Class Struggle: Jay on the Web


Posted at 03:15 PM ET, 02/02/2011

Master KIPP teacher Harriett Ball dies

Harriett Ball, whose work inspired the KIPP network of public schools for low-income children died Tuesday night of a reported heart attack.

By Jay Mathews  |  03:15 PM ET, 02/02/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Jay on the Web

Posted at 07:21 PM ET, 12/08/2010

Dunbar leaders bounced, what next?

My colleague Bill Turque just informed me that as I feared, the Friends of Bedford group has been removed as administrators of Dunbar High. (See long post directly below for details in that clash.) I will have more to say about this in my Monday Metro section column. For now, I welcome comment from people who know Dunbar emailed to me at mathewsj@washpost.com. We should also say a few prayers for Stephen Jackson, last year's principal at Dunbar, whose firing by the Bedford group apparently precipitated these events. Turque tells me Jackson is being put back in charge, which means if test scores slump and the security situation doesn't improve, it is going to be all on him, and the people who put him back on the job. Let's hope he and they succeed.

By Jay Mathews  |  07:21 PM ET, 12/08/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Jay on the Web | Tags:  Dunbar High School, Friends of Bedford ousted as administrators, Stephen Jackson returns as principal, pressure on him to succeed

Posted at 01:25 PM ET, 12/06/2010

Jay is NOT retiring

Some readers tell me they have interpreted my planned 2011 move to California, mentioned in the first paragraph of my post just below this one, as a retirement announcement. Not so. I plan to continue the blog with even...

By Jay Mathews  |  01:25 PM ET, 12/06/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Jay on the Web

Posted at 09:00 AM ET, 11/17/2010

Buster Posey and the value-added teacher debate

A new report on the controversy over rating teachers by how much their students' scores improve asks, sort of, this odd question: Should the San Francisco Giants keep rookie of the year Buster Posey on their team next year?

By Jay Mathews  |  09:00 AM ET, 11/17/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Jay on the Web | Tags:  Buster Posey, batting averages have similar flaws, value-added criticized for mediocre reliability as a measure of teacher effectiveness year to year, value-added teacher assessment

Posted at 12:00 PM ET, 11/16/2010

Veterans, struggling students need more college support

There is no better gauge to what is happening on U.S. college campuses than the National Survey of Student Engagement. It is full of surprises. (My recent favorite: having a helicopter parent is GOOD for your academic experience, NSSE discovered.) This year, based on forms filled out of 362,000 students on 564 campuses, the survey finds that the kinds of students I thought would be getting the most help---military veterans and new students in trouble---are often getting the least.

By Jay Mathews  |  12:00 PM ET, 11/16/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Jay on the Web | Tags:  James S. Cole, National Survey of Student Engagement, colleges with the most active advisor programs often have the best graduation rates, new students in trouble the most likely to think they don't need support, veterans say they are getting less support

Posted at 12:00 AM ET, 11/10/2010

Even our best kids lag in math--middle schools to blame

I am usually among the skeptics when international comparisons make U.S. schoolchildren look like they spend their class time playing video games. I am not entirely sold on the conclusions of a new study just published in the journal Education Next. But there is enough believable bad stuff there to wonder why, after many years of mediocre results, we have not discarded our notoriously free and easy way of educating middle school students.

By Jay Mathews  |  12:00 AM ET, 11/10/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Jay on the Web | Tags:  U.S. eighth graders look bad in math in new study, behind 30 other countries, middle schools may be at fault, only 6 percent of American students show math accomplishment

Posted at 05:30 AM ET, 11/02/2010

What would a Republican Congress do for our schools?

Ah, election day. Journalists who DON'T specialize in politics, like us education writers, can treat it like a midweek paid vacation. The editors who usually ask us why in heaven's name we haven't finished our stories must instead handle the election stuff. The voting and the results fill their time and the newspaper, for at least a couple of days, giving us marginalized non-political reporters time to catch up on our fantasy football trades and maybe sneak out to a movie.

By Jay Mathews  |  05:30 AM ET, 11/02/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Jay on the Web | Tags:  Chester E. Finn Jr., GOP in the states very different from GOP in congress on school issues, How a Republican congress will treat schools, Michael Petrilli

Posted at 05:30 AM ET, 10/27/2010

Half of Americans believe home causes learning disabilities

A survey commissioned by the Emily Hall Tremaine Foundation of New Haven exposes poor understanding among many Americans of what causes learning disabilities.

By Jay Mathews  |  05:30 AM ET, 10/27/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Jay on the Web | Tags:  Most Americans think learning disabilities caused by the home environment, most Americans think some learning disabled children are just lazy

Posted at 03:26 PM ET, 10/19/2010

Video reveals mystery man who runs largest teachers union

Video reveals mystery man who runs largest teachers union: Dennis Van Roekel of the National Education Association.

By Jay Mathews  |  03:26 PM ET, 10/19/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Jay on the Web | Tags:  American Federation of Teachers, Dennis Van Roekel, National Education Association, Randi Weingarten

Posted at 12:00 PM ET, 10/19/2010

Much-praised Baltimore teacher contract voted down

You probably noticed, but in case you didn't, the innovative contract for public school teachers in Baltimore was thoroughly squashed on Oct. 14 in a 1,540 to 1,107 vote by teachers.

By Jay Mathews  |  12:00 PM ET, 10/19/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Jay on the Web | Tags:  Baltimore teachers contract voted down, school chief holds out hope of a change later.

Posted at 11:24 AM ET, 10/14/2010

Watch The Post's new Michelle Rhee interview, and decide for yourself

Our new On Education page has just gone up with my first in a series of video interviews with education leaders. I start with D.C. Schools Chancellor Michelle A. Rhee. She will be leaving that job at the end of October, but it is clear that whatever we think of Rhee, we will be hearing from her and about her for years to come.

By Jay Mathews  |  11:24 AM ET, 10/14/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Jay on the Web, Jay on the Web

Posted at 11:30 AM ET, 10/12/2010

What Jerry Bracey would have said about Locke High

Every once in awhile I run across a case of distorted education reporting and mourn the 2009 death of Gerald W. Bracey. For years he was the nation's watchdog of unexamined assumptions and misleading language in education policy and education writing. Instead of stewing over these mishaps, I am going to post them and say what I think Jerry would have said about them

By Jay Mathews  |  11:30 AM ET, 10/12/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Jay on the Web | Tags:  Gerald W. Bracey, Green Dot Public Schools, Locke High School, big gains in proficency hide one of the lowest proficiency rate in the country, education statistical distortions

Posted at 12:33 PM ET, 10/06/2010

'I was not allowed to take AP English'

My column on Charles Hebert Flowers High School requiring a 3.0 grade point average to take an Advanced Placement course, then dropping the rule after I asked about it, inspired many people who have been barred from AP and college prep courses to email me their stories. Here are two accounts from people who suffered because of the still widespread and wrongheaded view that only top students should be challenged.

By Jay Mathews  |  12:33 PM ET, 10/06/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Jay on the Web | Tags:  Carolyn Elefant, I was not allowed to take AP English,, although denied a chance at AP, one becomes lawyer and author, the other a teacher

Posted at 11:50 AM ET, 10/05/2010

Baltimore teachers contract could be great

American Federation of Teachers president Randi Weingarten called me last week full of excitement over her Baltimore local's new teacher contract. Education leaders often exaggerate when talking to journalists, but Weingarten has taken some bold steps in Colorado and D.C. that were not popular with all of her members, so she is very credible, at least to me.

By Jay Mathews  |  11:50 AM ET, 10/05/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Jay on the Web | Tags:  Andres Alonso, Marietta English, Randi Weingarten, new Baltimore teachers contract

Posted at 05:30 AM ET, 09/29/2010

Teacher/blogger critiques highly ranked school

A teacher who recently worked at one of my favorite D.C. schools, Columbia Heights Education Campus High School, James Boutin, sent me a detailed critique. He said CHEC did not deserve its high rank or my praise. I invited him to state his case here, and promised to get the school's response.

By Jay Mathews  |  05:30 AM ET, 09/29/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Jay on the Web | Tags:  Criticism of highly ranked Columbia Heights Education Campus High School, DCPS responds with detailed exposure of factual errors, he blogs on the school, teacher James Boutin sends long critique

Posted at 12:40 PM ET, 09/28/2010

Signal on D.C. education reform from Gray's camp

On Sunday, the All Opinions Are Local page of washingtonpost.com ran a commentary by former D.C. Council member Kevin P. Chavous. I am rerunning it because I think it has unusual importance as we look toward the future of D.C. schools under Vincent Gray. The piece doesn't indicate ties to Gray. Nor does the identification of Chavous that ran with the piece. But Chavous is close to the presumptive mayor and the commentary provides many clues to what Gray might try to do.

By Jay Mathews  |  12:40 PM ET, 09/28/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Jay on the Web | Tags:  Kevin P. Chavous, Vincent Gray, a clue to Gray's education reform plans

Posted at 12:35 PM ET, 09/27/2010

Obama is wrong about D.C. schools

President Obama told NBC interviewer Matt Lauer, on the video I just watched online that there was not a public school in Washington that matched the education his daughters are getting at Sidwell Friends, a private school. As a former Sidwell parent (I lost a family vote to send our daughter to a public school) and a longtime observer of the D.C. public schools, I think he is wrong.

By Jay Mathews  |  12:35 PM ET, 09/27/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Jay on the Web

Posted at 11:11 AM ET, 09/16/2010

Good and not-so-good in new Obama science ed plan

President Obama's announcement that 100 corporate chief executives will collaborate with him to improve science and math education has the potential to enliven school for disadvantaged students and change many of their lives. But it will not do much to get young Americans in general more interested science, math, technology and engineering as careers.

