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The Answer Sheet: August, 2011

Posted at 04:00 AM ET, 08/26/2011

Using hurricanes and techie tools to engage students

A teacher explains how hurricanes are great subjects to engage students when the new school year begins across the curriculum.

By Valerie Strauss  |  04:00 AM ET, 08/26/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 02:35 PM ET, 08/11/2011

‘Ravitch Rage’: Cause, symptoms, treatment (Update)

I am not a doctor, but I play one in my office, and I have detected a new, possibly infectious syndrome that I will refer to (when I call the Centers for Disease Control to report it) as “Ravitch Rage.”

By Valerie Strauss  |  02:35 PM ET, 08/11/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 07:57 PM ET, 07/30/2011

Matt Damon’s clear-headed speech to teachers rally

Here is Matt Damon’s powerful speech to the Save Our Schools rally in Washington, D.C.

By Valerie Strauss  |  07:57 PM ET, 07/30/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 07:31 PM ET, 07/30/2011

The Save Our Schools March

Thousands of teachers from across the country meet in Washington to protest the Obama administration's school reform policies. They heard from Matt Damon, Jon Stewart on tape, Diane Ravitch, Linda Darling-Hammond and more.

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

Posted at 10:26 AM ET, 07/30/2011

To Secretary Duncan: The information you invited

Here is a letter to Arne Duncan with information that he solicited during a conversation with a principal who he called after she wrote an open letter protesting his education policies.

By Valerie Strauss  |  10:26 AM ET, 07/30/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 02:00 PM ET, 07/29/2011

Kohn: Why we have to save our schools

Alfie Kohn explains why modern school reform is off base and what we need to do to fix it.

By Valerie Strauss  |  02:00 PM ET, 07/29/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Alfie Kohn

Posted at 08:13 AM ET, 07/29/2011

Save Our Schools March leaders answer White House invitation

Organizers of the Save Our Schools March decided to decline a White House invitation to meet with education advisers, saying they would be available after the march.

By Valerie Strauss  |  08:13 AM ET, 07/29/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 08:00 AM ET, 07/29/2011

The battle cry of Tiger Mother ex-chancellor Rhee

Will someone please tell former D.C. Schools chancellor Michelle Rhee that we already know her two daughters “suck” at soccer and that she can stop disparaging their athletic abilities in public?

By Valerie Strauss  |  08:00 AM ET, 07/29/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 04:00 AM ET, 07/29/2011

D.C. teacher: Why I believe I was really fired

A D.C. public school teacher who was just fired under the IMPACT evaluation system explains why he thinks he was really let go.

By Valerie Strauss  |  04:00 AM ET, 07/29/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  D.C. Schools

Posted at 03:15 PM ET, 07/28/2011

Why Save Our Schools March is happening Saturday

Teachers, principals, parents and other education activists are marching on Washington this Saturday to protest the Obama administration’s education policies. Here’s why.

By Valerie Strauss  |  03:15 PM ET, 07/28/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 03:09 PM ET, 07/28/2011

Update: Obama administration reaches out to education activists before march

Obama administration officials suddenly reach out to leaders of Saturday’s planned teachers protest in Washington, D.C.

By Valerie Strauss  |  03:09 PM ET, 07/28/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 10:41 AM ET, 07/28/2011

Report: How voucher landscape is widening

A new review of voucher research over the past decade reveals that vouchers over all “do not have a strong effect on students' academic achievement.”

By Valerie Strauss  |  10:41 AM ET, 07/28/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Vouchers

Posted at 03:00 AM ET, 07/28/2011

Poll: Parents see educational value in digital skills but wary of social media

A national poll by the nonprofit Common Sense Media reveals that a wide majority of parents believe that it is just as important for their children to know digital media skills as traditional learning skills, but remain wary about the role social networks play in the lives of young people.

By Valerie Strauss  |  03:00 AM ET, 07/28/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 04:00 AM ET, 07/27/2011

Principal: Why I’m marching to ‘save our schools’

The principal of a high-achieving school writes why she is marching in Saturday’s Save our Schools rally in Washington D.C., was was organized to protest standardized test-based school reform.

