The Answer Sheet:


Posted at 06:01 AM ET, 02/28/2014

Winning videos from first White House Student Film Festival

Sixteen are being screened at the White House.

By Valerie Strauss  |  06:01 AM ET, 02/28/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  Technology

Posted at 04:00 AM ET, 10/04/2012

Do kids really learn from failure? Why conventional wisdom may be wrong

It is commonly said failures helps kids learn. It turns out that failure may not be as helpful as all that.

By Valerie Strauss  |  04:00 AM ET, 10/04/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 06:00 AM ET, 09/27/2012

School district actually expands paddling rule

In the you-can’t-make-up-this-stuff department: A Texas school district expands its rules on paddling.

By Valerie Strauss  |  06:00 AM ET, 09/27/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 01:58 PM ET, 09/18/2012

The 9th problem with the Common Core standards

Veteran educator Marion Brady follows up his “Eight Problems with the Common Core State Initiative” with a ninth problem.

By Valerie Strauss  |  01:58 PM ET, 09/18/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 01:00 PM ET, 09/17/2012

On Constitution Day, test your knowledge

Today is the 225th anniversary of the signing of the U.S. Constitution.

By Valerie Strauss  |  01:00 PM ET, 09/17/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 05:00 AM ET, 09/11/2012

The real problem with Rahm’s school reforms in Chicago

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel has been pushing a school reform agenda backed by the Obama administration that has helped push the city’s teachers union to strike.

By Valerie Strauss  |  05:00 AM ET, 09/11/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 05:00 AM ET, 09/04/2012

Lifelong Democrat ready for fight in Charlotte over school reform

The Democrats are opening their political convention on Tuesday with hopes of rallying the troops for the fall campaign ahead — but on one issue they can expect some pushback from activists within the party: school reform. Here one lifelong Democrat explains why she is ready to fight in Charlotte.

By Valerie Strauss  |  05:00 AM ET, 09/04/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 09:00 AM ET, 08/25/2012

Education news you shouldn’t miss

Obama edged out Romney in a new national poll that asked which candidate was better for public education . . . plus more news.

By Valerie Strauss  |  09:00 AM ET, 08/25/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 11:30 AM ET, 08/08/2012

Three core values of science, engineering and how ed reform contradicts them

Three values are at the heart of the practice of science and engineering and are central to discovery and innovation: searching for uncertainty, recognition of ambiguity and learning from failure. Therefore, it makes sense to nurture these values in school. But education reform policies ignore ambiguities in assessment data and punish failure as determined by uncertain evidence. Unless checked, the latter will undermine the former.

By Valerie Strauss  |  11:30 AM ET, 08/08/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 05:00 AM ET, 08/05/2012

Rhee’s teacher evaluation system is revised — but is it improved?

Under Rhee, 50 percent of teachers’ evaluations were based on standardized test scores. Is 35 percent any better?

By Valerie Strauss  |  05:00 AM ET, 08/05/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 07:57 AM ET, 07/30/2012

U-Va. star professor: Why I won’t ‘un-resign’

A star professor explains why he is rejecting pleas — including from reinstated President Teresa Sullivan.

By Valerie Strauss  |  07:57 AM ET, 07/30/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 10:30 AM ET, 07/26/2012

U.S. Olympic Team’s surprising school sponsor

The United States Olympics Team has more than 30 official sponsors, but only one of them is a school. And the choice says a lot about where education is heading these days

By Valerie Strauss  |  10:30 AM ET, 07/26/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 06:00 AM ET, 07/24/2012

What’s missing from congressional hearing on teachers

Congressional hearings are supposed to provide lawmakers wth information they need to make policy and legislative decisions. But sometimes when you look at the witness lists, it is hard to figure out why legislators bother to hold them. Take Tuesday’s hearing about teacher certification.

By Valerie Strauss  |  06:00 AM ET, 07/24/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 11:20 AM ET, 07/23/2012

Khan Academy: The hype and the reality

Khan Academy boasts almost 3,300 videos that have been viewed over 160 million times. That’s a heroic achievement.

By Valerie Strauss  |  11:20 AM ET, 07/23/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 06:00 AM ET, 07/19/2012

Colbert skewers Texas GOP on ‘critical thinking’

I thought I’d heard enough about the Texas Republican Party’s platform that rejects the teaching of critical thinking skills until I heard Stephen Colbert’s take on it: “For too long we have blindly accepted the idea of not blindly accepting ideas.” And a lot more.

By Valerie Strauss  |  06:00 AM ET, 07/19/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 05:00 AM ET, 07/18/2012

Does 5 weeks of training make a teacher ‘highly qualified?’ — Updated

Should someone with five weeks of teacher training be considered a highly qualified teacher?

By Valerie Strauss  |  05:00 AM ET, 07/18/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 04:45 PM ET, 07/12/2012

Report on Penn State board’s failures has ramifications for U-Va. board — update

Penn State’s board commissioned a report which blasted its mishandling of the Sandusky child abuse matter. The U-Va. Board of Visitors should probably do some similar introspection.

By Valerie Strauss  |  04:45 PM ET, 07/12/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 05:00 AM ET, 07/11/2012

Has Florida governor had a testing epiphany?

Florida Gov. Rick Scott, who until now hadn’t seen a test he didn’t like, seems to have come to some sort of epiphany: The state that has been a national model for test-based school reform just may be testing school children too much.

By Valerie Strauss  |  05:00 AM ET, 07/11/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 06:00 AM ET, 07/10/2012

Before ‘Fifty Shades of Grey:’ Bestsellers of last century

If you have finished reading (or never would touch) the erotic “Fifty Shades of Grey” and looking for something a little, well, different to pick up this summer, here are some book lists that you might not have come across: Bestsellers from the past. Way in the past.

By Valerie Strauss  |  06:00 AM ET, 07/10/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 06:00 AM ET, 07/09/2012

Texas GOP rejects ‘critical thinking’ skills. Really.

In the you-can’t-make-up-this-stuff department, the Republican Party of Texas wrote in its 2012 platform that itopposes the teaching of “higher order thinking skills” because it believes the purpose is to challenge a student’s “fixed beliefs” and undermine “parental authority.”

By Valerie Strauss  |  06:00 AM ET, 07/09/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 04:00 AM ET, 07/03/2012

July 4th facts on flags, fireworks, food and more

If you are at all curious about what country manufactures American flags and the fireworks we light on July 4th, and where your Independence Day BBQ food comes from, read this.

By Valerie Strauss  |  04:00 AM ET, 07/03/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 05:00 AM ET, 06/28/2012

Texas business leaders accuse educators of ‘scaring mom’ about standardized tests

The backlash in Texas against excessive high-stakes standardized testing seems to be rattling business leaders, who have now blamed teachers and administrators for panicking parents about the dangers of such testing.

By Valerie Strauss  |  05:00 AM ET, 06/28/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 05:00 AM ET, 06/26/2012

U-Va.: What the showdown will — and won’t — resolve

Even if Teresa Sullivan is reinstated as president of the University of Virginia on Tuesday, it won’t really end this painful, unnecessary episode over her ouster by the governing board.

By Valerie Strauss  |  05:00 AM ET, 06/26/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 04:00 AM ET, 06/18/2012

The technology mistake: Confusing access to information with becoming educated

What technology enthusiasts forget, neglect, stumble over — pick a verb – are the multiple purposes of tax-supported schools in a democracy. They and many others futurists err in equating access to information with becoming educated.

