statewide assemblies, and finally in national organizations that themselves took on a life of their own.
The Mid-1860s are a key period in American history not just because of the War of Rebellion, but also because this period saw the rise of "social organizations." Fraternities, for example, exploded in the post-war period. My own, Pi Kappa Alpha, was formed partially by veterans of the Confederacy, Lee's men (yes, I know, irony alert). Many other non-academic "fraternal" organizations got their start around the same time. By the late 1860s in the north and south there was a desire to commemorate. Not to celebrate, gloat or pine, but to remember.
Individually, at different times and in different ways, these nascent veterans groups started to create days to stop and reflect. These days were not set aside to mull on a cause -- though that did happen -- but their primary purpose was to think on the sacrifices and remember those lost. Over time, as different states incorporated these ideas into statewide holidays, a sort of critical legislative mass was achieved. "Decoration Day" was born, and for a long time that was enough. The date selected was, quite deliberately, a day upon which absolutely nothing of major significance had occurred during the entire war. Nobody in the north or south could try to change it to make it a victory day. It was a day for remembering the dead through decorating their graves, and the memorials started sprouting up in every small town in the nation. You still see them today, north and south, in small towns and villages like my own home of Chagrin Falls -- granite placed there so that the nation, and their homes, should not forget the sacrifices of the men who went away on behalf of the country and never came back.
High Unemployment Major #1:Here's what I'm taking away from most of these stories and from what I'm hearing from people in the STEM job market:
Unemployment rate for recent grads: 14.7 percent*
In the digital age, it may seem as though all bachelor's degrees in the computer science field would be a safe bet. But numbers from the Georgetown Report suggest that this is not the case. In fact, the report found that recent grads in this major faced an unemployment rate of nearly 15 percent.
Why the depressing job prospects? The simple answer: Too many job applicants, not enough spots. "The market is saturated for this industry," says Hallie Crawford, a job search expert and certified career coach.
With the rise of technology, many people have opted to pursue information technology paths, says Crawford. And the influx of new candidates for positions within this field has made the job market very competitive, she says.
The L/D plan would, in its majestic equality, allow the affluent person with a well-stuffed savings account and the low wager-earner drowning in debt alike to set aside $1,000 for health care expenses and to take the risk of incurring 4 grand of debt through events they have little or no control over. Indeed, their always-smarmy tone (“if they are being prudent”) suggests that the point of the plan is not so much health care provision as setting up a cheap moral lesson in thrift, a lesson that not coincidentally will be much easier for people similarly situated to Levitt than for the ordinary working person in 2014 to pass.
But let’s assume arguendo that we should ignore questions of equity, and also assume that the only relevant question is trying to determine how to collectively spend health care dollars in the most efficient manner. Even on its own terms, the plan doesn’t make sense. The L/D wouldn’t disincentivize health care spending per se; it would massively disincentivize seeking cheap preventive care. If you get regular check-ups, it costs you money; if you save money by skipping checkups and get an illness that could have prevented, the costs are largely paid collectively. In other words, the L/D plan discourages the most cont-effective forms of care while doing little to discourage the least cost-effective. Even on its on terms, I don’t see how this plan makes any sense.Cheap preventative care isn't where this system is going to go wrong. Nor is it in the poor equality properties of the law, as some young people might end up ahead on total revenue (while others get crushed). behind the veil of ignorance it isn't clear how it will all work out.
On January 1 of each year, the British government would mail a check for 1,000 pounds to every British resident. They can do whatever they want with that money, but if they are being prudent, they might want to set it aside to cover out-of-pocket health care costs. In my system, individuals are now required to pay out-of-pocket for 100 percent of their health care costs up to 2,000 pounds, and 50 percent of the costs between 2,000 pounds and 8,000 pounds. The government pays for all expenses over 8,000 pounds in a year.So you have two efficiency problems here. One is that you now have a whole bunch of extra paperwork and IT to track where people are on the cost spectrum. Do we mail people bills after we determine if they have not hit the cap? What about people will marginal addresses and living situations. You are replacing a cheap system with average outcomes with one that is immediately more complicated to administer.
A lot of people seem to think that "per-capita government spending" means "spending per person covered by government insurance." That's understandable, but wrong. "Per-capita government spending" means "government spending on health care per U.S. citizen." In other words, we spend as much to cover a fraction of our population as other governments spend to cover everyone. So pointing out that Medicare beneficiaries cost more on average than younger people is true but irrelevant. We spend more covering old people, poor people and veterans than many other governments spend to cover all those people, plus the rest of the population.So if you are advising the English on health care reform, why would you suggest the politically unpopular move of putting more "skin in the game" when the country that does the most of this ends up paying more money (out of government revenues) to cover fewer people? And England allows private health care, so the benefits of a more private system (over and above current options) isn't absolutely clear.
