The Answer Sheet: Schools


Posted at 02:30 PM ET, 04/25/2014

Does it pay to obsess on where your kid goes to school?

Parents who may be fretting the most about school quality have the least to worry about.

By Valerie Strauss  |  02:30 PM ET, 04/25/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  Private Schools

Posted at 11:00 AM ET, 04/19/2014

Why community schools are part of the answer

What a veteran educator learned from a 17-year-old named Eddy about school reform.

By Valerie Strauss  |  11:00 AM ET, 04/19/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  Schools

Posted at 06:59 AM ET, 04/14/2014

The big losers in NYC charter fight: students with disabilities

Why kids with disabilities have to move to make way for a charter school.

By Valerie Strauss  |  06:59 AM ET, 04/14/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  Charter Schools

Posted at 12:02 PM ET, 04/13/2014

‘We’re real parents in a real crisis’

Why parents are working to stop the spread of charter schools in Massachusetts.

By Valerie Strauss  |  12:02 PM ET, 04/13/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  Charter Schools

Posted at 12:01 PM ET, 04/07/2014

The one thing I sort of like about 2014 Most Challenging High Schools list

The new lists are out -- and so is my critique.

By Valerie Strauss  |  12:01 PM ET, 04/07/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  High Schools

Posted at 01:56 PM ET, 04/06/2014

How New York’s mayor got steamrolled by his own governor and charter lobby

The story explains the power -- and money behind -- the charter lobby.

By Valerie Strauss  |  01:56 PM ET, 04/06/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  Charter Schools

Posted at 01:00 PM ET, 03/30/2014

Are charter schools really better at keeping kids from dropping out?

Are they really better at it than traditional public schools? A look at the data.

By Valerie Strauss  |  01:00 PM ET, 03/30/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  Charter Schools

Posted at 11:29 AM ET, 03/28/2014

Muriel Bowser’s muddled message about D.C. schools

Why won’t she say flat out what her public education vision really is?

By Valerie Strauss  |  11:29 AM ET, 03/28/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  D.C. Schools

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 11:00 AM ET, 02/04/2014

Charter experiment ‘spinning out of control’ in Durham County

Traditional school system is being destabilized.

By Valerie Strauss  |  11:00 AM ET, 02/04/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  Charter 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 03:25 PM ET, 02/01/2014

Harvard business dean apologizes for sexism on campus

Gender inequality is common in business schools.

By Valerie Strauss  |  03:25 PM ET, 02/01/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  Business Schools

Posted at 03:30 PM ET, 01/29/2014

Education Department changes charter school lottery rules

Charter schools receiving federal start-up and replication funds can use “weighted lotteries” that favor low-income or educationally disadvantaged students to produce more integrated schools.

By Valerie Strauss  |  03:30 PM ET, 01/29/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  Charter Schools

Posted at 12:32 AM ET, 12/30/2013

NYC schools chancellor to be named

Carmen Farina is expected to get the job.

By Valerie Strauss  |  12:32 AM ET, 12/30/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  NYC Schools

Posted at 12:00 PM ET, 12/27/2013

Four tough questions about charter schools

Are they helping or hurting?

By Valerie Strauss  |  12:00 PM ET, 12/27/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  Charter Schools

Posted at 07:00 AM ET, 12/26/2013

Islamic cleric linked to U.S. charter schools involved in Turkey’s political drama

The preacher lives in seclusion in Pennsylvania.

By Valerie Strauss  |  07:00 AM ET, 12/26/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  Gulen 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 11:46 AM ET, 12/14/2013

The person de Blasio is likely to tap to run NYC schools

Appointment expected next week.

By Valerie Strauss  |  11:46 AM ET, 12/14/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  New York City Schools

Posted at 02:10 PM ET, 12/13/2013

Washington state judge draws key distinction between charter, traditional public schools

The judge in Washington state allows charters to open but restricts state funding to them.

By Valerie Strauss  |  02:10 PM ET, 12/13/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  Charter Schools

Posted at 02:50 PM ET, 12/11/2013

StudentsFirst gives NY ed commissioner a friendly audience for Common Core forum

John King gets a rare friendly audience on his “listening tour” to talk about the Common Core.

By Valerie Strauss  |  02:50 PM ET, 12/11/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  New York schools

Posted at 04:00 AM ET, 12/11/2013

The 10 school districts with the most charter school students

See which districts have the biggest “market share” of students.

By Valerie Strauss  |  04:00 AM ET, 12/11/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  Charter Schools

Posted at 04:00 AM ET, 12/09/2013

Who de Blasio really wanted as NYC schools chancellor

He’s been talking to and about a number of people but this was his first choice.

By Valerie Strauss  |  04:00 AM ET, 12/09/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  NYC Schools

Posted at 01:12 PM ET, 12/07/2013

Four reasons it would be shocking if Kaya Henderson becomes NYC schools chief

Henderson and de Blasio hold very different views on school reform.

By Valerie Strauss  |  01:12 PM ET, 12/07/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  NYC Schools

Posted at 08:00 AM ET, 11/15/2013

The battle over Christmas music in school begins (again)

‘School officials need to get it right.’

By Valerie Strauss  |  08:00 AM ET, 11/15/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  Religion and Schools

Posted at 02:20 PM ET, 11/08/2013

Starr, Alonso: Candidates for NYC schools chancellor?

By Valerie Strauss  |  02:20 PM ET, 11/08/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  New York City Schools

Posted at 05:01 AM ET, 11/05/2013

Are private schools better than public schools? New book says ‘no’

The authors look at huge databases about math performance.

By Valerie Strauss  |  05:01 AM ET, 11/05/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  Private Schools

Posted at 02:48 PM ET, 10/24/2013

Medical schools welcome record number of students this fall, data show

There is a shortage of doctors just as more people are getting health insurance under Obamacare.

By Valerie Strauss  |  02:48 PM ET, 10/24/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  Medical Schools

Posted at 11:22 AM ET, 10/24/2013

Record number of homeless children enrolled in public schools, new data show

The number of homeless children in public schools has increased 72 percent since the beginning of the recession.

By Valerie Strauss  |  11:22 AM ET, 10/24/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  Poverty and Schools

Posted at 10:02 AM ET, 10/24/2013

Five key features of effective schools

Yes, we do know the recipe.

By Valerie Strauss  |  10:02 AM ET, 10/24/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  Effective Schools

Posted at 04:01 AM ET, 10/23/2013

Why community schools are a no-brainer

Finding ways to help students meet their basic needs so they can learn makes infinite sense.

By Valerie Strauss  |  04:01 AM ET, 10/23/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  Community Schools

Posted at 03:23 PM ET, 10/21/2013

‘We won’t be Fairfax anymore’

Major school budget cuts, if implemented, will hurt schools and the district’s reputation.

By Valerie Strauss  |  03:23 PM ET, 10/21/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  Fairfax Schools

Posted at 09:52 AM ET, 10/12/2013

Girl dies after getting sick at school without nurse

A 12-year-old girl got sick late last month while she was at her Philadelphia school -- a school without a full-time nurse. She died later that day.

By Valerie Strauss  |  09:52 AM ET, 10/12/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  In Philadelphia, Philadelphia Schools

Posted at 03:16 PM ET, 09/30/2013

Now it's the principals' fault

What new principal evaluations in D.C. schools really mean.

By Valerie Strauss  |  03:16 PM ET, 09/30/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  D.C. Schools, New Evaluations

Posted at 05:02 AM ET, 09/25/2013

D.C. education officials accused of hyping test scores

It wasn’t long ago that D.C. officials boasted about history standardized test scores. Oops. Here’s what’s happened.

By Valerie Strauss  |  05:02 AM ET, 09/25/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  D.C. Schools, It's All In The Scoring

Posted at 05:02 AM ET, 09/23/2013

A plea for book censors to stand down

Why censoring literature is unacceptable.

By Valerie Strauss  |  05:02 AM ET, 09/23/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  Censorship, In Schools, Libraries

Posted at 09:42 AM ET, 09/20/2013

Superintendent: State’s reform strategy is to throw darts and see what sticks

A schools chief explains why he signed a protest against Tennessee Education Commissioner Kevin Huffman.

