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The Answer Sheet: January, 2012

Posted at 04:00 AM ET, 01/31/2012

Michelle Rhee’s empty claims about her D.C. schools record

Here’s a critique of Michelle Rhee’s claims about her success im improving D.C. public schools when she was chancellor of the system.

By Valerie Strauss  |  04:00 AM ET, 01/31/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Matthew Di Carlo, Michelle Rhee

Posted at 11:00 AM ET, 01/30/2012

Reading is not a race: The virtues of the ‘slow reading’ movement

Young students are pushed to learn how to read quickly with “nonsense fluency” drills and other tasks. But this obsession with speed is unnecessary and even harmful, argues a proponent of the “slow reading” movement.

By Valerie Strauss  |  11:00 AM ET, 01/30/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 04:00 AM ET, 01/30/2012

How high stakes corrupt performance on tests, other indicators

Numbers glued to high stakes consequences corrupt performance. Larry Cuban explains how this works and why it is damaging education.

By Valerie Strauss  |  04:00 AM ET, 01/30/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 09:06 AM ET, 01/29/2012

Teacher: I won’t ‘teach and shut up’

A teacher describes the moment he stopped resenting his union dues and spells out a path for teachers to raise their voice in the policy debate.

By Valerie Strauss  |  09:06 AM ET, 01/29/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 10:40 AM ET, 01/28/2012

Virginia may stop requiring some 3rd grade SOLs

Under a bill approved by state Senate, history and science tests would be dropped, leaving only math and English.

By Valerie Strauss  |  10:40 AM ET, 01/28/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 06:41 PM ET, 01/27/2012

How the war on teachers is changing the profession

A veteran education details just how the teaching profession is being changed as evaluation systems are being implemented that rely on test scores.

By Valerie Strauss  |  06:41 PM ET, 01/27/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 04:00 AM ET, 01/27/2012

MoCo to drop standardized test for second graders (updated)

Montgomery County Public Schools Superintendent Joshua Starr has decided to stop giving he TerraNova standardized test to second graders in a move to save money and reduce the number of tests kids are forced to take.

By Valerie Strauss  |  04:00 AM ET, 01/27/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Montgomery County Public Schools

Posted at 12:22 PM ET, 01/26/2012

The most, least literate big U.S. cities

Annual rankings of literate U.S. cities places Washington, D.C., at the top for the second straight year and Bakersfield, Calif., as the least literate. Here’s how the rankings are done.

By Valerie Strauss  |  12:22 PM ET, 01/26/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 05:00 AM ET, 01/26/2012

The big flaws in Obama’s education argument

Veteran educator Anthony Cody...

By Valerie Strauss  |  05:00 AM ET, 01/26/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Anthony Cody, Anthony Cody

Posted at 09:01 PM ET, 01/25/2012

Readability formulas and Obama’s speech, Gingrich’s PhD

A university politics blog ran President Obama’s State of the Union speech through a “readability formula” that measured it as written at an 8th grade level. The problem is that those formulas are more than silly: They can’t even measure whether a sentence is coherent.

By Valerie Strauss  |  09:01 PM ET, 01/25/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 03:00 PM ET, 01/25/2012

Require kids to stay in school? Not so fast....

Opinion: Why President Obama’s idea for states to require students to stay in high school until graduation or age 18 is a bad one.

By Valerie Strauss  |  03:00 PM ET, 01/25/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 04:00 AM ET, 01/25/2012

‘Tim Tebow homeschool law’ gains momentum in Virginia

Virginia officials have given new life to an effort to pass legislation that would give permission to homeschooled students to play on athletic teams of local schools.

By Valerie Strauss  |  04:00 AM ET, 01/25/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 10:59 PM ET, 01/24/2012

Obama: States should require kids stay in school until 18 or graduation

President Obama said in his 2012 State of the Union address that he wants to states to change their laws to require that all students be required to stay in high school until they graduate or turn 18 years old.

By Valerie Strauss  |  10:59 PM ET, 01/24/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 09:53 PM ET, 01/24/2012

Obama on education in State of the Union address

Here’s what President Obama said about education issues in Tuesday night’s 2012 State of the Union address.

By Valerie Strauss  |  09:53 PM ET, 01/24/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 04:00 PM ET, 01/24/2012

Teacher from troubled district to sit with Michelle Obama at State of Union (updated)

The teacher is from a troubled Pennsylvania school district whose union voted to work for free when the system ran out of money.

By Valerie Strauss  |  04:00 PM ET, 01/24/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 03:00 PM ET, 01/24/2012

Ravitch: Why California gives me hope

Education historian Diane Ravitch writes about Gov. Jerry Brown’s vision for public education and why California gives her hope about school reform.

