The Answer Sheet: 'Go Public'


Posted at 05:21 PM ET, 03/03/2014

What was on ’12 Years a Slave’ director Steve McQueen’s wrist on Oscar stage?

The wristband promotes public education.

By Valerie Strauss  |  05:21 PM ET, 03/03/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  Public schools

Posted at 04:00 AM ET, 02/03/2014

Public education failing? Not in this school

Meet Mr. Love, band teacher, and some of his colleagues.

By Valerie Strauss  |  04:00 AM ET, 02/03/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  Public schools

Posted at 12:24 PM ET, 12/24/2013

The 13 most important charts of 2013

It’s time to stop blaming the schools for economic problems.

By Valerie Strauss  |  12:24 PM ET, 12/24/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  Public schools

Posted at 04:10 AM ET, 08/28/2013

School reform: The problems -- and some solutions

Here's a Q

By Valerie Strauss  |  04:10 AM ET, 08/28/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  'Public Education Under Siege', School Reform

Posted at 09:16 AM ET, 07/21/2013

Finally, a film that celebrates public education

A film decidedly unlike 'Waiting for Superman.'

By Valerie Strauss  |  09:16 AM ET, 07/21/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  'Go Public', Public Education

Posted at 08:02 AM ET, 07/18/2013

Teacher: D.C. schools forcing 'us to swallow a magic pill'

The District

By Valerie Strauss  |  08:02 AM ET, 07/18/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  D.C. Public Schools, Questions About New Ninth-Grade Academies

Posted at 04:03 AM ET, 06/18/2013

The problem(s) with D.C. school reform bills

Undoubtedly well-intentioned, D.C. Council member David Catania's proposed school board legislation raises some important concerns.

By Valerie Strauss  |  04:03 AM ET, 06/18/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  D.C. Public Schools, Process and Substance, School Reform

Posted at 06:31 AM ET, 06/17/2013

'I didn't really research anything' in high school, D.C. valedictorian says

The difficulty some high-achieving D.C. public schools students have when they get to college raises questions about the system's reform program.

By Valerie Strauss  |  06:31 AM ET, 06/17/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  After Years of Reform, D.C. Public Schools

Posted at 06:01 AM ET, 06/11/2013

Teachers: Why so many kids are flunking final exams in Montgomery County

"These problems are not primarily caused by the students, the families or the teachers. The failure rates are the result of policies that have been in place for many years."

By Valerie Strauss  |  06:01 AM ET, 06/11/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  Final Exams, Montgomery County Public Schools, Systemic Problems Cited

Posted at 01:36 PM ET, 06/08/2013

Philadelphia school district laying off 3,783 employees

This is on the heels of a "doomsday" school budget for 2013-14 that has no funding for things as basic as paper and new books.

By Valerie Strauss  |  01:36 PM ET, 06/08/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  'evisceration of public education in the City of Brotherly Love', Layoffs, Philadelphia Schools

Posted at 05:01 AM ET, 06/06/2013

A critique of how DCPS is implementing Common Core (update)

The problem, the author says, is not with any one standard or assessment stem—it's with a checklist mentality.

By Valerie Strauss  |  05:01 AM ET, 06/06/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  A Checklist Mentality?, Common Core State Standards, D.C. Public Schools, Skills Over Content?

Posted at 01:19 PM ET, 05/09/2013

The charter future of D.C. public schools

With one decision about one elementary school, D.C. Schools Chancellor Kaya Henderson is filling in the picture of the future for the city's long troubled school system.

By Valerie Strauss  |  01:19 PM ET, 05/09/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  Chancellor's New Move, D.C. Public Schools

Posted at 05:19 PM ET, 05/07/2013

Louisiana Supreme Court rules school voucher funding unconstitutional

The Supreme Court of Louisiana ruled today 6-1 that the way the state funds its school voucher program is unconstitutional.

By Valerie Strauss  |  05:19 PM ET, 05/07/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  Public Money for Public Schools, School vouchers

Posted at 11:01 AM ET, 04/26/2013

A bad idea in D.C. on school reform -- and a sharp response (update)

The belief that this process should start with a team of lawyers and not end with one speaks to a fundamental missed opportunity.

By Valerie Strauss  |  11:01 AM ET, 04/26/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  'Stop Hunting and Ask the Crowd', A Bad Idea, D.C. Public Schools, School Reform

Posted at 06:02 AM ET, 04/22/2013

What's wrong with this school language survey form?

Look at this Home Language Survey Form from D.C. Public Schools to parents. What's wrong with it?

By Valerie Strauss  |  06:02 AM ET, 04/22/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  D.C. Public Schools, DCPS Home Language Survey

Posted at 12:58 PM ET, 04/16/2013

D.C. custodial staff were evaluated by student test scores. Really. (update)

How obsessive have school reformers been with linking student standardized test scores to the evaluations of adults in school buildings?

By Valerie Strauss  |  12:58 PM ET, 04/16/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  D.C. Public Schools, Evaluation, That's Not All

Posted at 03:20 PM ET, 03/26/2013

School vouchers: Still a bad idea despite Indiana court ruling

So the Indiana Supreme Court has ruled that the state's school voucher program is constitutional. It isn't the first time a supreme court has made a questionable call but, apart from the legal argument, the decision doesn't mean that vouchers are a good educational or civic idea.

