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The Silicon Ceiling: How Algorithmic Assessments Construct an Invisible Barrier to Opportunity

The University of Kansas Missouri Law Review, forthcoming 2022


Schools increasingly use artificial intelligence in instruction. Personalized learning systems take on a whole host of other educational roles as well, fundamentally reconfiguring education in the process. They not only perform the functions of “robot teachers,” but make pedagogical and policy decisions typically left to teachers and policymakers. Their design, affordances, analytical methods, and visualization dashboards construct a technological, computational, and statistical infrastructure that literally codifies what students learn, how they are assessed, and what standards they must meet. Educators and legislators can no longer afford to overlook the pedagogical and policy implications of their technology choices.