Class Struggle: Trends


Posted at 03:06 AM ET, 10/20/2011

Should everyone take honors classes?

The Anne Arundel County schools are going ahead with an honors-for-all plan in a slapdash way made worse by not preparing parents for the change.

By Jay Mathews  |  03:06 AM ET, 10/20/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Trends

Posted at 05:30 AM ET, 01/14/2011

Increasing learning time with free breakfasts

Some people think it's wrong to read at the table. The Mathews family has a different view. We talk to each other at meals if the mood strikes us. But much of the time, particularly at breakfast and lunch, we are looking at newspapers and magazines, and sometimes even books, while ingesting carbohydrates, fats and whatever else tastes good. I know, it sounds rude. But it is a habit that more Americans, particularly younger ones, should adopt.

By Jay Mathews  |  05:30 AM ET, 01/14/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Trends | Tags:  000 more students got free breakfasts last year, 663, Food Research and Action Center, National School Lunch Program, combine reading with eating and learning time increases, free breakfasts more common in schools

Posted at 05:30 AM ET, 12/17/2010

A plea for peace among petulant pundits

As the football season for my Redskins falls apart, I have become addicted to the shouting of sports talk radio. Great failures inspire irresistible passion and confrontation. The national debate over how to fix our failing schools attracts me for the same reason. But in my saner moments I wish we were more considerate of those with whom we disagree.

By Jay Mathews  |  05:30 AM ET, 12/17/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Trends | Tags:  Diane Ravitch, KIPP, The Life and Death of the Great American School System, Whitney Tilson, education policy pundits distort each other's cases, how to help schools by being fair in the debate

Posted at 05:30 AM ET, 12/03/2010

Surprising truths from superstar principal

Henry Gradillas was the principal of Garfield High School in the 1980s when the chairman of its math department, a Bolivian immigrant named Jaime Escalante, became the most famous teacher in the United States. Escalante, about whom I wrote a book, was an amazing educator, but he would never have gained such renown and become the subject of the film "Stand and Deliver" if it had not been for Gradillas.

By Jay Mathews  |  05:30 AM ET, 12/03/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Trends | Tags:  Henry Gradillas, Standing and Delivering,, don't start by firing weak teachers, fix the school climate first, superstar principal of Garfield High School

Posted at 05:30 AM ET, 11/24/2010

Is it harder for affluent schools to have good character?

Reading Samuel Casey Carter's new book, "On Purpose," I wondered about the friction that may result from focusing on character in schools: How can we create more single-minded schools like these in a democratic society if some teachers and students wish to express contrary thoughts and feelings? Is raising the standards for student and teacher behavior harder or easier on more affluent campuses?

By Jay Mathews  |  05:30 AM ET, 11/24/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Trends | Tags:  Samuel Casey Carter, character education, creating schools of good character, do affluent schools have a harder task?, do such schools encounter dissent, good character produces good students

Posted at 05:30 AM ET, 11/19/2010

Another blue ribbon report suitable for shredding

I propose a contest. The winner will get, appropriately enough, a blue ribbon. (I think I have a few crumbled ones in the Christmas wrapping box stuffed under the guest bed of the spare bedroom where I sit at this moment in my third month of working at home.) To receive this wonderful prize, all you have to do is identify a blue ribbon commission--any temporary assemblage of smart people asked to produce a solution to a great national issue--that brought changes that actually solved the problem.

By Jay Mathews  |  05:30 AM ET, 11/19/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Trends | Tags:  10 design principals, Transforming Teacher Education through Clinical Practice,, blue ribbon panel reports are a national scourge, why not have a Blue Ribbon Scary Experiment in Doing Things Differently

Posted at 05:30 AM ET, 11/12/2010

How to end a dispiriting fight over learning time

Here in Washington, well-meaning advocates of afterschool programs are fighting with well-meaning advocates of longer school days over a big pot of federal money. It distresses me, but does not surprise me, to discover that their arguments have more to do about clout in Congress than the well-being of the school children they say they are trying to help. I have a solution. But first, let's examine the dispute.