In 1965, cartoonist Charles Schulz authored a series of Peanuts strips which detailed kindergartener Sally's frustrations with New Math. In the first strip, she is depicted puzzling over "sets, one to one matching, equivalent sets, non-equivalent sets, sets of one, sets of two, renaming two, subsets, joining sets, number sentences, placeholders." Eventually she bursts into tears and exclaims, "All I want to know is, how much is two and two?"What surprised me was how well Schulz captured the terminology. The part about one to one matching was particularly apt.
Duke Fightmaster is not a man of half measures, and he believed in the aphorisms of success, that if he wanted something badly enough, he would have it. He was going to replace Conan O'Brien. Not by doing all the normal things like getting a production job at a local talk show, learning the business, working his way up. Instead, he would make himself into a talk show sensation from his own bedroom.As you might guess, this did not go well.
Duke FightmasterYou really should listen to the whole thing
I guess somewhere in my mind I just thought, you know, no matter how bad things get, I'll just kind of put my head down and keep going. And I knew that it was ridiculous, starting a talk show. I mean, I knew that, outwardly, people think I'm ridiculous.
And I remember just driving around like, "The show isn't going anywhere, I'm not going anywhere, I've wasted these last years." And I remember just driving around so depressed. And I just felt like I had broken-- and I had a breakdown where I just started crying in my car. And I just felt like I hit the core of my being and it was, "you're a loser." And I think that was part of my rock bottom.
Did you quit after that?
No. No, I think I still went for another year after that.
You know, anyone who makes it in this life at anything, you always hear, has to go through hell. So I figured, "I'll just go through hell." I remember my friend who worked in real estate worked for one of those cheesy real estate motivators that used to yell out, "You have to have a break down to have a break through." So I was thinking, "OK, I've had my break down, so now I'm going to actually break through to some new level."
Since the late 1990s we have completely traded places: prime-age French adults are now much more likely than their US counterparts to have jobs.This is for adults 25 to 54. So maybe the USA might have some advantages above or below that age range. But France has a world class medical system, high taxes, and a great deal of worker protection. Enough protections that I can actually remember meeting French people in Quebec who moved there because their business model required too much worker churn to be viable in France.
In order for a best practices approach to make any sense whatsoever, the optimal level of the factors in question must remain basically the same from person to person, location to location, and sometimes even job to job. Those are extremely strong and in some cases wildly counterintuitive assumptions and yet they go unquestioned all the time.For a young teacher, there is tremendous appeal to the idea of winning kids over with the big show. Today, they're ignoring your lessons, rolling their eyes at your advice and occasionally nodding off while you're talking; tomorrow, they're hanging on your every word. It hardly ever works that way. One lesson almost never makes you anyone's favorite teacher.
The 774 new recruits who are training here are housed in Rice University dorms. Many are up past midnight doing lesson plans and by 6:30 a.m. are on a bus to teach summer school to students making up failed classes. It’s a tough lesson for those who’ve come to do battle with the achievement gap.
Lilianna Nguyen, a recent Stanford graduate, dressed formally in high heels, was trying to teach a sixth-grade math class about negative numbers. She’d prepared definitions to be copied down, but the projector was broken.
She’d also created a fun math game, giving every student an index card with a number. They were supposed to silently line themselves up from lowest negative to highest positive, but one boy kept disrupting the class, blurting out, twirling his pen, complaining he wanted to play a fun game, not a math game.
“Why is there talking?” Ms. Nguyen said. “There should be no talking.”
“Do I have to play?” asked the boy.
“Do you want to pass summer school?” Ms. Nguyen answered.
The boy asked if it was O.K. to push people to get them in the right order.
“This is your third warning,” Ms. Nguyen said. “Do not speak out in my class.”This is really bad. The lesson was not great to begin with -- there are better ways to get the concept across and the fun potential of lining up silently is limited -- but with the disruptions the time was almost entirely wasted (and wasting students' time is one of the worst things a teacher or administrator can do). And the damage almost certainly wasn't be limited to that one day. The teacher had her authority challenged, made empty threats, lost control of her classroom.