By Valerie Strauss  |  03:00 PM ET, 01/24/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 04:00 AM ET, 01/24/2012

The facts that school reformers ignore

School reformers like to say that public schools have utterly failed disadvantaged students. Here’s why that is an urban myth.

By Valerie Strauss  |  04:00 AM ET, 01/24/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 02:21 AM ET, 01/23/2012

Newt Gingrich’s ‘elite’ PhD topic

Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich likes to use the word “elites” as a pejorative when he talks about things and people whom he considers liberal. But the former Speaker of the House himself is in pretty elite company when it comes to his PhD.

By Valerie Strauss  |  02:21 AM ET, 01/23/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 01:25 PM ET, 01/21/2012

Dear Michelle Rhee: About that teacher evaluation study

Rhee’s commentary in Education Week on a big value-added teacher evaluation study is based on faulty premises.

By Valerie Strauss  |  01:25 PM ET, 01/21/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 01:17 PM ET, 01/21/2012

Hawaii teachers reject contract in ‘blow’ to Race to the Top

The contract called for a move to a performance-based evaluation and compensation system.

By Valerie Strauss  |  01:17 PM ET, 01/21/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 03:00 AM ET, 01/21/2012

NCLB waivers: The devil is in the details

Here’s an eye-opening look at one state’s application for a waiver from the onerous requirements of No Child Left Behind.

By Valerie Strauss  |  03:00 AM ET, 01/21/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 04:00 AM ET, 01/20/2012

Chester Upland teacher: Who is going to help our schools?

There have been some new developments in the sad tale of the Chester Upland School District in Pennsylvalnia, but its future still remains uncertain and a teacher makes a humble suggestion about who should resolve the mess.

By Valerie Strauss  |  04:00 AM ET, 01/20/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 03:00 AM ET, 01/20/2012

A guide to writing an academic paper

I keep hearing from college professors that students don’t know how to write well,so here’s a primer for college kids on how to properly write an academic paper.

By Valerie Strauss  |  03:00 AM ET, 01/20/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 04:00 AM ET, 01/19/2012

New problems found in 4th-grade Virginia history textbook

Last year a 4th grade Virginia textbook was corrected after it came under attack for historical errors. Here is a new critique of the new version by an author who finds different problems with the narrative of Virginia’s history.

By Valerie Strauss  |  04:00 AM ET, 01/19/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 10:37 PM ET, 01/18/2012

Retired D.C. teacher says he was thrown out of ed data summit

A retired D.C. teacher who has written critically about Education Secretary Arne Duncan and Michelle Rhee said security guards escorted him out of an education data summit where the two were speaking on Wednesday.

By Valerie Strauss  |  10:37 PM ET, 01/18/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 05:01 PM ET, 01/18/2012

Gov. Jerry Brown calls for less testing

California’s governor said in his State of the State 2012 address that he wants to reduce the number of standardized tests students are forced to take.

By Valerie Strauss  |  05:01 PM ET, 01/18/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 03:25 PM ET, 01/18/2012

Ed Dept. seeks ways to stem cheating on standardized tests

Federal education officials are concerned about repeated standardized test cheating scandals in school districts across the country.

By Valerie Strauss  |  03:25 PM ET, 01/18/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 11:44 PM ET, 01/17/2012

Duncan, Rhee starring at our-hearts-belong-to-data summit

Education Secretary Arne Duncan and school reformer extraordinaire Michelle Rhee are starring at the National Data Summit that starts on Wednesday in Washington D.C., and why shouldn’t they?

By Valerie Strauss  |  11:44 PM ET, 01/17/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 12:15 PM ET, 01/17/2012

Ravitch: Problems with the big teacher evaluation study

Education historian Diane Ravitch writes about the very real problems around the big study just released on value-added teacher evaluation that got big play in The New York Times.

By Valerie Strauss  |  12:15 PM ET, 01/17/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 04:00 AM ET, 01/17/2012

Darling-Hammond: Why Is Congress redlining our schools?

Linda Darling-Hammond explains how the vision for a new No Child Left Behind proposed in Senate legislation would weaken schools in the most vulnerable communities.

By Valerie Strauss  |  04:00 AM ET, 01/17/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 10:14 PM ET, 01/16/2012

Santorum: I ‘shouldn’t have’ voted for No Child Left Behind

A decade after voting for the education reform legislation, Rick Santorum said in a GOP debate on Monday night that he was sorry he had approved it.

By Valerie Strauss  |  10:14 PM ET, 01/16/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 06:00 AM ET, 01/16/2012

MLK’s prescient thinking on education reform

Here are some writings of Martin Luther King Jr.’s on education that are as relevant today as they were when he wrote them decades ago.