By Valerie Strauss  |  03:20 PM ET, 03/26/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  Public Money for Public Schools, Vouchers

Posted at 11:10 AM ET, 02/15/2013

Why wealthy foreigners invest in U.S. charter schools

Do you think they do this out of a love of education and a deep desire to help American kids? Guess again.

By Valerie Strauss  |  11:10 AM ET, 02/15/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  Charter Schools, Investing in Charter Schools, Privatization of Public Education

Posted at 12:15 AM ET, 01/09/2013

Ravitch on Rhee

The PBS show "Frontline" on Tuesday night aired John Merrow's documentary on Michelle Rhee, which focused on the 3 1/2 years she was chancellor of D.C. Public Schools. There is sure to be a variety of opinions on what it said and what it didn't say. Below is the reaction of education historian Diane Ravitch, the preeminent voice in the growing opposition to Rhee's style of school reform.

By Valerie Strauss  |  12:15 AM ET, 01/09/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  D.C. Public Schools, Michelle Rhee, Reaction to Frontline Profile

Posted at 11:39 AM ET, 01/07/2013

Moco schools chief on new teacher/principal evaluation systems

Here is a new message from Montgomery County Public Schools Superintendent Joshua Starr about changes to its nationally known educator evaluation systems that the district is being forced to make by the state of Maryland.

By Valerie Strauss  |  11:39 AM ET, 01/07/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  Changes Forced By State, Montgomery County Public Schools, Nationally Known Process Forced to Change By State, Teacher Evaluation

Posted at 10:58 AM ET, 11/29/2012

Updated: Michelle Rhee writes a zealot's manifesto,' er, memoir

Michelle Rhee has written a memoir that gives her version of reality about the years (2007-2010) that she ran D.C. Public Schools and became a national leader of corporate-based school reform. The book is due out next year but Washington City Paper's Loose Lips has already read it and describes it in less than flattering terms. Here are some of the highlights.

By Valerie Strauss  |  10:58 AM ET, 11/29/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  D.C. Public Schools, Michelle Rhee, Rhee-visionist History

Posted at 11:25 AM ET, 11/21/2012

The future of D.C. public schools

D.C. Schools Chancellor Kaya Henderson's plan to close 20 traditional public schools in the nation's capital is nothing if not an acknowledgement that the system over which she presides is inexorably dwindling and being transformed into a collection of independently run public charter schools.

By Valerie Strauss  |  11:25 AM ET, 11/21/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  Charter Schools, D.C. Public Schools

Posted at 03:40 PM ET, 11/09/2012

Sprouts for sprouts

It isn't a vegetable that kids gravitate to, but brussel sprouts were the centerpiece of a bunch of concoctions at a taste test for D.C. school children. Picture from the D.C. Central Kitchen.

By Valerie Strauss  |  03:40 PM ET, 11/09/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  D.C. Public Schools, School Food

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

Jon Stewart focuses on public education

On "The Daily Show" Thursday night, Jon Stewart did a segment that focused on public education -- the impact of budget cuts, how kids learn, teachers. Watch it.

By Valerie Strauss  |  09:11 AM ET, 11/09/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  Budget Cuts, Jon Stewart, Public Education, The Daily Show, Video

Posted at 03:18 PM ET, 11/06/2012

A bakers dozen of races that matter to education

There's at a lot at stake for public education in Tuesday's election. There are initiatives on school funding, the spread of charter schools and vouchers, and plenty more. Here are some key races to watch.

By Valerie Strauss  |  03:18 PM ET, 11/06/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  Election Results, Public Education, School Reform

Posted at 09:19 PM ET, 02/01/2011

Arlington principal resigns: Read the letter

Here's the text of an extraordinary letter released to the Arlington public school community by Williamsburg Middle School Principal Kathleen Francis, who just announced her unexpected resignation. In the letter, she blames Arlington Schools Supt. Patrick K. Murphy for creating a hostile environment.

By Washington Post editors  |  09:19 PM ET, 02/01/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Educational leadership | Tags:  arlington principal, arlington principal resigns, arlington public schools, arlington schools, principal resigns, williamsburg middle, williamsburg middle school

Posted at 05:00 AM ET, 02/01/2011

'It makes no sense:' A dissection of Obama's education view

Here is a dissection of what President Obama said about education in his State of the Union speech, plus more.

By Valerie Strauss  |  05:00 AM ET, 02/01/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Guest Bloggers, Guest Bloggers, Guest Bloggers, Guest Bloggers, Guest Bloggers | Tags:  china and india and education, china education, chinese schools, education, education policy, education reform, indian schools, international competitiveness, obama speech, president obama, president obama school reform, public schools, race to the top, school reform, schools, state of the union, u.s. education

Posted at 05:28 PM ET, 01/31/2011

Letter to President Obama: Who is a 'highly qualified' teacher?

More than 50 organizations sign a letter to President Obama about legislation that would codify a Bush-era regulation that allows states to label teachers as “highly qualified” when they are still in training – and, in many cases, just beginning training – in alternative route programs. alternative route programs.Bamajoin in

By Valerie Strauss  |  05:28 PM ET, 01/31/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Teachers | Tags:  continuing resolution, definition of highly qualified, education groups, h.r. 3082, highly qualified, highly qualified teacher, letter to obama, president obama, public school teachers

Posted at 05:30 AM ET, 01/28/2011

On this we should agree

A health expert writes that while there isn’t likely to be peace in the education world over charter schools and standardized testing, on this everyone should agree: The need to focus attention on disparities among our youth in education and in health.

By Valerie Strauss  |  05:30 AM ET, 01/28/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Guest Bloggers, Guest Bloggers, Guest Bloggers, Guest Bloggers | Tags:  achievement gap, anxiety-related behaviors, anxiety-related disorders, effects of poverty, environment and schools, health disparities, indian suicide rates, native american suicide rates, poverty and education, public health services, suicide rates

Posted at 10:15 PM ET, 01/25/2011

Obama’s faulty education logic: What he said and failed to say

Someone should have told President Obama that there were important contradictions in the education portion of his State of the Union address before he delivered it to Congress.

By Valerie Strauss  |  10:15 PM ET, 01/25/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Poverty, Poverty, Poverty | Tags:  education reform, no child left behind, obama, obama education initiative, obama education reform, obama race to the top, obama speech, obama state of the union, president obama, public school reform, public schools, race to the top, state of the union, state of the union speech

Posted at 12:30 PM ET, 01/16/2011

Why 'Inside Job' bests 'Waiting for Superman' on school reform

Now that "Waiting for Superman" has made the short list of documentaries up for an Academy Award, an educator explains why another film on the list, "Inside Job," does a better job of explaining the school crisis even though its not about education.

By Valerie Strauss  |  12:30 PM ET, 01/16/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  School turnarounds/reform, School turnarounds/reform, School turnarounds/reform | Tags:  academy awards, critics choice awards, davis guggenheim, golden globe awards, inside job, oscars, public schools, school reform, schools, waiting for superman

Posted at 11:29 AM ET, 01/12/2011

Framing education as a business

If you have any doubt that business thinking has taken over the education policy debate, take a look at these invitations from two non-profit organizations in Washington D.C., the CATO Institute and the Center for American Progress.

By Valerie Strauss  |  11:29 AM ET, 01/12/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Education as Business | Tags:  bill clinton, cato institute, center for american progress, education as business, education buzzwords, education debate, education policy, john podesta, president clinton, public education, return on investment

Posted at 05:00 AM ET, 12/31/2010

A wrong-headed experiment in school leadership

Can you imagine the military anointing a school superintendent as a brigadier general? Of course you can’t, but this won’t surprise you: The Board of Education in Wake County, N.C., tapped a brigadier general who has no experience in instruction or academic leadership to be the new superintendent of the 143,000-student school system. He did work for Michelle Rhee in D.C. public schools, though.

By Valerie Strauss  |  05:00 AM ET, 12/31/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Educational leadership | Tags:  educational leadership, gen. anthony tata, non-traditional superintendents, wake county public schools

Posted at 05:00 AM ET, 12/14/2010

Where education reform is heading: From extreme to extremum

If you want to understand where public education reform is heading, look south and east to Florida, where the governor-elect, Rick Scott, is talking about a new funding student formula that is more likely to destroy the public school system than accomplish anything else.

By Valerie Strauss  |  05:00 AM ET, 12/14/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Charter schools, Charter schools, Charter schools | Tags:  florida schools, jeb bush, opportunity scholarships, private schools, public education system, public schools, rick scott, school choice movement, school funding formula, universal voucher program, universal vouchers, vouchers

Posted at 04:40 PM ET, 12/06/2010

Michelle Rhee, celebrity, goes national

Running the Washington D.C. schools wasn’t a big enough platform for the super star Michelle Rhee. She's onto her next act.

By Valerie Strauss  |  04:40 PM ET, 12/06/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Educational leadership, Educational leadership, Educational leadership | Tags:  joel klein, michelle rhee, public schools, school reform, students first

Posted at 01:52 PM ET, 12/05/2010

When teachers are their own worst enemies

An educator/author argues that teachers, however unwittingly, helped create the accountability movement that is now "choking" them.

By Valerie Strauss  |  01:52 PM ET, 12/05/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Guest Bloggers, Guest Bloggers, Guest Bloggers | Tags:  accountability movement, california standards test, common core standards, common standards, criterion-based tests, public schools, school reform, standardized test, standards movement, teachers

Posted at 10:30 AM ET, 12/02/2010

Rhee, Ackerman and 'cultural competence' in urban reform

Are any school superintendents who helicopter into big cities for a few years "culturally competent" to do the job well?

By Valerie Strauss  |  10:30 AM ET, 12/02/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  arlene ackerman, michelle rhee, philadelphia schools, public schools, school reform, the notebook, washington d.c. schools

Posted at 05:00 AM ET, 11/29/2010

What Tom Friedman got wrong about schools and why it matters

The great New York Times columnist Tom Friedman wrote in a recent piece that if he were a cub reporter today, he’d want to be “covering the epicenter of national security -- but that would be the Education Department.” If Friedman the cub reporter had turned in this piece, a veteran education editor would have sent it back, asking him to back up his contentions with research. He’d have a hard time.

By Valerie Strauss  |  05:00 AM ET, 11/29/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Guest Bloggers, Guest Bloggers, Guest Bloggers | Tags:  arne duncan, education secretary arne duncan, performance pay, public schools, school reform, schools, standardized tests, teacher evaluation, the new york times, tom friedman

Posted at 12:06 PM ET, 11/23/2010

Murdoch buys education technology company

This didn't take long: Joel Klein announces on Nov. 9 that at year’s end he will resign as York City’s Schools chancellorship to become executive vice president at Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation. Yesterday the company announced it was buying a technology company with big financial ties to the New York City school system.

By Valerie Strauss  |  12:06 PM ET, 11/23/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  education technology, joel klein, new york city public schools, news corp., news corporation, nyc schools, public schools, rupert murdoch, school policy, school reform, schools, wireless generation

Posted at 05:00 AM ET, 11/17/2010

The sad story of an L.A. school labeled 'failing'

A teacher at a Los Angeles middle school writes about why her school was just declared to be "failing" and why the designation is patently unfair: "In today’s world of testing and sanctions, best efforts are irrelevant if scores do not increase at a fast enough rate."

By Valerie Strauss  |  05:00 AM ET, 11/17/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Guest Bloggers, Guest Bloggers | Tags:  failing schools, la schools, los angeles unified school district, public school choice, schools, teacher assessment, teachers, value-added measurement

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

De-legitimizing public education

The quality of American education is going to get worse. Count on it. And contrary to the conventional wisdom, the main reason isn’t going to be the loss of funding accompanying economic hard times. Educator Marion Brady explains why.

By Valerie Strauss  |  06:00 AM ET, 11/11/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Guest Bloggers, Guest Bloggers, Guest Bloggers | Tags:  bill gates, marion brady, public education, school reform

Posted at 05:00 PM ET, 11/05/2010

Montgomery County admits kids were pushed too hard in math

The highly regarded Montgomery County Public Schools now admits that it has been pushing too many kids into accelerated math when they weren't ready and will stop it. A lot of parents are going to lose bragging rights at cocktail parties.

By Valerie Strauss  |  05:00 PM ET, 11/05/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Montgomery County Public Schools, Montgomery County Public Schools, Montgomery County Public Schools | Tags:  accelerated math, common core standards, math, math programs, moco, moco schools, montgomery county public schools, montgomery county schools

Posted at 11:30 AM ET, 10/27/2010

"Superman' tells false story about Emily's school

"Waiting for Superman" tells the stories of five students said to be desperate to escape their “failing” public schools. But in at least one case, that of Emily Jones, the story told isn't true.

By Valerie Strauss  |  11:30 AM ET, 10/27/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Guest Bloggers, Guest Bloggers | Tags:  caroline grannan, davis guggenheim, emily jones, public school, waiting for superman

Posted at 03:36 PM ET, 10/24/2010

Saving public education: the 'Dolly Solution'

An educator proposes a new model for school reform: cloning, which, in three easy steps, is the surest route for improving public education. It makes perfect sense.

By Valerie Strauss  |  03:36 PM ET, 10/24/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Guest Bloggers, Guest Bloggers, Guest Bloggers, Guest Bloggers, Guest Bloggers | Tags:  arne duncan, cloning, dolly parton, dolly the sheep, education department, george washington, jaime escalante, led zeppelin, no child left behind, public schools, race to the top, school reform, schools, stairway to heaven, stand and deliver, teachers, ted williams

Posted at 11:30 AM ET, 10/22/2010

Economic school integration: A response to Valerie Strauss and Jerry Weast

Richard D. Kahlenberg makes strong arguments as he responds to separate criticism that Montgomery County Public Schools Supt. Jerry Weast and I raised about a Century Foundation report about economic school integration in Montgomery County.

By Valerie Strauss  |  11:30 AM ET, 10/22/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Guest Bloggers, Guest Bloggers | Tags:  century foundation, economic integration, economic school integration, jerry weast, mcps, montgomery county, montgomery county public schools, richard kahlenberg, school choice, socioeconomic integregation, the answer sheet, valerie strauss

Posted at 02:02 PM ET, 10/15/2010

Superintendent Ackerman withdraws name from 'manifesto'

So it turns out that Philadelphia Schools Superintendent Arlene Ackerman doesn’t really agree with the “reform manifesto” that appeared this week in the Washington Post and signed by 16, scratch that, now 15, big-city school district chiefs.

By Valerie Strauss  |  02:02 PM ET, 10/15/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  School turnarounds/reform | Tags:  arlene ackerman, buffalo public schools, james raymond, joel klein, jonathan raymond, klein manifesto, manifesto, philadelphia schools, reform manifesto, sacramento schools, school manifesto, school reform

Posted at 06:00 AM ET, 10/14/2010

Radical idea: Public schools aren't an awful mess

A longtime educator writes about public education: "Backed into a corner, beat up and wildly uneven in quality, yes." But an unmitigated disaster? No.

By Valerie Strauss  |  06:00 AM ET, 10/14/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Guest Bloggers, Guest Bloggers | Tags:  ariana huffington, arne duncan, gerald bracey, guest bloggers, hurricane katrina, katrina nation, nancy flanagan, pisa, public education, school reform, teachers, waiting for superman, wendy puriefoy

Posted at 03:26 PM ET, 10/04/2010

What public school teachers really need

A teacher at the SEED Public Charter School in Washington D.C., which was featured in the film "Waiting for Superman," explains what makes his school work for teachers.

By Valerie Strauss  |  03:26 PM ET, 10/04/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Teachers, Teachers | Tags:  center for teaching quality, certified teachers, charter schools, dan brown, davis guggenheim, guest bloggers, school reform, seed charter, seed public charter school, seed school, superman, superman film, waiting for superman

Posted at 06:00 AM ET, 09/21/2010

The danger of blaming schools for economic woes

Principal George Wood writes: "It’s funny how the start of school also marks the unofficial start of the fall campaign season. What isn’t funny is how so many politicians running for office blame kids for our faltering economy."