By Valerie Strauss  |  04:00 AM ET, 07/27/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 10:57 PM ET, 07/26/2011

Was a NAEP geography test question poorly constructed?

A long-time educator raises concerns about just how well a question on the National Assessment of Educational Progress 2010 geography exam was constructed.

By Valerie Strauss  |  10:57 PM ET, 07/26/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 04:00 AM ET, 07/26/2011

Teachers in a bind: Tests don’t measure critical thinking

Anthony Cody writes that great teaching sparks complex thinking in students, but standardized tests simply don’t test it. And the more we rely on the tests, the less great teaching there will be.

By Valerie Strauss  |  04:00 AM ET, 07/26/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Anthony Cody

Posted at 12:27 PM ET, 07/25/2011

Where private foundations award education cash

A research report looks at how big private U.S. foundations directed their money in the education world. Guess which organization got the most cash?

By Valerie Strauss  |  12:27 PM ET, 07/25/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 12:21 PM ET, 07/24/2011

‘Just right’ parents and No Child Left Behind

What kind of parent involvement in public education has No Child Left Behind really fostered? Here’s an argument that we have created a facade of parental involvement without really disrupting an insitutional preference to deal with only those parents who are “just right.”

By Valerie Strauss  |  12:21 PM ET, 07/24/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 11:00 AM ET, 07/23/2011

Why ‘no excuses’ makes no sense: Revisiting the Coleman report

The famous Coleman Report of the 1960s about student achievement among poor children shows, along with subsequent reports, why the ‘no excuses’ movement in school reform that refuses to acknowledge the consequences of poverty makes no sense.

By Valerie Strauss  |  11:00 AM ET, 07/23/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 06:00 AM ET, 07/22/2011

What is literacy today? The Daring Librarian explains

Here’s an interview with The Darling Librarian on the literacy revolution and how teacher-librarians can save not only the world but their jobs as well.

By Valerie Strauss  |  06:00 AM ET, 07/22/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 04:00 AM ET, 07/22/2011

How to do the right thing in a system that is wrong?

Deciding the right thing to do in a system that’s wrong can be difficult, writes veteran educator Marion Brady, and that includes in an education system on the wrong track.

By Valerie Strauss  |  04:00 AM ET, 07/22/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 01:46 PM ET, 07/21/2011

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel chooses private school for kids

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who supports standardized test-based accountability, has decided to send his children to a private school with a different approach.

By Valerie Strauss  |  01:46 PM ET, 07/21/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 04:00 AM ET, 07/21/2011

‘Reform Me’ — a poem by a superintendent

John Kuhn, a Texas superintendent, is not your usual school district chief. Kuhn likes to write, and he often expresses his opposition to modern school reform in interesting ways. Here is his poem, “Reform Me.”

By Valerie Strauss  |  04:00 AM ET, 07/21/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 03:00 AM ET, 07/21/2011

Advice to Education Dept. on newest Race to the Top

The latest Race to the Top program – the Early Childhood Challenge could result in a slew of tests for young kids. Here’s some advice for the Education Department on how to make sure this doesn’t happen.

By Valerie Strauss  |  03:00 AM ET, 07/21/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 06:05 AM ET, 07/20/2011

Test yourself on NAEP geography questions

Take this quiz with questions from the National Assessment of Educational Progress exam given to fourth, eighth and twelfth graders in geography. The kids didn’t do too well with questions like these.

By Valerie Strauss  |  06:05 AM ET, 07/20/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 06:00 AM ET, 07/20/2011

How much geography do kids know? Not so much

Newly released scores from the National Assessment of Educational Progress show that fourth, eighth and twelfth graders have a long way to go before they really know geography.

By Valerie Strauss  |  06:00 AM ET, 07/20/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 03:00 AM ET, 07/20/2011

By IMPACT standards, Ms. Frizzle would fizzle

Remember Ms. Frizzle, the teacher of The Magic School Bus television show? If you thought she would make a great teacher, guess again, at least according to D.C.’s teacher evaluation IMPACT system.