By Valerie Strauss  |  06:00 AM ET, 01/16/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 11:44 PM ET, 01/15/2012

MLK digital archive goes live with nearly 200,000 documents

Nearly 200,000 documents connected with the life and work of Martin Luther King Jr. are part of a new online archive that will go live on Monday, the national holiday that honors the slain civil rights leader.

By Valerie Strauss  |  11:44 PM ET, 01/15/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 11:53 AM ET, 01/15/2012

Century-old 8th-grade exam: Can you pass a 1912 test?

Here is an exam given to eighth-graders in 1912 in Bullitt County public schools in Kentucky. Can you pass it?

By Valerie Strauss  |  11:53 AM ET, 01/15/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 11:33 AM ET, 01/14/2012

Tim Tebow’s unusual education

Fans know the Broncos quarterback is a Christian.

By Valerie Strauss  |  11:33 AM ET, 01/14/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 11:18 AM ET, 01/14/2012

Report: We still don’t know much about charter schools

New study on the effectiveness of public charter schools says most research to date has been inconclusive.

By Valerie Strauss  |  11:18 AM ET, 01/14/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 12:47 PM ET, 01/13/2012

Re that Mathews notion on evolution: Oy vey, Jay

My unrivaled colleague, Jay Mathews, wrote a column urging Rick Santorum to stay in the Republican presidential race so that he can promote his belief that high schools should discuss alternatives to evolutionary theory. What exactly are you thinking, dear Jay?

By Valerie Strauss  |  12:47 PM ET, 01/13/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 12:02 PM ET, 01/13/2012

Another ailing school district may be forced to close

A school district in Michigan would be unable to meet its payroll on Friday if the state had not agreed to send an infusion of cash.

By Valerie Strauss  |  12:02 PM ET, 01/13/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 10:16 AM ET, 01/13/2012

The problem with math education

One of the problems with efforts to improve math education is the refusal to admit how difficult the subject really can be, a professor writes.

By Valerie Strauss  |  10:16 AM ET, 01/13/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 11:22 PM ET, 01/12/2012

U.S. Attorney activates ‘school corruption hotline’

The United States Attorney in the Western District of Pennsylvania has actually activated a hotline where citizens can report “suspected possible corruption in public education.”

By Valerie Strauss  |  11:22 PM ET, 01/12/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 01:30 PM ET, 01/12/2012

What U.S. can learn from Finland, Hong Kong on tests, equity

A Duke University professor in Hong Kong this week writes about how officials in this city, where students always scores at or near the top of international assessments, are looking elsewhere for inspiration to reform their standardized education approach.

By Valerie Strauss  |  01:30 PM ET, 01/12/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 11:26 AM ET, 01/12/2012

Pennsylvania school district on verge of collapse (and using free labor to stay open)

A tragic story is unfolding in Pennsylvania’s low-performing Chester Upland School District, where teachers have agreed to work for free. How did this happen?

By Valerie Strauss  |  11:26 AM ET, 01/12/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 04:00 AM ET, 01/12/2012

Playing school with scantrons

These days, a successful public high school prinicipal writes, everyone plays school with scantrons. Most unfortunately.

By Valerie Strauss  |  04:00 AM ET, 01/12/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 03:04 PM ET, 01/11/2012

10 super geeky tips for 2012 (for educators, parents and kids)

The Daring Librarian gives 10 great ‘geeky’ tips for educators, parents and students to help have a safe and fun year living on the Internet.

By Valerie Strauss  |  03:04 PM ET, 01/11/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 08:54 PM ET, 01/10/2012

What’s wrong with N.J. charter school policy

An education activist makes the argument that New Jersey’s policy on charter schools is harming public education.

By Valerie Strauss  |  08:54 PM ET, 01/10/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 05:05 PM ET, 01/10/2012

Ravitch: No Child Left Behind and the damage done

Education historian Diane Ravitch explores the damage done to American public education in the decade since No Child Left Behind became law.

By Valerie Strauss  |  05:05 PM ET, 01/10/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  No Child Left Behind, Diane Ravitch

Posted at 08:00 AM ET, 01/10/2012

The bottom line on the $7.2 million house for UMD president

The plan to tear down the residence of the president of the University of Maryland and build a $7.2 million mansion to replace it has some virtues, but even bigger problems.

By Valerie Strauss  |  08:00 AM ET, 01/10/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 05:00 AM ET, 01/10/2012

Virginia governor pushes questionable ed reforms

Virginia’s governor is pushing some education reform initiatives for 2012 that have no evidence to back up claims of success.

