Most Read: Local

The Answer Sheet: May, 2011

Posted at 02:54 PM ET, 04/29/2011

The education of Mary J. Blige

If you were a superstar singer, winner of a heap of major awards and tapped as the leading singer of the last 25 years in a particular genre, would you

By Valerie Strauss  |  02:54 PM ET, 04/29/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

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

Who is the most educated English queen?

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

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

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

When a school district gave teachers a voice

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

Posted at 12:18 PM ET, 04/28/2011

Can someone tell Trump to zip it on Obama and the Ivy League?

Would someone please tell Donald Trump to keep to himself his nonsensical thoughts about whether President Obama deserved to be admitted into Ivy League schools?

By Valerie Strauss  |  12:18 PM ET, 04/28/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

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

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

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

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

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

Duncan gets a gift of omission

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

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

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

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

Fallout from evaluation of D.C. public schools

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

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

Posted at 04:30 PM ET, 04/27/2011

Ravitch: When reformers reject data they don’t like

Education historian Diane Ravitch writes: “Curiously, the corporate [school] reform movement likes to talk about data-driven decisions, but reformers ignore any data that doesn’t support what they want to do.”

By Valerie Strauss  |  04:30 PM ET, 04/27/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

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

How school reform damages poor children — Kohn

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

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

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

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

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

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

Posted at 10:35 AM ET, 04/26/2011

Survey: D.C. scores well on preschool amid cuts in some states

A new national survey gives the District of Columbia high marks for enrollment and spending on preschool education programs at a time when some states have cut back because of tight budgets.

By Valerie Strauss  |  10:35 AM ET, 04/26/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

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

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

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

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

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

Unanswered questions about standardized tests

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

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

Posted at 02:46 PM ET, 04/25/2011

The unfortunate $1 million community college contest

There is little, it seems, that the Obama administration won’t turn into a contest for cash, at least when it comes to public education. Now it has helped kick off a new competition, pitting community colleges against each other for $1 million.

By Valerie Strauss  |  02:46 PM ET, 04/25/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

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

University chancellor goes undercover

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

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

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

A teacher: An actual expert opinion on teaching

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

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

Posted at 03:00 PM ET, 04/24/2011

The problem with Obama’s commencement contest

Six finalists have been selected in a sweepstakes in which high schools compete for President Obama to deliver the school’s 2011 commencement speech. Now the administration wants the public to help select which schools will win and lose. What’s wrong with this picture?

By Valerie Strauss  |  03:00 PM ET, 04/24/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 02:32 PM ET, 04/23/2011

NCLB: Is there common ground for change?

Is there any common ground among education reform forces regarding the rewriting and reauthorization of No Child Left Behind. Here’s an argument that there is.

By Valerie Strauss  |  02:32 PM ET, 04/23/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 10:50 AM ET, 04/22/2011

Parents spell out detailed school reform blueprint

The Parents Across America grassroots organization just released a detailed blueprint for the rewriting of No Child Left Behind. If only President Obama would read it.

By Valerie Strauss  |  10:50 AM ET, 04/22/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

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

High school senior leads Louisiana fight against anti-evolution law

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

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

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

‘I am a bad teacher’

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

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

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

Myths of Standardized Tests’ authors respond to readers

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Public school teacher: 13 reasons I’m outraged

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

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

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

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

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

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

Posted at 12:54 PM ET, 04/20/2011

Virginia’s largest school district says no to performance pay

It is seriously refreshing to hear that as soon as Virginia Gov. Robert McDonnell announced a new performance pay initiative for teachers that would tie their pay to student test scores, the state’s largest school system said thanks but no thanks.

By Valerie Strauss  |  12:54 PM ET, 04/20/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

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

Public education needs public discussion

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

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

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

A story on the power of parents as teachers

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

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

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

The school reform fantasy

Why it is a fantasy to believe that policies focused on improving teacher quality is the answer, or even most of the answer, to our education problems.

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

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

Teachers: Blame only where blame is due

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

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

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

Teacher effectiveness linked to height — Stunning report

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

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

Posted at 01:22 PM ET, 04/18/2011

Resistance to test-based school reform is growing

There is increasing protest across the country over school reform measures that the Obama administration has encouraged.

By Valerie Strauss  |  01:22 PM ET, 04/18/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

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

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

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

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

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

The critical condition of critical thinking

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

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

Posted at 10:20 AM ET, 04/17/2011

An unorthodox school reform blueprint

Educator Joanne Yatvin offers a complete school reform plan with un­or­tho­dox proposals that are “teacher-biased and cheap” — at least less expensive than the test-focused reforms now being implemented. They are a lot smarter too.