By Valerie Strauss  |  04:00 AM ET, 06/18/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 05:51 PM ET, 06/14/2012

10 ways to oppose high-stakes standardized tests

Here’s a list of 10 things that people can do to counter the damaging effects of high-stakes standardized testing

By Valerie Strauss  |  05:51 PM ET, 06/14/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 07:00 AM ET, 06/12/2012

U-Va. board: Tell us why you pushed out president

The governing board of the University of Virginia has refused to say directly why it pushed out popular school president Teresa Sullivan after only two years. It’s time the panel members tell the public what happened.

By Valerie Strauss  |  07:00 AM ET, 06/12/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 07:00 AM ET, 06/11/2012

$1.1 million-plus Gates grants: ‘Galvanic’ bracelets that measure student engagement

The Gates Foundation is spending more than $1.1 million to try to develop “galvanic skin response” bracelets that kids would wear so their physiological response to a lesson could be measured. Really.

By Valerie Strauss  |  07:00 AM ET, 06/11/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 06:00 AM ET, 06/08/2012

Commencement speaker blasts students

Graduating students at Wellesley High School heard a rather unusual commencement speech. The speaker, teacher David McCullough Jr., blasted the kids, telling them, “You’re not special.”

By Valerie Strauss  |  06:00 AM ET, 06/08/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 07:00 AM ET, 06/07/2012

Charter renewed for controversial school but questions remain

A controversial charter school in Maryland gets its charter extended for four more years but it is asked to make major changes.

By Valerie Strauss  |  07:00 AM ET, 06/07/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 06:06 AM ET, 06/07/2012

‘Flipping’ classrooms: Does it make sense?

Flipping classrooms — meaning that kids learn lessons at home and do their homework in school — is gaining in popularity in schools around the country. Does it really make sense?

By Valerie Strauss  |  06:06 AM ET, 06/07/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 02:57 PM ET, 06/05/2012

Why teachers shouldn’t learn neuroscience

Cognitive scientist Daniel Willingham writes that it would be a colossal waste of teachers' time to learn neuroscience to protect themselves from charlatans selling “brain-based” education.

By Valerie Strauss  |  02:57 PM ET, 06/05/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 04:00 AM ET, 06/04/2012

The dangers of not teaching personal finance to kids

Cnly four states require a stand-alone semester long course in personal finance to graduate. Does this make any sense? An award-winning teacher writes about the dangerous consequences of our failure to teach financial literacy to young people.

By Valerie Strauss  |  04:00 AM ET, 06/04/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 06:00 AM ET, 06/02/2012

15 critical questions about school reform

Educator Anthony Cody poses 18 critical questions about the Common Core States Standards and other elements of modern school reform.

By Valerie Strauss  |  06:00 AM ET, 06/02/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 04:00 AM ET, 06/01/2012

Why student aid is NOT driving up college costs

Student financial aid is NOT a cause for driving up college costs — despite the re-emergencce of the Bennett hypothesis in policy discussions

By Valerie Strauss  |  04:00 AM ET, 06/01/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 12:00 PM ET, 05/30/2012

Are charter schools still public?

Education historian Diane Ravitch reviews the evolution of public charter schools and asks whether they are still fundamentally public institutions.

By Valerie Strauss  |  12:00 PM ET, 05/30/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 05:00 AM ET, 05/30/2012

High-stakes testing protests spreading

Opposition to high-stakes standardized testing is growing around the country, with more parents choosing to opt their children out of taking exams, more school boards expressing disapproval of testing accountability systems and even a group of superintendents joining the fight.

By Valerie Strauss  |  05:00 AM ET, 05/30/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 06:00 AM ET, 05/27/2012

Does Ed Secretary Duncan agree with Romney on class size?

Mitt Romney made news recently when he visited a charter school and suggested that class size isn’t a particularly important factor in student achievement. The Obama campaign criticized him for saying it — but Arne Duncan has said similar things in the past.

By Valerie Strauss  |  06:00 AM ET, 05/27/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 04:00 AM ET, 05/25/2012

A lesson in sticktoitiveness — an amusing commencement speech by Garry Marshall

Here’s the highly amusing commencement speech that award-winning director Garry Marshall delivered at Lafayette College, explaining the importance of sticking to something you believe in no matter what the obstacles. In Marshall’s case, obstacles included being fired once by a pupplet.

By Valerie Strauss  |  04:00 AM ET, 05/25/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 04:00 AM ET, 05/23/2012

Cory Booker has crossed the aisle before — on school reform

Newark Mayor Cory Booker, a Democrat, has been in the news for blasting President Obama’s campaign ads attacking Mitt Romney’s career with a private-equity firm. But this

By Valerie Strauss  |  04:00 AM ET, 05/23/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 07:00 AM ET, 05/20/2012

‘Is this really what education is about?’

The director of “Race to Nowhere” and a Stanford University education professor write about how standardized tests for high stakes are eroding educational experiences for children and what parents should be doing about it.

By Valerie Strauss  |  07:00 AM ET, 05/20/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 05:00 AM ET, 05/09/2012

Teacher evaluation: What it should look like

A new report from Stanford University researcher Linda Darling-Hammond details what the components of a comprehensive teacher-evaluation system should look like at a time when such assessments have become one of the most contentious debates in education today.

By Valerie Strauss  |  05:00 AM ET, 05/09/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 01:00 PM ET, 03/08/2012

Does Bloomberg understand the state of NYC schools?

Does New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg truly understand the state of education in New York City? You couldn’t tell by his comments recently in Washington D.C.

By Valerie Strauss  |  01:00 PM ET, 03/08/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 03:00 AM ET, 02/24/2012

A test for politicians on education (with cheat sheet)

Do politicians responsible for education policy know anything about education? Here Diane Ravitch, education historian, poses a series of questions to them that they can use to test their own knowledge, or lack thereof.

By Valerie Strauss  |  03:00 AM ET, 02/24/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 05:00 AM ET, 12/21/2011

Education reform paralysis — and how to fix it

Don’t you get bored repeatedly reading about variations on the same topics? Standardized testing, useful or harmful. Charter schools as the answer versus charter schools as failures. Teachers maligned, teachers defended, teachers resistant to change... Here’s how we can get things unstuck.

By Valerie Strauss  |  05:00 AM ET, 12/21/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 11:00 AM ET, 12/19/2011

Why community schools are part of the answer

If there was a hearing that the D.C. Council should not have allowed to be cancelled at the last minute, it would be on this: creating community schools.

By Valerie Strauss  |  11:00 AM ET, 12/19/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 06:00 AM ET, 12/19/2011

Why an anti-testing post went viral

A guest post on The Answer Sheet this month about a school board member in Florida who took a version of a standardized test and was horrified at what he found drew an unusually large readership. It could have been a fluke that the post went viral but it is more likely that the Dec. 5 post hit a nerve with an audience increasingly disturbed about test-based school reform.

By Valerie Strauss  |  06:00 AM ET, 12/19/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 06:00 AM ET, 11/17/2011

Hazing: 6 common myths

Hazing is thriving in schools — and not just in fraternities and sororities on college campuses but at high schools too. Here are some myths and facts about what is a misunderstood, dangerous problem.

By Valerie Strauss  |  06:00 AM ET, 11/17/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Bullying

Posted at 06:00 AM ET, 11/16/2011

What the evidence on charter schools really shows

Matt Di Carlo looks at the research about the effectiveness of public charter schools and tells us what it really says: that test-based performance of both charter and regular public school varies widely and when there are differences in relative effects, they tend to be modest at best.

