Author: Andrew

An Open Letter to the Suits + Code Academy New Biz Idea

  What percent of your software development projects come in under budget and on time? Sounds like the setup to a joke, right? When leadership hears estimates for software projects they automatically double them in their minds. Then they listen to methodologies and promises, praise the optimism, and then change requirements five (fifty?) times during the project. Then 31.1% of projects are cancelled before completion and 52.7% of the remaining work costs 189% of its originally projected cost (The 2014 CHAOS Report from The Standish Group). If it guaranteed delivery, many of us would accept a cost 189% of the original projection...

Read More

A Response to AAC&U’s ‘On Solid Ground’​ Report on UG Performance

First published: Congrats to all the schools, faculty, & rubric-writers…plus AAC&U’s leadership and tireless, long-sighted work in completing “On Solid Ground,” a report on the massive assessment work completed through the VALUE project (Valid Assessment of Learning in Undergraduate Education). Inside Higher Ed just published a summary of the report here. I haven’t thought about the VALUE project in a long time…but a few aspects to this positive treatment by IHE stand out: Levels, along with language, are always the most debatable aspects of a rubric. From memory, VALUE intended a ‘4’ (called ‘Capstone’) to be equivalent to the...

Read More


It might have been a particularly devious form of procrastination, or an excellent life hack, but I found myself answering a plaintive Quora post, from a medical student begging the world to help him overcome procrastination. Here’s the opening paragraph: I’m a very lazy student and have procrastinated SO much in my life, and I want to stop doing it. I’m currently entering 4th year of medicine, my grades are above average, but I could be much, much better. Tomorrow I have one of my exams, which I will fail because I’ve been avoiding any contact with the book...

Read More

What’s On The Last Page of Your iDevice?

Chances are you have one iDevice – an iPhone and/or an iPad. Apple has sold $1B of them. What’s on the last page of your iDevice? Probably Apple’s own failed apps: Watch, Maps, Tips, Weather – even Music for many of us. Some of Apple’s apps may be good enough…Reminders, for instance. What does this mean? Do we have to solve everything? To be successful. Obviously...

Read More

Response To The Changes in the SAT

Scott Warnock has a nice survey of the coverage of the SAT in his most recent When Falls the Coliseum article. I’d read the NYT Mag piece he references…and was impressed and hopeful…but hadn’t read much else. His survey is worth a read…although it won’t fill you with excitement for the future. This moment is a compelling bookend…when we were really getting underway with Waypoint the changes to the SAT promised an increasing focus on writing instruction. That didn’t happen, at least as far as I could see…Maybe more test prep / tutoring sorts of writing instruction. But writing...

Read More


Welcome to the personal blog of Andrew J. McCann - a history of interests and thinking focused on education, product design, and leadership. All views here my own!