Late in the fall 2010, Ed Gordon asked me to be a "consultant" to his latest venture: the "Gordon Commission on the Future of Assessment." I had never seriously thought about it but I accepted. On April 11, 2011, I convened (with funding from the Gordon Commission) a "mini-conference on the future of assessment." with my usual suspects. In the summer 2011, I wrote three papers somewhat related to the matter:

  1. "Imagining How to Break the Co-optation of a Consensus. A Response to 'Imagining No Child Left Behind Freed from Neoliberal Hijackers'." Democracy and Education 19, 2 (online journal)
  2. "Polities and politics of ongoing assessments: Evidence from video-gaming and blogging." (with G. Andrews, A. Hung, and S. Wessler).  In [TBA] Edited by D. Tannen and A. Trester, Georgetown University Round Table on Language and Linguistics series. Washington, D.C: Georgetown University Press
  3. Assembling and dissembling: Policy as productive play." Educational Researcher (with Jill Koyama as first author)
  4. Education: Constraints and Possibilities in Imagining New Ways to Assess Rights, Duties and Privileges (forthcoming)

The first paper was written after I was asked to respond to what is essentially a polemical piece and I used the occasion to continue thinking about the paper for the Gordon Commission. The second is the more technical backdrop to the Gordon paper and it raises fundamental issues in anthropology about the "interpretation/assessment" of earlier events for future purposes. It develops my still evolving interest with sequentiality and history (as distinct from historicity), and thus with "play" in all the senses of the word. The Gordon paper is addressed to policy analysts and constitutes, in a sense, an "application" of my recent work, including the work with Jill Koyama included in the third paper. That paper is a brief sketch pushing modes of analysis borrowed from Latour to include, again, issues of sequentiality (borrowed from conversational analysts) and play (borrowed from Lévi-Strauss and Boon).

I have also addressed some of the same issues in various entries in my blog: