Most Read: Local

The Answer Sheet: June, 2011

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

Same data, different story: Debating progress in NYC schools

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

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

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

Experience counts for something

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

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

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

Report: School districts at funding cliff

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

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

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

Cheating on standardized tests and roaches

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ravitch: Reasons for hope

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

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

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

The problem with how we evaluate success in ed reform

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

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

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

13 Ways of looking at breakfast for schoolchildren

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

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

Posted at 12:17 PM ET, 06/27/2011

How standardized testing is being expanded

As states march to the Race to the Top beat, passing laws that, among other things, insist that teacher evaluations must be linked to student outcomes, we are

By Valerie Strauss  |  12:17 PM ET, 06/27/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

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

The reform pretenders

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

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

Posted at 10:36 AM ET, 06/26/2011

What 21st century teaching, learning really means

A teacher explains the transformation in teaching that must take place in the 21st century that goes beyond just changing the tooles that are now used in the classroom.

By Valerie Strauss  |  10:36 AM ET, 06/26/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 08:48 PM ET, 06/25/2011

Summer reading: Favorite books of Bill Clinton, Bill Gates...

Wondering what to read this summer? Scholastic’s website, youarewhatyouread.com, gives you plenty of ideas, with lists of favorite books assembled by all kinds of interesting people.

By Valerie Strauss  |  08:48 PM ET, 06/25/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 01:02 PM ET, 06/25/2011

The 3 most important questions in education

Sam Chaltain asks three questions that he says are the most important in education today, and they don’t have anything to do with standardized tests.

By Valerie Strauss  |  01:02 PM ET, 06/25/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 01:13 PM ET, 06/24/2011

Policy makers ignore the teachers — again

The Maryland Council for Educator Effectiveness ignored the classroom teachers on the panel when devising a new teacher evaluation system. How much sense does that make?

By Valerie Strauss  |  01:13 PM ET, 06/24/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

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

Test folly in Virginia — and in Maryland, too

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A response from Joel Klein on status quo apologists

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

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

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

Positioning young black males for success

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

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

Posted at 02:41 PM ET, 06/22/2011

Ravitch: Why I am marching on July 30

Education historian Diane Ravitch writes why she is planning to join a planned rally of teachers in July in Washington to protest the Obama administration’s education policies.

By Valerie Strauss  |  02:41 PM ET, 06/22/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

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

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

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

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

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

How to write an article about parenting

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

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

Posted at 04:52 PM ET, 06/21/2011

Time for some straight talk Chancellor Henderson

Now is as good a time as any for Kaya Henderson, newly named chancellor of D.C. public schools, to stop being so secretive and talk straight to D.C. residents.

By Valerie Strauss  |  04:52 PM ET, 06/21/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

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

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

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

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

Posted at 09:36 AM ET, 06/19/2011

Teachers appeal to President Obama

Teachers express their dismay at President Obama’s education policy and ask him to reconsider his administration’s emphasis on using high-stakes tests for evaluation of students, schools and teachers.

By Valerie Strauss  |  09:36 AM ET, 06/19/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 02:17 PM ET, 06/18/2011

And now a new standardized testing scandal

A dozen Florida school systems are suspected of cheating on the standardized test at the heart of the state’s accountability system.

By Valerie Strauss  |  02:17 PM ET, 06/18/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 10:41 AM ET, 06/17/2011

Homework: The useful and the useless

Here we go again with a new debate on old subject: homework. Some students’ opinions.

By Valerie Strauss  |  10:41 AM ET, 06/17/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

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

The 12 qualities great teachers share

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

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

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

Joel Klein vs. those status quo apologists

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What mattered to teachers this school year

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

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

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

Moving past zero-tolerance disciplinary policies

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

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

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

Thoughts on neighborhood, teaching and school reform

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

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

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

How Socrates would fare on new teacher evaluation plan

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

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

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

Do self-selection and attrition matter in KIPP schools?

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

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

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

Literature study by teleconference

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

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

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

The best commencement speechs that never happened

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

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

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

A response from KIPP

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

Posted at 08:59 AM ET, 06/12/2011

What reformers could learn from my friend Len

Bill Gates and the other wealthy philanthropists throwing their money on unproven projects in public education could learn a thing or two from my friend Leonard Turkel.