By Valerie Strauss  |  06:00 AM ET, 09/21/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  George Wood, George Wood, George Wood | Tags:  a nation at risk, blaming schools, blaming teachers, george wood, gulf oil spill, public schools, schools and economy

Posted at 09:00 AM ET, 09/20/2010

What Americans really think about public schools

In an era of unrelenting bashing of public education by “experts,” a new poll shows that most Americans actually like their neighborhood public schools -- though they don’t seem to like public schools in general -- and they have trust in teachers. And the Obama administration’s education agenda gets mixed reviews in the 2010 Phi Delta Kappa/Gallup poll.

By Valerie Strauss  |  09:00 AM ET, 09/20/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Research, Research, Research | Tags:  content standards, failing schools, gallup poll, kappan magazine, obama and education, obama and school reform, pdk poll, phi delta kappa, public schools, school funding, standardized tests, teacher quality, teachers and pay, teachers and respect, what americans think about education

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

Education implications of D.C. mayoral primary

Frederick Hess looks at the three education takeaways from The Washington Post poll showing D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty behind his challenger in the Democratic primary.

By Valerie Strauss  |  06:30 AM ET, 08/30/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  D.C. Schools, D.C. Schools | Tags:  adrian fenty, d.c. mayor, d.c. mayor's race, d.c. public schools, d.c. schools and rhee, fenty and rhee. mayor's race, fenty poll, frederick hess, mayor's poll, michelle rhee, rick hess, washington post poll, will rhee stay?

Posted at 10:30 AM ET, 07/28/2010

Were some D.C. teachers fired based on flawed calculations?

A professor of sociology and education at Teachers College, Columbia University, argues that D.C. Public Schools botched the calculations that were used to decide to fire some of the 241 teachers let go last week.

By Valerie Strauss  |  10:30 AM ET, 07/28/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  D.C. Schools, D.C. Schools | Tags:  DC CAS, IMPACT evaluation system, d.c. public schools and teachers, d.c. schools, d.c. teachers fired, how rhee fired teachers, rhee and d.c. and fire and teachers, rhee fires teachers, value added and teachers, why rhee fired teachers

Posted at 11:15 AM ET, 07/12/2010

How Gates is spending money on school reform

My colleague Nick Anderson's story about Bill Gates explains how Gates is spending hundreds of millions of dollars in public education.

By Valerie Strauss  |  11:15 AM ET, 07/12/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  bill & melinda gates foundation, bill gates, gates foundation and public education, gates foundation and schools, nick anderson

Posted at 06:30 AM ET, 07/06/2010

Ravitch's 'modest' vision for school reform

Education historian Diane Ravitch answers her critics and provides a "modest" vision for school reform.

By Valerie Strauss  |  06:30 AM ET, 07/06/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Diane Ravitch | Tags:  bridging differences, death and life of great american school system, diane ravitch, ford foundation, michael edwards and small change, new york city public school parents blog, ravitch and new book, ravitch's book, stphen koss

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

How and what to get kids to read this summer

If you are secretly in despair that your child will never willingly read a book this summer, Micki Freeny has some advice for you. Freeny is the coordinator of children and youth services at the D.C. Public Library, and her thoughts on how to get kids to read may surprise you.

By Valerie Strauss  |  06:30 AM ET, 06/30/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Reading | Tags:  best books for teens, books on tape and value, d.c. public library, getting kids to read, graphic novels, great books for kids, justin bieber and magazines, reading, reluctant readers, tom braden

Posted at 11:42 AM ET, 06/27/2010

Obama policy blamed for popular principal's reassignment

A popular principal is being reassigned in Lincoln, Neb., and district officials say that the U.S. Education Department is to blame.

By Valerie Strauss  |  11:42 AM ET, 06/27/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Education Secretary Duncan | Tags:  de ann currin, duncan and obama and school reform, elliott elementary school, lincoln public schools, obama administration and education policy, obama's education policy, replacing the principal, restructuring and school, restructuring models, schools and federal intervention, stimulus money for education, title 1 money, title 1 schools

Posted at 11:44 AM ET, 06/24/2010

Choosing public higher ed for the right reasons

The president of the University of Buffalo writes about why families should choose public higher education.

By Valerie Strauss  |  11:44 AM ET, 06/24/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  College Admissions | Tags:  SUNY system, benefits of public education, best schools in SUNY system, choosing a college, college admissions, college applicaitons, getting into college, how to pick a college, university of buffalo

Posted at 04:30 AM ET, 06/09/2010

MCPS selling its reputation to Pearson

Some may call Project North Star a pretty smart deal. I would use less flattering words to describe the deal into which Montgomery County Public Schools just entered with the world’s largest for-profit educational publishing company to nationally “brand” a newly created K-5 curriculum.

By Valerie Strauss  |  04:30 AM ET, 06/09/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Montgomery County Public Schools | Tags:  mcps, mcps curriculum, montgomery county public schools, pearson and montgomery county schools, pearson education, pearson education and curriculum, project north star

Posted at 06:30 AM ET, 05/26/2010

When teens get too affectionate at school

Maybe it’s the advent of spring, or the promise of prom, but more students are engaging in public displays of affection at school--and it isn’t only the adults in the building who are getting embarrassed and annoyed. Kids are complaining that their friends are grossing them out. Where should the line be drawn?