By Jay Mathews  |  05:30 AM ET, 11/12/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Trends | Tags:  afterschool programs, each praises studies showing the best of their programs succeed, each trashes the other's research, longer school days, two sides in increased learning time debate fight over $1.25 billion in federal funds, why not agree to fund just those high quality programs?

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

Wanted: Unsung high schools with strong college course programs

Other columnists spend the dark winter months reconnecting with their loved ones before a cozy fire or a richly laden holiday feast. I use that time to fill a spreadsheet with the names of high schools and their ratios of college-level tests to graduating seniors.

By Jay Mathews  |  05:30 AM ET, 11/05/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Trends | Tags:  America's Best High Schools, Challenge Index, list moves to washingtonpost.com, list will include local college exams for the first time, new list for 2011

Posted at 06:00 PM ET, 10/31/2010

Outrage at banning spelling tests

J. Martin Rochester,, Curators' Distinguished Teaching Professor of Political Science at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, is our guest columnist. He is a close student of the evolution of American education practices, and often warns of the deterioration of standards.

By Jay Mathews  |  06:00 PM ET, 10/31/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Trends | Tags:  J. Martin Rochester, better to learn to spell naturally while writing, spelling tests banned, this means dumbing down English classes.

Posted at 05:30 AM ET, 10/15/2010

High schoolers barred from college-level courses

I expect there will be even more schools next year reaching the America's Best High Schools standard for inclusion than the 1,735 this year. The number has gone up every time I have done the list, beginning with just 243 schools in 1998. But proportionally, that is still quite small. This year's total represented only about 6 percent of all public high schools in the United States.

By Jay Mathews  |  05:30 AM ET, 10/15/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Trends | Tags:  America's Best High Schools, Challenge Index, access to AP courses, data show more acceptance of average students in challenging courses, many schools bar students with average GPAs or no teacher recommendations

Posted at 05:30 AM ET, 10/08/2010

Why low standards for education are good

No education scholar in America throws an analytical knuckleball as well as David F. Labaree of Stanford University. You are reading along, enjoying the clarity of his prose and the depth of his research, thinking his argument is going one way when--whoops!--it breaks in another direction altogether.

By Jay Mathews  |  05:30 AM ET, 10/08/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Trends | Tags:  David F. Labaree, why school reform always fails, why schools are better off not having standards too high, why the school reform process makes Americans feel good even if it doesn't work

Posted at 09:00 AM ET, 10/01/2010

Ed school professors resist teaching practical skills

Amid the chatter about the Obama administration's Race to the Top funds, NBC's Education Nation programs and the release of the film "Waiting For 'Superman'" (warning: I am in it), I am not hearing much about how education schools fit into this new saving our schools ferment. A new survey of education school professors reveals traditional teacher training institute are trying, sort of, to adjust, but still resist giving top priority to hottest topic among young teachers, learning how to manage the kids.

By Jay Mathews  |  09:00 AM ET, 10/01/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Trends | Tags:  Education school professors resist teaching classroom skills, Thomas B. Fordham Foundation, but 63 percent like Teach For America, only 24 percent emphasize helping teachers work with new state standards and tests

Posted at 05:30 AM ET, 09/24/2010

How to make teacher salaries look better

McKinsey & Company, the giant management consulting firm, has taken a deep, detailed look at teacher compensation and concluded that teachers are making significantly more than most of us, particularly our most academically successful college students, think they are.

By Jay Mathews  |  05:30 AM ET, 09/24/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Trends | Tags:  Closing the talent gap,, McKinsey study shows college student underestimate how much teachers make, how to make teacher salaries look better, two average teachers married to each other are in the top 20 percent wealthiest households

Posted at 05:30 AM ET, 09/17/2010

What No Child Left Behind did and didn't do

No Child Left Behind, the most influential and infuriating federal education law in 40 years, is not quite dead, but getting close. The Obama administration and Congress say they will discard it soon for something different. Nobody's paying much attention to it any more. The term AYP has fallen out of favor among us education writers.

By Jay Mathews  |  05:30 AM ET, 09/17/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Trends | Tags:  Brian Jacob, No Child Left Behind, Thomas S. Dee, better 4th grade math scores, more student engagement, report summarizes what progress made under NCLB

Posted at 06:00 PM ET, 09/09/2010

America's best community colleges

Here's one more sign that community colleges don't get respect. I waited two weeks after the publication of the Washington Monthly's new ranked list of these overlooked schools before I bestirred myself to write this column. For someone whose family history is entwined with community colleges, that's bad.

