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MCAS: bad name

April 7th, 2009 (08:12 am)

I just heard somebody say "MCAS", and finally realized why the name sounds so awkward to me: it sounds almost exactly like "MCATs". Naming one standardized test to sound like another, long-established test may well be considered a Bad Idea. It suggests a certain lack of cultural literacy on the part of the politicians who named it.)

(For those who don't know: MCAS is MA's No Child Left Behind test.)

Comments

Posted by: C. Virtue (cvirtue)
Posted at: April 7th, 2009 01:17 pm (UTC)

There's only so many combinations of letters that can sorta sound like words.

Posted by: Who, me? (metageek)
Posted at: April 7th, 2009 01:32 pm (UTC)

Well, yeah, but doesn't matter so much that the acronym for the test conflicts with the acronyms for Marine Corps Air Station or Matrícula Consular de Alta Seguridad. Conflicting with another standardized test is more confusing.

Edited at 2009-04-07 01:33 pm (UTC)

(Deleted comment)
Posted by: Who, me? (metageek)
Posted at: April 7th, 2009 03:26 pm (UTC)

All our tests are called MCAS; they just distinguish by grade. It stands for "Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System", which has the advantage of not actually telling you what it is. It could be for property assessments, for example.

Posted by: C. Virtue (cvirtue)
Posted at: April 7th, 2009 03:29 pm (UTC)

Since high MCAS scores track fairly reliably to areas with high property assessments, one could argue that it is exactly that.

Posted by: Who, me? (metageek)
Posted at: April 7th, 2009 03:32 pm (UTC)

Heh. And the discrepancies can probably be used to detect which towns cheated on the money they send to the state.

Posted by: C. Virtue (cvirtue)
Posted at: April 7th, 2009 03:43 pm (UTC)

And the towns which arrange for the lower-performing kids to be 'out sick' on the day of the tests, and other gerrymandering.

Posted by: Lowell Gilbert (be_well_lowell)
Posted at: April 7th, 2009 09:10 pm (UTC)
heart of gold

Josh thought it was "M-Cast"...

Posted by: Who, me? (metageek)
Posted at: April 8th, 2009 01:08 pm (UTC)

Nah, mcast never did get enabled on the backbone.

Posted by: Lowell Gilbert (be_well_lowell)
Posted at: April 8th, 2009 02:26 pm (UTC)
heart of gold

and is used pretty widely anyway.

[I spend a *lot* of time on it...]

Posted by: Who, me? (metageek)
Posted at: April 8th, 2009 02:45 pm (UTC)

Cool. I should look into it again sometime. Last time I wrote multicast code was around 1996, for videoconferencing; but that was mostly LAN-based.

How do people use it these days? Tunnels? I thought the mbone was turned off a few years ago.

Posted by: Lowell Gilbert (be_well_lowell)
Posted at: April 8th, 2009 03:22 pm (UTC)
heart of gold

The customer use cases (that I'm aware of, anyway) don't need to cross provider boundaries, so core-router support isn't a big issue. "Triple-play" networks generally do their TV across multicast, but they don't share with their competitors. The equipment I work on does support a ridiculous variety of options for tunneling, but I suspect that's more of a marketing checkmark than anything customers really use.

Still, packet replication is where my current bug is hanging...

Posted by: Who, me? (metageek)
Posted at: April 8th, 2009 06:17 pm (UTC)

The customer use cases (that I'm aware of, anyway) don't need to cross provider boundaries,

Ah, there's the difference. I tend to think in terms of the public Internet.

Still, packet replication is where my current bug is hanging...

Sending one packet out multiple interfaces?

Posted by: Lowell Gilbert (be_well_lowell)
Posted at: April 8th, 2009 08:47 pm (UTC)
heart of gold

Sending a packet out multiple interfaces, yes. There isn't a literal copy involved, but we still refer to it as "replication."

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