By Jay Mathews  |  11:11 AM ET, 09/16/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Jay on the Web | Tags:  American adversion to science jobs, Obama science initiative, business executives start new organization to promote science and math in 100 schools, new report recommends training better science teachers

Posted at 10:50 AM ET, 09/15/2010

Good-bye Rhee. Hello who?

With Adrian Fenty's defeat in the D.C. mayoral primary, and Vincent Gray almost certain to be the new mayor, the exciting and divisive school chancellorship of Michelle A. Rhee---a boon to bloggers everywhere--is likely to end by the end of this school year, if not before. I like Rhee a lot, and wish her well on what likely will be another intriguing career adventure, but it is time to figure out what happens next with the D.C. schools.

By Jay Mathews  |  10:50 AM ET, 09/15/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Jay on the Web | Tags:  Clifford Janey, Kevin Chavous, Rhee gone, Rudy Crew, who does Vincent Gray pick

Posted at 12:20 PM ET, 09/14/2010

Accuracy wanted on tuition costs

I wish a recent article in our Style section had given readers a clearer indication that the figure cited in the story's first paragraph for college costs -- "up to $200,000 in tuition, room and board" -- was a misleading distortion of what the vast majority of students have to pay.

By Jay Mathews  |  12:20 PM ET, 09/14/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Jay on the Web | Tags:  Post story inflates college costs, college costs, college tuition inflation

Posted at 11:30 AM ET, 09/14/2010

Clever way to reward teachers as teams

The unconventional proposal is to reward small teams of teachers, such as everyone teaching second grade in an elementary school, or everyone teaching Algebra I in a high school. This discards the idea of merit pay for individuals, the current fashion, and merit pay for the whole school, a favorite of mine whose flaws Marshall quickly sees.

By Jay Mathews  |  11:30 AM ET, 09/14/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Jay on the Web | Tags:  Kim Marshall, individual teacher merit pay is a loser, just good evaluations, no cash, no standardized tests, try rewarding teacher teams

Posted at 12:30 PM ET, 09/07/2010

Why 17-year-olds' scores have stalled since the '70s

Columnist Robert J. Samuelson concludes, “the larger cause of [school reform] failure is almost unmentionable: shrunken student motivation. Students, after all, have to do the work. If they aren’t motivated, even capable teachers may fail.”

By Jay Mathews  |  12:30 PM ET, 09/07/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Jay on the Web | Tags:  17 year old test scores unimproved since 1970s, NAEP scores, columnist Robert J. Samuelson says the problem unaddressed problem is student motivation, good teachers can produced more motivated students, more motivated students make teachers more effecdtive

Posted at 12:56 PM ET, 08/31/2010

America's best teacher and the L.A. Times

Once the Los Angeles Times announced it was going to release its analysis of how much value each one of 6,000 L.A. elementary school teachers had added to their classes, based on test scores, I knew I had a good test of the validity of their project. I have spent much time in room 56 at Hobart Boulevard Elementary School in Los Angeles, where fifth grade teacher Rafe Esquith has proved himself to be, in my view, the best classroom teacher in the country, and certainly in his city.

By Jay Mathews  |  12:56 PM ET, 08/31/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Jay on the Web | Tags:  Testing L.A. Times teacher assessment project, but Esquith still thinks the Times project has problems, he does, many mediocre teachers at his school get high scores, will America's best teacher Rafe Esquith do well

Posted at 04:23 PM ET, 08/26/2010

Please Mr. President, don't speak on school time

Here we go again. I dodged a lot of electronic tomatoes last year for suggesting that President Obama NOT give his back-to-school speech during class time. Many readers thought that was a stupid suggestion. The president and his staff apparently agree with them, because the White House has announced he is going to do it again on Sept. 14. The White House is again encouraging schools to interrupt class so students can listen.

By Jay Mathews  |  04:23 PM ET, 08/26/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Jay on the Web | Tags:  Obama speaks again on school time, a bad idea, time almost as important as teacher quality in raising achievement

Posted at 10:40 AM ET, 08/23/2010

L.A. Times testing series raises more questions

I found reading the LA Times series terrific in many ways. But the latest part was frustrating because it often fails to answer questions raised by the deep digging its reporters have done. Also, the stories seem to me to mischaracterize, in some spots, the data they present.

By Jay Mathews  |  10:40 AM ET, 08/23/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Jay on the Web | Tags:  LA Times series on teacher assessments key to education policy future, how much did schools really decline, series so far leaves some questions unanswered

Posted at 11:38 AM ET, 08/18/2010

On Obama, Bush, schools and Milbank's mistake

I love the work of my colleague Dana Milbank, particularly the deeply contrarian columns he has been writing for the Sunday Opinion page. But his most recent Sunday effort took him outside of his usual territory, Washington politics, into...

By Washington Post editors  |  11:38 AM ET, 08/18/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Jay on the Web

Posted at 03:47 PM ET, 08/17/2010

Study: NJ and Newark lead nation in black male graduation rates

It is always news to me when I hear or read something good about the Newark school system, so I took notice when the Schott Foundation for Public Education released a new study saying that both that city, and the state of New Jersey, lead the nation by far in the percent of black male students graduating from high school.

By Jay Mathews  |  03:47 PM ET, 08/17/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Jay on the Web | Tags:  Newark lead nation, Schott Foundation says state is spending more than others on the issue, black male graduation rate in NJ, some experts say numbers are uncertain

Posted at 02:37 PM ET, 08/16/2010

L.A. Times report unveils teacher performance data

Anyone interesting in the raging debate over using test to rate teacher performance, in D.C. or anywhere else, should read the L.A. Times Sunday story revealing using hitherto secret data on how well L.A. Unified School District teachers' students do each year.

By Jay Mathews  |  02:37 PM ET, 08/16/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Jay on the Web | Tags:  L.A. Times series on teacher performance, could have huge consequences for both sides of the debate

Posted at 12:01 AM ET, 08/16/2010

A's for public universities, F's for privates

At the next gathering of family or friends, or better yet wherever you are doing your drinking, ask why a major organization promoting the improvement of higher education has just given Yale, Northwestern and the University of California at Berkeley F's on its latest college rankings. Then when they turn in your direction tell them the same organization gave A's to Brooklyn College, Kennesaw State and East Tennessee State.

By Jay Mathews  |  12:01 AM ET, 08/16/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Jay on the Web | Tags:  American Council of Trustees and Alumni, Brooklyn College gets an A, Yale given an F on new college list, colleges require few courses, only 77 percent require composition, only five percent require economics

Posted at 07:28 PM ET, 08/13/2010

Trying to open this blog to your good comments soon

I am just getting back from vacation, feeling abandoned. No comments on my last two posts. But before I could get too far in my downward emotional spiral, several of you told me that the blog was refusing all comments. (Okay, I should have checked, but I was hurting inside.)

By Jay Mathews  |  07:28 PM ET, 08/13/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Jay on the Web | Tags:  Jay distraught, but relieve to learn it is a technical mishap, he requests assistance, no comments

Posted at 05:30 AM ET, 07/27/2010

Two very different AP schools, both with good news

All over the country, schools are introducing more students to college-level courses. Some educators and parents are worried that it is too much, too soon. But I think that overlooks the power of good teaching done before the AP, IB and other introductory college courses begin. If that early preparation in working in high schools as different as Friendship and Washington-Lee, it seems to me it could work anywhere.

By Jay Mathews  |  05:30 AM ET, 07/27/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Jay on the Web | Tags:  Friendship Collegiate Public Charter High School in the District, Friendship has 43 percent gain in passing AP tests, Unusual progress in AP courses, W-L has almost perfect passing rate in AP course given to ninth graders, Washington-Lee High School in Arlington County

Posted at 02:30 PM ET, 07/22/2010

Jay Mathews on the lam

By the time this post pops up on the blog, I will be somewhere in West Virginia, maybe even Ohio if my wife, a more conservative driver, let's me take the wheel. We are driving our 25-year-old daughter's Honda to Berkeley, Calif., where she will start law school next month.

By Jay Mathews  |  02:30 PM ET, 07/22/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Jay on the Web | Tags:  Jay on vacation, he and his wife like road trips, he wonders why expensive hotels charge for Wifi and cheap motels do not

Posted at 11:50 AM ET, 07/21/2010

Alexander Russo hits me hard on Harlem Children's Zone

I don't know enough about HCZ to reach any conclusions about it. But I wrote that blog post because I agree with Alex that it is very important, and needs careful watching. It is the embodiment of one side of one of our most vital arguments about schools---should we focus on helping kids in class or helping them at home?

By Jay Mathews  |  11:50 AM ET, 07/21/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Jay on the Web | Tags:  Alexander Russo attacks me, I plead no content, the importance of the Harlem Children's Zone

Posted at 12:00 AM ET, 07/20/2010

Rare attack on Harlem Children's Zone

President Obama has requested $210 million to create programs similar to the Harlem Children's Zone throughout the country. That’s a lot of money, but how can anyone oppose prenatal care, parenting classes, fitness and nutrition programs for poor families, as well as the thriving charter schools Geoffrey Canada and his team have created? So it is hard to believe what I am seeing---a short paper from the prestigious Brookings Institution taking a shot at the Harlem Children’s Zone and its premier charter school, the Promise Academy.