By Valerie Strauss  |  09:42 AM ET, 09/20/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  Problems In Tennessee, Tennessee Schools

Posted at 12:42 AM ET, 09/17/2013

Is the ‘charter school gravy train’ running ‘express to fat city’?

Sometimes you find things in unexpected places.

By Valerie Strauss  |  12:42 AM ET, 09/17/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  Charter Schools, Unexpected Forbes Article

Posted at 07:31 AM ET, 09/16/2013

Problems that schools are expected to solve

Teen pregnancy, national security, etc...

By Valerie Strauss  |  07:31 AM ET, 09/16/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  Of Course They Can't, Schools

Posted at 02:01 PM ET, 09/13/2013

Tennessee school superintendents protest against state ed chief

Schools chiefs say they are tired of being ignored and of test-based reform.

By Valerie Strauss  |  02:01 PM ET, 09/13/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  Ask Governor To Help, Tennessee Schools

Posted at 06:02 AM ET, 09/10/2013

The ‘grim new normal’ in Philadelphia schools

Is this any way to try to educate children?

By Valerie Strauss  |  06:02 AM ET, 09/10/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  New Year Begins, Philadelphia Schools

Posted at 10:46 AM ET, 09/07/2013

Back to school: It’s worse than you think

Philadelphia public schools are opening Monday without many of the basics any reasonable person would expect. Paper, for example. Guidance counselors. Nurses.

By Valerie Strauss  |  10:46 AM ET, 09/07/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  Crisis In Philadelphia, P, Philadelphia Schools

Posted at 11:02 AM ET, 09/05/2013

Why charter schools need better oversight

A series of scandals reveals fundamental problems with charter set-ups in some states.

By Valerie Strauss  |  11:02 AM ET, 09/05/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  'Scandal Parade', Charter Schools

Posted at 12:04 PM ET, 08/30/2013

What would Michelle Obama think about this?

You've got to wonder about a school system that institutes a new requirement that violates its own wellness policy.

By Valerie Strauss  |  12:04 PM ET, 08/30/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  D.C. Schools, Limited Recess in D.C. Schools

Posted at 06:02 AM ET, 08/23/2013

'Perfect storm' threatens Philadelphia schools

No funding formula + underfunding + massive charter and non-public expansion + experimental "reform" = Philadelphia schools crisis today.

By Valerie Strauss  |  06:02 AM ET, 08/23/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  A Parent Speaks Out, Philadelphia Schools

Posted at 04:02 AM ET, 08/22/2013

D.C. charter schools to give standardized tests to young children

D.C. public charter schools will soon be giving new standardized tests to very young children -- aged 3, 4 and 5 -- for high-stakes purposes.

By Valerie Strauss  |  04:02 AM ET, 08/22/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  Charter Schools, High-Stakes Purposes, Standardized Tests

Posted at 12:25 PM ET, 07/20/2013

So much for keeping cuts away from the classrooms

Chicago officials trying to close a big budget deficit are laying off some 2,100 people, including teachers.

By Valerie Strauss  |  12:25 PM ET, 07/20/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  Chicago Layoffs, Chicago Schools, So Much For Minimization.

Posted at 10:58 AM ET, 07/19/2013

Florida's change to school rating system called 'scam'

Put this in the if-you-don't-like-the-rules-just-change-them category.

By Valerie Strauss  |  10:58 AM ET, 07/19/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  A New Mess, Grading Schools, School Reform

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 04:56 AM ET, 07/03/2013

Arne Duncan praises, slaps charter schools

Text of Duncan's speech at charter school convention in Washington.

By Valerie Strauss  |  04:56 AM ET, 07/03/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  Charter Schools, Talks About D.C. Charters

Posted at 02:55 PM ET, 07/01/2013

Arne Duncan urged to intervene in Philadelphia school funding crisis

Randi Weingarten and Diane Ravitch ask Arne Duncan to do something to stop the decimation of public education in Philadelphia.

By Valerie Strauss  |  02:55 PM ET, 07/01/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  Philadelphia Schools, Ravitch Send Letter, Weingarten

Posted at 04:01 AM ET, 06/27/2013

Fireworks at Chicago school board meeting

Watch the video.

By Valerie Strauss  |  04:01 AM ET, 06/27/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  Chicago Schools, Students Protest, Tossed Out

Posted at 04:52 PM ET, 06/20/2013

'Best Kept Secret': How a teacher helps autistic students

A new documentary follows a teacher helping several autistic students prepare for the world beyond high school.

By Valerie Strauss  |  04:52 PM ET, 06/20/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  A New Documentary, Autism and Schools

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 08:52 AM ET, 06/07/2013

Superintendent: Virginia's new A-F school grading system will hurt high-poverty districts

The A-F grading scale for schools creates a nearly insurmountable obstacle for districts that serve high percentages of economically disadvantaged students, the authors say.

By Valerie Strauss  |  08:52 AM ET, 06/07/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  Analysis, Grading Schools, Poverty

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 12:04 PM ET, 06/01/2013

Philadelphia passes 'doomsday' school budget

Gone is funding for paper, new books, counselors, librarians, assistant principals and more. Really.

By Valerie Strauss  |  12:04 PM ET, 06/01/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  Drastic Cuts, Philadelphia Schools, School funding

Posted at 05:02 AM ET, 05/30/2013

The biggest irony in Chicago's mass closing of schools

It goes back to the time of Arne Duncan's leadership of the Chicago school system.

By Valerie Strauss  |  05:02 AM ET, 05/30/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  Arne Duncan, Chicago Schools Closings, It's About Arne Duncan, Reform Strategies

Posted at 02:54 PM ET, 05/23/2013

The Rev. John Thomas: No act of God caused Chicago schools closings

A reverend looks at what is really behind the decision by the Chicago Board of Education to go ahead with the largest mass closing of public schools in American history.

By Valerie Strauss  |  02:54 PM ET, 05/23/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  Chicago School Closings, Largest Mass Closing in U.S. History, The Schools Are Gone Because....

Posted at 06:01 AM ET, 05/14/2013

Fourth-grade creationist science quiz: Dinosaurs lived millions of years ago -- False

Take a look at the questions and answers on this quiz.

By Valerie Strauss  |  06:01 AM ET, 05/14/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  Creationist Schools, Really

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 05:03 AM ET, 05/02/2013

Why collaboration is vital to creating effective schools

There's a big irony emerging from the ed wars between teachers unions and supporters of market-based reforms that rely heavily on motivating school personnel by threatening them.

By Valerie Strauss  |  05:03 AM ET, 05/02/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  Beyond The Education Wars, Effective Schools

Posted at 12:16 PM ET, 05/01/2013

Does what happened in 2008 still matter in 2013?

Why should we keep trying to figure out what happened in D.C. Public Schools in 2008?

By Valerie Strauss  |  12:16 PM ET, 05/01/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  D.C. Schools, D.C. Schools and Cheating

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 12:02 PM ET, 04/23/2013

A windfall for failing charter schools?

Lawmakers in Indiana are debating whether to forgive millions of dollars in loans that the state gave to charter schools that lost their charters because they were academically failing.

By Valerie Strauss  |  12:02 PM ET, 04/23/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  Charter Schools, Loan Forgiveness

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 09:47 PM ET, 04/15/2013

Why D.C. charter school is denied enrollment increase -- in 9 tweets

A D.C. charter school sought permission to hike enrollment for an unusual reason.

By Valerie Strauss  |  09:47 PM ET, 04/15/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  Charter Schools, Unusual Reason

Posted at 10:11 AM ET, 04/14/2013

Probe of past D.C. test cheating called 'impractical' (update)

The D.C. Council's Education Committee will discuss the standardized test cheating scandal at a previously scheduled hearing on Thursday that, ironically, was intended to be about about test security .

By Valerie Strauss  |  10:11 AM ET, 04/14/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  Better Late Than Never, D.C. Schools, Michelle Rhee, Standardized Tests, Test Cheating

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

Why not subpoena everyone in D.C. cheating scandal -- Rhee included? (update)

You don't investigate criminal activity by going in and asking, "Did you cheat? Are you sure you didn't cheat?" Everyone should have to testify under oath, including Michelle Rhee.