They take this as evidence that even intelligent politicians don't like hearing uncomfortable truths that challenge positions to which they are committed. But it seems more likely that Cameron, who is indeed an intelligent politician, noticed they were talking nonsense. After all, it's a ridiculous analogy. People don't go to the NHS and "pick out" their treatment. They are in the hands of doctors and other healthcare professionals who collectively try to find the best treatments for them, within limits. Healthcare is nothing like transportation. If it were, the NHS, whatever future problems it might be facing, could hardly have survived so long (and performed more efficiently than the rival US system, where many patients really are "picking out" their preferred treatments). Only two economists (or rather one-and-a-half economists) could be so arrogant and so ignorant as to think that this was how to talk to a future British prime minister about healthcare. I imagine that what Cameron was really thinking was: if these are the clever people, spare me from the stupid ones.But it does get at a very real issue -- different markets operate in different ways. Noah Smith and Paul Krugman point out the difficult link between theory and empiricism here. It is true that very few health care markets are purely socialist or free -- they are classical mixed markets in most places. That said, the English model is hardly a disaster.
On January 1 of each year, the British government would mail a check for 1,000 pounds to every British resident. They can do whatever they want with that money, but if they are being prudent, they might want to set it aside to cover out-of-pocket health care costs. In my system, individuals are now required to pay out-of-pocket for 100 percent of their health care costs up to 2,000 pounds, and 50 percent of the costs between 2,000 pounds and 8,000 pounds. The government pays for all expenses over 8,000 pounds in a year.Yet, ironically, this approach requires a real faith in effective government. Why? Because there will be people who need different amounts of subsidy (currently poor elderly, for example, or those whose illness prevents them from working). Or it requires getting rid of universality, which might be a feature in the long run but has many bad features in the short run. It adds in layers of billing and pricing, that health systems are often poor at generating (or at least the US systems seem to be). People need to be able to get accurate price quotes, collections for debt needs to exist, and the hospital have to set up payment under difficult circumstances.
The Relay GSE curriculum comprises two core components. First, graduate students learn core instructional practices in planning, delivery, and assessment of teaching and learning that are necessary for all teachers, regardless of the subject or grade level they are teaching. These practices are sometimes referred to in the education field as “general pedagogy.” Second, graduate students will learn how to teach their specific subject at one or more specific grade levels. Math teachers do not learn geometry, for example, but rather how to teach geometry and how students learn geometry. This is sometimes referred to as “pedagogical content knowledge.Help me out on this one. Based strictly on the information Relay provides us, would you say this constitutes graduate or undergraduate level work?
In the immediate post-Sputnik era Pólya had been an outspoken critic of the formalism of the School Mathematics Study Group (SMSG) and the “new math." He often cited an example taken from the SMSG geometry text that gave a theorem with proof—taking up half a page—stating that with three points on a line, one point must lie between the other two. He argued that though this is a necessary theorem for a foundations course in geometry, it has no place in an elementary text. He said that had he been asked to study the proof of such a theorem in high school, he would almost certainly have given up on mathematics, having concludcd that the subject is dumb! In support of this viewpoint— that there was excessive rigor in the “new math"—he was one of the signers of a manifesto on curriculum reform that appeared in The Mathematics Teacher and The American Mathematical Monthly decrying the direction of the reform movement of the 50's and 60's.
In talking about what he regarded as the excess of rigor in SMSG. he cited the oft‘repeated story about Isadora Duncan's proposal of something like marriage to George Bernard Shaw. She argued that their children would have his intelligence and her beauty. Of course, Shaw pointed out that the children might well have... Pólya suggested that SMSG had been put together by research mathematicians and high school teachers. on the assumption that the material would reflect the mathematical sophistication of the researchers. and the pedagogical skills of the high school teachers. But then, like Shaw, he pointed out that the material in fact reflected... The observation was unkind but there was, perhaps. some truth in it.
“There was a desert wind blowing that night. It was one of those hot dry Santa Anas that come down through the mountain passes and curl your hair and make your nerves jump and your skin itch. On nights like that every booze party ends in a fight. Meek little wives feel the edge of the carving knife and study their husbands' necks. Anything can happen. You can even get a full glass of beer at a cocktail lounge.”
― Raymond Chandler, Red Wind: A Collection of Short Stories
Anyway, that's my question. There's already a perfectly good, perfectly simple way for ISPs to recover the cost of providing lots of bandwidth: just charge the customers who use it. Existing peering and transit arrangements wouldn't be affected, and there would be no net neutrality implications. So why not do it? What am I missing?My cynical answer is that there are a lot of markets that are large but for which service is sub-optimal (think New York City) If you charge users by bandwidth, the people in these markets would likely end up getting a discount because they are light user simply because it is nearly impossible to be heavy users. But everyone would like some internet access.
In one of the many recurring gags on the Beverly Hillbillies, whenever Jethro finished fixing the old flatbed truck, Jed would notice a small pile of engine parts on the ground next to the truck and Jethro would nonchalantly explain that those were the parts that were left over. I always liked that gag and the part that really sold it was the fact that the character saw this as a natural part of auto repair: when you took an engine apart then reassembled it you would always have parts left over.For a recent example, consider this quote from George Mason University economist Robin Hanson (via Andrew Gelman):
Sometimes I find myself having a Jed moment when I read certain pop econ pieces.