By Valerie Strauss  |  03:00 AM ET, 07/20/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 04:47 PM ET, 07/19/2011

Calls grow for scrutiny of Murdoch’s education division

The education division of Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. finds itself under scrutiny and faces calls for termination of its contracts with New York City schools.

By Valerie Strauss  |  04:47 PM ET, 07/19/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 01:04 PM ET, 07/19/2011

Kozol: ‘I’m sick of begging’ Congress to do the right thing

Jonathan Kozol says he is participating in the July 30 Save Our Schools March in Washington because “I'm sick of begging members of the Senate, even those among them who have been my friends for years, to move two inches in the right direction. I'm tired of complaining.”

By Valerie Strauss  |  01:04 PM ET, 07/19/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 05:00 AM ET, 07/19/2011

Why giving standardized tests to young children is ‘really dumb’

Testing young children may be cruel, has not worked out well in the past, often provides unreliable scores and therefore invalid inferences about the abilities of children are made too often, David Berliner writes. So why are we doing it?

By Valerie Strauss  |  05:00 AM ET, 07/19/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 03:00 AM ET, 07/19/2011

The problem with how school quality is measured

There is a common assumption that if a school has high test scores, a high admissions rate to good colleges, and a low drop out rate, it’s doing a good job. Maybe it isn’t.

By Valerie Strauss  |  03:00 AM ET, 07/19/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 04:18 PM ET, 07/18/2011

Report’s author defends IMPACT evaluation

Here’s a post from the author of a report on the IMPACT teacher evaluation system in which she takes issue with an earlier piece by a critic of the assessment program.

By Valerie Strauss  |  04:18 PM ET, 07/18/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 03:41 PM ET, 07/18/2011

President Obama’s unusual education roundtable

President Obama hosted an education roundtable at the White House today. Who wasn’t there? Educators. Who was? Corporate folks.

By Valerie Strauss  |  03:41 PM ET, 07/18/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 01:22 PM ET, 07/18/2011

Tell us: Student rights and parental notification

The U.S. Supreme Court recently ruled that police must factor the age of young suspects in their decisions about whether juveniles should be given Miranda rights, including the disclosure that suspects don’t have to talk to police and may ask for a lawyer. Tell The Post what you think.

By Washington Post editors  |  01:22 PM ET, 07/18/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 04:00 AM ET, 07/18/2011

The real problem with IMPACT teacher evaluation

More than 200 D.C. teachers were fired based on poor evaluations under the IMPACT assessment system developed under former chancellor Michelle Rhee. Is it fair?
I

By Valerie Strauss  |  04:00 AM ET, 07/18/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 03:09 PM ET, 07/17/2011

Lessons we learned from ‘Harry Potter’

Here people of different ages and walks of life talk about what they learned from reading the Harry Potter series all these years.

By Valerie Strauss  |  03:09 PM ET, 07/17/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 12:45 PM ET, 07/17/2011

Do Americans understand the debt crisis?

How much do Americans understand about the nation’s financial troubles? If a comprehensive study of their financial literacy is any indication, the answer is not a whole lot.

By Valerie Strauss  |  12:45 PM ET, 07/17/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 10:00 AM ET, 07/15/2011

Principal: When Arne Duncan called to talk

The principal of a successful New York high school writes about a conversation she had with Education Secretary Arne Duncan when he surprised her with a phone call to talk to her about school reform.

By Valerie Strauss  |  10:00 AM ET, 07/15/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 12:01 AM ET, 07/15/2011

What did Harry Potter learn at Hogwarts?

So what did Harry Potter and his friends actually learn at Hogwarts? Anything that would be considered useful in the Muggle world? How good was their education?

By Valerie Strauss  |  12:01 AM ET, 07/15/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 09:00 AM ET, 07/14/2011

Volunteer: Why I stopped helping Stand for Children (update)

A volunteer co-leader of a Stand for Children team in Portland explains why she stopped helping the group: She worried that the organization was supporting corporate reform.

By Valerie Strauss  |  09:00 AM ET, 07/14/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 06:30 AM ET, 07/14/2011

Phony accountability in Rhee’s D.C.