By Valerie Strauss  |  12:16 PM ET, 04/12/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  Cheating on Tests, D.C. Schools, New Memo Surfaces

Posted at 01:25 AM ET, 04/11/2013

Ten things to know about Fairfax County's next schools chief

She was born and educated in Texas, plus more about Karen Garza.

By Valerie Strauss  |  01:25 AM ET, 04/11/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  Fairfax County Schools, Her Background and Views

Posted at 03:54 PM ET, 04/09/2013

How much do college students really drink?

After a false alarm at the University of Virginia that dorm rooms were being raided for alcohol, the question arises: How much do college kids really drink? Here is more than you may want to know about the subject.

By Valerie Strauss  |  03:54 PM ET, 04/09/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  Are Schools Swimming in Booze?, College Drinking

Posted at 02:04 PM ET, 04/07/2013

Mom: Why I won't let my son take high-stakes standardized test

" As test prep ramped up in February and March I had another revelation: Jacob does not love to read. Based on what he was bringing home from school, how could he? I realized that if I wanted to help him to love to read I had to take off the pressure that was coming from the PSSA."

By Valerie Strauss  |  02:04 PM ET, 04/07/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  Standardized Tests, Tests Making Schools 'Worse'

Posted at 04:19 PM ET, 04/04/2013

List of Maryland private schools getting publicly funded books, other materials

Some well-known private schools in Maryland are getting books and computers that are being paid for by public funds.

By Valerie Strauss  |  04:19 PM ET, 04/04/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  Private Schools

Posted at 02:02 PM ET, 04/03/2013

Why is Maryland spending millions in public funds for private school books, computers?

There's an interesting item in the 2014 supplemental budget that Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley has submitted: A request for $500,000 in "additional funds for non-public school textbooks." What is this all about?

By Valerie Strauss  |  02:02 PM ET, 04/03/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  Maryland Schools, Other States Do It Too

Posted at 06:02 AM ET, 04/03/2013

Will charter schools survive the confusing charter movement?

America's education policies are brimming with contradiction, perhaps nowhere more than the charter movement.

By Valerie Strauss  |  06:02 AM ET, 04/03/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  A Pogo Moment, Charter Schools

Posted at 12:31 PM ET, 03/28/2013

Scary reading in charter school bill

The details of charter school legislation in North Carolina reveal that its sponsors don't care much for holding charters accountable.

By Valerie Strauss  |  12:31 PM ET, 03/28/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  Charter Schools, Where's The Accountability?

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 12:38 AM ET, 03/22/2013

Where was Chicago mayor when school closings were announced?

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel was nowhere to be seen in Chicago when officials released the controversial news that 54 public schools would close this year. Where was he?

By Valerie Strauss  |  12:38 AM ET, 03/22/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  Chicago Schools, On Vacation

Posted at 08:38 PM ET, 03/21/2013

Chicago closing 54 schools; union leader blasts 'outrageous' plan

Chicago says it will close 54 schools this year; Chicago Teachers Union leader says the closings are a travesty -- and worse.

By Valerie Strauss  |  08:38 PM ET, 03/21/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  'An Insult', Chicago Schools, School Closings

Posted at 11:55 AM ET, 02/16/2013

Colbert skewers Phoenix school 'gun posse' and trainer Steven Seagal

In the you-can't-make-up-this-stuff-category, an Arizona sheriff recruited actor Steven Seagal to train volunteers to be part of an armed posse to patrol Phoenix-area schools.

By Valerie Strauss  |  11:55 AM ET, 02/16/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  Guns in Schools, It's Hilarious, School Security, This Video Is Hilarious

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 11:18 AM ET, 02/10/2013

The exaggeration of charter school waiting lists

No doubt there are excellent charter schools where waiting lists are very long. But there are also instances where waiting lists aren't exactly as long as charter supporters say they are.

By Valerie Strauss  |  11:18 AM ET, 02/10/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  Charter Schools, Double Counting?

Posted at 11:25 AM ET, 02/09/2013

Global education market reaches $4.4 trillion -- and is growing

Good news for those who see school reform as a way to make big bucks: A new report says that the global education market is now worth $4.4 trillion -- that's TRILLION -- and set to grow a lot over the next five years.

By Valerie Strauss  |  11:25 AM ET, 02/09/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  But Are Schools Any Better?, Global Education Market, Privatization

Posted at 10:48 AM ET, 01/31/2013

Charter schools that start bad stay bad, study finds

Charter schools that start out doing poorly aren't likely to improve, and charters that are successful from the beginning most often stay that way, according to a new study by researchers at Stanford University who also analyzed charter management organizations.

By Valerie Strauss  |  10:48 AM ET, 01/31/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  And Good Ones Stay Good, Charter Schools, Education Research

Posted at 01:46 PM ET, 01/23/2013

Proposed Loudoun charter denied application extension

An effort by a group of Turkish immigrants to get more time to develop their application to open a charter school in Loudoun County -- which would be the first there and possibly in Northern Virginia -- was rejected. That means that the board will decide on the controversial application in late February.

By Valerie Strauss  |  01:46 PM ET, 01/23/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  Big Concerns Cited, Charter Schools, Gulen Movement

Posted at 01:51 PM ET, 01/21/2013

Obama's three education references in inaugural speech

Here are the three references to education that President Obama made in his inaugural speech today.

By Valerie Strauss  |  01:51 PM ET, 01/21/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  Inaugural Speech, Schools and Teachers

Posted at 04:13 PM ET, 01/16/2013

PTA criticizes Obama's call for more armed school guards

The National Parent Teachers Organization said today it was pleased with much of President Obama's new proposals to improve school security but that his call for more armed guards at schools "comes as a disappointment."

By Valerie Strauss  |  04:13 PM ET, 01/16/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  Group Opposes Guns on Campus, Gun Violence in Schools, guns, School Security

Posted at 12:08 PM ET, 01/10/2013

Parsing Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell's education agenda

In his State of the Commonwealth address on Tuesday night, Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell proposed a state constitutional amendment that would make it easier for charter schools to open, an A-F system to grade schools, the use of Teach For America members, and more.

By Valerie Strauss  |  12:08 PM ET, 01/10/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  School Reform, Virginia schools, Wants More Charter Schools

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 12:25 PM ET, 01/08/2013

Va. legislator withdraws support from controversial Loudoun charter school proposal

A Virginia state senator has withdrawn support from a proposed charter school which would be the first in Loudoun and possibly in northern Virginia if allowed to open because of public "misgivings" and other concerns.

By Valerie Strauss  |  12:25 PM ET, 01/08/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  Charter Schools, Concerns About Applicants, Gulen Movement

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 05:24 PM ET, 12/21/2012

'Let's arm the young-uns': tweets on NRA proposal

Here are some tweets responding to the National Rifle Association's proposal to put armed guards in every school in the country.

By Valerie Strauss  |  05:24 PM ET, 12/21/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  Guns in Schools, NRA Proposal, Reaction

Posted at 01:11 PM ET, 12/21/2012

Virginia superintendents, principals reject guns in schools

Three educators' associations in Virginia just issued a release on school safety that says they are concerned about Gov. Bob McDonnell's suggestion that state residents have a discussion about allowing guns in schools

By Valerie Strauss  |  01:11 PM ET, 12/21/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  Guns in Schools, Keeping Schools Safe, School Safety

Posted at 01:16 PM ET, 12/14/2012

Proposed Loudoun charter gets initial 'no' vote

A three-member select committee of the Loudoun School Board have voted against recommending that the full panel approve what would be the first public charter school in the county because of questions involving curriculum and other operational issues.

By Valerie Strauss  |  01:16 PM ET, 12/14/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  Charter Schools, Full School Board to decide

Posted at 12:35 PM ET, 12/10/2012

Moco schools chief calls for three-year moratorium on standardized testing

Montgomery County Superintendent Joshua Starr, solidifying his role as a prominent critic of President Obama's education policies, says the country needs a three-year moratorium on standardized testing and needs to "stop the insanity" of evaluating teachers according to student test scores because it is based on "bad science."