By Jay Mathews  |  06:00 PM ET, 09/09/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Trends | Tags:  America's Best Community Colleges, Kevin Carey, schools ranked by best teaching practices, top-50 list community colleges excel four-year universities

Posted at 05:30 AM ET, 08/27/2010

America's worst colleges

The Washington Monthly, a tiny bastion of high-grade journalism in the nation's capital, tries every year to kill the celebratory buzz greeting the latest U.S. News & World Report "America's Best Colleges" list. This time the monthly has outdone itself with what might be called the anti-U.S. News list, 50 carefully ranked colleges that have to be worst nightmare of any student who aspires to deep learning and careful career preparation.

By Jay Mathews  |  05:30 AM ET, 08/27/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Trends | Tags:  50 colleges with the lowest graduation rates, Chicago State same demographics as NCCU, Washington Monthly list, but much worse results

Posted at 05:30 AM ET, 08/20/2010

Best (and most unsettling) college admissions book ever

Bissonnette is 22 now, a senior at the University of Massachusetts. He has written the best and most troubling book ever about the college admissions process, "Debt-Free U: How I Paid for an Outstanding College Education Without Loans, Scholarships, or Mooching Off My Parents."

By Jay Mathews  |  05:30 AM ET, 08/20/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Trends | Tags:  best college admissions book ever, author Zac Bissonnette only 21, new book, still in college, suggests students make better use of state schools, warns against taking out loans

Posted at 06:00 PM ET, 08/05/2010

Jaime Escalante, Alfie Kohn, John Taylor Gatto, Frank Smith (part 2)

This is the second part of my guest columnist California high school English teacher Jerry Heverly's imagined conversation with four great education experts. Scroll down this blog for last week's first part, which introduce Heverly and four real people whom, as far as we know, never met except in Heverly's imagination.

By Jay Mathews  |  06:00 PM ET, 08/05/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Trends | Tags:  Alfie Kohn, California English teacher Jerry Heverly's imagined conversation with education experts Jaime Escalante, John Taylor Gatto and Frank Smith

Posted at 06:00 PM ET, 07/29/2010

Jaime Escalante, Alfie Kohn, John Taylor Gatto and Frank Smith

The following conversation is purely fictional. No such meeting ever took place. This is merely my attempt to guess what these four experts might say to me if I could get them all in one room at one time. I wrote this in a effort to work out my own demons, in hopes that I might increase my understanding of the failings of my own teaching methods.

By Jay Mathews  |  06:00 PM ET, 07/29/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Trends | Tags:  Alfie Kohn, Jaime Escalante, John Taylor Gatto and Frank Smith, imaginary conversation between California teacher Jerry Heverly and four well-known experts

Posted at 06:00 PM ET, 07/22/2010

Admissions office probes applicants’ scary depths

Psychology is beyond my competence. I took a course in that subject my freshman year of college, but that was because I needed an easy A. So I wondered if I really wanted to write anything at all about an article I found in the spring 2010 issue of the Journal of College Admissions with this unsettling title: “One College’s Journey Into the Unconscious Mind of its Prospective Students: How a New Research Methodology is Helping Us Recruit.”

By Jay Mathews  |  06:00 PM ET, 07/22/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Trends | Tags:  Ashley Memory, Gerald Zaltman of Harvard, Jennifer Kretchmar, Jerry Olson of Penn State, UNC study of 13 male high schoolers, college search desires, importance of a journey, looking deeper inside the applicant's head, personal growth

Posted at 06:00 PM ET, 07/15/2010

The untruth about International Baccalaureate

I haven't read everything on truthaboutib.com, but enough to report, somewhat to my surprise, that it is pretty good. Its raging paranoia about IB being a threat to American values and U.S. sovereignty is completely divorced from reality, but compared with other overheated ideological Web sites, it is remarkably fair, even balanced in a few places.