By Jay Mathews  |  12:00 AM ET, 07/20/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Jay on the Web | Tags:  Brookings Institute criticizes HCZ results, Dave Levin, Geoffrey Canada, HCZ Promise Academy charter school not as successful as other charters that lack zone support, Harlem Children's Zone, KIPP, Russ Whitehurst

Posted at 12:45 PM ET, 07/14/2010

D.C. test scores: chilling out about short-term changes

I wish this were not an election year, giving test results far more political power than they deserve. There is nothing I can do about that. But I hope Mayor Adrian Fenty will reconsider statements like the one he made Tuesday: "Our secondary schools are doing fantastic, as are our elementary schools." He knows that is not true. He has been inside many of our secondary and elementary schools. He knows that the new results show that more than half of students are still not scoring in the proficient range.

By Jay Mathews  |  12:45 PM ET, 07/14/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Jay on the Web | Tags:  comparing apples and oranges, last March's good news no better than this week's bad news, new D.C. tests scores require caution, politics intrude

Posted at 12:06 PM ET, 07/12/2010

What Bill Gates is really up to

I strongly recommend everyone read my colleague Nick Anderson's front page story on the incredible amounts being spent by Microsoft founder Bill Gates on public schools these days.

By Jay Mathews  |  12:06 PM ET, 07/12/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Jay on the Web | Tags:  Bill Gates, Nick Anderson piece on Gates' education empire, key to school innovation

Posted at 12:12 PM ET, 07/06/2010

Does Sousa story prove Rhee is right?

My colleague Stephanie McCrummen, a former Post foreign correspondent now on our education writing team, is not only a great journalist but has terrific timing. Her front page story today about rising test scores at Sousa Middle School in D.C. comes just at the local and national debate over the record of D.C. Schools Chancellor Michelle A. Rhee reaches a new peak.

By Jay Mathews  |  12:12 PM ET, 07/06/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Jay on the Web | Tags:  Sousa principal Dwan Jordon, good example of a Michelle Rhee principal, higher test scores at Sousa Middle School, was he right to remove so many teachers?

Posted at 01:48 PM ET, 06/29/2010

If more D.C. testing is bad, why are Va., Md. schools so popular?

I have only one question for those who think Rhee heading down the wrong path adding more tests to D.C. high schools: Newcomers to the Washington area, if they have school age children, generally look to Fairfax and Montgomery counties for public schools, not D.C. Fairfax and Montgomery Counties, as well as Virginia and Maryland schools in general, have many more required tests in core subjects for high schoolers than D.C. schools do. What gives?

By Jay Mathews  |  01:48 PM ET, 06/29/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Jay on the Web | Tags:  Rhee plans more tests, Va. and Md. schools are very popular. what gives?, readers criticize her plans, she is adding more high school core subject tests like Va. and Md. have

Posted at 06:15 PM ET, 06/24/2010

Kind lady rides to the rescue of frustrated commenters

Hard-working washingtonpost.com producer Erica Pytlovany, henceforth known as the Godmother of this blog, has blessed us again, this time with a new way to keep excessively wordy commenters (like your blogger) under some useful restraint.

By Jay Mathews  |  06:15 PM ET, 06/24/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Jay on the Web | Tags:  000 character limit on comments, 3, Erica Pytlovany saves our blog, brevity is divine.

Posted at 11:00 AM ET, 06/22/2010

Progress report from big study of KIPP

In this study, any student who spends at least a year at KIPP is considered part of the KIPP group, not the control group, even if they spend sixth through eighth grade in a non-KIPP school. So if KIPP's achievement rate increase looks good after four years, it will be in spite of, not because of, low achieving students leaving early.

By Jay Mathews  |  11:00 AM ET, 06/22/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Jay on the Web | Tags:  KIPP achievement rates strong, Knowledge Is Power Program (KIPP), little difference in attrition rates, new KIPP preliminary study, randomized results won't be released until 2014

Posted at 11:55 AM ET, 06/16/2010

How does your high school rank? Check the new Newsweek list

Any public high school that gave at least as many AP, IB or Cambridge tests in 2009 as it had seniors graduating that year qualifies for the 2010 Newsweek list. If your high school meets that criteria and you do not find it listed, email me at mathewsj@washpost.com.

By Jay Mathews  |  11:55 AM ET, 06/16/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Jay on the Web | Tags:  13 best high school movies, Jay's latest AP piece, latest Newsweek high school rankings, the Challenge Index, why some don't like the list but Jay does

Posted at 04:26 PM ET, 06/09/2010

Your comment held? We are trying to fix that.

I am very happy with the relationships that have blossomed on this blog, both friendly and contentious, and would never condone killing a comment unless it failed our standards of taste and language.

By Jay Mathews  |  04:26 PM ET, 06/09/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Jay on the Web | Tags:  Jay is blameless, Post blog high command is working on it, blog comments wrongly held, please continue to be IMpatient

Posted at 11:00 AM ET, 06/09/2010

Short book review: How the Air Force educates

Reading the book helps illumine once again one of the great untold stories of American education, how the U.S. military has taught a huge chunk of the nation's youth a great many complicated and valuable things that they would not have learned in any other environment.

By Jay Mathews  |  11:00 AM ET, 06/09/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Jay on the Web | Tags:  Air Force Academy, Diana Jean Schemo, Skies to Conquer

Posted at 05:30 AM ET, 06/08/2010

Down with celebrity graduation speakers! Up with teachers!

I don't like the competition among colleges and high schools to get big names to speak at grad night. The emphasis is always on how famous the person is. If your high school gets Joe Biden, you are feeling good until your rival high school gets Barack Obama. Is that kind of oneupsmanship in tune with the values we want our children to learn?

By Jay Mathews  |  05:30 AM ET, 06/08/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Jay on the Web | Tags:  Hillary Clinton would be boring, ban celebrity graduation speakers, choose teachers instead, why Jay was fired as a speaker

Posted at 10:49 AM ET, 04/16/2010

Brian Betts--a great loss for D.C. schools

It is difficult to adjust to any 6 a.m. phone call, but the one I received this morning was particularly jarring. Brian Betts, one of the most energetic and enthusiastic educators I have ever met, had been found dead in his home in Silver Spring, just months before what I expected would be good news about his relentless efforts to raise achievement for students at the Shaw Middle School at Garnet-Patterson.

By Jay Mathews  |  10:49 AM ET, 04/16/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Jay on the Web | Tags:  Brian Betts, D.C. Teacher a great loss for D.C. Schools, Shaw Middle School are Garnet-Patterson

Posted at 09:00 AM ET, 04/04/2010

Unlike many, Escalante believed in teaching, not sorting

From 1982 to 1987 I stalked Jaime Escalante, his students and his colleagues at Garfield High School, a block from the hamburger-burrito stands, body shops and bars of Atlantic Boulevard in East Los Angeles. I was the Los Angeles bureau chief for The Washington Post, allegedly covering the big political, social and business stories of the Western states, but I found it hard to stay away from that troubled high school.

By Jay Mathews  |  09:00 AM ET, 04/04/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Jay on the Web | Tags:  Garfield High School, Jaime Escalante, opening AP to all, restricting access to AP, teaching not sorting

Posted at 01:17 PM ET, 04/02/2010

The best and worst campus tour questions

Go to my Admissions 101 discussion group and try your hand at the new topic: what are the best, and worst, college campus tour or college campus introductory meeting questions you have ever heard? I will likely print the most interesting sometime soon, as we go into the big season for parents and students visiting college campuses, and trying to work out their differences.

By Jay Mathews  |  01:17 PM ET, 04/02/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Jay on the Web | Tags:  best and worst campus tour questions

Posted at 05:30 AM ET, 03/31/2010

KIPP visitor's critique, KIPP leader's response

suegjoyce: “Kids at KIPP are drilled and tested over and over again with scores posted in hallway for all to see. ALL scores, good or bad.” Shirey: We do have an interim testing program, and believe strongly in posting data, but this is only a small part of what we do. In addition to regular classwork, we have students engaged in arts activities, science labs, and Socratic seminars. As an example, our high school engineering class recently participated in a large competition. They took second place behind historic Central High in Little Rock, which has a student body about 20 times larger than ours.

By Jay Mathews  |  05:30 AM ET, 03/31/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Jay on the Web | Tags:  KIPP Delta College Preparatory School, KIPP leader responds, KIPP visitor critiques school, suegjoyce

Posted at 12:23 PM ET, 03/30/2010

Should only top students get financial aid?

The latest topic for my Admissions 101 discussion group is a new book by Rutgers emeritus professor Jackson Toby, "The Lowering of Higher Education." He argues that high schools and colleges will be far more likely to have engaged and motivated students if we change the college financial aid system from recognizing financial need to recognizing academic merit. In other words, you couldn't get financial aid when you applied to college unless you scored well on a national standardized test, something like the exams used in British Commonwealth countries. It is a radical idea, but thought provoking. Join our often raucous group of regular discussants to thrash this out.

By Jay Mathews  |  12:23 PM ET, 03/30/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Jay on the Web | Tags:  Admissions 101 discussion, Jackson Toby book, give financial aid only to top students

Posted at 03:00 PM ET, 03/25/2010

Admissions 101: The 2/2/2 rule

The latest topic for my Admissions 101 discussion group is the 2/2/2 rule for making sure the college campus visits many of you are making, or planning, do not deteriorate into hurtful family squabbles. I like the first 2 of the 2/2/2 rule but not the last 2. Confusing? Not really. Take a look and join the back-and-forth in this most electrifying of discussion groups.

By Jay Mathews  |  03:00 PM ET, 03/25/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Jay on the Web | Tags:  New Admissions 101 topic, how to survive campus visits

Posted at 03:34 PM ET, 03/22/2010

Overloaded high schools bring NCAA upsets

"Very academically qualified kids are having to choose the next tier down; Harvard kids going to Tufts, Tufts kids to Dickinson, Dickinson kids to UMBC etc. It stands to reason that's also happening in athletics. It's sheer demographics."

