Most Read: Local

The Answer Sheet: May, 2011

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

7 obvious things in education that are ignored

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

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

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

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

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

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

Posted at 09:08 AM ET, 05/30/2011

Memorial Day facts — and a quiz

Test your knowledge with this quiz about Memorial Day and the U.S. history that led to its establishment and continued observance.

By Valerie Strauss  |  09:08 AM ET, 05/30/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 10:44 AM ET, 05/29/2011

Teacher: Of 8,892 data points, which ones matter in evaluation?

A teacher writes, “I’m an effective teacher. But I am not good enough to overcome the barriers some of my students face. I don’t know who is.”

By Valerie Strauss  |  10:44 AM ET, 05/29/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 04:19 PM ET, 05/28/2011

Report: Test-based incentives don’t produce real student achievement

Incentive programs aimed at raising standardized test scores largely don’t increase student achievement, according to a National Research Council panel.

By Valerie Strauss  |  04:19 PM ET, 05/28/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 08:23 AM ET, 05/28/2011

Why relationship-building is vital in schools

Strong relationships can not only help students and staff feel safe and free of physical threats, but also make schools “intellectually safe” for students to learn and thrive.

By Valerie Strauss  |  08:23 AM ET, 05/28/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

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

A pull-no-punches commencement speech for teachers

Linda Darling-Hammond pulled no punches in a commencement speech she gave about school reform at Teachers College, Columbia University. Here are excerpts.

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

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

The 84-year-old first grader — for real

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

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

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

Teachers of Year fight test-based assessment

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

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

Posted at 01:22 PM ET, 05/26/2011

Facebook founder’s comments raise questions about why he got involved in school reform

Remarks about opening Facebook to middle and elementary schoolchildren caused an Internet uproar and, a week later, a reversal by the 27-year old-CEO.

By Valerie Strauss  |  01:22 PM ET, 05/26/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

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

A sensible way to rewrite No Child Left Behind

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

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

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

Error in Congress leaves schools fully funded — unbelievable report

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

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

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

The trouble with “innovation” in schools

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

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

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

The LEARN Act: An expensive mistake

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

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

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

How patience, attention saved a struggling learner

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

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

Posted at 01:40 PM ET, 05/23/2011

Teach Plus changes Web site to reflect reality

Teach Plus changed its “Why We Exist” statement on its Web site regarding the most important factor in student success.

By Valerie Strauss  |  01:40 PM ET, 05/23/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

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

Wrong question, wrong answer

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

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

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

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

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

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

Posted at 10:34 AM ET, 05/22/2011

The letter from assessment experts the N.Y. Regents ignored

Here’s the letter from assessment experts urging the New York Regents not to approve an assessment system that links student standard test scores to teacher and principal evaluation. The Regents inored the evidence that such systems are unstable and went ahead anyway.

By Valerie Strauss  |  10:34 AM ET, 05/22/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

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

Ten things teachers need to reclaim their profession

Federal and state policies have contributed to taking away much of the autonomy teachers once enjoyed in the classroom, as other professionals enjoy. Here are the 10 things needed to happen for teachers to reclaim their professional independence.

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

Posted at 05:33 PM ET, 05/20/2011

Challenging Jay’s Challenge Index

My colleague Jay Mathews has just produced his latest ranking of high schools through the Challenge Index. It sounds reasonable, but...

By Valerie Strauss  |  05:33 PM ET, 05/20/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Missing the point on poverty and reform — again

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

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

Posted at 05:15 PM ET, 05/19/2011

Survey: College admissions counselors wary of U.S. News rankings

A new survey of college admissions counselors show that the vast majority are extremely wary of the U.S. News & World Report’s annual college rankings.

By Valerie Strauss  |  05:15 PM ET, 05/19/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 12:09 PM ET, 05/19/2011

Why teachers, parents are planning ‘Save Our Schools’ march

Teachers, parents and activists across the country are planning a march on Washington for July to demand sensible school reform. I ask two of the organizers what took so long.

By Valerie Strauss  |  12:09 PM ET, 05/19/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

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

What is Joel Klein talking about?

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

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

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

How to fix the STEM deficit

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

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

Posted at 02:45 PM ET, 05/18/2011

California Gov. Brown takes step toward testing sanity

California Gov. Jerry Brown has taken a big step towards reducing the testing mania in the nation's most populous state.

By Valerie Strauss  |  02:45 PM ET, 05/18/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

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

Teacher: ‘My employer has become my enemy’

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

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

Posted at 01:21 PM ET, 05/17/2011

NY regent: Why we shouldn’t link teacher evaluation to test scores

A member of the New York State Board of Regents explains why he is opposed to proposed regulations in the state that link teacher evaluations to student standardized test scores.

By Valerie Strauss  |  01:21 PM ET, 05/17/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 10:38 AM ET, 05/17/2011

“It’s Academic” Superbowl quiz

Put your knowledge to the test with these questions from the 50th season of this local quiz show institution.

By Marie Elizabeth Oliver and Mike McPhate  |  10:38 AM ET, 05/17/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

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

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

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

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

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

43 education programs Republicans want to eliminate

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

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

Posted at 05:16 PM ET, 05/16/2011

Report: U.S. college freshmen less prepared nowadays, presidents say

A new report says that three-quarters of American adults say college is too expensive for most Americans to afford. And most of more than 1,000 college presidents surveyed said that freshmen are coming to campus less prepared than kids were 10 years ago.