By Jay Mathews  |  06:00 PM ET, 07/15/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Trends | Tags:  IB critics Web site truthaboutib.com, International Baccalaureate vs. Advanced Placement, Lisa McLoughlin

Posted at 07:30 PM ET, 07/08/2010

Intriguing alternative to rating schools by tests

Foote said, compared to averages for New York City high schools in general, "consortium schools post a lower dropout rate, higher college-bound rate, and higher daily attendance." I would like to see comparison of academic results, but the consortium schools are excused from the state standardized tests, and the regular schools don't require a literary essay, a research paper, a science experiment and a higher math application with external evaluation, more's the pity.

By Jay Mathews  |  07:30 PM ET, 07/08/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Trends | Tags:  28 schools in New York state, New York Performance Standards Consortium, assessing high schools without standardized testing, assessing with independent review of essay, better results than similar schools in New York City, reports and science experiments

Posted at 05:30 AM ET, 06/25/2010

NYC success suggests better fix for urban high schools

Urban high schools throughout the country are, on average, very bad. They are full of confused teenagers who are often not well taught and given little of the support and structure they need to learn. Several D.C. high schools are under new leadership now, as Chancellor Michelle A. Rhee has installed new principals. But they are trying, as edlharris recommended, to turnaround their entire schools, grades 9 to 12, at the same time. The results so far are not impressive.

By Jay Mathews  |  05:30 AM ET, 06/25/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Trends | Tags:  Friends of Bedford, MDRC, New York high school study shows small schools work, creating new schools better than reforming entire schools, fixing high schools

Posted at 10:00 PM ET, 06/17/2010

New evidence that SAT hurts blacks

Roy Freedle is 76 now, patient as any research psychologist. He knows that decades often pass before valid ideas take root. When the notion is as radical as his, that the SAT is racially biased, an even longer wait might be expected. But after 23 years the research he has done on the surprising reaction of black students to hard words versus easy words seems to be breaking out of a long period being dismissed as trivial and irrelevant.

By Jay Mathews  |  10:00 PM ET, 06/17/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Trends | Tags:  College Board denies bias, Maria Veronica Santelices, Mark Wilson, Roy Freedle, blacks do better on harder questions, racial bias in the SAT

Posted at 01:00 AM ET, 06/10/2010

Must-read new report on high school dropouts

Swanson discovered, for instance, that just 25 of the 11,000 U.S. school districts with high schools accounted for one out of every five students who failed to graduate in 2007, the most recent year with relevant data. Those 25 districts at the top of the dropout scale had a quarter million non-graduates, as many as were counted in the lowest ranked 8,400 districts.

By Jay Mathews  |  01:00 AM ET, 06/10/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Trends | Tags:  140 year history of drop-outs, 21 districts that have reduced drop-outs, 25 districts that produce one of every five drop-outs, drop-outs, high school graduation rates

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

KIPP helps worst students, study says

Among the many controversies surrounding the Knowledge Is Power Program, the nation's most successful charter school network, is the suggestion that KIPP scores look good because their weakest students drop out. A new and unusually careful survey has found that in the case of at least one KIPP school, that's not true.

By Jay Mathews  |  05:30 AM ET, 03/05/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Trends | Tags:  Josh Zoia, KIPP Academy Lynn, KIPP achievement gains confirmed, KIPP helps worst students, new KIPP study

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

Readers question Challenge Index

Q. The downside not discussed is that from 1989 to 2009, the percentage of AP exams earning a 1 (lowest score) has doubled, from 10% to 20%. Over that same period, the mean score declined from just over 3 to 2.89. This tells me a lot of kids are being pushed into a AP classes for which they aren't ready or motivated.

By Jay Mathews  |  05:30 AM ET, 02/05/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Trends | Tags:  Advanced Placement, Challenge Index, Darwin, International Baccalaureate, selective colleges, special education

Posted at 05:30 AM ET, 12/25/2009

How fashion frustrates school improvement

In the music and clothing industries, ideas have a shelf life. New approaches are embraced for their novelty. Fashion rules. Changes occur often. That’s fine for those enterprises. But is it a good idea to write off successful school programs just because they have been around for awhile?

