Thursday, July 16, 2015

The Education Interest

I'm back.

So I was away for a month as I changed jobs and started migration of this blog to a new website. On top of that, a robust social life continues. Generally a lot of things that I could try to use as an excuse for not blogging.

The job I decided upon was a position with an educational testing company for their data integration and reporting needs. A database developer, officially. It really came down to comfort in the job and upside. So maybe this was a good moment to talk about another fringe interest.

I really like dissecting some data for class structures related to K-12 education. Once I learned in middle school that I was going to have classes for each individual subject, I was intrigued by the classroom combinations possible. I wondered what would happen if a student took an additional elective or jumped ahead in math another year.

My fascination was taken to another level with high school. Now that you could choose your courses, what varieties could a student have now? Imagine a student advancing two levels in math, and the types of Advanced Placement courses that could be taken. What if you can choose someone on an art track who eventually does AP Art History to close out, or the science enthusiast who jumped a year ahead but went for just another Honors Chemistry section and could then jump to AP Physics? So many combinations and prerequisites, including the system for grade point average. Honors weighted one way, Advanced Placement another? I began comparing school districts and wondered. I even get to check out demographic data like this for state test scoring reports that states and districts request.

College...that's a beast I never had time to fully tap into with all else happening. I looked at the catalogs of some of the schools I wanted to apply to, and wondered about cliques of students taking different majors. What kind of classes could they take together? How tough is grading? My imagination ran wild at times. I won't get to touch on this again since my job involves K-12, but that may be for the best!

That is a glimpse into my fascination with school courses and even my job. I think I may be able to apply some of it for something good...when the situation calls for it, of course. A lot of what I have been doing relates to test scores, but can expand on this based on the districts. Really, that's how I know I have a shot at really loving this job more than the ability to use my honed skill set. Another victory in this case.