"What's that pile next to your argument?"
"Oh, that's just some non-linear relationships, interactions, data quality issues and metrics that won't reduce to a scalar. We always have a bunch of stuff like that left over when we put together an argument."
If your main reason for talking is to socialize, you’ll want to talk about whatever everyone else is talking about. Like say the missing Malaysia Airlines plane. But if instead your purpose is to gain and spread useful insight, so that we can all understand more about things that matter, you’ll want to look for relatively neglected topics. . . .Obviously, this is intended more as an observation than even an informal model, but we're still looking at a level of simplification that makes this rule pretty much meaningless; as soon as add any of the complexity of actual conversations, either with respect to why we converse or how we decide what to talk about, the whole argument just collapses. We converse for a long list of reasons. Sometimes we simply want company. Other times it's something more specific, to propagate our ideas, to amuse, to impress, to be liked, to establish individual and group identity, to get laid or, far more frequently, to convince ourselves that we could get laid if we wanted to. We could make similar list of reasons for picking conversational topics, but I think you get the point.
The House on Friday passed bipartisan legislation to expand access to charter school funding.
Passed 360-45, the vote came in sharp contrast to the bitterly partisan debates this week over creating a select committee to investigate the 2012 Benghazi attack and holding former Internal Revenue Service official Lois Lerner in contempt of Congress.
A majority of Democrats — 158 in favor and 34 against — joined all but 11 Republicans in support of the measure.
The bill authored by House Education and the Workforce Committee Chairman John Kline (R-Minn.) and the panel's top Democrat, Rep. George Miller (Calif.), would consolidate the two existing federal charter school programs into one to award grants to state entities.
The measure would also authorize the secretary of Education to maintain a federal grant competition for charter schools that did not win state grants.
Republicans have touted the issue of school choice and access to charter schools as a way of limiting the federal government's role in education policy. Charter schools receive public funding, but operate independently and therefore are not subject to federal regulations.
"Expanding education opportunity for all students everywhere is the civil rights issue of our time," House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) said. "I say we help those students by expanding those slots so they can get off the waiting lists and into the classrooms."
In the Married... with Children episode "Oldies But Young 'Uns" (Season 5, Episode 17; airdate March 17, 1991), Al Bundy becomes obsessed with finding out the name of this song which has become his earworm (originally he can only tell people the nondescript misheard lyric "hmm hmm him").It is still possible not to be able to find a song, but it doesn't happen often. If you can remember a fragment of a lyric or pin down where you heard it, you can usually be listening to it on Youtube in a couple of minutes.
Heart of Algebra: A strong emphasis on linear equations and functionsYou might make a pretty good case for the central importance of polynomials (particularly if you want to get nerdy and bring in Taylor). You can make a great case for the central importance of functions. You can even make a crawl-before-you-walk case for focusing on linear expressions. But you have to make some sort of coherent argument.
Algebra is the language of much of high school mathematics, and it is also an important prerequisite for advanced mathematics and postsecondary education in many subjects. Mastering linear equations and functions has clear benefits to students. The ability to use linear equations to model scenarios and to represent unknown quantities is powerful across the curriculum in the postsecondary classroom as well as in the workplace. Further, linear equations and functions remain the bedrock upon which much of advanced mathematics is built. (Consider, for example, the way differentiation in calculus is used to determine the best linear approximation of nonlinear functions at a certain input value.) Without a strong foundation in the core of algebra, much of this advanced work remains inaccessible.
When Coleman attended Stuyvesant High in Manhattan, he was a member of the championship debate team, and the urge to overpower with evidence — and his unwillingness to suffer fools — is right there on the surface when you talk with him. (Debate, he said, is one of the few activities in which you can be “needlessly argumentative and it advances you.”) He offended an audience of teachers and administrators while promoting the Common Core at a conference organized by the New York State Education Department in April 2011: Bemoaning the emphasis on personal-narrative writing in high school, he said about the reality of adulthood, “People really don’t give a [expletive] about what you feel or what you think.” After the video of that moment went viral, he apologized and explained that he was trying to advocate on behalf of analytical, evidence-based writing, an indisputably useful skill in college and career. His words, though, cemented his reputation among some as both insensitive and radical, the sort of self-righteous know-it-all who claimed to see something no one else did.
Coleman obliquely referenced the episode — and his habit for candor and colorful language — at the annual meeting of the College Board in October 2012 in Miami, joking that there were people in the crowd from the board who “are terrified.”Given some of the changes we've seen in the test the College Board worked so hard to get right (the loss of orthogonality, the shoehorning in of "real-world" data), we may have some idea what they were scared of.