Most Read: Local

The Answer Sheet: February, 2012

Posted at 08:00 AM ET, 02/29/2012

What achievement gap statistics reveal — and what they don’t

Here’s a detailed look at what achievement gaps really mean and how they are easily misunderstood.

By Valerie Strauss  |  08:00 AM ET, 02/29/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 04:00 AM ET, 02/29/2012

College admissions: When high school courses matter most

A college admissions dean explains how students are chosen when SAT and ACT scores are not required.

By Valerie Strauss  |  04:00 AM ET, 02/29/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 04:00 AM ET, 02/28/2012

NY principal: Teacher scores inaccurate at my school

A New York City principal explains how inaccurately the newly released Teacher Data Reports reflect the reality at her school.

By Valerie Strauss  |  04:00 AM ET, 02/28/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 10:30 AM ET, 02/27/2012

School psychologists: Shortage amid increased need

We spend so much time arguing about national educational policy issues that we sometimes forget about lower profile issues that need attention, including the struggle of our schools to provide sufficient psychological support for the growing number of students who need it.

By Valerie Strauss  |  10:30 AM ET, 02/27/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 10:22 AM ET, 02/27/2012

Charter school linked to Scientology

A public charter school in the Florida city of Clearwater is being accused of using Scientology study methods with students.

By Valerie Strauss  |  10:22 AM ET, 02/27/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 04:00 AM ET, 02/27/2012

A simple question teachers should now ask about their profession

An award-winning principal details the consequences for teachers of the public release of value-added evaluation scores based on student test results, and asks one simple question of educators.

By Valerie Strauss  |  04:00 AM ET, 02/27/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 12:43 PM ET, 02/26/2012

An Oscar-producing education

See where Brad Pitt, George Clooney, Meryl Streep and others went to college, and find out which schools are boasting about graduates who have scored Academy Award nominations.

By Valerie Strauss  |  12:43 PM ET, 02/26/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 10:45 AM ET, 02/26/2012

School health clinics face obstacles — and how Arne Duncan could help

Full-service health clinics at schools could be a big boost to student achievement, but Education Secretary Arne Duncan hasn’t done enough to actually open them,

By Valerie Strauss  |  10:45 AM ET, 02/26/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 02:55 PM ET, 02/25/2012

Why are strong readers being labeled remedial?

Marion Brady asks how it is that some students who are actually strong readers being labeled remedial as a result of their performance on standardized test scores.

By Valerie Strauss  |  02:55 PM ET, 02/25/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 06:17 PM ET, 02/24/2012

NYC releases teachers’ value-added scores — unfortunately

And then it told the news media not to use the results to disparage teachers.

By Valerie Strauss  |  06:17 PM ET, 02/24/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 04:00 AM ET, 02/24/2012

Duncan’s equity commission and the ‘rising tide’ of avarice, hostility, testing

John Merrow compares the commission that wrote “A Nation at Risk” with the Obama administration’s panel on equity and excellence in education, and finds the latter not up to the former.

By Valerie Strauss  |  04:00 AM ET, 02/24/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 03:00 AM ET, 02/24/2012

A test for politicians on education (with cheat sheet)

Do politicians responsible for education policy know anything about education? Here Diane Ravitch, education historian, poses a series of questions to them that they can use to test their own knowledge, or lack thereof.

By Valerie Strauss  |  03:00 AM ET, 02/24/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 03:35 PM ET, 02/23/2012

Memo to Santorum: Homeschooling not a viable or best option for all parents

Santorum’s cure for what ails education — having parents do it — ignores social, economic, cultural, educational and historical factors.

By Valerie Strauss  |  03:35 PM ET, 02/23/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 03:00 AM ET, 02/23/2012

What’s wrong with D.C.’s facilities/charter study

A study meant to identify “service gaps” between the supply of and demand for “performing seats” in D.C. traditional public and charter schools is flawed in methodology, analysis, and recommendations, the authors of this post argue.

By Valerie Strauss  |  03:00 AM ET, 02/23/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 04:00 AM ET, 02/22/2012

Teacher: ‘Tis a shame (that education has become so political)

A Wisconsin teacher writes: “In Governor Scott Walker’s Wisconsin, teaching has been relegated from professional status to political fodder.”

By Valerie Strauss  |  04:00 AM ET, 02/22/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 03:00 AM ET, 02/22/2012

College admissions: How diversity factors in

With the Supreme Court agreeing to consider the role of affirmative action in college admissions, the executive director of admissions at CalTech discusses the role diversity plays in admissions.

By Valerie Strauss  |  03:00 AM ET, 02/22/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 03:26 PM ET, 02/21/2012

Santorum’s children went to a cyber charter school

Rick Santorum, who has said he would homeschool his children in the White House if he becomes president, sent five of his kids for a time to a cyber charter school.

By Valerie Strauss  |  03:26 PM ET, 02/21/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 01:16 PM ET, 02/21/2012

D.C. charter schools: Student expulsions reveal data problem

D.C. public schools have been publicly ridiculed for not accurately maintaining basic statistics. Now it’s the turn of public charter schools.