By Valerie Strauss  |  08:59 AM ET, 06/12/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 08:23 AM ET, 06/11/2011

Basketball and education: The same questions

The questions in basketball — Why does a team play so much better on one night than another? Why does it often play better at the end of a game than at the beginning? — and education are pretty much the same as in education.

By Valerie Strauss  |  08:23 AM ET, 06/11/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

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

A school reformer gets real

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

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

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

How much does stress affect learning?

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

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

Posted at 04:53 PM ET, 06/09/2011

Fairfax school board weighs discipline changes

The Fairfax County School Board is expected tonight to vote on changes to student discipline in the Washington region’s largest school system.

By Nick Anderson  |  04:53 PM ET, 06/09/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

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

The foreign language dilemma: Sí or oui?

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

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

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

What we lose when standardized testing becomes supreme

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

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

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

Holding parents accountable: Grades? Fines? Jail?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Why recess is serious business

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

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

Posted at 03:00 PM ET, 06/07/2011

What Michelle Rhee has been up to

As the city looks into allegations of extensive cheating on standardized tests during Rhee’s tenure as chancellor, she is busy attacking teachers unions.

By Valerie Strauss  |  03:00 PM ET, 06/07/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

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

Low-income students and KIPP charter schools

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

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

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

How to prevent summer reading loss

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

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

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

Democrats raise new concerns about charter schools

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

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

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

Why college app essays should be limited to 500 words

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

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

Posted at 12:35 PM ET, 06/05/2011

Summer reading: The 10 most influential books

Adults and kids were asked by Scholastic to list the books that have been most influential in their lives.

By Valerie Strauss  |  12:35 PM ET, 06/05/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 11:43 AM ET, 06/05/2011

5 reasons parents should oppose evaluating teachers on test scores

The 1988 film “Stand and Deliver” portrayed Jaime Escalante’s inspirational teaching of AP Calculus to his East Los Angeles students. Imagine that he said to his students: “I need you to get at least a ‘3’ on this exam because I don’t want to lose my job.” Would his students have responded with such dedication?

By Valerie Strauss  |  11:43 AM ET, 06/05/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 10:50 AM ET, 06/04/2011

NBA finals and ‘no excuses’ charter schools

The connection between Game 2 of the NBA finals and “no excuses” charter schools reveals the powerful influence of middle-class norms on every aspect of American society, Paul Thomas writes.

By Valerie Strauss  |  10:50 AM ET, 06/04/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 03:57 PM ET, 06/03/2011

5th grader’s essay: High-stakes tests lead to stress, not learning

A fifth grader at Chevy Chase Elementary School in Montgomery County wrote a persuasive essay for school that is, in fact, highly persuasive in telling how high-stakes tests are hurting her and her classmates.

By Valerie Strauss  |  03:57 PM ET, 06/03/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

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

Are we creating dual school systems with charters, vouchers?

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

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

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

Common Application sets 500-word limit on main essay

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

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

Posted at 12:22 PM ET, 06/02/2011

Trashing Virginia’s Standards of Learning

A heavyweight group of Virginia school superintendents won’t directly say they are trying to trash the Standards of Learning, but that’s effectively what they are up to.

By Valerie Strauss  |  12:22 PM ET, 06/02/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

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

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

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

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

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

Will kids blackmail teachers over standardized test scores?

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

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

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

School discipline: Too harsh or too lenient?

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

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

Posted at 12:42 PM ET, 06/01/2011

Ravitch: A bad gamble in education

Education historian Diane Ravitch writes about the bad gamble that New York and other states are making in mandating that teacher evaluations and pay be based in part on student test scores.

By Valerie Strauss  |  12:42 PM ET, 06/01/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

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

A movie that tells a real story of American teachers

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

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

Posted at 12:32 PM ET, 05/31/2011

The 5-story Google alert that says almost everything

I have a Google alert programmed for the word “school,” and one of the e-mails I received this morning was a sobering reminder of where we are today in education. Here are the stories.

By Valerie Strauss  |  12:32 PM ET, 05/31/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 11:43 AM ET, 05/31/2011

Teacher sings Barney song to kids during shootout

Here is some amazing footage of a teacher in Mexico singing a Barney song to kindergartners when a shootout erupted outside their classroom.

By Valerie Strauss  |  11:43 AM ET, 05/31/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

 

© 2011 The Washington Post Company