By Valerie Strauss  |  06:00 AM ET, 11/16/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  The Answer Sheet, Matthew Di Carlo

Posted at 05:00 AM ET, 10/21/2011

What happens if Common App essays exceed 500-word limit?

The Common Application has reinstituted a limit of 500 words for its college admissions essay. What happens if a student exceeds it?

By Valerie Strauss  |  05:00 AM ET, 10/21/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  College Admissions

Posted at 06:00 AM ET, 10/20/2011

Student: How I know trainees aren’t highly qualified teachers

A California students writes about her experience in high school with intern teachers still in training who are considered by Congress as highly qualified under No Child Left Behind. They are anything but, she explains.

By Valerie Strauss  |  06:00 AM ET, 10/20/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 05:00 AM ET, 10/10/2011

Why merit pay for teachers sounds good — but isn’t

Systems where people are treated more or less the same suffer because there will always be a number of “free riders” and because some people may feel their contributions aren’t sufficiently recognized. That said, merit payp for teachers isn’t the answer. Here’s why.

By Valerie Strauss  |  05:00 AM ET, 10/10/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 03:00 AM ET, 10/07/2011

What should — and shouldn’t — be in Senate No Child Left Behind bill

Legislation to rewrite No Child Left Behind is expected to be introduced in the Senate on Tuesday.

By Valerie Strauss  |  03:00 AM ET, 10/07/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  The Answer Sheet

Posted at 03:00 AM ET, 09/15/2011

School board member: How I was bullied at school

A school board member remembers how he was bullied when he was in school and how it has affected his view of the issue as a member of a policy-making school panel.

By Valerie Strauss  |  03:00 AM ET, 09/15/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Bullying

Posted at 04:00 AM ET, 08/12/2011

How much do some private school heads earn? A bundle

The heads of some private schools in the greater Washington area and elsewhere across the country make very big bucks. Here are some of the salaries.

By Valerie Strauss  |  04:00 AM ET, 08/12/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 07:00 AM ET, 08/03/2011

How to improve teacher education now (and why Teach for America isn’t the answer)

Former Teachers College president Arthur Levine writes why it is now time to change the way teachers are prepared for their jobs and how we should do it.

By Valerie Strauss  |  07:00 AM ET, 08/03/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Teachers, Guest Bloggers

Posted at 04:00 AM ET, 07/21/2011

‘Reform Me’ — a poem by a superintendent

John Kuhn, a Texas superintendent, is not your usual school district chief. Kuhn likes to write, and he often expresses his opposition to modern school reform in interesting ways. Here is his poem, “Reform Me.”

By Valerie Strauss  |  04:00 AM ET, 07/21/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 03:00 AM ET, 07/21/2011

Advice to Education Dept. on newest Race to the Top

The latest Race to the Top program – the Early Childhood Challenge could result in a slew of tests for young kids. Here’s some advice for the Education Department on how to make sure this doesn’t happen.

By Valerie Strauss  |  03:00 AM ET, 07/21/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 06:05 AM ET, 07/20/2011

Test yourself on NAEP geography questions

Take this quiz with questions from the National Assessment of Educational Progress exam given to fourth, eighth and twelfth graders in geography. The kids didn’t do too well with questions like these.

By Valerie Strauss  |  06:05 AM ET, 07/20/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 06:00 AM ET, 07/20/2011

How much geography do kids know? Not so much

Newly released scores from the National Assessment of Educational Progress show that fourth, eighth and twelfth graders have a long way to go before they really know geography.

By Valerie Strauss  |  06:00 AM ET, 07/20/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 03:00 AM ET, 07/20/2011

By IMPACT standards, Ms. Frizzle would fizzle

Remember Ms. Frizzle, the teacher of The Magic School Bus television show? If you thought she would make a great teacher, guess again, at least according to D.C.’s teacher evaluation IMPACT system.

By Valerie Strauss  |  03:00 AM ET, 07/20/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 05:00 AM ET, 07/19/2011

Why giving standardized tests to young children is ‘really dumb’

Testing young children may be cruel, has not worked out well in the past, often provides unreliable scores and therefore invalid inferences about the abilities of children are made too often, David Berliner writes. So why are we doing it?

By Valerie Strauss  |  05:00 AM ET, 07/19/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 03:00 AM ET, 07/19/2011

The problem with how school quality is measured

There is a common assumption that if a school has high test scores, a high admissions rate to good colleges, and a low drop out rate, it’s doing a good job. Maybe it isn’t.

By Valerie Strauss  |  03:00 AM ET, 07/19/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 04:00 AM ET, 07/18/2011

The real problem with IMPACT teacher evaluation

More than 200 D.C. teachers were fired based on poor evaluations under the IMPACT assessment system developed under former chancellor Michelle Rhee. Is it fair?
I

By Valerie Strauss  |  04:00 AM ET, 07/18/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 10:00 AM ET, 07/15/2011

Principal: When Arne Duncan called to talk

The principal of a successful New York high school writes about a conversation she had with Education Secretary Arne Duncan when he surprised her with a phone call to talk to her about school reform.

By Valerie Strauss  |  10:00 AM ET, 07/15/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 12:01 AM ET, 07/15/2011

What did Harry Potter learn at Hogwarts?

So what did Harry Potter and his friends actually learn at Hogwarts? Anything that would be considered useful in the Muggle world? How good was their education?

By Valerie Strauss  |  12:01 AM ET, 07/15/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 09:00 AM ET, 07/14/2011

Volunteer: Why I stopped helping Stand for Children (update)

A volunteer co-leader of a Stand for Children team in Portland explains why she stopped helping the group: She worried that the organization was supporting corporate reform.

By Valerie Strauss  |  09:00 AM ET, 07/14/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 06:30 AM ET, 07/14/2011

Phony accountability in Rhee’s D.C.

What is going to happen to the D.C. school system for failing to keep its promise to the federal government in its successful Race to the Top funding?

By Valerie Strauss  |  06:30 AM ET, 07/14/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 04:00 AM ET, 07/14/2011

Why librarians should be more like Lady Gaga

The Daring Librarian explains why her fellow teacher-librarians should be Lady Gaga-like and be bolder to keep their roles in education in the public view at a time when school districts are looking for places to cut budgets.

By Valerie Strauss  |  04:00 AM ET, 07/14/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 04:00 AM ET, 07/13/2011

Teach for America’s Wendy Kopp’s global reach

An organization in China called the China Education Initiative recently approved a change of name to Teach for China. Sound familiar?

By Valerie Strauss  |  04:00 AM ET, 07/13/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 05:00 AM ET, 07/12/2011

How important is class size after all?

Where does the issue of class size fall in a ranking of important factors in the success of a school? Marion Brady takes a look and falls between those who say it is all important and others who say its not important at all.

By Valerie Strauss  |  05:00 AM ET, 07/12/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 05:00 AM ET, 07/11/2011

The most sickening part of Atlanta’s cheating scandal

By Valerie Strauss  |  05:00 AM ET, 07/11/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 03:00 AM ET, 07/11/2011

Renewing our hope in education: ‘August to June’

By Valerie Strauss  |  03:00 AM ET, 07/11/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 10:30 AM ET, 07/10/2011

An educator on the Brooks-Ravitch debate

Educator Anthony Cody gives his take on the attack David Brooks unleased on Diane Ravitch, her response in The New York Times, and more.