By Valerie Strauss  |  10:20 AM ET, 04/17/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 01:42 PM ET, 04/16/2011

A Texas school superintendent’s testing dilemma

A controversial Texas school superintendent writes about what he told Texas legislators about standardized tests and the grading of teachers — and what he wished he had said.

By Valerie Strauss  |  01:42 PM ET, 04/16/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

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

The myths of standardized testing

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

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

Posted at 10:23 PM ET, 04/14/2011

Teacher tells kids to ‘oink’ at messy classmate

A kindergarten teacher told kids in her class to make a circle around a classmate and tell him he was a pig, and “oink” at him, because he was messy. Guess what happened to the teacher.

By Valerie Strauss  |  10:23 PM ET, 04/14/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 11:41 AM ET, 04/14/2011

How schools kill creativity in kids

Sir Ken Robinson, in a thoughtful and hilarious speech, explains why creativity is as important in education as literacy and how public school systems around the world kill it in young people rather than foster it

By Valerie Strauss  |  11:41 AM ET, 04/14/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

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

Helping students motivate themselves

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

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

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

New Orleans schools ‘miracle’ not so miraculous

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How to do things with words

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

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

Posted at 05:22 PM ET, 04/12/2011

Learning how people really learn

A new grass-roots effort called “Faces of Learning” is launched to move the national debate about public education away from standardized testing to a focus on the core conditions of powerful learning environments

By Valerie Strauss  |  05:22 PM ET, 04/12/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 12:04 PM ET, 04/12/2011

Vouchers making a comeback, but why? — Ravitch

Education historian Diane Ravitch writes about the resurgence of school vouchers in cities across the country at the same time that the evidence for their lack of efficacy grows stronger.

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

Posted at 12:02 PM ET, 04/12/2011

When schools dictate what kids eat for lunch

One school in Chicago doesn’t allow most students to bring bag lunches; others ban certain foods from campus.

By Valerie Strauss  |  12:02 PM ET, 04/12/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

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

A 21st century boondoogle: high tech testing

Stephen Krashen and Susan Ohanian write about

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

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

Unanswered questions

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

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

Posted at 02:51 PM ET, 04/11/2011

Is this altruism or what?

McDonald’s offered free breakfasts to kids in Florida who started a week of all-important standardized tests Monday.

By Valerie Strauss  |  02:51 PM ET, 04/11/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 12:02 PM ET, 04/11/2011

What students forget to do when picking a college

Parents and students who have until May 1 to pick the right college have probably tasted the food and visited the dorms, but, says an admissions director, they should try something that is often overlooked in the selection process: drill down into the school’s academics.

By Valerie Strauss  |  12:02 PM ET, 04/11/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 10:42 AM ET, 04/11/2011

A not-so-modest proposal

Marion Brady makes this proposal to help save money in this economic emergency — and to help save schools: All 50 states should immediately cancel their contracts with testing companies.

By Valerie Strauss  |  10:42 AM ET, 04/11/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

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

Why faith in standardized testing industry is misplaced

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

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

Posted at 11:00 AM ET, 04/10/2011

Teach for America alum: TFA’s impact on my school

A Teach for America alumna who stayed in her placement school far longer than most TFA corps members writes about the impact the program has had on her school.

By Valerie Strauss  |  11:00 AM ET, 04/10/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 01:04 PM ET, 04/09/2011

Teach for America alum: Problems with the model

In the second part of a series on Teach for America, an alumna writes about why she believes that the TFA-brand — sending young people with five weeks of training to teach needy kids — is not a great deal for the school or its students.

By Valerie Strauss  |  01:04 PM ET, 04/09/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 01:00 PM ET, 04/08/2011

A love-hate relationship with Teach for America - Part 1: The 2-Year Commitment

A Teach for America alumna, in the first of a series of posts, writes about her conflicted relationship with the organization that placed her in the school where she is still teaching.

By Valerie Strauss, This is the first in a series of posts that I will publish over the next few days written by Anna Martin, an alumna for Teach for America who has stayed in her original placement school in California for seven years, five years longer than the TFA demands of its recruits., Martin calls herself “conflicted” about the organization, which places college graduates from top schools into schools with high rates of low-income students after providing them with five weeks of training., The organization is a favorite among current school reformers, and is supported by the Obama administration, as an innovative way to rejuvenate the country’s corps of teaches. TFA’s many opponents say, among other things, that five weeks of training is hardly enough to prepare a young person for the difficulties of teaching needy children, that this approach devalues the teaching profession, winds up hurting the students who most need the most experienced teachers., Martin has written several posts on her experiences with TFA, each focused on a different aspect of the experience. Here’s the first. Come back tomorrow for the second installment. and -0-  |  01:00 PM ET, 04/08/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

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

School reformers’ hypocritical blame game

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

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

Posted at 02:02 PM ET, 04/07/2011

What Cathie Black’s resignation means for school reform

The departure of the New York City schools chancellor shows the drawbacks of mayoral control of public schools and non-traditional school leaders.