By Jay Mathews  |  05:30 AM ET, 12/25/2009 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Trends | Tags:  Direct Instruction, James P. Comer, School Development Program, Success for All, child and adolescent development, school improvement

Posted at 05:30 AM ET, 12/04/2009

Finally some sense about 21st century skills--part one, the Jerald report

(1) Should we make more time for thinking in school by finding a more efficient --and quicker--way to teach the facts our students need to think about? (2) If collaboration is so important to the 21st century workplace, and if (as Jerald and Wagner report) students appear to learn the most about teamwork in sports and other extracurricular activities, should we require everyone to participate in games or clubs in the same way we used to make P.E. mandatory?

By Jay Mathews  |  05:30 AM ET, 12/04/2009 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Trends | Tags:  21st century skills, Craig Jerald, Tony Wagner, critical thinking, extracurricular activities, factual knowledge, fads

Posted at 05:30 AM ET, 11/27/2009

Should we inflate Advanced Placement grades?

Erin McVadon Albright, the IB coordinator at Annandale High School in Fairfax County, said the extra grade point for IB was a powerful inducement for one of her most intriguing students. He came from a low-income family that did not even have an Internet connection at home. He wanted to play football, which meant he had to take a government class online over the summer to have time for IB. He was using the computer at the office where his mother was a receptionist, but she was afraid someone would complain. He almost dropped the course until Albright managed to lend him a school laptop which he could take the public library to do his work.

By Jay Mathews  |  05:30 AM ET, 11/27/2009 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Trends | Tags:  Advanced Placement, College Board, Erin Albright, International Baccalaureate, Jaime Escalante, Jon Gubera, Mike Reno, Rochester school board, Roy Sunada, Trevor Packer, grade weighting

Posted at 05:30 AM ET, 11/20/2009

Why not junk teacher evaluations in favor of more preparation time?

Education consultant Ted Haynie made this provocative suggestion: "If we completely suspended the formal evaluation process for two years, the overall quality of classroom instruction would be greatly increased because the time could be spent actually discussing effective classroom practice in a collegial and more informal manner than what exists today."

By Jay Mathews  |  05:30 AM ET, 11/20/2009 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Trends | Tags:  Elena Silva, Furman Brown, Generation Schools, Jonathan Spear, Ted Haynie, Willis Hawley, teacher evaluation, teacher instructional time, teacher planning time, teacher preparation, teacher teams

Posted at 07:00 AM ET, 11/13/2009

Bracey's last report--trashing our educational assumptions

I got to the last page of the last icon-shattering piece Gerald W. Bracey will ever write, and felt sad and empty. As usual, he had skewered--with great erudition and insight--some of my fondest beliefs about how to improve schools....

By Jay Mathews  |  07:00 AM ET, 11/13/2009 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Trends

Posted at 07:00 AM ET, 11/06/2009

Best book ever on how to prepare students for college

We have had blue ribbon commissions, congressional committees, corporate roundtables, university consortiums and dozens of non-profit organizations struggle with the central question of American education: How do we prepare students for success in college? The written output of these groups...

By Jay Mathews  |  07:00 AM ET, 11/06/2009 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Trends

Posted at 07:00 AM ET, 10/30/2009

Want your school to try Advanced Placement? Here's how.

I have written this weekly online column for almost a decade. From the beginning, one of its goals was to be ahead of every other media outlet in news and arguments about Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate courses and...

By Jay Mathews  |  07:00 AM ET, 10/30/2009 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Trends

Posted at 07:00 AM ET, 10/23/2009

21st century skills: another disappointment

I am trying NOT to write off the 21st century skills movement as a sham, but its leaders don’t make it easy....

By Jay Mathews  |  07:00 AM ET, 10/23/2009 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Trends

Posted at 06:00 AM ET, 10/16/2009

The Pros and Cons of Squelching Gifted Students

I have been writing about schools for a long time. It is difficult to surprise me. But some of the many people who wrote to me about my Oct. 5 column on Howard County’s reluctance to accelerate a gifted...

By Jay Mathews  |  06:00 AM ET, 10/16/2009 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Trends

Posted at 06:00 AM ET, 10/02/2009

A Crazy Idea for Middle Schools

When education pundits like me talk about the American Indian Public Charter School in Oakland, Calif., the conversation is always about the middle school's leader, Ben Chavis. He is very different from us data-sifting eggheads. It is not an exaggeration...