By Jay Mathews  |  03:34 PM ET, 03/22/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Jay on the Web | Tags:  increasing college quality, overloaded high schools explain basketball upsets

Posted at 11:34 AM ET, 03/19/2010

Grill Washpost's education team for free!

Come to the auditorium of Richard Montgomery High School at 250 Montgomery Road in Rockville (behind the big Marlo furniture store on Rockville Pike) between 6 and 8 p.m. this Wednesday, March 24, and meet the Post's education team.

By Jay Mathews  |  11:34 AM ET, 03/19/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Jay on the Web | Tags:  Washington Post education team forum, embarrassing questions welcome

Posted at 03:54 PM ET, 03/18/2010

New Admissions 101 topic

Today's Local Living column on this blog inspires the latest topic for my Admissions 101 discussion group: Should we rate high schools based a long essay designed to show how much students' analytical abilities have improved?

By Jay Mathews  |  03:54 PM ET, 03/18/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Jay on the Web | Tags:  Admissions 101 topic, new high school rating system

Posted at 01:30 PM ET, 03/16/2010

LSAT: the devil's work?

Various people I respect, including my boss, tell me I should be less secretive on this blog about another forum at which I spend time, my Admissions 101 discussion group. We have very lively---some think occasionally too lively---exchanges over issue related to getting into college and other forms of higher education.

By Jay Mathews  |  01:30 PM ET, 03/16/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Jay on the Web | Tags:  Admissions 101, college admissions, raucous admissions discussion group

Posted at 01:40 PM ET, 03/14/2010

Obama plan flaw: achievement gap

I see a problem in the president using the achievement gap as a measure of schools in his suggested revisions. This could mean that a wonderfully diverse school like T.C. Williams High in Alexandria, a recent subject on this blog, would be motivated to ignore its best students, who want to get even better, and focus all its money and time on those at the bottom of the achievement scale so they can narrow the gap. That is not a good idea, and I hope the president will get it out of his proposal.

By Jay Mathews  |  01:40 PM ET, 03/14/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Jay on the Web | Tags:  Obama education plan, achievement gap emphasis wrong

Posted at 04:49 PM ET, 03/03/2010

Obama right, Mathews wrong

Please wipe my recent post, "Obama wrong, Weingarten right," from your memory. I messed up. I indicated the plan to fire all of the staff at Central Falls High School in Rhode Island barred teachers from reapplying for their jobs. If I had shown the slightest bit of energy in checking this out, I would have discovered teachers at that school will have that option.

By Jay Mathews  |  04:49 PM ET, 03/03/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Jay on the Web | Tags:  Central Falls High School, Mathews messed up, teachers can reapply for their jobs

Posted at 11:25 AM ET, 03/03/2010

Double principals' pay

How do you get good teachers? Answer: Hire great principals. When given a choice of methods to retain good teachers, the most popular response from the teachers was supportive leadership, 68 percent saying it was absolutely essential.

By Jay Mathews  |  11:25 AM ET, 03/03/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Jay on the Web | Tags:  Gates Foundation survey, double principals' pay, teachers endorse good leadership, time for collaboration with other teachers

Posted at 11:55 AM ET, 03/01/2010

Mr. President: Be bold on dropouts

The intent of President Obama's offer of $900 million to boost dropout prevention is good; the approach he is taking isn't.

By Jay Mathews  |  11:55 AM ET, 03/01/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Jay on the Web | Tags:  Obama $900 million for dropout prevention, Obama anti-dropout plan, why students leave school

Posted at 05:30 AM ET, 02/24/2010

Let me pick my kid's teacher

Would it be so bad if parents had a chance to tell the principal, without fear of being shunned as pushy jerks, that their child might react better to one brand of teaching than another? Many parents do this anyway, quietly. I don't see the harm in a note on the school Web site, or in the parent bulletin, telling parents the principal would be happy to hear their teacher preferences, although would of course can make no promises.

By Jay Mathews  |  05:30 AM ET, 02/24/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Jay on the Web | Tags:  Ben Jimenez, Jaime Escalante, parents picking their child's teacher, principals let parents pick teachers, pushy parents, teacher shopping

Posted at 01:35 PM ET, 02/23/2010

Crawling toward national tests

Two leaders of the necessarily slow and difficult movement to give American children everywhere the educations they deserve dropped by the Post last week at the invitation of my distinguished colleague David Broder and provided an update on the future of national standards and tests.

By Jay Mathews  |  01:35 PM ET, 02/23/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Jay on the Web | Tags:  Jack Markell, James B. Hunt Jr, common standard, common tests, national education standards

Posted at 05:30 AM ET, 02/16/2010

College ratings to trust

If you are, as the law school applicant in my family has begun to call them, a prestige whore, then I guess the U.S. News & World Report America's Best Colleges rankings are for you. Those lists are based heavily on what colleges think of each other---what is called the reputational score. The higher the rank, the wider the smile on your grandmother's face when you get in. But if you want an introduction to a lesser known, but to my mind more useful, rating of undergraduate institutions, take a close look at the National Survey of Student Engagement.

By Jay Mathews  |  05:30 AM ET, 02/16/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Jay on the Web | Tags:  George Kuh, Godzilla, National Survey of Student Engagement, U.S. News America's Best Colleges, best college ratings, measuring college value

Posted at 12:02 PM ET, 02/09/2010

More light needed on abuse allegations

I wish Nathan Saunders, general vice president of the Washington Teachers Union, had given more thought to the statement he gave to Post reporter Bill Turque. He said "the corporal punishment rules and regulations that exist are not problematic" in the District schools. I think a lot of parents and teachers would agree with me that he is wrong about that.

By Jay Mathews  |  12:02 PM ET, 02/09/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Jay on the Web | Tags:  D.C. schools, Michelle A. Rhee, Nathan Saunders, parents denied abuse information, parents ignored, students making false charges against teachers, teachers abusing students, teachers in trouble

Posted at 05:30 AM ET, 02/09/2010

Students should read non-fiction

For the next few weeks I am going to explore the future of news reading---and more broadly the whole matter of non-fiction in schools---to see if there isn't a way to both preserve my generation's allegiance to written news coverage with some depth and detail, and to add to schools something they have never had---a mission to instill a love of book-length non-fiction.

By Jay Mathews  |  05:30 AM ET, 02/09/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Jay on the Web | Tags:  decline of newspaper reading, lack of non-fiction in schools, news on the web, non-fiction reading in schools, non-fiction writing

Posted at 09:59 PM ET, 02/03/2010

D.C. evaluation chief responds

We never told Master Educators that they were prohibited from providing additional advice and support to teachers. On the contrary, the position description explicitly indicated that providing professional development would be expected.

By Jay Mathews  |  09:59 PM ET, 02/03/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Jay on the Web | Tags:  IMPACT, Jason Kamras

Posted at 07:27 AM ET, 02/01/2010

Rhee's bad polls: should she go?

Public officials who try to make big changes to solve crises often risk their popularity. That is why favorability ratings for Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama dropped when they tried to revive devastated economies in the first years of their presidencies. That also explains why D.C. Schools Chancellor Michelle A. Rhee, pushing very hard to raise student achievement in her low-performing district, has lost so much public confidence in a new Washington Post survey.

By Jay Mathews  |  07:27 AM ET, 02/01/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Jay on the Web | Tags:  D.C. schools, Michelle A. Rhee, Rhee drops in polls, Washington Post survey, anger toward Rhee, blaming leaders for any change, support for improving schools

Posted at 05:33 PM ET, 01/15/2010

Charters raising less

Someone in New York associated with a GothamSchools funder has calculated how much charter schools in New York are raising beyond the money they get from the school district. Apparently the private money has declined because of the recession.

By Jay Mathews  |  05:33 PM ET, 01/15/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Jay on the Web | Tags:  GothamSchools blog, New York charter schools, Philissa Cramer; private funds

Posted at 12:57 PM ET, 01/12/2010

Best education blogs for 2010 to be revealed Friday

The excitement is mounting. My friendly rival Post education blogger Valerie Strauss and I have surfed every online beach, consulted every expert, considered every possible consideration and come up with our list of the 20 best education blogs for...

By Jay Mathews  |  12:57 PM ET, 01/12/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Jay on the Web

Posted at 12:01 PM ET, 01/05/2010

First big crisis over for Rhee--when's the next one?

I have expressed some doubt about the significance of the latest D.C. success on federal math tests for fourth graders. But my skepticism is meaningless in this context. If the test scores look good, it is going to be hard to dislodge her, or to beat her patron Mayor Fenty in the election this year.

By Jay Mathews  |  12:01 PM ET, 01/05/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Jay on the Web | Tags:  Bill Turque, D.C. schools, D.C. teacher contract, Michelle Rhee, Tom Toles

Posted at 05:30 AM ET, 12/30/2009

Foreign language teaching is becoming just Spanish

Most of the rest of the world has made great strides in improving English language instruction. Just because our mother tongue has become the leading language of international discourse doesn't mean we shouldn't be trying to make as many of our citizens as possible bilingual, at least.

By Jay Mathews  |  05:30 AM ET, 12/30/2009 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Jay on the Web | Tags:  Center for Applied Linguistics, decline of less popular languages, foreign language instruction, rise of Spanish

Posted at 10:38 AM ET, 12/29/2009

The truth about Arne Duncan and the Chicago schools

Those districts will never rise to the level of their suburban neighbors. But you can see Duncan has been working at this very hard for many years, and (if you look at what he says rather than what sloppy writers like me have suggested) has always been honest about how far his home town still needs to go.