What is going to happen to the D.C. school system for failing to keep its promise to the federal government in its successful Race to the Top funding?

By Valerie Strauss  |  06:30 AM ET, 07/14/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 04:00 AM ET, 07/14/2011

Why librarians should be more like Lady Gaga

The Daring Librarian explains why her fellow teacher-librarians should be Lady Gaga-like and be bolder to keep their roles in education in the public view at a time when school districts are looking for places to cut budgets.

By Valerie Strauss  |  04:00 AM ET, 07/14/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 09:36 AM ET, 07/13/2011

Moving past excuses from the no-excuse reform crowd

It is becoming clearer and clearer that silver bullet solutions — high-stakes tests, charter schools, dismantling unions — are not the answers to providing 21st-century students with the schools they deserve. Will reformers get it?

By Valerie Strauss  |  09:36 AM ET, 07/13/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 04:00 AM ET, 07/13/2011

Teach for America’s Wendy Kopp’s global reach

An organization in China called the China Education Initiative recently approved a change of name to Teach for China. Sound familiar?

By Valerie Strauss  |  04:00 AM ET, 07/13/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 05:00 AM ET, 07/12/2011

How important is class size after all?

Where does the issue of class size fall in a ranking of important factors in the success of a school? Marion Brady takes a look and falls between those who say it is all important and others who say its not important at all.

By Valerie Strauss  |  05:00 AM ET, 07/12/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 09:57 PM ET, 07/11/2011

SpongeBob, in first interview, talks education

SpongeBob SquarePants reveals his thoughts on what makes a great teacher, what course everybody in Bikini Bottom should take, and more on education in this first-ever interview.

By Valerie Strauss  |  09:57 PM ET, 07/11/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 03:53 PM ET, 07/11/2011

How some ed reformers really work

An education reformer spells out in great detail how he tricked a teachers union, and then is forced to apologize after his initial remarks created a mini-uproar in the education blogging world.

By Valerie Strauss  |  03:53 PM ET, 07/11/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 05:00 AM ET, 07/11/2011

The most sickening part of Atlanta’s cheating scandal

By Valerie Strauss  |  05:00 AM ET, 07/11/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 03:00 AM ET, 07/11/2011

Renewing our hope in education: ‘August to June’

By Valerie Strauss  |  03:00 AM ET, 07/11/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 10:30 AM ET, 07/10/2011

An educator on the Brooks-Ravitch debate

Educator Anthony Cody gives his take on the attack David Brooks unleased on Diane Ravitch, her response in The New York Times, and more.

By Valerie Strauss  |  10:30 AM ET, 07/10/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 11:54 AM ET, 07/09/2011

The books that shaped Harry Potter, er, Daniel Radcliffe

You may be surprised by the books that Daniel Radcliffe, the actor who plays Harry Potter, lists as the most influential on his life.

By Valerie Strauss  |  11:54 AM ET, 07/09/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 02:30 PM ET, 07/08/2011

D.C.’s masterpiece of obfuscation

The release of D.C.’s 2011 standardized test scores shows that the new mayor, Vincent Gray, and the new chancellor, Kaya Henderson, are as good at spinning as the old mayor, Adrian Fenty, and the erstwhile chancellor, Michelle Rhee.

By Valerie Strauss  |  02:30 PM ET, 07/08/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 06:00 AM ET, 07/08/2011

Teacher: ‘Next year my classroom will be different’

A teacher writes that she is changing the way she approaches learning, putting more responsibility on students to drive their own learning.

By Valerie Strauss  |  06:00 AM ET, 07/08/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 05:27 PM ET, 07/07/2011

Shocking details of Atlanta cheating scandal

It’s one thing to say there was widespread cheating on standardized tests in Atlanta public schools, as the newly released results of a state investigation showed. It’s another thing to actually read the details. Here are some of them.

By Valerie Strauss  |  05:27 PM ET, 07/07/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 10:16 PM ET, 07/06/2011

Letting teachers re-invent their own wheel

Educator Joanne Yatvin wrote a column in 1990 about why it is important to allow teachers to control their own classroom that could have easily been written today. Here it is.

