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posted by hubie on Monday March 11, @03:43PM   Printer-friendly
from the complaints-department-5000-miles-> dept.

In a notable shift toward sanctioned use of AI in schools, some educators in grades 3–12 are now using a ChatGPT-powered grading tool called Writable, reports Axios. The tool, acquired last summer by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, is designed to streamline the grading process, potentially offering time-saving benefits for teachers. But is it a good idea to outsource critical feedback to a machine?
"Make feedback more actionable with AI suggestions delivered to teachers as the writing happens," Writable promises on its AI website. "Target specific areas for improvement with powerful, rubric-aligned comments, and save grading time with AI-generated draft scores." The service also provides AI-written writing-prompt suggestions: "Input any topic and instantly receive unique prompts that engage students and are tailored to your classroom needs."
The reliance on AI for grading will likely have drawbacks. Automated grading might encourage some educators to take shortcuts, diminishing the value of personalized feedback. Over time, the augmentation from AI may allow teachers to be less familiar with the material they are teaching. The use of cloud-based AI tools may have privacy implications for teachers and students. Also, ChatGPT isn't a perfect analyst. It can get things wrong and potentially confabulate (make up) false information, possibly misinterpret a student's work, or provide erroneous information in lesson plans.
there's a divide among parents regarding the use of AI in evaluating students' academic performance. A recent poll of parents revealed mixed opinions, with nearly half of the respondents open to the idea of AI-assisted grading.

As the generative AI craze permeates every space, it's no surprise that Writable isn't the only AI-powered grading tool on the market. Others include Crowdmark, Gradescope, and EssayGrader. McGraw Hill is reportedly developing similar technology aimed at enhancing teacher assessment and feedback.

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  • (Score: 5, Informative) by VLM on Tuesday March 12, @07:48PM (1 child)

    by VLM (445) on Tuesday March 12, @07:48PM (#1348446)

    last I looked in CA it was 4:1

    You're pretty far behind the times. Here's a nice federal website []

    I live in a civilized area, aka far away from the coasts. The school district my kids attended has approx 800 licensed teachers, oddly more secondary than elementary although not by much (I always thought when I was a kid secondary had larger classes than primary, but they have more secondary teachers total than primary, weird). The "Other Staff" is 650 FTE so your ratio is rapidly nearing 1:1 now. About 125 are instructional aides making about $11/hr. That has a high paying pyramid of supervisors of course (they don't directly report to teachers, they have 15 supervisors for the 125 aides to report to). There's about two dozen guidance counselors, they do approximately nothing AFAIK. Roughly one psych and one librarian per building and 0.5 assistant librarians per building (Used to have three minimum wage assistants per secondary library when I was a kid and people still read books; not entirely clear what the library does in this era of all kids having an iPad...) Each building has roughly one district level admin, two district level admin support, two local admins (principals and asst principals) and two local admin support (school secretary type ladies). About 250 are in support services which includes everyone from janitors to groundskeepers to lunch ladies, essentially the blue collar people who make the school "go" but do not teach or "administer".

    Schools in my state contract out for bus service but have W2 employee lunch ladies, it seems every district in the country is randomly different so ratios will vary a little.

    I would hazard a guess that employment patterns aside from firing two library aides per school has not changed since I attended gen-x schools, but allocation has changed such that lunch ladies, teachers aides, and janitors are now budgeted as admin staff, resulting in the new era of roughly 1:1 ratio of licensed classroom teachers vs admin staff.

    Note that the two fired library aides make $18.48 today per an independent Google search. So, more than McDonalds, but less than Panda Express that pays $25/hr. And $18.48 sounds bad but it comes with benefits in this district. Bus drivers make $22.50 no bennies off an independent-ish contractor and it's kind of an indentured servant or slavery scam where they pay for 'free' CDL but you are their slave if you don't work for more than, I believe, two years at $22.50, I am told they "claim" the CDL training is worth $15K or something like that if you want to quit early. Your typical CDL makes $35/hr in my town according to Google (not max or min, average) so essentially all bus drivers quit every other year. They're having severe bus staffing problems in this district. If they just paid $35 they wouldn't have staffing and training problems, but the usual penny wise pound foolish stuff...

    In my district the feds provide pocket change, state income tax provides about 40% and local property tax provides about 60% of funding. They pay about $17K per student per year, which isn't that much compared to college tuition (and this includes lunch which somehow costs damn near $2K/kid/year AFTER the parents partial pay for lunch) As a point of comparison in my district they spend about the same amount per year per kid on capex (mostly construction) as they do on 'non-instructional support and admin'

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  • (Score: 2) by Reziac on Wednesday March 13, @01:14AM

    by Reziac (2489) on Wednesday March 13, @01:14AM (#1348483) Homepage

    Behind, indeed (probably been ten years since I looked). I knew some universities had more administrators than professors, but didn't know the infection had penetrated down to lowly public schools!

    I expect a good half of the staff bloat is trying to keep up with Dept of Edu BS... how about we abolish that and see how it goes??

    And there is no Alkibiades to come back and save us from ourselves.