By Valerie Strauss  |  05:00 AM ET, 01/10/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 04:00 AM ET, 01/10/2012

What’s missing from education reform debate

The importance of building trust between teach and student is huge — but remains from the dominant discourse about education today.

By Valerie Strauss  |  04:00 AM ET, 01/10/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 05:33 PM ET, 01/09/2012

Five points from ‘slavery math problems’

Here are five lessons to take away from the episode in a Georgia elementary school where third graders were given math problems to solve in which slaves and beatings were part of the question.

By Valerie Strauss  |  05:33 PM ET, 01/09/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 04:00 AM ET, 01/09/2012

Mandated community service: Risks and potential

Alfie Kohn explores whether mandated community service for students can actually be beneficial.

By Valerie Strauss  |  04:00 AM ET, 01/09/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 03:00 AM ET, 01/09/2012

Putting New York’s testing program on trial

A retired analyst in test research and development takes a critical look at New York’s standardized testing program for students and discovers big flaws.

By Valerie Strauss  |  03:00 AM ET, 01/09/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 10:34 PM ET, 01/08/2012

Slaves used as part of 3rd grade math questions

Parents in Georgia complained when their third-grade children came home with math worksheets that had questions that used slaves and slave beatings as subjects.

By Valerie Strauss  |  10:34 PM ET, 01/08/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 02:48 PM ET, 01/08/2012

Teen who killed bully to go free under ‘Stand Your Ground’ law

A 15-year-old who fatally stabbed a boy who had been bullying him will not be prosecuted because of Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law that allows someone to meet force with force.

By Valerie Strauss  |  02:48 PM ET, 01/08/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Bullying

Posted at 04:00 AM ET, 01/08/2012

How art history majors power the U.S. economy

It is commonly said that not enough American college students study

By Valerie Strauss  |  04:00 AM ET, 01/08/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 12:39 PM ET, 01/07/2012

Romney, Santorum, Paul on education issues

Where do the winners of the Iowa Republican Party caucuses stand on education reform?

By Valerie Strauss  |  12:39 PM ET, 01/07/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 12:00 PM ET, 01/07/2012

A decade of No Child Left Behind: Lessons from a policy failure

Ten years have passed since then president George W. Bush signed No Child Left Behind (NCLB), making it the educational law of the land. A review of a decade of evidence demonstrates that NCLB has failed badly both in terms of its own goals and more broadly.

By Valerie Strauss  |  12:00 PM ET, 01/07/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 10:02 AM ET, 01/06/2012

Report: Does money matter in education?

Yes, according to a new report that reviewed research on the subject.

By Valerie Strauss  |  10:02 AM ET, 01/06/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 04:00 AM ET, 01/06/2012

New Hampshire’s 2012 anti-evolution legislation (and the shocking thing a sponsor said)

You can’t make up this stuff: The chief sponsor of a new anti-evolution piece of legislation in New Hampshire said that Darwin’s theory is “godless” and that such thinking is linked to Nazi atrocities, the 1999 Columbine shootings and more.

By Valerie Strauss  |  04:00 AM ET, 01/06/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 09:30 AM ET, 01/05/2012

Has the NEA warmed up to Teach for America?

There is a growing backlash against NEA President Dennis Van Roekel’s recent collaborations with Teach for America leader Wendy Kopp.

By Valerie Strauss  |  09:30 AM ET, 01/05/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 06:00 AM ET, 01/04/2012

Do schools need a longer school day? A debate

Here are different views on how students can receive additional learning time at school during (and after) the school day.

By Valerie Strauss  |  06:00 AM ET, 01/04/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 04:00 AM ET, 01/04/2012

Three quick reads

A superintendent offers three quick education readers that, he says, policy makers could find useful in redirection education policy if they would take the time to read them.

By Valerie Strauss  |  04:00 AM ET, 01/04/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 08:00 AM ET, 01/03/2012

Whose children have been left behind? Framing the 2012 ed debate

As the 10th anniversary of No Child Left Behind approaches, education historian Diane Ravitch frames the issues that will shape the education reform debate in 2012.

By Valerie Strauss  |  08:00 AM ET, 01/03/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 04:00 AM ET, 01/03/2012

Unorthodox education predictions for 2012

It’s not especially hard to make conventional predictions for the education world in 2012. (Congress won’t rewrite No Child Left Behind, for example.) But here are some un­or­tho­dox ones( that may make you laugh and cry at the same time).

By Valerie Strauss  |  04:00 AM ET, 01/03/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 01:16 PM ET, 01/02/2012

Stories that resonated in 2011 — and will matter in 2012

Here’s a list of some of the best-read posts on The Answer Sheet for 2011 — in no particular order, except the first one, which was the best read of the year.

By Valerie Strauss  |  01:16 PM ET, 01/02/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

 

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