By Valerie Strauss  |  10:30 AM ET, 07/10/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 06:00 AM ET, 07/08/2011

Teacher: ‘Next year my classroom will be different’

A teacher writes that she is changing the way she approaches learning, putting more responsibility on students to drive their own learning.

By Valerie Strauss  |  06:00 AM ET, 07/08/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 04:00 AM ET, 07/06/2011

Pithy questions for Obama’s Twitter Town Hall

Educator Anthony Cody offers some questions that he will be tweeting on Wednesday to President Obama during the White House’s first Twitter Town Hall.

By Valerie Strauss  |  04:00 AM ET, 07/06/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 04:00 AM ET, 07/05/2011

An open letter to Ed Secretary Arne Duncan

The principal of a successful New York high school writes an open letter to Arne Duncan, asking the education secretary to reconsider some of the policies he is pursuing.

By Valerie Strauss  |  04:00 AM ET, 07/05/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 06:00 AM ET, 07/01/2011

What accounts for PG’s unusual test scores?

In Prince George’s County, Md., new state standardized test scores showed that

By Valerie Strauss  |  06:00 AM ET, 07/01/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 04:00 AM ET, 07/01/2011

Analysis challenges Jeb Bush’s ‘Florida Formula’ for ed reform

A new report says that the “Florida Formula” in school reform attributed to the policies of former governor Jeb Bush is anything but a miracle — and states should stop trying to copy it.

By Valerie Strauss  |  04:00 AM ET, 07/01/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 11:00 AM ET, 06/30/2011

The trouble with professional development for teachers

Professional development for teachers too often misses the mark — even when it does what experts say it is supposed to do. Here’s why and what should be done about it.

By Valerie Strauss  |  11:00 AM ET, 06/30/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 04:00 AM ET, 06/30/2011

Same data, different story: Debating progress in NYC schools

Teachers College Professor Aaron Pallas against takes on Joel Klein, former NYC schools chancellor, about how much progress in student achievement was really made during Klein’s tenure.

By Valerie Strauss  |  04:00 AM ET, 06/30/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 03:00 AM ET, 06/30/2011

Experience counts for something

A veteran educator explains why the current animosity toward experienced teachers in the world of school reform is dangerous.

By Valerie Strauss  |  03:00 AM ET, 06/30/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 09:30 AM ET, 06/29/2011

Report: School districts at funding cliff

As tough as things were financially for school districts last year, prospects are even bleaker in the coming school year, according to data from a nationally representative sample of school districts released today by the nonpartisan Center on Education Policy.

By Valerie Strauss  |  09:30 AM ET, 06/29/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 06:00 AM ET, 06/29/2011

Cheating on standardized tests and roaches

Every time I hear about a cheating scandal at a school, I think about roaches, or, rather, the adage that if you see one or two on the floor, there is probably an army of others in the kitchen.

By Valerie Strauss  |  06:00 AM ET, 06/29/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 04:00 AM ET, 06/29/2011

How Walton Foundation spent $157 million on ed reform (in D.C. and other places)

The Walton Family Foundation released figures that show how it spent $157 million on school choice initiatives. Of seven cities, Washington D.C. received the most.

By Valerie Strauss  |  04:00 AM ET, 06/29/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 02:00 AM ET, 06/29/2011

Ravitch: Reasons for hope

Education historian Diane Ravitch writes about some signs she considers portend a return to sane education policy.

By Valerie Strauss  |  02:00 AM ET, 06/29/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 05:00 AM ET, 06/28/2011

The problem with how we evaluate success in ed reform

The “conventional wisdom” that welfare reform was a smashing success was based on crude interpretations of inadequate evidence. The same thing is happening with education reform, writes Matthew Di Carlo.

By Valerie Strauss  |  05:00 AM ET, 06/28/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 03:00 AM ET, 06/28/2011

13 Ways of looking at breakfast for schoolchildren

Here’s a look at the issue of breakfast and kids; what and when they should eat before school starts and why it matters.

By Valerie Strauss  |  03:00 AM ET, 06/28/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 04:00 AM ET, 06/27/2011

The reform pretenders

The word ‘reformer’ used to mean something in education. Think John Dewey, Ted Sizer. Now, Carol Burris argues, the word has been cheapened into a soundbite.

By Valerie Strauss  |  04:00 AM ET, 06/27/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 04:00 AM ET, 06/24/2011

Test folly in Virginia — and in Maryland, too

Virginia Gov. Robert F. McDonnell showed us exactly how NOT to try to compensate teachers based largely on student test scores, and how to waste $3 million in public funds.

By Valerie Strauss  |  04:00 AM ET, 06/24/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 08:00 AM ET, 06/23/2011

D.C. student: How budget cuts are hurting my school

A D.C. student explains why budget cuts are, she believes, unfairly hurting her public high school and how Chancellor Henderson responded to students’ complaints.

By Valerie Strauss  |  08:00 AM ET, 06/23/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 04:00 AM ET, 06/23/2011

A response from Joel Klein on status quo apologists

Former New York City Schools chancellor Joel Klein challenges a challenger. Klein takes on Teachers College Professor Aaron Pallas, who had blasted Klein’s take on school reform as described in a Washinton Post op-ed. Got that?

By Valerie Strauss  |  04:00 AM ET, 06/23/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 02:00 AM ET, 06/23/2011

Positioning young black males for success

Some of the nation's most prominent educators, researchers and policy experts came together to focus on the crisis facing the 3.5 million black boys under the age of 9 years and to shine a light on community programs that are having a positive impact in this important area.

By Valerie Strauss  |  02:00 AM ET, 06/23/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 04:00 AM ET, 06/22/2011

A D.C. teacher’s troubled experience with IMPACT

A Washington D.C. teacher writes about her troubled experiences with the teacher evaluation system set by former chancellor Michelle Rhee, which is called IMPACT, and makes suggestions on how to make it fair.

By Valerie Strauss  |  04:00 AM ET, 06/22/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 03:00 AM ET, 06/22/2011

How to write an article about parenting

Writer Alfie Kohn writes about the silly conventional wisdom about how bad parents are today.

By Valerie Strauss  |  03:00 AM ET, 06/22/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 04:00 AM ET, 06/20/2011

Civics education report: The sky is falling….again!

The latest government report on how well students know civics was not encouraging. But Henny Penny “the sky is falling” headlines and stories saying public schools are failing have become part of the problem.

By Valerie Strauss  |  04:00 AM ET, 06/20/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 04:00 AM ET, 06/17/2011

The 12 qualities great teachers share

What makes a great teacher? It may be impossible to come up up with a definitive list of qualities and practices, but here’s a start.

By Valerie Strauss  |  04:00 AM ET, 06/17/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 06:00 AM ET, 06/16/2011

Joel Klein vs. those status quo apologists

Aaron Pallas wrotes about why Joel Klein is such a hoot when he writes how successful his reforms were in New York City public schools.

By Valerie Strauss  |  06:00 AM ET, 06/16/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 04:00 AM ET, 06/16/2011

Academic skills: Important ‘only if they make us more human’

Nancy Carlsson-Paige, a child development expert and professor at Lesley University, won

By Valerie Strauss  |  04:00 AM ET, 06/16/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 05:00 AM ET, 06/15/2011

What mattered to teachers this school year

As the school year ends, teachers (and a principal) explain what really mattered to this, what was worthwhile and what wasn’t worth much.

By Valerie Strauss  |  05:00 AM ET, 06/15/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 04:00 AM ET, 06/15/2011

Moving past zero-tolerance disciplinary policies

Some school districts have started rethinking zero-tolerance disciplinary policies. Here’s why more of them should.