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

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

A question about Memphis school Obama chose

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

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

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

Did FSU let billionaire buy professorships?

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

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

Posted at 11:56 AM ET, 05/15/2011

What do teachers really want?

John Merrow asks public school teachers what they really want. The answer most commonly given has nothing to do with money, but everything to do with respect.

By Valerie Strauss  |  11:56 AM ET, 05/15/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 12:38 PM ET, 05/14/2011

Bill Maher’s “Real Time” education debate failure

“Those who can, do. Those who cannot, teach.”

By Valerie Strauss  |  12:38 PM ET, 05/14/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 12:20 PM ET, 05/13/2011

Data-driven instruction: Not all it seems

Policymakers assume that micro- or macro-decisions driven by data will improve student achievement just like those productivity increases and profits major corporations accrue from using data to make decisions. But the evidence isn’t there yet to support it.

By Valerie Strauss  |  12:20 PM ET, 05/13/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 11:16 AM ET, 05/13/2011

Online learning: The necessity and promise

An educator writes that a well-designed and well-taught online course can meet students’ needs — and is the wave of the future. The challenge is to avoid poor quality online curriculum, inadequately prepared teachers, and students without the requisite skills for success.

By Valerie Strauss  |  11:16 AM ET, 05/13/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

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

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

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

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

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

Russian billionaire makes unbelievable bid for Newark schools

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

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

Posted at 04:59 PM ET, 05/11/2011

UCLA students came close to finding bin Laden

Five students at the University of California at Los Angeles and two geography professors actually came close to figuring out where Osama bin Laden was hiding for more than two years before he was killed by U.S. special forces.

By Valerie Strauss  |  04:59 PM ET, 05/11/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

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

The ‘Counter-Manifesto’ against a national curriculum

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

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

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

Close the school, blame the victims

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

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

Posted at 09:55 PM ET, 05/10/2011

Ravitch: ‘Way past time to get mad’

Education historian Diane Ravitch writes about the latest development in the education world, including the announcement that the Gates Foundation, together with Pearson, will write a new K-12 curriculum.

By Valerie Strauss  |  09:55 PM ET, 05/10/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 04:33 PM ET, 05/10/2011

The school that won Obama as commencement speaker

A high school in Memphis won the Obama administration’s contest that had this unique prize: Obama himself delivering the 2011 commencement speech.

By Valerie Strauss  |  04:33 PM ET, 05/10/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 10:48 AM ET, 05/10/2011

How deceptive is this letter from Rhee’s organization?

StudentsFirst, a group that opposes teachers’ unions, and encourages charter schools and vouchers, neglects to define its positions in its fundraising pitch.

By Valerie Strauss  |  10:48 AM ET, 05/10/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

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

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

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

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

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

How high school should really end

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

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

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

James Comer tells his own learning story

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

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

Posted at 12:48 PM ET, 05/09/2011

L.A. Times rates teachers again, unfortunately

It’s deja vu all over again with The Los Angeles Times and its value-added scores that supposedly tell us who is an effective teacher and who isn’t.

By Valerie Strauss  |  12:48 PM ET, 05/09/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

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

Leading mathematician debunks ‘value-added’

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

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

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

Virginia’s ill-advised assessment experiment

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

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

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

Parents, teachers seek federal probe of D.C. erasing scandal

Nearly 4,000 D.C. schoolteachers, parents and others have signed a petition urging federal officials to investigate suspicions of potential cheating on standardized tests during the tenure of former chancellor Michelle A. Rhee.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Our cutthroat curriculum

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

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

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

What 2011 Teachers of the Year told the Ed Dept.

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

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

Posted at 02:24 PM ET, 05/04/2011

Almost 280 colleges have space for fall: Survey

Almost 280 colleges and universities across the country still have space and financial aid available for students to enroll next fall. Here’s the list.

By Valerie Strauss  |  02:24 PM ET, 05/04/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

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

Federal tests find little progress in civics education

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

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

Posted at 10:58 AM ET, 05/04/2011

Civics knowledge that kids are supposed to know

Here are some skills kids are supposed to know in civics, as tested by the National Assessment of Educational Progress.

By Valerie Strauss  |  10:58 AM ET, 05/04/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

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

President Obama, Matt Damon and America’s teachers

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

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

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

The myth of the superstar novice teacher

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

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

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

Life lessons in preschool: A learning story

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

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

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

2011 Teacher of the Year talks about reform and more

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

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

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

When will the testing bubble burst?

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

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

Posted at 10:12 PM ET, 04/30/2011

Teacher of the Year is from Maryland

Michelle Shearer, a chemistry teacher at Urbana High School in Frederick County, won the title over three others.

By Valerie Strauss  |  10:12 PM ET, 04/30/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 10:57 AM ET, 04/30/2011

Five-year-olds get iPads: Hurray?

A veteran educator writes about how the national attention received by a Maine district that spent $200,000 to buy iPads for kindergarteners when school budgets are being cut reveals not only a faith in technology but also the new, controversial academic demands in early education.

By Valerie Strauss  |  10:57 AM ET, 04/30/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

 

© 2011 The Washington Post Company