By Jay Mathews  |  10:38 AM ET, 12/29/2009 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Jay on the Web | Tags:  Arne Duncan, Chester E. Finn Jr., Chicago schools, criticism of Duncan's record, education secretaries' records

Posted at 05:30 AM ET, 12/23/2009

One way to reduce standardized test load--make them shorter

If the common core standards are ready this spring, Paul says, the first tests based on them should be given to everyone the following spring. This can be done by including in the first tests just those elements that are ready to go, and add more complex features later.

By Jay Mathews  |  05:30 AM ET, 12/23/2009 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Jay on the Web | Tags:  Accelerated Reader, Terry Paul, computer adaptive tests, formative tests, shortening tests, state tests, summative tests

Posted at 05:30 AM ET, 12/22/2009

U.S. in decline--where's the evidence?

"In 2006, nearly 500,000 15-year-olds in 57 countries took a two-hour test, PISA," Glass wrote. ""PISA 2006 had its share of absurdities and inconsistencies. The United States scores above Israel and Norway in science but below Azerbaijan and Ireland in math. From 2003 to 2006, Mexico gained 21 points in math while France lost 15 points. What possible policy implications could such data hold?"

By Jay Mathews  |  05:30 AM ET, 12/22/2009 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Jay on the Web | Tags:  America in decline, Gene V. Glass, PISA tests, Thomas L. Friedman

Posted at 04:57 PM ET, 12/09/2009

Teachers who helped raise DC scores--please tell us how

This is a blog where people want to learn, not just vent.

By Jay Mathews  |  04:57 PM ET, 12/09/2009 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Jay on the Web | Tags:  D.C. math scores, D.C. math teachers

Posted at 12:44 PM ET, 12/08/2009

We're tied for no. 14! We're tied for no. 14!

The report shows that the gains in fourth and eighth grade math in the District began before D.C. School Chancellor Michelle A. Rhee arrived. We know there have been math gains also during her watch, but if I were she I would be careful not to celebrate this latest news too much.

By Jay Mathews  |  12:44 PM ET, 12/08/2009 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Jay on the Web | Tags:  D.C. math score gain, Michelle A. Rhee, National Assessment of Educational Progress, big city math scores

Posted at 01:12 PM ET, 12/07/2009

Anguish in the library for kids without computers

You must go to our education page and read its lead item---Annie Gowen's heartbreaking examination of impoverished students in wealthy Northern Virginia who can't afford their own computers and find school perilous as a result. You will find kids...

By Jay Mathews  |  01:12 PM ET, 12/07/2009 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Jay on the Web | Tags:  Annie Gowen, digital divide, library computers

Posted at 12:12 PM ET, 12/04/2009

Carjacking at a top D.C. charter school

KIPP DC founder and executive director Susan Schaeffler said one non-KIPP high school student was shot and killed on the Benning Road campus last year. Ten KIPP staff cars have been vandalized and three cars have been stolen, two owned by KIPP staffers and one by a KIPP parent. "We need help securing our schools just like the traditional schools," Schaeffler said.

By Jay Mathews  |  12:12 PM ET, 12/04/2009 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Jay on the Web | Tags:  D.C. charter schools, Friendship Collegiate Academy, Knowledge Is Power Program, Phil Mendelson, Susan Schaeffler, Victor Reinoso, school police protection

Posted at 11:35 AM ET, 12/02/2009

Teacher incentive watch: why Prince George's County matters

What I find most appealing about FIRST is that it is voluntary---only teachers who want to participate have to. (For principals, the choice part is trickier, since they have to do the special evaluations for their participating teachers even if they don't want to try for the money themselves.) Also, for those of us who don't like the idea of bonuses based on an individual teacher's success in raising test scores, FIRST puts more emphasis on other factors.

By Jay Mathews  |  11:35 AM ET, 12/02/2009 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Jay on the Web | Tags:  Bill Hite, FIRST program, John Deasy, Prince George's County, principal incentives, teacher incentives

Posted at 04:03 PM ET, 12/01/2009

How to raise minority participation in Advanced Placement

My colleague Nelson Hernandez reports on the extraordinary progress Montgomery County has made raising both participation and success in college-level courses in high school. Black and Hispanic students in the county are also doing significantly better on AP tests...

By Jay Mathews  |  04:03 PM ET, 12/01/2009 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Jay on the Web | Tags:  Advanced Placement, Montgomery County

Posted at 05:30 AM ET, 12/01/2009

Mr. President: Be the bad guy, start closing schools.

Start closing bad charter schools, Mr. President. The teachers union officials who have long thought charters, most of them not unionized, as the enemy will applaud your squashing those vermin. The pro-charter people will support you too, because they have long argued that the great advantage of charters is that unsuccessful ones can be closed quickly and easily.

By Jay Mathews  |  05:30 AM ET, 12/01/2009 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Jay on the Web | Tags:  Arne Duncan, Blue Ribbon Schools, Obama the Terminator, Race to the Top, bad schools, charter schools

Posted at 12:14 PM ET, 11/30/2009

Understand the charter school debate in just 2 minutes

I will have a blog post shortly on a way President Obama could bring both sides of the charter debate together in a joint effort on a particular issue that would help everybody.

By Jay Mathews  |  12:14 PM ET, 11/30/2009 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Jay on the Web | Tags:  Carolyn Hoxby, President Obama, charter schools

Posted at 09:59 PM ET, 11/22/2009

Dan Goldfarb's evaluation--D.C. schools and Goldfarb respond

Here are two lengthy responses to the Monday column on Dan Goldfarb's teacher evaluation, just above this blog post. First are the thoughts of Jason Kamras, the former national teacher of the year who oversees the IMPACT evaluation program for the D.C. Schools. Second is the response from Goldfarb, the subject of the column. I don't usually provide lengthy notes after every column, but in this case I thought they had many more important things to say. The Web gives journalists a chance to help readers go deeper, and I hope we continue to take advantage of it in this way.

By Jay Mathews  |  09:59 PM ET, 11/22/2009 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Jay on the Web | Tags:  D.C. schools, Dan Goldfarb, IMPACT program, Jason Kamras, Michelle A. Rhee, multiple learning styles, teacher evaluations

Posted at 11:22 AM ET, 11/19/2009

Portfolio exams--wave of the future or big cop-out?

It is clear to me, and I suspect to most readers, that this system inflates achievement scores. Of course, so has the assessment system we have been using in schools since the beginning of public education---teachers grading their own students' work. We seemed to have prospered as a nation despite giving many struggling students a break on their report cards. I don't think portfolios used in this limited way are going to ruin the effort to set strong national standards, but I think it is going to give a big push to the idea of introducing independent inspectors to assess the effectiveness of schools and teachers.

By Jay Mathews  |  11:22 AM ET, 11/19/2009 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Jay on the Web | Tags:  England's school inspection system, Richard Rothstein, Virginia Grade Level Alternative, inflated achievement levels, inflated scores, portfolio exams, school inspectors, state tests

Posted at 02:33 PM ET, 11/18/2009

The lost art of walking to school

For a while I lived in probably the safest village in America, Scarsdale, NY. One day, while driving my fourth-grader to school, I saw a rare thing, a 9-year-old riding his bike, his books in the front basket. Then I noticed, right behind him, his mother driving the family Mercedes, making sure he got to school safely.

By Jay Mathews  |  02:33 PM ET, 11/18/2009 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Jay on the Web | Tags:  Fairfax County school bus cut, school budget problems, school safety, walking to school

Posted at 12:54 PM ET, 11/18/2009

Algebra and politics: A Marty Weil exclusive

Marty Weil is, I think, the only writer left at the Post who has been around longer than I have. He is the polymath hero of our night-side operation, able when necessary to write a story about anything in...

By Jay Mathews  |  12:54 PM ET, 11/18/2009 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Jay on the Web

Posted at 05:30 AM ET, 11/18/2009

Name the new education law, one word at a time

Assistant secretary of education Peter Cunningham suggested I ask readers what single word they think is most important to have in the new name to replace No Child Left Behind. Sounds like a fun exercise. Put your suggestions here.

By Jay Mathews  |  05:30 AM ET, 11/18/2009 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Jay on the Web | Tags:  Elementary and Secondary Education Act, No Child Left Behind, Peter Cunningham, law naming contest, name the new education law

Posted at 03:05 PM ET, 11/17/2009

Cutting elementary foreign language--often no big loss

Keep in mind the more exotic the language, the more it will impress parents, but the more exotic the language, the less likely the teaching will be very good.

By Jay Mathews  |  03:05 PM ET, 11/17/2009 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Jay on the Web | Tags:  Fairfax budget cuts, Key Elementary School Arlington, foreign languages, language instruction

Posted at 05:30 AM ET, 11/17/2009

Don't save bad schools--terminate them

This year's hot education topic is fixing what is broken. The first sentence of U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan's July 22 speech was: "Today, I want to focus on the challenge of turning around our chronically low-achieving schools." It...

By Jay Mathews  |  05:30 AM ET, 11/17/2009 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Jay on the Web | Tags:  Andy Smarick, Arne Duncan, start-up schools, turnaround schools

Posted at 11:50 AM ET, 11/16/2009

Charters good, bad and mediocre

Those of you tired of my frequent celebrations of good charters (stay on this station for a change of that tune in a couple of weeks) should click right away on this link to my colleague Nick Anderson's deep...

