02 February 2010

Quantifying Education

In the big push to quantify education, I have come up with some measurement systems of my own that I would like to present here. I feel these will be invaluable in advancing our ability to effectively measure key components in education, as well as applying educational measures to other endeavors in life.


Primarily a measure meant for post-secondary educational organizations, though also appropriate to private and charter schools, the Full Tuition Waiver Equivalency is the measure of the number of full tuition waivers could have been given out to students if that money had not instead been spent, for instance, on a fireworks display to celebrate the president of the college winning a golf tourney that the school paid to send them to.

All proposals for non-necessary expenses should be proposed both in dollar values and in FTWE. By using FTWE as a measure of expenditures, it is hoped it will make people much more sensitive to the nature and amount of their expenditures, given the sense of increased need to justify them that will potentially arise.


The Five More Minutes measure (5m2) is the amount of effort required to maintain student attention for five more minutes after some significant breakpoint is reached. The subscript "X" is the time factor (in hours) involved before this significant breakpoint. Further research is required in the rate of progression in this equation, though it appears to approach infinity somewhere shortly after three hours. The measure is somewhat complicated by the fact that it is non-zero when the time factor itself is zero. Though the range of results from a positive non-zero value to infinity does allow us to say with certainty that the time factor cannot function as a simple multiplier.

This measure is not meant purely as a school measure, beyond the ability to assess effort required, so much as a baseline for the measurement of other seemingly impossible tasks. For instance: "You've got to be kidding, that's at least (5m2)2.5, if not significantly more! I want danger pay."

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