By Valerie Strauss  |  12:35 PM ET, 12/10/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  Montgomery County Schools, Problems With Reform, School Reform

Posted at 01:35 PM ET, 12/04/2012

A Florida charter school scandal gets worse

Remember the case of the charter school that gave its founding principal a $519,453 payout in taxpayer money when it was forced to close? It's gotten worse.

By Valerie Strauss  |  01:35 PM ET, 12/04/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  Charter Schools, Where Did the Money Go?

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 11:38 AM ET, 11/26/2012

Pennsylvania slapped by U.S. Ed Department over charter schools

While Pennsylvania considers adding eight more cyber charter schools to its roster of 16, it learns that the Department of Education has slapped down its plan to evaluate brick and mortar charters by a method that is easier than for traditional schools. Confused? Read on.

By Valerie Strauss  |  11:38 AM ET, 11/26/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  8 More Cyber Charters?, Charter Schools, Cyber Charter Schools, New Cyber Charters Considered

Posted at 01:27 PM ET, 11/23/2012

Charter school corruption

As school reformers seek to open more and more charter schools, tales of corruption and self-serving behavior at these schools are told.

By Valerie Strauss  |  01:27 PM ET, 11/23/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  Charter Schools, Fleecing Taxpayers

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 01:03 PM ET, 11/13/2012

Washington to allow charter schools after billionaire-backed initiative squeaks through

Washington becomes the 42nd state to allow public charter schools to open now that ballot Initiative1240 has passed by barely 1 percentage point -- this after a group of billionaires, including Bill Gates, donated more than $10 million to get it pushed through.

By Valerie Strauss  |  01:03 PM ET, 11/13/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  Charter Schools, Initiative Squeaks Through

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 04:40 PM ET, 11/08/2012

Washington charter initiative STILL undecided update

It turns out that election results for Washington's initiative to allow charter schools to open in the state are incomplete and the outcome remains unknown despite the fact that a bunch of billionaires spent millions to get it approved.

By Valerie Strauss  |  04:40 PM ET, 11/08/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  Big Money, Charter Schools, School reforfm

Posted at 02:00 PM ET, 11/08/2012

How Obama helped Georgia charter measure win

Georgia's ballot measure to permit the state to create a committee to approve charter schools passed with big support from African Americans -- even though black lawmakers and other leaders in the state said it would lead to the resegregation of public schools. Who helped?

By Valerie Strauss  |  02:00 PM ET, 11/08/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  Charter Schools, Election Results, Powerful ad, School Reform

Posted at 01:44 PM ET, 10/26/2012

Charter school principal gets $519,453 payout (in taxpayer money)

How's this for outrageous? The principal of a charter school in Orange County, Fl., received a check for $519,453.36 in taxpayer money after the district school board agreed to let the school voluntarily close rather than be shut down for poor performance.

By Valerie Strauss  |  01:44 PM ET, 10/26/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  A Bad Choice, Charter Schools

Posted at 10:38 AM ET, 10/20/2012

Microsoft gives $50,000 more to Washington charter school initiative

Ballot initiatives in several states that are pushing for a growth in charter schools are being funded in large part by wealthy donors who sometimes live elsewhere.

By Valerie Strauss  |  10:38 AM ET, 10/20/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  Big Money, Charter Schools; Privatization

Posted at 12:26 PM ET, 10/19/2012

Playing hardball over a Tennessee charter school

Well, they went ahead and did it. Tennessee education officials actually lived up to their petulant threat to withhold $3.4 million from Nashville public schools as punishment for refusing to allow a controversial charter school to open.

By Valerie Strauss  |  12:26 PM ET, 10/19/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  Charter Schools, School choice

Posted at 11:08 PM ET, 10/14/2012

Rich siblings spend big bucks to affect California education funding

Molly Munger vs. California Gov. Jerry Brown is this week's case study in our continuing look at how billionaires (and millionaires) are throwing around their money to drive education reform.

By Valerie Strauss  |  11:08 PM ET, 10/14/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  Bad Behavior, Education funding; California schools

Posted at 11:25 AM ET, 10/12/2012

Bill Gates, other billionaires funding charter effort in Washington state

To get an understanding of how America's wealthiest people are using their fortunes to drive school reform, take a look at a list of the contributors to the pro-charter school initiative on the Washington state ballot in November. The first few pages -- the ones with the biggest donations -- is a who's who of billionaires.

By Valerie Strauss  |  11:25 AM ET, 10/12/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  Billionaires, Charter Schools, Privatization

Posted at 09:36 AM ET, 10/08/2012

Pennsylvania eases NCLB rules to help charter schools

Pennsylvania makes AYP easier for charters than for traditional public schools.

By Valerie Strauss  |  09:36 AM ET, 10/08/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  Charter Schools, Charter schools; No Child Left Behind; AYP

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

The Diane Ravitch myth

Anybody reading much of the commentary written on education policy could be forgiven for thinking that education historian Diane Ravitch is somehow the Wizardess of Ed, the woman behind the curtain secretly pulling the strings.

By Valerie Strauss  |  05:00 AM ET, 03/03/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Diane Ravitch | Tags:  arne duncan, bill gates, charter schools, colbert report, diane ravitch, jon stewart, president obama, school reform, whitney tilson

Posted at 11:00 AM ET, 02/27/2011

2 false claims that drive school reform

"Accountability" and "merit" are compelling concepts, especially when we are talking about adults who are charged with educating our children. But the concepts have been misused in school reform, writes an educator.

By Valerie Strauss  |  11:00 AM ET, 02/27/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Accountability, Charter schools, Guest Bloggers, Performance pay, Teacher assessment | Tags:  accountability movement, charter schools, geoffrey canada, merit pay, michelle rhee, performance pay, school choice, teacher pay, teachers, waiting for superman

Posted at 09:45 AM ET, 02/03/2011

Why aren't public school parents protesting?

A public school parent in New York writes about money and privilege, and private and public schooling in New York City.

By Valerie Strauss  |  09:45 AM ET, 02/03/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Guest Bloggers | Tags:  Avenues, Avenues The World School, Joel Klein, Mom Blog, barry diller, beccarama, manhattan private schools, new york city, new york city schools, private schools

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 05:00 AM ET, 01/31/2011

Legislation: Teachers should grade parents

In the you-can’t-make-this-stuff-up category, a Florida (of course) state legislator is pushing legislation that would require some elementary school teachers to grade parents on how involved they are at their children's schools.

By Valerie Strauss  |  05:00 AM ET, 01/31/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Teachers, Teachers | Tags:  bill for teachers to grade parents, florida bill teachers, florida legislature, florida schools, legislation teachers parents, parents, teachers, teachers grading parents

Posted at 01:18 PM ET, 01/29/2011

Does Kaya Henderson want to run D.C. schools?

It just may be that Kaya Henderson, the interim chancellor of D.C. schools who was tapped to succeed Michelle Rhee, doesn’t want the job permanently.

By Valerie Strauss  |  01:18 PM ET, 01/29/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  D.C. Schools | Tags:  arne duncan, d.c. schools, d.c. superintendent, kaya henderson, michelle rhee

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 03:00 AM ET, 01/27/2011

School district turns snow days into ‘e-days’

A tiny rural Ohio school district is experimenting with a new version of the traditional snow day -- one that some kids are not likely to enjoy much.

By Valerie Strauss  |  03:00 AM ET, 01/27/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Technology, Technology | Tags:  classes cancelled, e-days, inclement weather policy, ohio snow days, schools that closed, snow days

Posted at 05:00 AM ET, 01/26/2011

Things I’m sick of hearing

It’s time for school reformers to find new ways to attack their critics. It’s getting tiring hearing the same old refrains, which go something like this.

By Valerie Strauss  |  05:00 AM ET, 01/26/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Achievement gap, Achievement gap, Achievement gap, Achievement gap, Achievement gap | Tags:  charter schools, data-driven reform, michelle rhee, president obama, school reform, standardized tests, teachers unions

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 08:00 AM ET, 01/25/2011

Teaching without classroom teachers

Florida is the state that keeps on giving, at least to education writers. What it gives to its students is another question. One thing it isn’t giving to all of its students these days is classroom teachers.