By Jay Mathews  |  11:50 AM ET, 11/16/2009 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Jay on the Web

Posted at 01:38 PM ET, 11/13/2009

Sidwell Friends School as Rorschach test

My colleague Michael Birnbaum's great story about demonstrators descending on the Sidwell Friends School because of the First Family's presence proves once again that people see in famous schools---as they do in Hollywood celebrities or sports stars or religious...

By Jay Mathews  |  01:38 PM ET, 11/13/2009 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Jay on the Web | Tags:  Sidwell Friends School; Gerald W. Bracey; President Obama's daughters; private vs. public schools

Posted at 03:05 PM ET, 11/12/2009

Arne answers your questions

I had a good chat with U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan this morning at his office. He had other important duties, but I would not let him go until he addressed each and every one of the questions sent...

By Jay Mathews  |  03:05 PM ET, 11/12/2009 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Jay on the Web

Posted at 06:06 PM ET, 11/11/2009

What should I ask Arne?

The Obama administration once again shows its willingness to deal with even the most wayward types by inviting me for a visit to the U.S. Education Department tomorrow, Thursday, at 10 a.m. This thoughtful gesture came after I set...

By Jay Mathews  |  06:06 PM ET, 11/11/2009 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Jay on the Web | Tags:  Arne Duncan; education secretary;

Posted at 05:45 PM ET, 11/10/2009

Rating Md., Va. and D.C. schools--a puzzle

My colleage Nick Anderson nicely dissects a new assessment of education state-by-state. His story exposes the confusion that can result when you try to toss many different measures into the same pot. Maryland looks bad compared to Virginia in...

By Jay Mathews  |  05:45 PM ET, 11/10/2009 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Jay on the Web | Tags:  Maryland schools, Virginia schools

Posted at 04:23 PM ET, 11/09/2009

Bad eighth grade math placements--an update

A thoughtful reader who signs on as "raging moderate" (my own self-concept too) asked two good questions about my recent Local Living column on bad timing in placing students in Algebra 1. Here is raging moderate's query, followed by...

By Jay Mathews  |  04:23 PM ET, 11/09/2009 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Jay on the Web

Posted at 11:57 AM ET, 11/05/2009

AP debate: Jay rejects Valerie's forgiveness

My colleague Valerie Strauss, purveyor of The Answer Sheet blog on our shared Post education Web site, just posted a letter to me saying I wasn't, as she once thought, a vile merchant of student stress for rating high...

By Jay Mathews  |  11:57 AM ET, 11/05/2009 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Jay on the Web

Posted at 12:38 PM ET, 11/04/2009

Will 21st century skills weaken our federal education programs?

The Common Core blog, which shares my distrust of the 21st century skills movement, is warning about the appointment of Apple executive Karen Cator as head of the U.S. Education Department's Office of Education Technology. I don't know Cator....

By Jay Mathews  |  12:38 PM ET, 11/04/2009 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Jay on the Web

Posted at 05:30 AM ET, 11/04/2009

Help pick the best education blogs of 2009

I have put out a best education blogs list the last two years, but I wasn't a blogger myself then, and really didn't know what I was doing. Now that I face personally, each day, the pressures of being...

By Jay Mathews  |  05:30 AM ET, 11/04/2009 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Jay on the Web

Posted at 06:00 AM ET, 11/03/2009

Bye-bye Arne: Why we don't need an education secretary

Arne Duncan is the latest in a splendid crop of U.S. education secretaries over the last few decades. The ones I have known best include, in alphabetical order: Bill Bennett, Rod Paige, Dick Riley and Margaret Spellings--all fine people...

By Jay Mathews  |  06:00 AM ET, 11/03/2009 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Jay on the Web

Posted at 01:52 PM ET, 11/02/2009

Secrets of private schools revealed

Michael Birnbaum, one of the Post's newest and youngest reporters, has just shamed this geezer columnist by producing a feature on Monday's education page full of stuff I didn't know. Go to our education page for the "Public data...

By Jay Mathews  |  01:52 PM ET, 11/02/2009 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Jay on the Web

Posted at 04:44 PM ET, 10/31/2009

Are Post authors biased? Give us your solutions.

A very thoughtful and persistent reader who signs in as bermanator4 has gone after me for not warning readers of my personal views whenever I address issues about which I have written extensively, particularly when I have written books...

By Jay Mathews  |  04:44 PM ET, 10/31/2009 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Jay on the Web

Posted at 09:50 AM ET, 10/30/2009

Rhee is right--summer learning is vital

I don't have a transcript of yesterday's raucous D.C. Council hearing over the disputed layoffs of 266 teachers early this month, but the TV clip I saw had Council Chairman Vincent C. Gray asking D.C. Schools Chancellor Michelle A....

By Jay Mathews  |  09:50 AM ET, 10/30/2009 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Jay on the Web

Posted at 03:21 PM ET, 10/29/2009

Rhee vs. teachers--is that clash important?

On our education page you will find the latest reports from both the D.C. Council hearing and the court hearing Thursday on the firing of 266 D.C. teachers by Chancellor Michelle A. Rhee. This is important information, but to...

By Jay Mathews  |  03:21 PM ET, 10/29/2009 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Jay on the Web

Posted at 10:00 PM ET, 10/28/2009

A new, if pushy, idea to improve special education

[This is my column for our new Local Living section, Oct. 29] When I first returned to the Washington area in 1997 after two decades working elsewhere for the Post, I assumed that readers of my education stories would...

By Jay Mathews  |  10:00 PM ET, 10/28/2009 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Jay on the Web

Posted at 04:16 PM ET, 10/28/2009

School censorship without student input is not cool

Go to our education page and check out Nelson Hernandez's great story, and Valerie Strauss's Answer Sheet blog, on Churchill High students' fight for the right to produce the musical "Chicago," in the face of concern about religious and...

By Jay Mathews  |  04:16 PM ET, 10/28/2009 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Jay on the Web

Posted at 11:56 AM ET, 10/28/2009

Harvard Schmarvard: Does more selective mean better?

The Inside Higher Ed Web site rightly picks out the latest research by Caroline Hoxby, a brilliant Stanford University economist very good at starting fights (see this post), as a most intriguing take on our national argument over getting...

By Jay Mathews  |  11:56 AM ET, 10/28/2009 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Jay on the Web

Posted at 09:50 AM ET, 10/28/2009

Immigrant teachers exploited, districts don't notice

Greg Toppo of USA Today and Icess Fernandez of The (Shreveport, La.) Times have a disturbing cover story in the Life section of Wednesday's USA Today exposing the crimes of a Filipino recruiting firm that extorted big bucks out...

By Jay Mathews  |  09:50 AM ET, 10/28/2009 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Jay on the Web

Posted at 05:27 PM ET, 10/27/2009

Minimum school leaving age nonsense

If you want to be convinced, once again, that politicians usually don't make good education policymakers, go to our education page and look for the "MoCo pushes for new age requirement" link. There you will find my colleague Nelson...

By Jay Mathews  |  05:27 PM ET, 10/27/2009 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Jay on the Web

Posted at 03:04 PM ET, 10/27/2009

Is homework necessary?

I used to be Mr. Homework, frowning at all the hand-wringing softies who said we were hurting our kids by piling on the assignments. Two years ago I had a slight change of heart. I suggested, since research showed...

By Jay Mathews  |  03:04 PM ET, 10/27/2009 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Jay on the Web

Posted at 09:38 AM ET, 10/27/2009

School improvement in the real world

Stanford University researcher Larry Cuban long ago proved himself among the most daring of pundits, willing to disparage the most popular education policies---like loading schools up with computers---when the data showed they weren't as effective as advertised. In his...

By Jay Mathews  |  09:38 AM ET, 10/27/2009 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Jay on the Web

Posted at 05:13 PM ET, 10/26/2009

Latest from Chancellor Rhee

I say this often, but in teaching repetition is a virtue, and this applies to blogging also: Checking Bill Turque's latest post is always in your best interest. The Post's D.C. schools reporter has the latest from Chancellor Michelle...

By Jay Mathews  |  05:13 PM ET, 10/26/2009 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Jay on the Web

Posted at 10:47 AM ET, 10/26/2009

How many times were you suspended?

Anyone interested in changing attitudes toward the good old school suspension should read Anthony E. Harris's startling piece Monday on page 2B of the Metro section. Then comment here on what you know of the popularity of this device...

By Jay Mathews  |  10:47 AM ET, 10/26/2009 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Jay on the Web

Posted at 05:50 PM ET, 10/23/2009

My obit for Jerry Bracey

My obituary for the great media critic and insightful author Gerald W. Bracey, who supplied a ton of great quotes to a generation of education writers, ran Friday. Here it is....

By Jay Mathews  |  05:50 PM ET, 10/23/2009 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Jay on the Web

Posted at 11:52 AM ET, 10/21/2009

Is cutting college to three years a good idea?

Newsweek's cover story, "The Three-Year Solution," by U.S. Senator and former Education Secretary and University of Tennessee president Lamar Alexander, has the great virtue of forcing a rethink of how we have been doing higher education for more than...

By Jay Mathews  |  11:52 AM ET, 10/21/2009 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Jay on the Web

Posted at 11:29 AM ET, 10/20/2009

Making the grade not about race, but culture

The Post's brilliant and provocative teacher-essayist, Patrick Welsh, did it again Sunday in his Outlook section piece, "Making the Grade Isn't About Race. It's About Parents." Read it. You will find not only a vivid description of what motivates...

By Jay Mathews  |  11:29 AM ET, 10/20/2009 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Jay on the Web

Posted at 05:55 AM ET, 10/19/2009

Solve These International Test Math Problems

Here are a few samples for readers whose appetite for math was whetted by my Monday column on international test comparisons:...