By Jay Mathews  |  06:00 AM ET, 10/02/2009 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Trends

Posted at 05:45 AM ET, 07/03/2009

A Hot Beach Debate for Edu-Nerds Like Me

Editor's Note: If you like cool online-polling devices, feel free to skip to the bottom of this column, make some clicks and then circle back for Jay's Take.... Those of us who spend our days mesmerized by discussions of summer...

By Washington Post Editors  |  05:45 AM ET, 07/03/2009 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Trends

Posted at 03:36 PM ET, 06/29/2009

Jay's Take: One Way to Save Struggling Teachers--Maybe

My colleague Dan de Vise provides an intriguing look at teacher support efforts on our front page Monday, in what many seasoned educators think is the best way to help bad teachers--regular counseling and review by experts. His subject...

By Washington Post editors  |  03:36 PM ET, 06/29/2009 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Trends

Posted at 05:00 AM ET, 06/19/2009

The Community College Placement Mess

Newspaper reporters, a group to which I belonged until recently, usually don’t write about old reports, unless of course the documents have been suppressed for years by nefarious government minions. If a reporter tells her editor she has found a...

By Washington Post editors  |  05:00 AM ET, 06/19/2009 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Trends | Tags:  community college

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

Shocker! Some Teachers Like AP for All

When I got to work Monday, I was certain I was about to be pummeled by e-mails telling me what an idiotic column I had written that day praising high schools that were trying to get everyone, even struggling students,...

By Washington Post editors  |  06:00 AM ET, 06/12/2009 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Trends | Tags:  AP Advanced Placement International Baccalaureate IB

Posted at 05:00 AM ET, 06/05/2009

Experience Corps: Tutoring That Works

I get a lot of telephone calls and e-mails. Everyone seems to have a foolproof way to save our kids from ignorance and sloth. They all sound wonderful -- new Web sites, reading curricula, school designs, math tests, music lessons,...

By Washington Post editors  |  05:00 AM ET, 06/05/2009 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Trends | Tags:  experience corps tutoring

Posted at 06:00 AM ET, 06/02/2009

The Evolution of Randi Weingarten, Part 2

Many scoffed, with good reason, at my suggestion a few weeks back that American Federation of Teachers president Randi Weingarten was going soft on the rising generation of pugnacious and vaguely anti-union school innovators and their billionaire backers. I wasn’t...

By Washington Post editors  |  06:00 AM ET, 06/02/2009 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Trends | Tags:  aft weingarten rhee charter schools

Posted at 06:21 AM ET, 06/01/2009

Texting vs. Teaching: Who Wins?

Our high schools are full of secretly texting, blithely unengaged adolescents, my colleague Dan de Vise reveals today in a story on a Montgomery County proposal to let students text during lunch. Dan’s story describes the situation well. Educators...

By Washington Post editors  |  06:21 AM ET, 06/01/2009 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Trends | Tags:  cellphone texting

Posted at 03:00 AM ET, 05/29/2009

An Attack on Preschool for All

As usual, I have taken the lazy columnist’s approach to the crucial issue of preschools in America. What little I have written about it has been how to find the best pre-Ks and preschools, and what it is about them...

By Washington Post editors  |  03:00 AM ET, 05/29/2009 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Trends | Tags:  universal preschool fordham institute

Posted at 01:06 PM ET, 05/27/2009

How to Miss School Even When You're in School

My colleague Dan de Vise's wonderful piece Tuesday about the Darnestown, Md., student who never missed a day of school has had a terrific reaction. Like me, readers appreciated Dan's tribute to old-fashioned values, such as dependability and persistence, which...

By Washington Post editors  |  01:06 PM ET, 05/27/2009 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Trends

Posted at 03:00 AM ET, 05/22/2009

An Intriguing Alternative to No Child Left Behind

If the No Child Left Behind law, focused on raising test scores, proves to be a dead end, what do we do next? I rarely read or hear intelligent discussion of this question. The Pentagon has battle plans from A...