By Valerie Strauss  |  08:00 AM ET, 01/25/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Teachers | Tags:  florida, florida education, florida schools, florida virtual school, gov. rick scott, online classes, rick scott, virtual classrooms

Posted at 12:57 PM ET, 01/22/2011

What Rhee’s comments about her children say about her

Amid the national debate about "Tiger Mother" Amy Chua's parenting style, let's look at what Michelle Rhee recently said about her own children and what those comments reveal about Rhee and her views about education.

By Valerie Strauss  |  12:57 PM ET, 01/22/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Michelle Rhee, Michelle Rhee | Tags:  amy chua, battle hymn of the tiger mother, chinese mother, education in finland, finland schools, grade retention, michelle rhee, parenting styles, rhee and soccer, soccer, social promotion, south korean schools, tiger moms, tiger mother

Posted at 12:35 PM ET, 01/21/2011

Say it isn’t so on IMPACT, Mayor Gray

Here’s why I was so disappointed to a plan by D.C. schools officials to have the flawed IMPACT teacher evaluation system reviewed by a Harvard think tank.

By Valerie Strauss  |  12:35 PM ET, 01/21/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  D.C. Schools, D.C. Schools, D.C. Schools | Tags:  d.c. schools, edulabs, harvard research, harvard thinktank, harvard university, mayor gray, mayor vincent gray, merit pay for teachers, michelle rhee, performance pay, teacher assessment, teacher evaluation

Posted at 05:36 PM ET, 01/20/2011

Pensions for teachers vs. chancellors

It seems fair to note that after making a public stink about the awfulness of pensions for public school teachers, former New York City Schools chancellor Joel Klein has himself accepted a $34,000 pension check.

By Valerie Strauss  |  05:36 PM ET, 01/20/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Teachers | Tags:  chancellor klein, joel klein, klein pension, new york city schools, pensions, ponzi schemes, schools chancellor, teachers pensions

Posted at 11:11 AM ET, 01/20/2011

Giving guns to teachers: A Nebraska legislator submits bill

It was inevitable that someone would push a plan to allow teachers to pack concealed guns, and now, someone has.

By Valerie Strauss  |  11:11 AM ET, 01/20/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Student Life, Student Life, Student Life | Tags:  gun legislation, gun rights, guns, guns in schools, nebraska legislation, teachers and guns

Posted at 05:00 AM ET, 01/20/2011

Policing the rush to charter schools

What would happen if we applied some school reform policies to city police departments?

By Valerie Strauss  |  05:00 AM ET, 01/20/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Charter schools, Charter schools, Charter schools, Charter schools | Tags:  charter schools, gov. mitch daniels, indiana education, indiana schools, journal gazette, schools and police, vouchers

Posted at 05:00 AM ET, 01/19/2011

Is Rhee's key D.C. reform being tossed?

While Michelle Rhee is busy trying to build up a national organization to take on the teachers unions, back in Washington D.C., where she was chancellor for 3 1/2 years, the new mayor may be on the road to taking apart her signature reform.

By Valerie Strauss  |  05:00 AM ET, 01/19/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  D.C. Schools, D.C. Schools, D.C. Schools | Tags:  IMPACT, IMPACT evaluation system, IMPACT teacher evaluation, d.c. schools, kaya henderson, mayor vincent gray, michelle rhee, school reform, teacher assessment, teacher evaluation, vincent gray

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 11:04 AM ET, 01/14/2011

The astrology college story

There are a lot of schools that teach astrology, but only one ever received permission from a state to award degrees to its students.

By Valerie Strauss  |  11:04 AM ET, 01/14/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  astrological schools, astrology, astrology college, astrology schools, kepler college

Posted at 05:47 PM ET, 01/13/2011

Should Duncan have plugged Henderson for D.C. schools boss?

If Education Secretary Arne Duncan were sitting in the editorial board of The New York Times talking about education, do you think he would put in a plug for a specific candidate to be chancellor of the city's public schools?

By Valerie Strauss  |  05:47 PM ET, 01/13/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  D.C. Schools, D.C. Schools | Tags:  arne duncan, d.c. schools, d.c. schools chancellor, education secretary arne duncan, kaya henderson, mayor gray, mayor vincent gray, vincent gray

Posted at 05:00 AM ET, 01/11/2011

Joel Klein's snow job

A New York City teacher takes a critical look at the legacy of Joel Klein, former schools chancellor and a leader of the modern reform movement.

By Valerie Strauss  |  05:00 AM ET, 01/11/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Guest Bloggers, Guest Bloggers, Guest Bloggers, Guest Bloggers | Tags:  joel klein, joel klein legacy, klein's legacy, michael bloomberg, new york city schools, nyc schools, school reform

Posted at 04:30 PM ET, 01/10/2011

More questions for KIPP

Here's the next chapter of a debate on KIPP schools.

By Valerie Strauss  |  04:30 PM ET, 01/10/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Charter schools, Charter schools | Tags:  century foundation, charter schools, charter schools and segregation, jay mathews, kipp, kipp charter schools, kipp schools, knowledge is power program

Posted at 08:30 AM ET, 01/10/2011

KIPP responds to criticism on attrition rates

Officials from the Knowledge Is Power Program, or KIPP charter schools, respond to a post about attrition rates and other issues.

By Valerie Strauss  |  08:30 AM ET, 01/10/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Charter schools, Charter schools | Tags:  charter schools, kipp, kipp schools, knowledge is power program

Posted at 05:00 AM ET, 01/10/2011

Latino studies program in Tucson declared illegal

An Arizona official has declared that an ethnic studies program on Latino culture is illegal under a new law that went effect on Jan. 1.

By Valerie Strauss  |  05:00 AM ET, 01/10/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  History | Tags:  arizona schools, ethnic studies program, ethnic studies program declared illegal, latino studies, mexican-american studies program, tom horne, tucson schools

Posted at 10:30 AM ET, 01/09/2011

How to be taken seriously as a reformer (don't be an educator)

In the current upside-down world of education policy, there's one foolproof strategy for being taken seriously as a reformer: Make sure you're not an educator. Here, an educator writes about what counts -- and what SHOULD count -- in the school reform debate.

By Valerie Strauss  |  10:30 AM ET, 01/09/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Guest Bloggers, Guest Bloggers, Guest Bloggers, Guest Bloggers | Tags:  Illiinois schools, Performance Counts, bill gates, eli broad, jeb bush, mark zuckerberg, obama and schools, obama daughters and school, oprah, performance counts, president obama and daughters, school reform, sidwell and obama, standardized tests, teacher assessment, teachers

Posted at 05:00 AM ET, 01/07/2011

What 2010 education research really shows about reform

A review of 2010 education research on charter schools, value-added measures and merit pay shows that the results were not great news for supporters of these reforms.

By Valerie Strauss  |  05:00 AM ET, 01/07/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Guest Bloggers, Guest Bloggers, Guest Bloggers, Guest Bloggers, Guest Bloggers | Tags:  charter schools, education research, market-based reforms, shankar blog, value-added, value-added measures

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

How technology will and won't change schools by 2020

Will ever newer technological devices really lead to an educational revolution and make schools unrecognizable by 2020?

By Valerie Strauss  |  05:00 AM ET, 01/05/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Guest Bloggers, Guest Bloggers, Guest Bloggers | Tags:  education technology, handhelds, larry cuban, technology, technology in schools

Posted at 01:36 PM ET, 01/03/2011

America’s disdain for its children

Americans don’t really think very much of their children. Not really. Just take a look at the world of education.

By Valerie Strauss  |  01:36 PM ET, 01/03/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Charter schools, Charter schools, Charter schools, Charter schools | Tags:  charter schools, children, poverty, standardized tests, teacher evaluation, teachers

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 10:38 AM ET, 12/28/2010

A hard look at education research

Here's a back-and-forth between authors of a report hailing Florida's school reform and a critique of that report. It shows how controversial education "research" really is.

By Valerie Strauss  |  10:38 AM ET, 12/28/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Alfie Kohn, Alfie Kohn, Alfie Kohn | Tags:  education research, florida school reform, florida schools, heritage foundation, school reform

Posted at 05:00 AM ET, 12/27/2010

Who in education says 'oops'?