By Valerie Strauss  |  04:00 AM ET, 06/15/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 02:00 AM ET, 06/15/2011

Thoughts on neighborhood, teaching and school reform

A professor of African-American studies writes about what a protest against budget cuts by students and teachers at a Bronx high school says about school reform today.

By Valerie Strauss  |  02:00 AM ET, 06/15/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 08:30 AM ET, 06/14/2011

How Socrates would fare on new teacher evaluation plan

How would Socrates have fared on a new teacher evaluation system proposed by upstart Gates-funded organization Educators 4 Excellence. Not so well. Here’s why.

By Valerie Strauss  |  08:30 AM ET, 06/14/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 05:00 AM ET, 06/14/2011

Do self-selection and attrition matter in KIPP schools?

One of the big questions about the highly successful high-poverty KIPP charter schools is whether it’s fair to draw broad policy lessons from them given differences in the student populations they educate compared with regular high-poverty public schools

By Valerie Strauss  |  05:00 AM ET, 06/14/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 03:00 AM ET, 06/14/2011

Literature study by teleconference

Here’s a new installment in the Faces of Learning series of powerful learning stories that tell in what environments and how people of all ages really learn.

By Valerie Strauss  |  03:00 AM ET, 06/14/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 04:00 AM ET, 06/13/2011

The best commencement speechs that never happened

One of the most frequently quoted commencement speeches is the one by Winston Churchill, in which he says “Never give up, never give up, never give up,” and then sat down. Except it never happened. Here’s what he really said. And what Kurt Vonnegut never said.

By Valerie Strauss  |  04:00 AM ET, 06/13/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 03:00 AM ET, 06/13/2011

A response from KIPP

By Valerie Strauss  |  03:00 AM ET, 06/13/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 05:00 AM ET, 06/10/2011

A school reformer gets real

School reformer Michael J. Petrilli, executive vice president of the Fordham Institute, looks at the ruckus caused in the education world by Diane Ravitch’s recent attack on “miracle schools” and says reformers should stop being so defensive, because she makes some good points.

By Valerie Strauss  |  05:00 AM ET, 06/10/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 03:00 AM ET, 06/10/2011

How much does stress affect learning?

A new study found that students are often affected by the stress that adults working with them are experiencing. Here one of the researchers on the study talks to Anthony Cody about the issue.

By Valerie Strauss  |  03:00 AM ET, 06/10/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 04:00 AM ET, 06/09/2011

The foreign language dilemma: Sí or oui?

A household is locked in battle over what seems to be a seemingly mindless decision: Should the middle schooler in the house take Spanish or French next year when the foreign-language program kicks in for his grade level?

By Valerie Strauss  |  04:00 AM ET, 06/09/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 02:04 AM ET, 06/09/2011

What we lose when standardized testing becomes supreme

Anne Geiger write: “Discomfort and concern are growing over our nation’s high-stakes, disproportionate focus on standardized testing. It may be because down deep we sense the loss of something precious and fundamental. Our humanity.”

By Valerie Strauss  |  02:04 AM ET, 06/09/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 11:30 AM ET, 06/08/2011

Holding parents accountable: Grades? Fines? Jail?

There is a growing movement to hold parents accountable for their involvement in their children’s education. Is it fair?

By Valerie Strauss  |  11:30 AM ET, 06/08/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 08:30 AM ET, 06/08/2011

Where the 1st graders read but the 4th graders don’t

John Merrow asks: Can a school with only 18% of its 4th graders at grade level in reading be considered a good school? Before you say, “Of course not,” please read on.

By Valerie Strauss  |  08:30 AM ET, 06/08/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 04:00 AM ET, 06/08/2011

How big is higher ed’s economic impact on D.C. region?

A new report shows just how 14 colleges and universities in the greater Washington region affect the region economically. You may be surprised just how big it is.

By Valerie Strauss  |  04:00 AM ET, 06/08/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 02:00 AM ET, 06/08/2011

Why recess is serious business

Here’s a new installment in the Faces of Learning series of powerful learning stories that tell in what environments and how people of all ages really learn.

By Valerie Strauss  |  02:00 AM ET, 06/08/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 06:00 AM ET, 06/07/2011

Low-income students and KIPP charter schools

Richard Kahlenberg writes about his problem with KIPP charter schools: “KIPP ... skims motivated students and yet is pointed to as a segregation success story.”

By Valerie Strauss  |  06:00 AM ET, 06/07/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 04:00 AM ET, 06/07/2011

How to prevent summer reading loss

Summer reading loss is real for many students who don’t pick a book during the summer. Here’s how teachers can help stop it.

By Valerie Strauss  |  04:00 AM ET, 06/07/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 06:00 AM ET, 06/06/2011

Democrats raise new concerns about charter schools

A House education subcommittee held a hearing on public charter schools — but Republicans and Democrats issued such different takes on the session that it doesn’t sound like they were in the same room during the proceedings

By Valerie Strauss  |  06:00 AM ET, 06/06/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 04:00 AM ET, 06/06/2011

Why college app essays should be limited to 500 words

Probably the most famous speech in American history, The Gettysburg Address, is about 250words. Would that make a good college application essay? Would you encourage Lincoln to pad it out with more examples?

By Valerie Strauss  |  04:00 AM ET, 06/06/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 06:30 AM ET, 06/03/2011

Are we creating dual school systems with charters, vouchers?

The dean of the School of Education at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill says that charters and vouchers are contributing to dual school systems in America, and he asks what kind of citizens — and society — will result.

By Valerie Strauss  |  06:30 AM ET, 06/03/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 04:00 AM ET, 06/03/2011

Common Application sets 500-word limit on main essay

The Common Application widely used for college admissions by high school seniors has set a 250-500 limit for the essay as part of the 2011-12 admissions season because essays written without any limits had become too long and poorly written, the organization said.

By Valerie Strauss  |  04:00 AM ET, 06/03/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 06:30 AM ET, 06/02/2011

Rules for teachers in 1872: No marriage for women or barber shops for men

Teachers today may view rules imposed on them today as restrictive, but in 1872, some women teachers could be dismissed for getting married, and men who were shaved in a barber shop were seen as engaging in suspect behavior. Here are some rules teachers used to live by.

By Valerie Strauss  |  06:30 AM ET, 06/02/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 04:00 AM ET, 06/02/2011

Will kids blackmail teachers over standardized test scores?

With standardized tests in all subjects coming so teachers can be evaluated by student scores, John Merrow asks:

By Valerie Strauss  |  04:00 AM ET, 06/02/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 10:23 PM ET, 06/01/2011

School discipline: Too harsh or too lenient?

As school districts across the country start to retreat from zero-tolerance disciplinary policies, we are interested in hearing from all of you about issues of discipline in your local school. Here’s how to tell us your story.

By Ryan Kellett  |  10:23 PM ET, 06/01/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 04:00 AM ET, 06/01/2011

A movie that tells a real story of American teachers

At a moment when bad teachers have been targeted as the biggest problem in public education and lawmakers are scrambling to find different ways to evaluate and fire them, a new movie focuses instead on the need to support and pay them better.

By Valerie Strauss  |  04:00 AM ET, 06/01/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 07:30 AM ET, 05/31/2011

7 obvious things in education that are ignored

Here are seven things that are almost painfully obvious in education but that policymakers miss over and over again.

By Valerie Strauss  |  07:30 AM ET, 05/31/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 04:00 AM ET, 05/31/2011

Student: Why do I have to take a standardized test in Yearbook?