By Jay Mathews  |  05:55 AM ET, 10/19/2009 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Jay on the Web

Posted at 08:42 AM ET, 10/15/2009

Don't Get Too Excited About Jump in D.C. Scores

Admit it. A lot of us are deeply invested in the argument over Michelle A. Rhee's tenure as chancellor of the D.C. schools. Is she a miracle or a monster? A smart educator or a bad administrator? So when...

By Jay Mathews  |  08:42 AM ET, 10/15/2009 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Jay on the Web

Posted at 06:52 PM ET, 10/13/2009

Washington Post Raises Money for Students

As a company and a member of the Washington community, the Post has supported educational ventures for many decades. Washington Post Co. chair Don Graham's grandmother, Agnes Meyer, was a dogged supporter of better D.C. schools. His family has...

By Jay Mathews  |  06:52 PM ET, 10/13/2009 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Jay on the Web

Posted at 10:30 AM ET, 10/12/2009

What Are the Best Moves Your Schools Ever Made?

I am suggesting we take a short break from our usual (but always useful) wallowing in what is wrong with our schools and their leaders, and briefly accentuate the positive. In my Monday column (just below this item on...

By Jay Mathews  |  10:30 AM ET, 10/12/2009 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Jay on the Web

Posted at 06:00 AM ET, 10/12/2009

Educators Already Make No. Va. Schools Some of the Best

Political candidates, like the two gentlemen running for governor of Virginia, are always sincere about their education platforms. Their to-do lists are long. Their concern about the state’s children is deep. But the proposals they offer, like more efficiency at...

By Washington Post editors  |  06:00 AM ET, 10/12/2009 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Jay on the Web

Posted at 09:54 AM ET, 10/11/2009

D.C. School Protestors--What's Your Plan?

My colleague Bob McCartney and our editorial writer on education issues--both friends of mine--offer somewhat contrasting views in the Sunday paper. As always the mugwump, I think they're both right. McCartney wisely points out that D.C. Schools Chancellor Michelle...

By Jay Mathews  |  09:54 AM ET, 10/11/2009 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Jay on the Web

Posted at 06:00 AM ET, 10/09/2009

How to Fight for Special Education

I have often wondered what I would do if I discovered I had a child with learning disabilities. The parents I have interviewed who have gone through this seem more patient and persistent than I am. I suspect they got...

By Washington Post editors  |  06:00 AM ET, 10/09/2009 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Jay on the Web | Tags:  Daniel P. Hallahan, Etta Brown, James M. Kauffman, Special education, learning disabilities

Posted at 08:42 AM ET, 10/08/2009

D.C. Teacher Layoffs--Muddying the Path to Better Schools

The Washington Teachers Union seems to me justified in suing over the massive layoff of D.C. teachers. It is sad that so many educators removed by the firings appear to have been adding value to the school system. At...

By Jay Mathews  |  08:42 AM ET, 10/08/2009 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Jay on the Web

Posted at 01:55 PM ET, 10/01/2009

One Reason Why Risky D.C. Teacher Evaluation Might Work

My colleague Bill Turque has a terrific story today about D.C. Schools Chancellor MIchelle Rhee's plan to evaluate the effectiveness of her teachers and get rid of those who are not helping students learn. The idea is full of risks....

By Jay Mathews  |  01:55 PM ET, 10/01/2009 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Jay on the Web

Posted at 03:00 PM ET, 09/28/2009

10 Ways to Pick the Right School

[This is a piece I did for our Real Estate section. It ran in the Sept. 26 Post.---Jay] We say we are buying a house. But for most of us parents, the house is not the whole story. It...

By Jay Mathews  |  03:00 PM ET, 09/28/2009 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Jay on the Web

Posted at 06:00 AM ET, 09/25/2009

Bad Title, Mind-Changing Book

We education writers receive many books in the mail with terrible titles, real slumber-time stuff. Here are some on my bookshelf: “Learning and Understanding: Improving Advanced Study of Mathematics and Science in U.S. High Schools";| “Rethinking High School Graduation Rates...

By Washington Post editors  |  06:00 AM ET, 09/25/2009 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Jay on the Web

Posted at 01:11 PM ET, 09/24/2009

Rhee's Latest Move: It's All About Principals

Anyone who thinks D.C. School Chancellor Michelle A. Rhee would consider holding back on last summer's hiring of 900 new teachers in the face of potential budget cuts just hasn't paid any attention to what she was doing before...

By Jay Mathews  |  01:11 PM ET, 09/24/2009 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Jay on the Web

Posted at 05:38 PM ET, 09/23/2009

State Superintendent Supports Rhee Account

At the Struggle, we are proud of providing our readers the freshest news possible. To enrich our discussion of the cheating investigation, here is what I received a couple of minutes ago from D.C. State Superintendent of Education Kerri...

By Jay Mathews  |  05:38 PM ET, 09/23/2009 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Jay on the Web

Posted at 01:18 PM ET, 09/23/2009

Seen Cheating? Tell Me About It.

Bless Bill Turque, the Post's D.C. schools correspondent, for his dogged coverage of the erasures in several schools that suggest all was not right with the 2008 administration of the D.C. Comprehensive Assessment System exams. His latest story on...

By Jay Mathews  |  01:18 PM ET, 09/23/2009 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Jay on the Web

Posted at 06:43 PM ET, 09/22/2009

Testing Vet Reveals How to Fix Standardized Tests

Todd Farley has a new book: "Making the Grades: My Misadventures in the Standardized Testing Industry." It was an intriguing read, but I told him it didn't go far enough. He had dramatized the weaknesses in the many tests...

By Jay Mathews  |  06:43 PM ET, 09/22/2009 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Jay on the Web

Posted at 04:01 AM ET, 09/22/2009

New Ammo For Charter Debate

The New York City Charter Schools Center is releasing Tuesday a new study showing that students who attend the city's charter schools do significantly better than similar students not picked in the annual random lotteries for charter school places....

By Jay Mathews  |  04:01 AM ET, 09/22/2009 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Jay on the Web

Posted at 06:00 AM ET, 09/18/2009

Fixing the Teacher Certification Mess

I have no doubt our system for certifying teachers is broken. On Aug. 24, I wrote about a first-rate Prince George’s County teacher who was nearly fired because of official confusion over his certification credits. These are courses he must...

By Washington Post editors  |  06:00 AM ET, 09/18/2009 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Jay on the Web

Posted at 02:49 PM ET, 09/16/2009

Jay & Valerie Debate Cheating

Class Struggle and colleague Valerie Strauss, of The Answer Sheet, disagree on what to do about accusations of D.C. educators covering up bad results on the annual DC-CAS tests. Jay argued for retests in his Monday column. Valerie saidthat...

By Jay Mathews  |  02:49 PM ET, 09/16/2009 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Jay on the Web

Posted at 06:30 PM ET, 09/15/2009

Where Did the Least Admirable Go to College?

At the suggestion of mischievous friends, to accompany this column on where our heroes went to college, I looked up the alma maters of people with few, if any, admirers. Feel free to add to this list: con artist...

By Jay Mathews  |  06:30 PM ET, 09/15/2009 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Jay on the Web

Posted at 04:41 PM ET, 09/09/2009

Egad! School Research Has Power

I have long believed that politicians never read education research reports, and if they do, only believe the ones that confirm their biases. Timothy A. Hacsi's brilliant 2002 book, "Children As Pawns: The Politics of Education Reform," proved this...

By Jay Mathews  |  04:41 PM ET, 09/09/2009 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Jay on the Web, Jay on the Web

Posted at 06:00 AM ET, 08/28/2009

Jay on the Web: Will Advanced Placement Replace the SAT?

This online column, now in its ninth year, used to be called "Class Struggle." When we shifted that name to my blog, including all three of my weekly columns plus my various rants and outbursts, and the more reasoned...

By Washington Post Editors  |  06:00 AM ET, 08/28/2009 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Jay on the Web | Tags:  Jay on the Web

Posted at 06:00 AM ET, 08/21/2009

Three Smart Rules for Home School Regulation

Homeschooling is the sleeping giant of the American education system. There are at least 1.7 million children being taught at home, a rough estimate because good data is hard to find and the number has been growing about 9...

By Washington Post Editors  |  06:00 AM ET, 08/21/2009 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Jay on the Web

Posted at 02:04 PM ET, 08/12/2009

Jay on the Web: Pitfalls for Poor Students, Pt. 2

Yesterday, we wrote about Jay Mathews' column this week, which took on the conventional wisdom that talented, but poor, kids are often turned away from college. Jay challenged readers to point to a real life example of this happening and...

By Washington Post Editors  |  02:04 PM ET, 08/12/2009 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Jay on the Web | Tags:  college admissions, underprivileged students

Posted at 06:00 AM ET, 07/31/2009

What the SAT-optional Colleges Don’t Tell You

I don’t much like the SAT. When the SAT-optional movement began to gain momentum a few years ago, I cheered. Dozens of colleges told their applicants that if they didn’t want to submit their SAT or ACT scores, they didn’t...

By Washington Post editors  |  06:00 AM ET, 07/31/2009 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Jay on the Web

Posted at 06:00 AM ET, 07/24/2009

They Messed With the Wrong Blogger

Michele Kerr (she tells me it is pronounced “cur”) is a hard-working educator and Web surfer who is often mean to me. This is probably a good thing. When I post something stupid, Kerr—using her nom de Internet, “Cal...