By Valerie Strauss  |  06:30 AM ET, 05/26/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Health, Health | Tags:  PDA and high school, PDA policies, PDA policies and school, PDAs at school, ban on hugs, high school bans PDA, middle school bans hugs, public displays of affection

Posted at 06:30 AM ET, 05/20/2010

Charters should leave D.C. teachers contract alone

Public charter school advocates are, not surprisingly, upset about a proposed new contract that will significantly boost the salaries of unionized teachers in traditional D.C. public schools. But D.C. school system officials have it right: They shouldn’t be.

By Valerie Strauss  |  06:30 AM ET, 05/20/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  D.C. Schools, D.C. Schools, D.C. Schools | Tags:  charter schools, d.c. charter schools, d.c. public schools, d.c. teachers contract, michelle rhee, teachers contract, washington teachers union

Posted at 10:20 AM ET, 05/10/2010

Say what, Secretary Duncan?

Education Secretary Arne Duncan must have been kidding when he said he has no public opposition to his education reforms. Because if he isn't kidding, the alternative is far worse.

By Valerie Strauss  |  10:20 AM ET, 05/10/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Education Secretary Duncan, Education Secretary Duncan | Tags:  Education Secretary Duncan, Race to the Top, Race to the Top opposition, Wall Street Journal and Duncan, public opposition to reform, race to the top proposals, states pull out of race to the top

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

Fairfax County slashes summer school

Fairfax County Public Schools is cutting summer school way back this year to save money, a move that could affect academic achievement in the county.

By Valerie Strauss  |  06:30 AM ET, 05/08/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Fairfax County Public Schools | Tags:  Fairfax County Public schools, Fairfax budget cuts, Fairfax summer school, summer school, summer school cuts

Posted at 03:45 PM ET, 04/15/2010

Sexting scandal at Montgomery County schools

Some female students at Pyle Middle School and Whitman High School in Montgomery County willingly posed for inappropriate pictures and some students sold and bought access to the pictures and videos, resulting in a police investigation, according to a letter sent home to students today.

By Valerie Strauss  |  03:45 PM ET, 04/15/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Montgomery County Public Schools | Tags:  Montgomery County public schools, Pyle Middle School, Whitman High school, police and pyle, police investigate sexting, sexting, sexting and Pyle, sexting and schools, whitman and sexting

Posted at 12:00 PM ET, 04/09/2010

Rhee's biggest, and most costly, failing

A former school superintendent, teacher and now a university professor writes about the biggest failing of D.C. Schools Superintendent Michelle Rhee, and why it may ultimately lead to her departure from the city.

By Valerie Strauss  |  12:00 PM ET, 04/09/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  D.C. Schools, D.C. Schools, D.C. Schools | Tags:  D.C. public schools, D.C. teachers pact, Larry Cuban, Michelle Rhee, Rhee and teachers

Posted at 08:00 AM ET, 03/27/2010

More on Duncan’s VIP list in Chicago

There are new details about a list of VIPS and others who asked then Chicago Schools Superintendent Arne Duncan for help in getting certain children into top public schools. And here's an interesting discussion about the list and Duncan's record in Chicago.

By Valerie Strauss  |  08:00 AM ET, 03/27/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Education Secretary Duncan | Tags:  Chicago public schools, Ed Secretary Arne Duncan

Posted at 06:30 AM ET, 03/22/2010

Inexcusable: Empty promises to a D.C. school

What can you say after you say that D.C. school officials have yet again let down a school community that has been trying for years to get decent conditions in which its students and young children can learn each weekday? A lot.

By Valerie Strauss  |  06:30 AM ET, 03/22/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  D.C. Schools | Tags:  Chancellor Michelle Rhee., D.C. public schools

Posted at 04:44 PM ET, 03/17/2010

Moco schools won't make up snow days

Montgomery County public schools will not have to make up the five days that the schools were closed because of snow, a school official said today.

By Valerie Strauss  |  04:44 PM ET, 03/17/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Montgomery County Public Schools | Tags:  Montgomery County Public Schools

Posted at 06:30 AM ET, 03/16/2010

Principal scolds parents

The principal of Whitman High School scolds a group of parents and community residents for over-the-top opposition to a student-supported proposal to erect a cell tower on the school premises--and then pulls the plug on the project.

By Valerie Strauss  |  06:30 AM ET, 03/16/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Montgomery County Public Schools | Tags:  Montgomery County Public Schools

Posted at 06:30 AM ET, 03/11/2010

Should this man lead a school system?

The president of the Detroit Board of Education has great trouble with writing, and a newspaper columnist asks if he should be in charge of the 90,000-student system.

By Valerie Strauss  |  06:30 AM ET, 03/11/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Writing | Tags:  detroit public schools

Posted at 06:30 AM ET, 02/08/2010

Up to Montgomery County principals to challenge fliers

I asked Montgomery County schools officials to explain who is responsible for challenging fliers that non-profit groups are permitted to send home with students four times a year. The issue arose when my colleague Michael Birnbaum reported that were passed out to some Montgomery County high school students from an organization that insists that therapy can turn gays into heterosexuals. It turns out that it is up to school principals to raise any concerns about the material. The fliers in question, from the group Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays and Gays, were distributed at Churchill High School and other schools last week under a district rule that allows non-profit groups from distributing information that is not deemed to be hate speech.