A high school student in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools writes about the district’s new testing regime in which students are taking experimentaql standardized tests in every subject, even Yearbook.

By Valerie Strauss  |  04:00 AM ET, 05/31/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 05:00 AM ET, 05/27/2011

The 84-year-old first grader — for real

The movie “The First Grader” seems so far-fetched that you might think it is fiction. It isn’t.

By Valerie Strauss  |  05:00 AM ET, 05/27/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 04:00 AM ET, 05/27/2011

Teachers of Year fight test-based assessment

Here is a letter that eight New York State Teachers of the Year wrote to the state Board of Regents about their decision to evaluate teachers based on student standardized test scores.

By Valerie Strauss  |  04:00 AM ET, 05/27/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 05:00 AM ET, 05/26/2011

A sensible way to rewrite No Child Left Behind

Here are recommendations about how the next version of the law known as No Child Left Behind can be improved to boost student achievement. The list doesn’t quite resemble the Obama administration’s plan for the new law.

By Valerie Strauss  |  05:00 AM ET, 05/26/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 04:00 AM ET, 05/26/2011

Error in Congress leaves schools fully funded — unbelievable report

The Onion, American’s Finest News Source, reports this amazing story: According to bewildered and contrite legislators, a major budgetary mix-up this week inadvertently provided the nation’s public schools with enough funding and resources to properly educate students.

By Valerie Strauss  |  04:00 AM ET, 05/26/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 06:00 AM ET, 05/24/2011

The trouble with “innovation” in schools

Haas the word “innovation” been appropriated by school reformers who use it to describe policies and practices they like? What does it really mean?

By Valerie Strauss  |  06:00 AM ET, 05/24/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 04:00 AM ET, 05/24/2011

The LEARN Act: An expensive mistake

Linguist Stephen Krashen explains why it would be a mistake to include the LEARN Act in the successor law to No Child Left Behind.

By Valerie Strauss  |  04:00 AM ET, 05/24/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 02:00 AM ET, 05/24/2011

How patience, attention saved a struggling learner

A businessman writes about how he was a struggling learner but was saved by a sixth grade teacher who showered him with attention and patience.

By Valerie Strauss  |  02:00 AM ET, 05/24/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 05:00 AM ET, 05/23/2011

Wrong question, wrong answer

Marion Brady writes that today’s education policymakers are asking, “How can math, science, and other school subjects be taught better?” And he says that’s the wrong question.

By Valerie Strauss  |  05:00 AM ET, 05/23/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 04:00 AM ET, 05/23/2011

What parents aren’t asked in school surveys -- and why

Alfie Kohn looks at parent surveys conducted by schools, and concludes that “nce you start noticing the implications of what’s being asked, these parent surveys come to seem not merely less useful but positively insidious.”

By Valerie Strauss  |  04:00 AM ET, 05/23/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 05:00 AM ET, 05/20/2011

Principal: ‘Kids, it’s you and your teacher against the test’

A high school principal writes about how it is getting harder and harder to help kids get the education need because of the supremacy of standardized tests in assessment.

By Valerie Strauss  |  05:00 AM ET, 05/20/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 04:00 AM ET, 05/20/2011

Report: Why we need arts education (not only to improve test scores)

A new report by a presidentially appointed committee on arts education makes the case that art education notonly helps young people find their voice but also is an effective tool in improving student achievement in other subjects and helps the private sector too.

By Valerie Strauss  |  04:00 AM ET, 05/20/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 02:00 AM ET, 05/20/2011

Missing the point on poverty and reform — again

When I saw that Geoffrey Canada, founder of the Harlem Children’s Zone, was going to be one of five members of a school reform Town Hall discussion, I assumed that the issue of poverty and how it affects students would be on the agenda. I was wrong.

By Valerie Strauss  |  02:00 AM ET, 05/20/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 04:00 AM ET, 05/19/2011

What is Joel Klein talking about?

Joel Klein, former chancellor of New York City schools has a new article with the hyperbolic title ”The Failure of American Schools.” What exactly is he talking about?

By Valerie Strauss  |  04:00 AM ET, 05/19/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 03:00 AM ET, 05/19/2011

How to fix the STEM deficit

If the country wants more students going into science, math, engineering and technology, it must properly train more STEM teachers. Here, the former president of Teachers College at Columbia University explains how.

By Valerie Strauss  |  03:00 AM ET, 05/19/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 04:00 AM ET, 05/18/2011

Teacher: ‘My employer has become my enemy’

A library media educator in Los Angeles writes a powerful, first-person account of hearings being held by the Los Angeles Unified School District for educators who have received a Reduction in Force notice and are trying to keep their jobs.

By Valerie Strauss  |  04:00 AM ET, 05/18/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 07:00 AM ET, 05/17/2011

How a teacher turned a ‘B’ track class into honors

A teacher named Mrs. Eli changed Angela Valenzuela’s life by insisting on treating a lower-tracked 11th grade class of Mexican Americans as honors students.

By Valerie Strauss  |  07:00 AM ET, 05/17/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 04:00 AM ET, 05/17/2011

43 education programs Republicans want to eliminate

Here’s the list of 43 education programs that Republicans in the House want to eliminate as the first step toward rewriting No Child Left Behind.

By Valerie Strauss  |  04:00 AM ET, 05/17/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 05:00 AM ET, 05/16/2011

A question about Memphis school Obama chose

The Memphis high school that won a commencement speech by President Obama says that its graduation rate has jumped significantly in recent years. Did it really?

By Valerie Strauss  |  05:00 AM ET, 05/16/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 04:00 AM ET, 05/16/2011

Did FSU let billionaire buy professorships?

How much control should donors to colleges and universities over who gets hired with their money?

By Valerie Strauss  |  04:00 AM ET, 05/16/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 04:00 AM ET, 05/12/2011

NEA leaders opt to endorse Obama -- and get some pushback

National Education Association leaders have decided to ask their legislative body in July to formally endorse President Obama for reelection. The decision was not unanimous because of policy differences.

By Valerie Strauss  |  04:00 AM ET, 05/12/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 03:00 AM ET, 05/12/2011

Russian billionaire makes unbelievable bid for Newark schools

A satirical Onion-esque education newsletter writes about a stunning development in Newark: A Russian billionaire has put in a bid for the school system that surpasses the $100 million Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg recently donated.

By Valerie Strauss  |  03:00 AM ET, 05/12/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 04:00 AM ET, 05/11/2011

Close the school, blame the victims

A graduate of Jamaica High School explains why it is wrong for the New York City Education Department to close the storied school and what the consequences will be.

By Valerie Strauss  |  04:00 AM ET, 05/11/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 04:00 AM ET, 05/11/2011

The ‘Counter-Manifesto’ against a national curriculum

Here’s an argument against a move to create a national curriculum based on national standards and assessments, written by a veteran educator who finds himself siding with people he ordinarily doesn’t.

By Valerie Strauss  |  04:00 AM ET, 05/11/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 06:00 AM ET, 05/10/2011

What a D.C. teacher told the chancellor about testing

A D.C. teacher tells Acting Chancellor Kaya Henderson why it is time to eliminate some of the standardized testing the system forces on its students a number of times a year.

By Valerie Strauss  |  06:00 AM ET, 05/10/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 04:00 AM ET, 05/10/2011

How high school should really end

A principal writes about what happens at the end of the senior year at his Ohio high school and why it is not the standard fare found at most schools.