A former school superintendent explains why virtually nobody in education policy ever admits that they "either goofed or would reconsider their decision."

By Valerie Strauss  |  05:00 AM ET, 12/27/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Charter schools, Charter schools, Charter schools, Charter schools | Tags:  charter schools, education policy, education policymakers, gates foundation, larry cuban, research on charter schools, technology in education

Posted at 01:00 PM ET, 12/22/2010

Bring back shop class

An educator writes: "Reinstituting manual education just might lead to a renaissance of common sense in how we educate our children."

By Valerie Strauss  |  01:00 PM ET, 12/22/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Guest Bloggers, Guest Bloggers, Guest Bloggers | Tags:  high schools, marc epstein, shop class, vocational education

Posted at 02:05 PM ET, 12/21/2010

A sobering look at Florida school reform

With Florida increasingly being looked to as a national model for school reform, here's a clear-eyed look at exactly what has been going on in the Sunshine State.

By Valerie Strauss  |  02:05 PM ET, 12/21/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Charter schools, Charter schools, Charter schools | Tags:  charter schools, florida school reform, jeb bush, school reform, sherman dorn, standardized tests

Posted at 06:00 AM ET, 12/21/2010

How a teachers' union actually helped kids (not just adults)

You've probably heard a lot about how teacher unions are obstacles to meaningful school reforms, but you probably have NOT heard about this remarkable union-involved success story in California.

By Valerie Strauss  |  06:00 AM ET, 12/21/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Anthony Cody, Anthony Cody, Anthony Cody, Anthony Cody, Anthony Cody | Tags:  academic performance index, achievement gap, api, california schools, california teachers association, qeia, standardized tests, teachers union

Posted at 05:00 AM ET, 12/20/2010

High remediation rates cast doubt on reforms

If standardized test-driven school reform is so successful, why are college remediation rates still so high?

By Valerie Strauss  |  05:00 AM ET, 12/20/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Community Colleges, Community Colleges | Tags:  jeb bush, joel klein, new york city remediation rates, new york city schools, remediation rates, school reform

Posted at 10:15 AM ET, 12/19/2010

'Burn and churn' among charter school principals

Seventy-one percent of charter school principals expect to leave their posts within five years, according to a new study. So what’s the big deal about entering and exiting charter school principals?

By Valerie Strauss  |  10:15 AM ET, 12/19/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Charter schools, Charter schools, Charter schools, Charter schools | Tags:  charter school principals, charter school teachers, charter schools, larry cuban, principal burnout, principals, school reform

Posted at 05:00 AM ET, 12/17/2010

The disaster California schools face, and a teacher's call to action

California's public schools face a real funding disaster, and a teacher says it is time to fight back.

By Valerie Strauss  |  05:00 AM ET, 12/17/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Anthony Cody, Anthony Cody | Tags:  anthony cody, budget deficit, california budget deficit, california schools, jerry brown, proposition 13

Posted at 04:25 PM ET, 12/15/2010

What Rhee wrought

Anyone who thinks that Michelle Rhee was a whiz as chancellor of D.C. public schools and should be heading a national "reform" movement ought to read about a high school she attempted to “transform” in the nation’s capital.

By Valerie Strauss  |  04:25 PM ET, 12/15/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  D.C. Schools, D.C. Schools, D.C. Schools | Tags:  d.c. schools, dunbar, dunbar high, dunbar high school, friends of bedford, michelle rhee, rhee, school reform, school transformation, transformation schools

Posted at 12:00 PM ET, 12/15/2010

Joel Klein's business model and the drowning of Nicole Suriel

The principal of the New York City elementary school where a field trip to a beach ended in the drowning death of a sixth grader has finally been fired. But not because of his responsibility in the botched trip.

By Valerie Strauss  |  12:00 PM ET, 12/15/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  School turnarounds/reform, School turnarounds/reform, School turnarounds/reform | Tags:  joel klein, mayor bloomberg, new york city schools, nicole suriel, nyc schools, school reform, student drowning

Posted at 10:45 AM ET, 12/14/2010

The 'Parent Trigger' doesn't help schools or parents

The so-called “parent trigger” law in California, which allows a majority of parents (from a school or from their “feeder” schools) to sign a petition that forces a school to be converted into a charter, is not a genuine parent engagement strategy. The recent effort to apply the law for the first time shows why.

By Valerie Strauss  |  10:45 AM ET, 12/14/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Charter schools, Charter schools, Charter schools, Charter schools | Tags:  california schools, california's parent trigger, charter schools, larry ferlazzo, parent revolution, parent trigger, parent trigger law

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 01:14 PM ET, 12/13/2010

What Norway (not Finland) tells us about schools

An educator explains what the United States can learn from Norway's education system.

By Valerie Strauss  |  01:14 PM ET, 12/13/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Guest Bloggers, Guest Bloggers | Tags:  OECD, PISA, PISA results, finland education system, finland schools, norway, school reform

Posted at 05:00 AM ET, 12/13/2010

A Felliniesque education story

A veteran teacher writes that if today's education debate seems Felliniesque, don’t worry; you have not lost your senses. "What is apparent, however, is that the people who run the show have."

By Valerie Strauss  |  05:00 AM ET, 12/13/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Guest Bloggers, Guest Bloggers, Guest Bloggers | Tags:  david steiner, fellini, how to assess teachers, merryl tisch, new york board of education, nyc schools, releasing test scores, standardized tests, teacher assessment, teachers, test scores released

Posted at 05:00 AM ET, 12/10/2010

Valerie vs. Jay on Teach for America, KIPP, etc.

My friend and colleague Jay Mathews, the most knowledgeable education reporter ever, challenged me to a debate. It evolved into a discussion about Teach for America. Here it is.

By Valerie Strauss  |  05:00 AM ET, 12/10/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Teachers | Tags:  education programs, education schools, jay mathews, kipp, mathews strauss debate, teach for america, teach for america debate, teacher education, teachers, valerie strauss

Posted at 02:10 PM ET, 12/09/2010

Teachers: What we need to do to fix schools

Fourteen teachers from urban schools around the country worked for a year to study how to improve troubled schools. Here are the results.

By Valerie Strauss  |  02:10 PM ET, 12/09/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Teachers, Teachers, Teachers, Teachers | Tags:  larry ferlazzo, quality teachers, school reform, teacher assessment, teacher development, teacher planning, teachers, teachers leadership network, urban schools, urban teachers

Posted at 02:00 PM ET, 12/09/2010

Teachers: How much more can we take?

Established, expert teachers tell their personal stories about how the joy is going out of their profession and why they are thinking the previously unthinkable: getting out.

By Valerie Strauss  |  02:00 PM ET, 12/09/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Teachers | Tags:  teachers, teaching profession, urban schools, urban teachers, veteran teachers

Posted at 03:29 PM ET, 12/08/2010

Absent teachers reserve 'crisis' created by Klein, Bloomberg, union

A teacher explains how all sides are responsible for the mess surrounding New York City's "absent teacher reserve: "If this self-inflicted "crisis" were given to a business management class as a case study, it's likely that they would conclude that the negotiators on both sides of the table were idiots."

By Valerie Strauss  |  03:29 PM ET, 12/08/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Guest Bloggers, Guest Bloggers | Tags:  cathie black, cathleen black, joel klein, new york city schools, nyc schools, teacher assessment, teacher tenure, teachers

Posted at 05:00 AM ET, 12/08/2010

A primer on (and problems with) market-based reform

Here's a primer on market-based school reform, the vision of its proponents and why their agenda is not the best thing for children.

By Valerie Strauss  |  05:00 AM ET, 12/08/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Guest Bloggers, Guest Bloggers | Tags:  andy smarick, arne duncan, checker finn, chester finn, democrats for education reform, dfer, fordham institute, geoffrey canada, green dot charter schools, harlem children's zone, jeb bush, joel klein, kipp, kipp schools, market-based reform, michael bloomberg, michelle rhee, richard barth, rick hess, rick scott, school reform, steve barr, wendy kopp, whitney tilson

Posted at 11:39 AM ET, 12/07/2010

Ravitch to Gates: Let's talk

Education historian Diane Ravitch invites Bill Gates to a public discussion on education reform, and explains why public schools must remain public.