By Valerie Strauss  |  06:30 AM ET, 02/08/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  High School, High School | Tags:  montgomery county public schools

Posted at 06:30 AM ET, 02/05/2010

Another tale of school bathrooms

It wasn’t too long ago that I wrote about how some bathrooms at Montgomery Blair High School--one of the premier institutions in Montgomery County Public Schools, itself a leading school district--had to be closed during lunch because there wasn’t enough staff to keep it from being vandalized. Now we find that the bathrooms at the county’s Whitman High School--as good as a high schools gets--are also, in the words of a young journalist at the school’s student newspaper, black&white, “downright disgraceful.”

By Valerie Strauss  |  06:30 AM ET, 02/05/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Montgomery County Public Schools, Montgomery County Public Schools, Montgomery County Public Schools | Tags:  Montgomery County Public Schools, school bathrooms

Posted at 11:26 PM ET, 02/04/2010

Fairfax County schools reject book challenges

Parental challenges to books in school curriculum usually make when district officials succumb to the challenge and restrict or remove the resource. But some don’t. Some stand firm and reject the challenge. That’s what Fairfax County Public Schools in Virginia--one of the finest systems in the country--has been doing for years in the face of a handful of challenges about books in its classes.

By Valerie Strauss  |  11:26 PM ET, 02/04/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Literature, Literature, Literature | Tags:  Fairfax County Public Schools, challenging books

Posted at 12:30 PM ET, 02/04/2010

MCPS orders teachers to change passwords

Montgomery County schools officials have ordered all employees to create new computer passwords after students hacked into the computers at Churchill High School to change grades. But it wasn’t the first time kids have hacked into school computers in the county, however; at Whitman High School, the student newspaper black&white reported on Sept. 30, 2009, that a student had broken through the security barriers on Whitman’s Pinnacle grading system and changed some grades.

By Valerie Strauss  |  12:30 PM ET, 02/04/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Montgomery County Public Schools | Tags:  computer hacking, montgomery county public schools

Posted at 10:10 AM ET, 01/28/2010

Rhee: In her own words

Nobody is immune from saying things they don’t mean--but it is probably a good idea to watch what you say when you work in the public eye. A reader put together this list of quotes from D.C. Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee, suggesting a record of inconsistencies that go beyond the most recent controversy surrounding her word. Rhee got into trouble recently over remarks to a magazine that teachers laid off last October had had sex with children and hit kids. After my colleague Bill Turque wrote about the comments, it came out that one of the 266 teachers had been accused of having sex with a student. Here is the list of Rhee quotes, with links. What do you think?

By Valerie Strauss  |  10:10 AM ET, 01/28/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  D.C. Schools | Tags:  d.c. public schools, michelle rhee

Posted at 03:22 PM ET, 01/25/2010

Rhee in trouble; Gray not helping

What was she thinking? Even for D.C. Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee, who routinely attracts controversy, this time she really stirred up unnecessary trouble by telling a magazine that some of the teachers that she laid off last year because of budget cuts had been having sex with children and hitting them. Really? I can’t figure out if Rhee actually likes stirring up controversy or just muddles her way into it--or both--but in this instance, whether it was a hasty remark she didn’t intend to make or an intentional bomb, I don’t see a good way out. Why didn't she do something about it earlier?

By Valerie Strauss  |  03:22 PM ET, 01/25/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  D.C. Schools | Tags:  dc public schools, michelle rhee, sidwell

Posted at 10:10 AM ET, 01/25/2010

Rhee D.C.’s person of the year?

Let’s congratulate D.C. Schools Chancellor for being named the Federal City Council’s Washington D.C.’s Person of the Year. Now let’s look at the rationale behind the decision, explained in an advertisement in yesterday’s Washington Post on page B2, the second page of the Outlook section--and see whether it holds together. It was signed by Frank Keating, the president of the Federal City Council and former governor of Oklahoma.

By Valerie Strauss  |  10:10 AM ET, 01/25/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  D.C. Schools | Tags:  d.c. public schools, michelle rhee, school reform

Posted at 08:31 AM ET, 01/07/2010

What Gilbert Arenas should do now: Help schools

The real shame of the Gilbert Arenas mess isn’t that the Washington Wizards are going to be indefinitely losing his talents. (They weren’t winning much with him anyway). And it isn’t that anybody is losing an exemplary role model. If anybody had actually looked up to this clown in any heroic way, well, they need to get glasses. No, the real shame is that the D.C. area public schools won’t be getting any more of the hundreds of thousands of dollars that Arenas and the owners of the Wizards have donated over the past few years through a formula based on the number of points Arenas makes during games. So here's an idea of what the NBA should really do with Arenas that would keep helping the schools.

By Valerie Strauss  |  08:31 AM ET, 01/07/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  gilbert arenas, public schools, tiger woods

Posted at 09:51 AM ET, 12/02/2009

School closes bathrooms because of security shortage

In the category of “it makes you wonder,” the student newspaper at Montgomery-Blair High School reports that bathrooms on the second and third floors are now being locked during lunch. Why? The school has a security shortage and couldn’t figure out a better way to deal with it.