By Washington Post editors  |  03:00 AM ET, 05/22/2009 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Trends | Tags:  No Child Left Behind

Posted at 03:00 AM ET, 05/01/2009

AP More Open, But Not Dumbed Down

More than a decade ago, when I began investigating the odd uses of Advanced Placement courses and tests in our high schools, I tried to find out why AP participation was so much lower than I expected in my neighborhood...

By Washington Post editors  |  03:00 AM ET, 05/01/2009 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Trends

Posted at 03:00 AM ET, 04/10/2009

The Money Myth in Improving Schools

Hard battles lost long ago leave a mark. (The worst for me was the 1973 Super Bowl.) University of California at Berkeley professor W. Norton Grubb, for instance, still replays the 1971 Serrano v. Priest decision by the California Supreme...

By Washington Post editors  |  03:00 AM ET, 04/10/2009 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Trends

Posted at 03:00 AM ET, 04/03/2009

Voucher Parents vs. Me

My March 23 column on the D.C. voucher program was not popular with parents of students in that program. I suggested the program enroll no more new students for the tax-funded scholarships to private schools. Instead, I said, let the...

By Washington Post editors  |  03:00 AM ET, 04/03/2009 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Trends

Posted at 05:07 PM ET, 03/18/2009

Turmoil at Two KIPP Schools

My new book about the Knowledge Is Power Program, “Word Hard. Be Nice,” details the conflict, misunderstanding, heartbreak and chaos that accompanied the founding and growth of what has turned to be, in my view, the most educationally successful group...

By Washington Post editors  |  05:07 PM ET, 03/18/2009 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Trends

Posted at 02:53 PM ET, 03/06/2009

Answering Your Questions: 20 Ways AP is Bad--Not!

The vigorous, but respectful, clash of comments in response to my Class Struggle column today, "20 Ways AP is Bad--Not!", pleases me because it mirrors the relationship Bruce Hammond of the Independent Curriculum Group and I have had as...

By washingtonpost.com editors  |  02:53 PM ET, 03/06/2009 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Trends

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

20 Ways AP is Bad — Not!

Bruce G. Hammond, a well-regarded educator and former Advanced Placement teacher, is at it again. His organization, Excellence Without AP, has changed its name to the Independent Curriculum Group (ICG). Hammond, based in Charlottesville, is the executive director. The group’s...

By Washington Post editors  |  03:00 AM ET, 03/06/2009 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Trends

Posted at 03:00 AM ET, 02/27/2009

Will Depth Replace Breadth in Schools?

If our nation’s high school teachers had $20 for every time they had to endure the Depth vs. Breadth debate, they all would have retired to mansions in West Palm Beach. The debate goes like this: Should they focus on...

By Washington Post editors  |  03:00 AM ET, 02/27/2009 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Trends

Posted at 03:00 AM ET, 02/20/2009

Trends: Banging on the PK-16 Pipeline

Why am I so ill-tempered when I read a sensible report like “Bridging the Gap: How to Strengthen the Pk-16 Pipeline to Improve College Readiness”? The authors, Ulrich Boser and Stephen Burd, know their stuff. The sponsoring organization, New...

By Washington Post editors  |  03:00 AM ET, 02/20/2009 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Trends

Posted at 03:00 AM ET, 02/13/2009

Trends: Charter Vs. Pilot Schools

In the national charter school debate, Boston has special significance. The city has unleashed imaginative teachers to run both independent charter schools and semi-independent “pilot” schools, with much of the rest of the country waiting to see which does best....

By Washington Post editors  |  03:00 AM ET, 02/13/2009 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Trends

Posted at 03:55 PM ET, 02/05/2009

Trends: Did Rap, Crack or TV Kill Reading?

Editor's note: Today, Class Struggle officially joins the blogosphere. Bookmark this new page to stay on top of all of Jay's writing and discussions. We'll be posting the Class Struggle column Fridays, the Extra Credit reader-response column Thursdays and Jay's...

By Washington Post editors  |  03:55 PM ET, 02/05/2009 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Trends

Posted at 11:08 AM ET, 11/30/2008

Trends?

On Fridays Jay Mathews reviews education trends on Class Struggle. Check out the archives here....

By Washington Post Editors  |  11:08 AM ET, 11/30/2008 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Trends