By Valerie Strauss  |  11:39 AM ET, 12/07/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Guest Bloggers, Guest Bloggers | Tags:  bill gates, checker finn, diane ravitch, education policy, federal control of schools, local control of schools, obama and school reform, republicans in congress, school reform, school reform policies, wall street journal

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 01:02 PM ET, 12/03/2010

What is Michelle Rhee up to in Florida?

What is Michelle Rhee up to by taking an unpaid, advisory position on the education transition team of Florida Gov.-elect Rick Scott?

By Valerie Strauss  |  01:02 PM ET, 12/03/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Educational leadership | Tags:  bush and rhee, florida schools, jeb bush, michelle rhee, rhee and education, rhee and florida, rhee in florida, rick scott, steven colbert, the colbert report, washington d.c. schools

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, 12/02/2010

Is progress in Florida schools exaggerated?

Florida’s public school system is frequently held up as an exemplary example of how specific school reforms -- vouchers, charter schools, on-line schooling, high-stakes standardized tests, etc. -- can improve student achievement. But things aren't always what they seem.

By Valerie Strauss  |  05:00 AM ET, 12/02/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Accountability, Accountability, Accountability | Tags:  achievement gap, charter schools, florida, florida's schools, jeb bush, school reform, vouchers

Posted at 09:30 AM ET, 12/01/2010

Some Education Department spin

It didn’t long for the Education Department to try to link its school turnaround policy to a new report that says that the number of high school “dropout factories” has declined in the last decade. The problem for the department is that there is no link.

By Valerie Strauss  |  09:30 AM ET, 12/01/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  america's promise, arne duncan, building a grad nation, dropout crisis, dropout factories, education department, high schools, school dropouts, school reform, turnaround models

Posted at 05:00 AM ET, 11/30/2010

Ravitch answers Gates

Bill Gates, in an article by Jonathan Alter of Newsweek, poses some questions to education historian Diane Ravitch, who Alter inexplicably calls the Microsoft founder's "chief adversary." Here she answers Gates' questions.

By Valerie Strauss  |  05:00 AM ET, 11/30/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Diane Ravitch, Diane Ravitch | Tags:  bill gates, charter schools, diane ravitch, jonathan alter, microsoft, newsweek, school reform, teachers

Posted at 06:38 PM ET, 11/29/2010

Bloomberg gets his schools chancellor in NYC

Why did Cathie Black generate more hostility than Joel Klein did when they -- both non-educators -- were chosen eight years apart to run the largest public school system in the country.

By Valerie Strauss  |  06:38 PM ET, 11/29/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Educational leadership | Tags:  black and waiver, cathie black, cathleen black, chancellor black, david steiner, new york city schools, nyc chancellor, nyc schools, steiner grants waiver, waiver

Posted at 11:30 AM ET, 11/29/2010

Willingham: Why Black deserves a chance to run NYC schools

Cognitive scientist Daniel Willingham writes: "Understanding and actually attending to teachers’ perspectives on New York City classrooms in 2010 is probably mostly a matter of listening, and of valuing what teachers have to say." That's why, he says, Cathy Black deserves a chance to run the schools.

By Valerie Strauss  |  11:30 AM ET, 11/29/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Guest Bloggers | Tags:  cathie black, cathleen black, daniel willingham, educational leadership, new york city schools, new york city schools chancellor, nyc schools, nyc schools chancellor

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 08:59 AM ET, 11/28/2010

Why non-educator school chiefs aren't the answer

Historian Larry Cuban looks at how big-city school systems decided to reach into the corporate ranks to find school superintendents, and why they are no silver bullet to improving schools.

By Valerie Strauss  |  08:59 AM ET, 11/28/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Educational leadership, Educational leadership, Educational leadership | Tags:  cathie black, cathleen black, educational leadership, qualifications for superintendents, school reform, school superintendents, schools, superintendents

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 01:18 PM ET, 11/22/2010

The N.Y. chancellorship mess gets messier

It’s about time that there’s a strong public backlash to an ill-considered education decision. New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg likely did not anticipate the strong pushback he would get to his decision to tap as the next chancellor of New York’s public school system a media executive with no experience in public education.

By Valerie Strauss  |  01:18 PM ET, 11/22/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Educational leadership | Tags:  cathie black, cathleen black, chancellorship, david steiner, joel klein, new york city chancellorship, new york city schools, schools, steiner, steiner panel

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

How to help African-American males in school: Treat them like gifted students

The way to help African-American males in school is for teachers to do for them what works for gifted students: Develop their strengths.

By Valerie Strauss  |  06:00 AM ET, 11/22/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Achievement gap, Achievement gap | Tags:  SAT scores, achievement gap, african-american males, black males, council of great city schools, national urban alliance, schools

Posted at 12:46 PM ET, 11/20/2010

Why teaching experience really matters

Bill Gates just urged school districts and states to stop rewarding teachers for their experience in the classroom and/or advanced education degrees. Arne Duncan makes the same argument. But evidence shows that teaching experience DOES matter.

By Valerie Strauss  |  12:46 PM ET, 11/20/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Guest Bloggers, Guest Bloggers, Guest Bloggers, Guest Bloggers | Tags:  arne duncan, bill gates, class size, does experience matter, education department, education secretary duncan, lowering class size, raising class size, research on class size, research on teaching experience, school reform, schools, shankar blog, standardized tests, teacher experience, teacher pay, teacher quality, teacher salaries, teachers, teaching experience, value added

Posted at 05:00 AM ET, 11/18/2010

Teachers give 'Superman' director an earful

"Waiting for Superman" film director Davis Guggenheim asks teachers to tell him what they about his education film -- the one that scapegoats teachers -- and they let him have it.

By Valerie Strauss  |  05:00 AM ET, 11/18/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Anthony Cody, Anthony Cody | Tags:  anthony cody, attack on teachers, charter schools, davis guggenheim, superman, teachers, teachers unions, waiting for superman

Posted at 09:04 AM ET, 11/17/2010

What Ravitch told KIPP and Teach for America

Education historian Diane Ravitch gave a speech at Rice University about school reform in which she directly challenged officials from Teach for America and the Knowledge Is Power Program who were present -- the very people who had invited her.

By Valerie Strauss  |  09:04 AM ET, 11/17/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Diane Ravitch, Diane Ravitch | Tags:  arne duncan, charter schools, diane ravitch, finland, finland education, kipp, knowledge is power program, nclb, no child left behind, obama school reform, president obama, rice university, secretary duncan, teach for america, teachers, tfa

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 03:20 PM ET, 11/16/2010

Some advice for Cathie Black on NYC schools job

Cathie Black is doing her homework to gear up to be the chancellor of New York City schools, including reaching out to Michelle Rhee and others for advice. But why would she want the job given that intense opposition has arisen because of her lack of credentials?

By Valerie Strauss  |  03:20 PM ET, 11/16/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Educational leadership | Tags:  broad foundation, cathie black, cathleen black, david steiner, eli broad, hearst magazines, joel klein, mayor bloomberg, michael bloomberg, michelle a. rhee, michelle rhee, new york city schools, nyc schools, waivers

Posted at 09:21 AM ET, 11/15/2010

NYC Chancellor Cathie Black, in her own words

In an effort to learn about Cathleen Black, the woman that New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg chose to succeed Joel Klein as head of the city’s public schools, I turned to the book she wrote: “Basic Black: The Essential Guide for Getting Ahead at Work (and in Life.)”

By Valerie Strauss  |  09:21 AM ET, 11/15/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Educational leadership | Tags:  basic black, cathie black, cathleen black, educational leadership, joel klein, leadership, mayor bloomberg, naep, new york city schools, nyc schools, school leadership

Posted at 06:00 AM ET, 11/15/2010

Lisa Simpson and why reform isn't really reform

What we’re seeing today in the world of education is most accurately labeled “intensification,” not reform. It’s changing things, but it’s changing them in the same direction we’ve been moving for well over a decade. Lisa Simpson

By Valerie Strauss  |  06:00 AM ET, 11/15/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  School turnarounds/reform, School turnarounds/reform, School turnarounds/reform | Tags:  charter schools, kevin welner, lisa simpson, school reform, the simpsons

Posted at 01:00 AM ET, 11/15/2010

Are Rhee and Florida interested in each other?