By Valerie Strauss  |  04:00 AM ET, 05/10/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 02:00 AM ET, 05/10/2011

James Comer tells his own learning story

The renowned Yale child psychiatrist James Comer tells how a teacher taught him about democracy and justice when he was young, in a new installment of the ‘Faces of Learning’ series.

By Valerie Strauss  |  02:00 AM ET, 05/10/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 05:00 AM ET, 05/09/2011

Leading mathematician debunks ‘value-added’

A prominent mathematician says its time for mathematicians to speak out against the value-added assessment models increasingly being used to evaluate and pay teachers and explains the dangers of the practice.

By Valerie Strauss  |  05:00 AM ET, 05/09/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 04:00 AM ET, 05/09/2011

Virginia’s ill-advised assessment experiment

The Virginia Department of Education’s plan to pilot a new program that links student standardized test scores to the evaluation and pay of teachers is a bad idea for kids and adults.

By Valerie Strauss  |  04:00 AM ET, 05/09/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 09:19 AM ET, 05/06/2011

What Arne Duncan was (maybe) thinking in his letter to teachers

Here’s a look at what Education Secretary Arne Duncan just might have been thinking when he wrote — if he wrote — his open love letter to teachers published for Teacher Appreciation Week.

By Valerie Strauss  |  09:19 AM ET, 05/06/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 07:00 AM ET, 05/06/2011

Our cutthroat curriculum

School reform that is based on test scores and basic skills has stripped from curriculum efforts to develop empathy in young people and that has enormous consequences for the country.

By Valerie Strauss  |  07:00 AM ET, 05/06/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 04:00 AM ET, 05/06/2011

What 2011 Teachers of the Year told the Ed Dept.

Education Secretary Arne Duncan wasn’t able to make it as scheduled, but a handful of his top staff members spent some time on Thursday talking to the visiting Teachers of the Year for 2011 about school reform, and what wasn’t said was as striking as what was.

By Valerie Strauss and --  |  04:00 AM ET, 05/06/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 10:59 AM ET, 05/04/2011

Federal tests find little progress in civics education

Only a tiny percentage of American students in grades 4, 8 and 12 achieved superior performance in civics on the 2010 test that is often called the “nation’s report card,” according to results released Wednesday. And there was little progress across the grades.

By Valerie Strauss  |  10:59 AM ET, 05/04/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 10:25 AM ET, 05/04/2011

President Obama, Matt Damon and America’s teachers

You may have missed it but President Obama took a shot at actor Matt Damon during his sharply worded comic address to the White House Correspondents dinner over the weekend.

By Valerie Strauss  |  10:25 AM ET, 05/04/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 04:00 AM ET, 05/04/2011

The myth of the superstar novice teacher

A teacher writes about why the notion that young college graduates can enter schools en masse and close the achievement gap is nonsense.

By Valerie Strauss  |  04:00 AM ET, 05/04/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 03:00 AM ET, 05/03/2011

Life lessons in preschool: A learning story

An educator writes about how she learned trust and the importance of friendship in preschool, in a new installment of the Faces of Learning series.

By Valerie Strauss  |  03:00 AM ET, 05/03/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 11:38 PM ET, 05/02/2011

2011 Teacher of the Year talks about reform and more

Maryland teacher Michelle Shearer, the newly named 2011 national Teacher of the Year, talks in an interview about the teaching profession and the direction education “reform” has taken. She’s got some issues with it.

By Valerie Strauss  |  11:38 PM ET, 05/02/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 04:00 AM ET, 05/02/2011

When will the testing bubble burst?

Veteran educator Anthony Cody argues that just as there was a housing bubble that burst in the United States, the education world is in the middle of a standardized testing bubble that will crash to Earth too.

By Valerie Strauss  |  04:00 AM ET, 05/02/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 06:00 AM ET, 04/29/2011

Who is the most educated English queen?

If Kate Middleton were to become queen of England, she would be the first ever with a college degree. But the queen with the broadest education may have been the extraordinary Queen Elizabeth 1, who was learning Latin at the age of 5.

By Valerie Strauss  |  06:00 AM ET, 04/29/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 04:00 AM ET, 04/29/2011

When a school district gave teachers a voice

By Valerie Strauss  |  04:00 AM ET, 04/29/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 10:20 AM ET, 04/28/2011

Singapore’s surprising ‘desired’ education outcomes (including ‘a zest for life’)

School reformers in this country like to compare the U.S. public school system unfavorably to those in other countries, such as Finland and Singapore, So let’s look at the “desired outcomes” that Singapore has set for its graduates. They aren’t quite the same as ours.

By Valerie Strauss  |  10:20 AM ET, 04/28/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 06:00 AM ET, 04/28/2011

Duncan gets a gift of omission

Education Secretary Arne Duncan just appeared at a forum on how to redo the law known as No Child Left Behind and he got a gift from Montgomery County Public Schools Chancellor Jerry Weast.

It wasn’t a traditional gift, but rather, a gift of omission

By Valerie Strauss  |  06:00 AM ET, 04/28/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 04:00 AM ET, 04/28/2011

Fallout from evaluation of D.C. public schools

A report by the National Research Council on D.C. public schools garnered some criticism from supporters of Michelle Rhee, former chancellor. Here is a response to that criticism from two of the authors of the report.

By Valerie Strauss  |  04:00 AM ET, 04/28/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 06:00 AM ET, 04/27/2011

How school reform damages poor children — Kohn

Amid the obsession in education with charter schools and standardized tests, the particulars of teaching and learning -- especially in low-income neighborhoods — get less attention. The news has been discouraging for a long time, but things seem to be getting worse.

By Valerie Strauss  |  06:00 AM ET, 04/27/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 09:24 PM ET, 04/26/2011

What newly tapped Montgomery County schools chief said — and didn’t say

I just read a speech given by Joshua P. Starr, the man who has been chosen to succeed the retiring Jerry Weast as superintendent of Montgomery County Public Schools in Maryland, long one of the country’s best school districts.

By Valerie Strauss  |  09:24 PM ET, 04/26/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 06:00 AM ET, 04/26/2011

Obama’s sister tells a ‘learning story’ about their mom

Maya Soetoro-Ng, President Obama’s half sister, gives us the third installment in a series called “Faces of Learning,” a national campaign designed to explore what powerful learning environments and highly effective teachers really look like.

By Valerie Strauss  |  06:00 AM ET, 04/26/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 04:00 AM ET, 04/26/2011

Unanswered questions about standardized tests

Standardized testing is a vast experiment with kids’ minds and America’s future, put in place without broad national debate, without in-depth research, and without answering some important questions. Here they are.

By Valerie Strauss  |  04:00 AM ET, 04/26/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 06:00 AM ET, 04/25/2011

University chancellor goes undercover

The chief executive of a California university decided to go undercover as part of a reality television show to see how his school actually works. And he said the experience changed him.

By Valerie Strauss  |  06:00 AM ET, 04/25/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 04:00 AM ET, 04/25/2011

A teacher: An actual expert opinion on teaching

A veteran teacher explains why Bill Gates and Davis Guggenheim are wrong about class size and teachers unions, respectively, and offers the expert opinion of someone who has actually worked in a classroom.

By Valerie Strauss  |  04:00 AM ET, 04/25/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 06:00 AM ET, 04/22/2011

High school senior leads Louisiana fight against anti-evolution law

A 17-year-old Baton Rouge high school senior is leading the fight to repeal a Lousiana law that gives teachers license to equate creationism with evolution -- and now he is doing it with the support of 41 Nobel laureates.