By Valerie Strauss  |  09:51 AM ET, 12/02/2009 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  High School, High School | Tags:  Montgomery Blair High School, Montgomery County Public Schools, high school

Posted at 10:11 AM ET, 11/17/2009

Fairfax: You've got to be kidding

Music education without instruments? I wish someone were kidding. But that’s one of the possibilities in Virginia’s Fairfax County Public Schools, one of the finest systems in the country and the largest in the Washington D.C. area, as it wrestles with a projected $176 million shortfall for next year.

By Valerie Strauss  |  10:11 AM ET, 11/17/2009 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Fairfax County Public Schools | Tags:  Fairfax County Public School, music education

Posted at 11:51 AM ET, 11/05/2009

Should Montgomery schools pay millions in penalties?

I had only one response to the story about the state of Maryland considering fining Montgomery County tens of millions of millions as punishment for not spending enough money on schools: You’ve gotta be kidding.

By Valerie Strauss  |  11:51 AM ET, 11/05/2009 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Montgomery County Public Schools | Tags:  montgomery county public schools

Posted at 11:49 AM ET, 10/27/2009

Who is responsible for kids after school?

A recent story on The Sheet about a 5-year-old boy who was mistakenly put on a school bus in Arlington and then let off in a strange neighborhood sparked a number of responses. One reader, Melanie Klein, shared a letter she had just sent to the school system’s director of transportation, Todd Watkins. Here is it. Do you agree with her, or the school system?

By Valerie Strauss  |  11:49 AM ET, 10/27/2009 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Montgomery County Public Schools, Montgomery County Public Schools | Tags:  Montgomery County Public Schools, bus policy

Posted at 06:30 AM ET, 10/12/2009

Every Parent's Nightmare

A 5-year-old boy named Gavin Salinas was mistakenly put on the wrong bus at his school in Alexandria and then dropped off, alone, at an unfamiliar stop. Not knowing what to do, he wandered around the streets, crying. Luckily he was returned to his parents unharmed. But Rodney and Taryn Salinas were not satisfied with last Monday’s happy ending. They want to find out who was responsible--and to make sure this never happens again to anybody's child.

By Valerie Strauss  |  06:30 AM ET, 10/12/2009 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Parents | Tags:  Alexandria City Public Schools, boy put on wrong school bus

Posted at 06:30 AM ET, 10/02/2009

THE LIST: How Americans Rate Public Education

Sixty-four percent of Americans favor public charter schools--15 percent more than did five years ago--but many don’t understand what these schools actually are. Almost three out of four Americans favor merit pay for teachers. Seven out of 10 Americans would like a child of theirs to teach in the public schools. These are some of the findings in the 41st annual Phi Delta Kappa/Gallup Poll of the public’s attitudes toward public schools, published in Kappan magazine. Read on for more findings.

By Valerie Strauss  |  06:30 AM ET, 10/02/2009 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  American attitudes of public education

Posted at 01:57 PM ET, 09/29/2009

How Do Americans View Their Public Schools?

The following was submitted by educator Stephen Krashen to Kappan, the magazine of Phi Delta Kappa International, in relation to the 41st annual PDK/Gallup poll on how Americans view public education, published in the September 2009 issue. Do you agree or disagree with him? How do you rate your neighborhood public school?

By Valerie Strauss  |  01:57 PM ET, 09/29/2009 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Education Secretary Duncan | Tags:  education secretary arne duncan, gerald bracey, public education, stephen krashen

Posted at 06:30 AM ET, 09/21/2009

The Problem That Is Kindergarten

Art. Mathematics. Music. Physical Education. Reading/Language Arts. Science. Social Studies. Guess the school year in which kids first tackle that lineup. Third grade? Second grade? First? Wrong, wrong and wrong. That’s what 5-year-olds in kindergarten are doing in Montgomery County public schools--and in many other districts around the country too.

By Valerie Strauss  |  06:30 AM ET, 09/21/2009 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  kindergarten, montgomery county public schools, standardized tests

Posted at 06:30 AM ET, 09/16/2009

SPOTLIGHT: How Unfair Are Grades?

If you have ever rolled your eyes in disbelief when your child tells you a teacher gave him or her an unfair grade, you may want to think again. Your child might be right. An expert on grading systems conducted an experiment with more than 10,000 educators that he says proves just how subjective grades can be.

By Valerie Strauss  |  06:30 AM ET, 09/16/2009 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Grades | Tags:  Douglas Reeves, Fairfax County Public Schools, Grades

Posted at 11:55 AM ET, 09/11/2009

P.S.: Who Watched Obama's Back-to-School Speech

My colleague Nick Anderson on the national schools beat offers a postscript to the flap over President Obama's back-to-school speech: There was much buzz beforehand about whether it was appropriate to show students the speech that Obama gave Tuesday at...

By Valerie Strauss  |  11:55 AM ET, 09/11/2009 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Civics Education, Civics Education, Civics Education | Tags:  Arlington Public Schools, Calvert County Schools, D.C. schools, Fairfax County Public Schools, Howard County schools, Montgomery County Schools, P.G. Schools, President Obama, back-to-school, education speech

Posted at 02:03 PM ET, 09/10/2009

Who Is Right in Fairfax Schools Contract Issue?

A coalition of Fairfax County parents groups and teachers unions are upset at what they say was little public input into an expected decision tonight by the School Board to extend the control of Jack Dale, the schools superintendent. This...

By Valerie Strauss  |  02:03 PM ET, 09/10/2009 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Fairfax County Public Schools | Tags:  Fairfax County Public Schools, Fairfax County School Board, Jack Dale, teenagers and sleep