The talk in education circles in Florida is that the governor elect, Rick Scott, may be looking for a new education commission and one name that seems dominant in the discussion is Michelle Rhee, who just resigned as Washington D.C. Schools chancellor.

By Valerie Strauss  |  01:00 AM ET, 11/15/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Educational leadership | Tags:  arne duncan, florida, florida education, florida education commissioners, florida governor, florida schools, george bush, george w. bush, jeb bush, michelle a. rhee, michelle rhee, rhee, rick scott

Posted at 11:55 AM ET, 11/13/2010

Teacher: Data, my new dirty word

A teacher explains how an obsession with data has led to the redefinition of teaching and learning: "Teaching itself has become redefined as generating, collecting, and using data, and learning has become redefined as the curve connecting data points. This is a fundamental shift in how educators think, talk, and go about educating our children. Unfortunately, it is not a shift that serves anyone but the data-collectors very well."

By Valerie Strauss  |  11:55 AM ET, 11/13/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Guest Bloggers, Guest Bloggers, Guest Bloggers | Tags:  data, education, educational data, mad math minutes, mad minutes, nclb, no child left behind, school reform, schools, teachers, teaching and learning, test data

Posted at 09:40 AM ET, 11/12/2010

What’s wrong with releasing names and scores?

A teacher writing about plans by the NYC Department of Education to release teachers’ names and value-added ratings to the press, says: "Is this sheer stubbornness on the part of school leaders, or do they not understand the harm this would cause?"

By Valerie Strauss  |  09:40 AM ET, 11/12/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Guest Bloggers, Guest Bloggers, Guest Bloggers | Tags:  diana senechal, la times, la times teachers, new york city schools, new york times, new york times teachers, nyc doe, school reform, schools and teachers, teacher assessment, teacher evaluation, teachers, the los angeles times, value added, value added assessment

Posted at 08:13 AM ET, 11/11/2010

Yes, you can teach kids to eat broccoli

I wouldn’t have believed it if I hadn’t seen it, but at Elsie Whitlow Stokes Community Freedom Public Charter School in Washington D.C., chef Lisa Dobbs runs a food program that has young students relishing broccoli, tilapia encrused with panko, boureks with beef or vegetables, and other foods not commonly embraced by kids.

By Valerie Strauss  |  08:13 AM ET, 11/11/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Health | Tags:  bill shore, charter schools, child nutrition act, elsie whitlow stokes, first lady michelle obama, jeff bridges, lisa dobbs, michelle obama, nutrition education, obesity, school lunch, share our strength, stokes charter school, whole foods

Posted at 07:38 PM ET, 11/09/2010

Bloomberg errs again with NYC public schools

There is unfortunate symmetry to today’s news that Joel Klein had resigned as New York City Schools Chancellor today to join Rupert Murdoch’s outfit, and that he was being succeeded by Cathie Black, chair of Hearst Magazines. Klein, who is becoming an executive vice president for News Corp., had taken the job as chancellor without any experience in education.

By Valerie Strauss  |  07:38 PM ET, 11/09/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  School turnarounds/reform | Tags:  bloomberg appoints black, cathie black, chancellor and black, chancellor black, chancellor klein, hearst magazines, joel klein, klein and murdoch, klein quits, klein resigns, klein to news corp., mayor bloomberg, michael bloomberg, new york city chancellor, new york schools, news corp., nyc chancellor, nyc schools

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

Harvard’s strange ‘Strange Bedfellows’ education event

You might think, or at least I would, that a ticketed discussion at the Harvard University Institute of Politics on education would include people with different views. But with Michelle Rhee, Jeb Bush and John Podesta as the panel, the "discussion" will sound more like an echo chamber.

By Valerie Strauss  |  06:00 AM ET, 11/09/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  School turnarounds/reform, School turnarounds/reform, School turnarounds/reform, School turnarounds/reform, School turnarounds/reform | Tags:  arne duncan, charter schools, education department, harvard, harvard university, institute of politics, iop, jeb bush, john podesta, margaret spellings, michelle rhee, no child left behind, obama education reform, president obama, race to the top, school reform

Posted at 06:00 AM ET, 11/08/2010

A public school teacher’s distress

A school teacher writes a letter about why she fears for the future of public education.

By Valerie Strauss  |  06:00 AM ET, 11/08/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Teachers, Teachers | Tags:  charter schools, diane ravitch, no child left behind, school reform, tax levy, taxes, teachers, toldeo schools

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

How Bill Maher got D.C. school reform wrong

The myth-making about the course of D.C. school reform and why Mayor Adrian Fenty was voted out of office in the nation’s capital continued last night, this time on HBO’s “Real Time With Bill Maher.”

By Valerie Strauss  |  11:30 AM ET, 11/06/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  D.C. Schools | Tags:  adrian fenty, bill maher, d.c. schools, hbo, mayor fenty, michelle rhee, real time with bill maher, school reform, the wall street journal, the washington post

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 11:19 AM ET, 11/04/2010

Some good news for California teachers

Public schools teachers in California got some good news from the midterm elections: Their candidate won in the race for state Superintendent of Public Instruction is still good news.

By Valerie Strauss  |  11:19 AM ET, 11/04/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Teachers | Tags:  california, california teachers, cft, charter schools, dfer, diane ravitch, gloria romero, state superintendent, tom torlakson

Posted at 06:00 AM ET, 11/04/2010

Where Kline stands on education policy

The man expected to be the new chairman of the House's education committee has some strong opinions about policy: He immensely dislikes No Child Left Behindy, but wants the Disabilities Education Act fully funded.

By Valerie Strauss  |  06:00 AM ET, 11/04/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Congress | Tags:  112th congress, IDEA, arne duncan, charter schools, congress, education committee, education policy, gop takeover, gop victory, house education and labor committee, john kline, midterm elections, nclb, no child left behind, president obama, race to the top, rep. john kline, republican victory, special ed, special education

Posted at 03:30 PM ET, 11/02/2010

What Michelle Rhee did in D.C.: Point by point

Here's a final critique of Michelle Rhee's legacy as chancellor of D.C. public schools, point by point, by a former D.C. schools student and teacher.

By Valerie Strauss  |  03:30 PM ET, 11/02/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  D.C. Schools, D.C. Schools | Tags:  d.c. schools, diane ravitch, michelle rhee, naep, rhee's legacy, standardized tests

Posted at 09:56 AM ET, 11/02/2010

What other countries are really doing in education

For a while education mavens keep pointing to other countries as models for education reform. Let's look at what some of them are really doing. Guess what? It's not what we're doing.

By Valerie Strauss  |  09:56 AM ET, 11/02/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Guest Bloggers, Guest Bloggers | Tags:  arne duncan, education finland, education singapore, finland, finland schools, finland teachers, singapore, teachers

Posted at 09:22 AM ET, 10/31/2010

A real Halloween fright: Costume contracts

Lots of schools have banned Halloween. Some say they don’t have time for Halloween frivolity; others worry that the day has religious overtones and families could be offended. And then there are those that set down so many rules about wearing a costume that the fun can get knocked out of it. Here's a contract kids and parents had to sign at one school.

By Valerie Strauss  |  09:22 AM ET, 10/31/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  costumes, first amendment, halloween, halloween and schools, halloween costumes, history of halloween

Posted at 09:57 AM ET, 10/29/2010

What Rhee's successor should do first

Michelle Rhee rather gracelessly delivered a parting shot to teachers on her way out of the building, telling them to watch their backs because the teacher evaluation system that she created, IMPACT, can tell who’s good and who’s not. Unfortunately, that’s not quite accurate. It's an unfair system open for abuse and Rhee's successor should move to fix it. Now.

By Valerie Strauss  |  09:57 AM ET, 10/29/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  D.C. Schools, D.C. Schools | Tags:  IMPACT, d.c. schools, kaya henderson, michelle rhee, performance pay, teach assessment, teacher evaluation, teacher preparation