By Valerie Strauss  |  10:16 PM ET, 07/06/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 12:28 PM ET, 07/06/2011

Race to the Top: Standardized testing for preschoolers

Would you be surprised to learn that the first criteria for states to win cash in the Obama administration’s new Race to the Top for early education involves new assessments for preschoolers?

By Valerie Strauss  |  12:28 PM ET, 07/06/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

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

Pithy questions for Obama’s Twitter Town Hall

Educator Anthony Cody offers some questions that he will be tweeting on Wednesday to President Obama during the White House’s first Twitter Town Hall.

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

Posted at 06:04 PM ET, 07/05/2011

Probe: Widespread cheating on tests detailed in Atlanta

Massive cheating on standardized tests in Atlanta Public Schools despite “significant and clear” warnings harmed thousands of students, according to an investigation released Tuesday.

By Valerie Strauss  |  06:04 PM ET, 07/05/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 04:00 AM ET, 07/05/2011

An open letter to Ed Secretary Arne Duncan

The principal of a successful New York high school writes an open letter to Arne Duncan, asking the education secretary to reconsider some of the policies he is pursuing.

By Valerie Strauss  |  04:00 AM ET, 07/05/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 04:00 AM ET, 07/05/2011

Kindergarten teacher details ‘lunacy’ of standardized tests for kids

A kindergarten teacher writes about the testing frenzy: “I now have to give a total of more than 27,000 check marks or grades for my class of 25 students per year. This is not counting the stars, stickers or smiley faces I put on their work each day.”

By Valerie Strauss  |  04:00 AM ET, 07/05/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 10:16 AM ET, 07/04/2011

July 4 quiz: Test your knowledge

Here’s a quiz to test your knowledge of the events surrounding July 4, 1776, the day the Declaration of Independence was approved by the Continental Congress.

By Valerie Strauss  |  10:16 AM ET, 07/04/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 05:06 PM ET, 07/03/2011

Top 5 myths about July 4

If you think you know all about the events of July 4, 1776, think again and read this. Here are some things that may surprise you about American history.

By Valerie Strauss  |  05:06 PM ET, 07/03/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 04:41 PM ET, 07/03/2011

NEA goes after Education Secretary Arne Duncan

National Education Association convention delegates want the NEA president to

By Valerie Strauss  |  04:41 PM ET, 07/03/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 01:38 PM ET, 07/03/2011

July 4 facts: Where U.S. flags are made — and more

Here, courtesy of the Census Bureau, are facts about how Americans spend the most American of holidays, the nation’s birthday on July 4.

By Valerie Strauss  |  01:38 PM ET, 07/03/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 02:37 PM ET, 07/02/2011

Favorite books: Taylor Swift, Cody Simpson, Julie Andrews

For fine summer reading for kids, check out books recommended by Taylor Swift and others on Scholastic’s Web site, youarewhatyouread.com

By Valerie Strauss  |  02:37 PM ET, 07/02/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 10:57 AM ET, 07/01/2011

New data reveals the real problem in education

The Education Department released new information that shows just how unequal resources are for the nation’s poorest schools.

By Valerie Strauss  |  10:57 AM ET, 07/01/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 06:00 AM ET, 07/01/2011

What accounts for PG’s unusual test scores?

In Prince George’s County, Md., new state standardized test scores showed that

By Valerie Strauss  |  06:00 AM ET, 07/01/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 04:00 AM ET, 07/01/2011

Analysis challenges Jeb Bush’s ‘Florida Formula’ for ed reform

A new report says that the “Florida Formula” in school reform attributed to the policies of former governor Jeb Bush is anything but a miracle — and states should stop trying to copy it.

By Valerie Strauss  |  04:00 AM ET, 07/01/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 11:00 AM ET, 06/30/2011

The trouble with professional development for teachers

Professional development for teachers too often misses the mark — even when it does what experts say it is supposed to do. Here’s why and what should be done about it.

By Valerie Strauss  |  11:00 AM ET, 06/30/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

 

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