By Washington Post editors  |  06:00 AM ET, 07/24/2009 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Jay on the Web

Posted at 02:01 PM ET, 07/23/2009

Jay on the Web: Joy and Equality in Public Education

Houston high school teacher, Jesse Alred, of the Examiner, wrote an interesting analysis of one of Jay Mathews' columns about balancing hard work with play and injecting more joy into the classroom. Alred agrees with Mathews on "the joy factor,"...

By Sarah Mimms  |  02:01 PM ET, 07/23/2009 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Jay on the Web | Tags:  Jay Mathews, charter schools, equality, public education

Posted at 01:11 AM ET, 07/22/2009

Jay on the Web: Which Makes A Bigger Difference - Good Teachers or Administrative Processes?

This week, Elena Silva of The Quick and the Ed blog took issue with Jay Mathews' critique of "Leading for Equity: The Pursuit of Excellence in Montgomery County Public Schools," a recent book about the successes of the Montgomery Public...

By Sarah Mimms  |  01:11 AM ET, 07/22/2009 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Jay on the Web | Tags:  Elena Silva, Leading for Equity,

Posted at 06:00 AM ET, 07/17/2009

Jay on the Web: Will Technology Save Our Kids?

Looking ahead, education policy soothsayers Terry M. Moe and John E. Chubb see our electronic miracle devices finally doing what we have long been promised — making our children better educated. I would shrug their new book off as more...

By Washington Post Editors  |  06:00 AM ET, 07/17/2009 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Jay on the Web

Posted at 10:46 AM ET, 07/10/2009

Jay on the Web: Middle Class Children in KIPP

It has been a while since I had a guest columnist in this space. I have never before turned the blog over to one younger than my own children. So let me introduce Catharine Bellinger, a Princeton sophomore who...

By Washington Post Editors  |  10:46 AM ET, 07/10/2009 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Jay on the Web | Tags:  Catharine Bellinger, KIPP

Posted at 03:48 PM ET, 07/08/2009

Jay on the Web: What's the Best Model for School Reform?

Dwayne Betts, a D.C. school teacher, has an interesting and thoughtful post on school reform on Ta-Nehisi Coates' blog over at The Atlantic. Betts has a small quibble with Jay Mathews, who profiled the Knowledge Is Power Program of charter...

By Washington Post Editors  |  03:48 PM ET, 07/08/2009 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Jay on the Web | Tags:  KIPP, The Atlantic

Posted at 03:10 PM ET, 07/01/2009

Jay on the Web: Can Unions and KIPP Schools Co-exist?

Mike Klonsky has some strong words for Jay Mathews on his recent column about unions and charter schools. In the piece, Jay argues that union demands might swamp the progress that one Baltimore KIPP school has shown under the direction...

By Washington Post Editors  |  03:10 PM ET, 07/01/2009 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Jay on the Web | Tags:  KIPP, Small Talk

Posted at 10:32 AM ET, 06/24/2009

Jay on the Web: Is AP the Only Way to Challenge Students?

Every year, Jay Mathews compiles The Challenge Index, a ranking of schools based on a simple formula - the number of AP, IB, and other college-level tests given out at any given high school divided by the total number of...

By Sarah Mimms  |  10:32 AM ET, 06/24/2009 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Jay on the Web | Tags:  AP, The Challenge Index

Posted at 01:39 PM ET, 06/17/2009

Jay on the Web: Michelle Rhee's Report Card

Post reporter Bill Turque took an in-depth look at Michelle Rhee's first two-years as a chancellor of D.C. schools over the weekend, and Jay weighed in with a three-part sit-down interview with Rhee. For the Post's takeaway, see this item...

By Washington Post Editors  |  01:39 PM ET, 06/17/2009 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Jay on the Web | Tags:  D.C. Schools, Michelle Rhee

Posted at 11:08 AM ET, 06/03/2009

Jay on the Web: Why Michelle Rhee Is Wrong on Merit Pay for Teachers

Jay Mathews wrote in Monday's column that charter schools -- not Michelle Rhee's plan -- offer a good model for merit pay for teachers: Rhee has proposed paying teachers as much as $135,000 a year based on achievement gains,...

By Washington Post Editors  |  11:08 AM ET, 06/03/2009 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Jay on the Web | Tags:  Michelle Rhee, merit pay for teachers

Posted at 12:32 PM ET, 05/27/2009

Jay on the Web: Mathews on KIPP Charter Schools

Jay's latest book, "Work Hard. Be Nice."chronicles a breed of charter schools called the Knowledge is Power Program, or KIPP. KIPP has had stunning success at improving the test scores of low-income students by focusing on mentoring, rigorous student...

By Washington Post Editors  |  12:32 PM ET, 05/27/2009 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Jay on the Web | Tags:  KIPP, charter schools

Posted at 02:23 PM ET, 05/20/2009

Would Schools Be Better Off If Fewer or More Students Took AP Tests?

A little while ago, Jay called for schools to allow more students to take Advanced Placement tests. The column has spurred an ongoing conversation between Jay and the Assorted Stuff blog. Here's Assorted Stuff's latest post (with two minor edits):...

By Washington Post Editors  |  02:23 PM ET, 05/20/2009 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Jay on the Web | Tags:  Advanced Placement Tests, high school

Posted at 05:00 AM ET, 05/19/2009

How to Spend $100 Billion to Fix Schools (Cont.)

Readers, bless them, buried us in votes and comments when we asked them last week to rank 10 ideas for fixing America’s schools with the expected $100 billion in education stimulus funds, and offer their own suggestions. The top five...

By Washington Post editors  |  05:00 AM ET, 05/19/2009 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Jay on the Web

Posted at 01:52 PM ET, 05/13/2009

Jay on the Web: A Libertarian View on Fixing the Nation's Schools

Jay's recent column on ways to fix the nation's schools drew a strong reaction from the libertarian Cato Institute. Writing on Cato@Liberty, David Boaz argues the way to fix the nation's schools is to create competition: "Why don’t we...

By Washington Post Editors  |  01:52 PM ET, 05/13/2009 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Jay on the Web

Posted at 11:23 AM ET, 05/06/2009

Jay on the Web: Does Energy Outweigh Experience When It Comes to Teachers?

Jay has been generating some buzz on the web with his take last week on whether experience or energy matters most when it comes to improving education at schools in low income neighborhoods. It was a response to this Post...

By Washington Post Editors  |  11:23 AM ET, 05/06/2009 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Jay on the Web | Tags:  teacher experience

Posted at 03:27 PM ET, 04/29/2009

Jay on the Web: "Bubble Kids" and High Stakes Tests

In a discussion of a recent Jay Mathew's column about about whether low performing students are being adequately served in schools' scramble to pass high stakes tests, Public School Insights gives Mathews some extra credit: You have to admire Washington...

By Washington Post Editors  |  03:27 PM ET, 04/29/2009 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Jay on the Web

Posted at 11:39 AM ET, 04/01/2009

Jay on the Web: Readers on KIPP, Vouchers and Parental Involvement

Jay's work often spurs comment and discussion not only on this site, but elsewhere. Here's a look at some recent comment, response and more from around the Web. From Schools Matter: Mathews's convenient untruth would have the entire KIPP Fresno...

By Washington Post Editors  |  11:39 AM ET, 04/01/2009 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Jay on the Web

Posted at 10:35 AM ET, 03/25/2009

On the Web: Readers on KIPP, Charter Schools

Jay's work often spurs comment and discussion not only on this site, but elsewhere. Here's a look at some recent comment, response and more from around the Web. From Advocating on Madison Public Schools: It is no secret that Mathews...

By Washington Post Editors  |  10:35 AM ET, 03/25/2009 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Jay on the Web

Posted at 01:54 PM ET, 03/18/2009

On the Web: Response to the Economic Stimulus, AP, More

Jay's work often spurs comment and discussion not only on this site, but elsewhere. Here's a look at some recent comment, response and more from around the Web. From BoardBuzz: BoardBuzz caught our friend Jay Matthews’ column in yesterday’s Washington...

By Washington Post Editors  |  01:54 PM ET, 03/18/2009 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Jay on the Web

Posted at 10:27 AM ET, 03/04/2009

On the Web: Reaction to Class Size Debate

Joanne Jacobs: Hiring (and supporting) better teachers is more important than keeping classes small, argues Jay Mathews on his Washington Post blog...High-quality schools in low-income neighborhoods typically focus on improving instruction, not on offering small classes. Classes small enough to...

By Washington Post Editors  |  10:27 AM ET, 03/04/2009 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Jay on the Web

Posted at 10:27 AM ET, 02/18/2009

On the Web: Shouts for Schools' Value

Here's what other people are saying about Jay Mathews this week: themorechild.com: I must give credit where credit is due, and give a positive shout out to Jay Mathews for yesterday’s column, “Boosting Schools’ Value Without Spending a Dime.” He...

By Washington Post Editors  |  10:27 AM ET, 02/18/2009 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Jay on the Web

Posted at 01:49 PM ET, 02/11/2009

On the Web: KIPP Conversations and Local Test Scores

Here's what other people are saying about Jay Mathews this week: GothamSchools: Among those who have commented on Elizabeth’s post about journalist Jay Mathews’ seven KIPP myths are one of the charter school chain’s most vocal critics; a graduate of...

By Washington Post Editors  |  01:49 PM ET, 02/11/2009 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Jay on the Web

Posted at 11:21 AM ET, 11/30/2008

Jay on the Web?

Check out Class Struggle on Wednesdays to see what other journalists, bloggers and education wonks are saying about Jay Mathews. Read the full archive of Jay on the Web here....

By Washington Post Editors  |  11:21 AM ET, 11/30/2008 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Jay on the Web