By Valerie Strauss  |  02:02 PM ET, 04/07/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

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

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

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

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

Posted at 02:08 PM ET, 04/06/2011

A note on March 25 post about girl running away

Here’s a note about a post I wrote last month about a girl running away from home to avoid taking a standardized test.

By Valerie Strauss  |  02:08 PM ET, 04/06/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

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

The many contradictions in education policy

Veteran educator and blogger Anthony Cody engages in a dialogue with

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

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

Awakening in crisis: A lesson from Japan

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

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

Posted at 07:50 PM ET, 04/05/2011

Scary: GOP’s 2012 education priorities

The stated education priorities in the Republicans’ newly released 2012 budget proposal are some kind of scary.

By Valerie Strauss  |  07:50 PM ET, 04/05/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 01:06 PM ET, 04/05/2011

Parent: College counselor’s rant off the mark

A parent takes issue with a college admissions counselor, who said in a previous post that some parents and kids are irrational about their expectations and choices for colleges.

By Valerie Strauss  |  01:06 PM ET, 04/05/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 12:27 PM ET, 04/05/2011

Ravitch: Ignoring lessons of phony ‘Texas miracle’

Education historian Diane Ravitch writes about how the so-called “Texas miracle” led to No Child Behind, and how modern reformers are ignoring the lessons learned from that reform.

By Valerie Strauss  |  12:27 PM ET, 04/05/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Guest Bloggers

Posted at 11:26 AM ET, 04/05/2011

A college counselor’s rant about irrationality

A college counselor writes to her colleagues about the irrationality of some kids and their parents when it comes to choosing a college

By Valerie Strauss  |  11:26 AM ET, 04/05/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

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

A case against standards

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

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

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

Vouchers, vouchers everywhere

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

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

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

Butler, UConn: The schools, by the numbers

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

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

Posted at 01:08 PM ET, 04/04/2011

A teacher explains why she is offended

A teacher writes an open letter to President Obama, Arne Duncan, Bill Gates and other billionaires who support business-focused school reforms, to explain why their agenda offends teachers and hurts kids.

By Valerie Strauss  |  01:08 PM ET, 04/04/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

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

‘Rhee the Reformer: A Cautionary Tale’

Anybody can — and plenty do — write conventionally about Michelle Rhee and the controversial school reforms she pushed when she was chancellor of D.C. schools for 3 1/2 years.

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

Posted at 02:38 PM ET, 04/03/2011

The illogic of paying teachers based on test scores

If it is smart policy to see schools as units when failure and turnarounds are concerned, then, a vet­eran educator writes, why the passion and hullabaloo for paying individual teachers based on test scores rather than rewarding the entire school?

By Valerie Strauss  |  02:38 PM ET, 04/03/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 12:55 PM ET, 04/02/2011

Jaw-dropper of week: Snooki beats Obama

It appeared for days that the jaw-dropper of the week would be President Obama's comment that kids take too many standardized tests — a view at odds with his actual policies — but then we learned Snooki got paid more to speak at Rutgers than Toni Morrison did.

By Valerie Strauss  |  12:55 PM ET, 04/02/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 10:27 AM ET, 04/01/2011

What Jeb Bush doesn’t like to admit

There is a hole in the story Jeb Bush tells when he talks about school reforms he implemented in Florida during his eight years as governor.

By Valerie Strauss  |  10:27 AM ET, 04/01/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

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

Kohn: What does education research really tell us?

Alfie Kohn takes a critical look at exactly what education research really tells us about homework, traditional teaching and support rewards.

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

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

A school principal’s unusual April 1st staff memo

A high school principal in Ohio shares the weekly memo he has written and s distributing to his staff on April 1, complete with unusual news from the world of education.

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

Posted at 09:40 PM ET, 03/31/2011

Why schools should abandon zero-tolerance policies

The tough disciplinary policy in Fairfax County public schools is not one of “zero tolerance,” officials there say. But it is a fine imitation of one, which is why it’s a good thing that Superintendent Jack D. Dale is now seeking changes

By Valerie Strauss  |  09:40 PM ET, 03/31/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 04:21 PM ET, 03/31/2011

Was Arne Duncan right on AYP?

Arne Duncan was recently accused of hype when he said that 82 percent of public schools could be at risk of failing to meet federally required education goals this year. Well, the AP reported Thursday that 72 percent of Vermont schools failed to do so, up from 31 percent

By Valerie Strauss  |  04:21 PM ET, 03/31/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

 

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