By Valerie Strauss  |  06:00 AM ET, 04/22/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 04:00 AM ET, 04/22/2011

‘I am a bad teacher’

A Los Angeles public school teacher writes about earning money 25 years ago doing test prep for law school hopefuls taking the LSAT. Now “I can’t believe I’m teaching this stuff to little kids.”

By Valerie Strauss  |  04:00 AM ET, 04/22/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 02:00 AM ET, 04/22/2011

Myths of Standardized Tests’ authors respond to readers

The authors of a new book called “The Myths of Standardized Testing” respond to readers who wrote in about a post last week.

By Valerie Strauss  |  02:00 AM ET, 04/22/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 06:00 AM ET, 04/21/2011

School district field-tests 52 (yes, 52) new tests on kids

To see where public education is being driven, let’s look at a school district in North Carolina where students in every grade were used as guinea pigs this spring to help field-test 52 -- yes, 52 -- new standardized tests this spring, kindergarteners and first graders included.

By Valerie Strauss  |  06:00 AM ET, 04/21/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 04:00 AM ET, 04/21/2011

Public school teacher: 13 reasons I’m outraged

A public school teacher of more than 30 years explains why she has gone from angry to outraged about the shape of education policy and its effects on students.

By Valerie Strauss  |  04:00 AM ET, 04/21/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 09:46 PM ET, 04/20/2011

Public school facilities: New data on condition, funding, impact

Here’s new data on the condition of public school facilities, an issue not often raised in debates about student achievement and reform but one that has a big impact on a child’s ability to learn.

By Valerie Strauss  |  09:46 PM ET, 04/20/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 02:00 AM ET, 04/20/2011

Public education needs public discussion

Why it is dangerous for decisions about education policy, school curriculum and other issues to be made without sufficient public discussion.

By Valerie Strauss  |  02:00 AM ET, 04/20/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 11:00 AM ET, 04/19/2011

A story on the power of parents as teachers

A New York University professor tells the story of the powerful educational lessons his immigrant parents taught him and why he thinks teachers today should never take parents for granted.

By Valerie Strauss  |  11:00 AM ET, 04/19/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 04:00 AM ET, 04/19/2011

Teachers: Blame only where blame is due

When is it fair to blame teachers for student performance? If you do your homework, you’ll learn that teachers are not to blame for as much as many — including U.S. policymakers — may think.

By Valerie Strauss  |  04:00 AM ET, 04/19/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 12:36 AM ET, 04/19/2011

Teacher effectiveness linked to height — Stunning report

An Onion-esque education publication reports on a stunning, (rather, satirical) new report linking teacher effectiveness to height. The taller the teacher, the more effective.

By Valerie Strauss  |  12:36 AM ET, 04/19/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 05:00 AM ET, 04/18/2011

Arne Duncan, the status quo and a teacher who never ate a bee

Education Secretary Arne Duncan likes to talk a lot about how people who defend “the status quo” are “part of the problem.” To whom exactly is he referring?

By Valerie Strauss  |  05:00 AM ET, 04/18/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 04:00 AM ET, 04/18/2011

The critical condition of critical thinking

A highly rated English teacher write about all the things she wants to teach her students but can’t because she is required to prep the kids so they can excel on standardized tests (which is what she needs to do keep being assessed as highly rated).

By Valerie Strauss  |  04:00 AM ET, 04/18/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 04:00 AM ET, 04/15/2011

The myths of standardized testing

There are a lot of myths about the value of standardized testing that many people believe and that help drive policy. A new book busts many of these myths.

By Valerie Strauss  |  04:00 AM ET, 04/15/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 04:00 AM ET, 04/14/2011

Helping students motivate themselves

Veteran teacher Larry Ferlazzo writes how teachers can help students motivate themselves without gimmicks such as rewards or bribes. Here’s an excerpt from his new book on the subject.

By Valerie Strauss  |  04:00 AM ET, 04/14/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 03:00 AM ET, 04/14/2011

New Orleans schools ‘miracle’ not so miraculous

The charter school-dominated New Orleans school district, rebuilt after Hurricane Katrina in 2005, is looked on as a model of school reform. Arne Duncan was just there saying so. But here’s what he’s missing.

By Valerie Strauss  |  03:00 AM ET, 04/14/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 04:00 AM ET, 04/13/2011

Performance pay at schools Obama, Duncan picked for their children?

A retired Massachusetts public school teacher investigates how the schools that have enrolled the children of President Obama and Education Secretary Arne Duncan handle the issue of whether to link teacher pay to standardized test scores. Here are his results.

By Valerie Strauss  |  04:00 AM ET, 04/13/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 02:00 AM ET, 04/13/2011

How to do things with words

When students experience reading as an activity that erodes their creativity and belittles their capacity to solve problems, two literacy experts write, it is not surprising that so many schools fail to rise above academic mediocrity.

By Valerie Strauss  |  02:00 AM ET, 04/13/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 05:00 AM ET, 04/12/2011

A 21st century boondoogle: high tech testing

Stephen Krashen and Susan Ohanian write about

By Valerie Strauss  |  05:00 AM ET, 04/12/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 04:00 AM ET, 04/12/2011

Unanswered questions

A teacher poses some questions regarding what school reformers say they believe versus how they choose to assess student achievement.

By Valerie Strauss  |  04:00 AM ET, 04/12/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 04:00 AM ET, 04/11/2011

Why faith in standardized testing industry is misplaced

A vet­eran of the standardized testing industry asks: What has occurred in standardized testing over the last decade that justifies a blind faith in the completely unregulated, massively profitable industry that writes and scores NCLB tests? His answer: Nothing.

By Valerie Strauss  |  04:00 AM ET, 04/11/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 02:00 AM ET, 04/08/2011

School reformers’ hypocritical blame game

While reformers like to blame “outside forces” for their own problems, as Cathie Black did upon resigning the New York City schools chancellorship, they still want to hold teachers responsible for outside forces that contribute to a student’s lousy performance on a standardized test

By Valerie Strauss  |  02:00 AM ET, 04/08/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 04:00 AM ET, 04/07/2011

Race to self-destruction: A history lesson for ed reformers

A professor writes why he finds the story of how the Easter Islanders’ race to build the most magnificent statues eventually led to their collapse chillingly similar to what is happening to American education reform.

By Valerie Strauss  |  04:00 AM ET, 04/07/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 05:00 AM ET, 04/06/2011

Awakening in crisis: A lesson from Japan

A vet­eran educator writes about the new lesson that Japan is offering to the United States in terms of school reform.

By Valerie Strauss  |  05:00 AM ET, 04/06/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 05:00 AM ET, 04/05/2011

A case against standards

An English professor explains why he is opposed to standards being formulated by the National Council of Teachers of English and why he thinks they will harm public education.

By Valerie Strauss  |  05:00 AM ET, 04/05/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Guest Bloggers

Posted at 10:45 PM ET, 04/04/2011

Vouchers, vouchers everywhere

In state after state, vouchers are becoming increasingly part of the school reform conversation, and now, the Supreme Court has issued a ruling that helps the cause.

By Valerie Strauss  |  10:45 PM ET, 04/04/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 04:00 PM ET, 04/04/2011

Butler, UConn: The schools, by the numbers

The two schools with teams in Monday night’s NCAA basketball championship, Butler University and the University of Connecticut, are very different institutions.

By Valerie Strauss  |  04:00 PM ET, 04/04/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)