By Valerie Strauss  |  01:16 PM ET, 02/21/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 04:00 AM ET, 02/21/2012

‘Rigor mortis ’ in teacher evaluation systems

The word “rigor” comes up a lot in teacher evaluation systems. It’s akin to motherhood, apple pie and the American flag. But the term is getting distorted almost beyond recognition.

By Valerie Strauss  |  04:00 AM ET, 02/21/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 05:18 PM ET, 02/19/2012

Presidents’ Day: The quiz

See how well you can do on our Presidents’ Day quiz. If you don’t do well, it’s time to hit the history books!

By Valerie Strauss  |  05:18 PM ET, 02/19/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 10:00 AM ET, 02/19/2012

‘You are so smart…why did you become a teacher?’

An award-winning high school principal in New York explains why the compromise that the union and New York state just reached on teacher evaluation is a disaster.

By Valerie Strauss  |  10:00 AM ET, 02/19/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 08:00 AM ET, 02/18/2012

Common Core won’t likely boost student achievement, analysis says

A new analysis on the Common Core Standards Initiative by the Brookings Institution says it is wrong to believe that the effort will do much of anything to improve student achievement in coming years.

By Valerie Strauss  |  08:00 AM ET, 02/18/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 07:00 AM ET, 02/18/2012

Why don’t top private schools adopt corporate-driven reforms?

If running a school like a business was such an awesome idea, wouldn’t we expect to see that our most elite, market oriented schools would be the ones pushing the envelope on such strategies? Why aren’t they?

By Valerie Strauss  |  07:00 AM ET, 02/18/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 06:47 AM ET, 02/17/2012

Jon Stewart tries to talk to Arne Duncan

Jon Stewart hosted Arne Duncan on ”The Daily Show” in an exercise that proved it is impossible to have a real conversation with someone who refuses to move beyond his talking points.

By Valerie Strauss  |  06:47 AM ET, 02/17/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 04:00 AM ET, 02/17/2012

How to stop cheating on standardized tests

The Education Department recently made a public call for ideas on how to to prevent cheating on standardized tests so it can share the information with school districts. Here’s one response on what the department can do to stop cheating.

By Valerie Strauss  |  04:00 AM ET, 02/17/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 03:00 AM ET, 02/17/2012

In defense of NAEP

The head of the board that administers the National Assessment of Educational Progress, or NAEP, takes issue with a criticism of the exam.

By Valerie Strauss  |  03:00 AM ET, 02/17/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 04:00 AM ET, 02/16/2012

Are public schools unfairly blamed for America’s economic woes?

A professor writes that contrary to popular opinion today, it is not American business that is the great success story and public education the dismal failure. Public schools are being unfairly blamed for America’s economic woes.

By Valerie Strauss  |  04:00 AM ET, 02/16/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 04:00 AM ET, 02/15/2012

Principal forced out in Dallas and D.C. says she is innocent

A principal who was forced out of a Dallas school for “unethical” behavior and then hired and subsequently fired by D.C. school officials has now issued a statement saying she was unfairly accused.

By Valerie Strauss  |  04:00 AM ET, 02/15/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 03:00 AM ET, 02/15/2012

Parent Trigger proposal would convert failing charters to neighborhood schools — Amazing report

From an Onionesque education journal:

By Valerie Strauss  |  03:00 AM ET, 02/15/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 04:00 AM ET, 02/14/2012

Seven misconceptions about how students learn

Here are seven of the biggest myths about learning that, unfortunately, guide the way many schools are organized in this era of standardized test-based public school reform.

By Valerie Strauss  |  04:00 AM ET, 02/14/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 12:18 PM ET, 02/13/2012

Chris Brown, the Grammys and the message sent to teens, kids

At a time when schools across the country are struggling to figure out how to stop kids from savagely bullying each other, it seems fair to ask why the producers of the 2012 Grammy Awards thought it was an acceptable message to young people to allow Chris Brown to perform just three years after he famously beat up his girlfriend, Rihanna.

By Valerie Strauss  |  12:18 PM ET, 02/13/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 10:51 AM ET, 02/13/2012

Whitney Houston Elementary School pays tribute — and her former principal remembers her

The students and staff at New Jersey’ Whitney E. Houston Academy pay tribute to the late singer today. And her former principal, who is still there, remembers her.

By Valerie Strauss  |  10:51 AM ET, 02/13/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 04:00 AM ET, 02/13/2012

Ravitch: Why states should say ‘no thanks’ to charter schools

By Valerie Strauss  |  04:00 AM ET, 02/13/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 03:00 AM ET, 02/13/2012

An ADHD controversy in the mental health community

There is a very important controversy related to children that is flying under the radar of most educators and parents that affects schoolchildren nationwide. It involves how ADHD will be diagnosed in the future.

By Valerie Strauss  |  03:00 AM ET, 02/13/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 12:00 PM ET, 02/12/2012

Virginia school district may ban cross-gender dressing

A Virginia school district is considering a ban on cross-dressing as an anti-bullying measure.

By Valerie Strauss  |  12:00 PM ET, 02/12/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 07:00 AM ET, 02/12/2012

Eulogy for a brilliant mentor and teacher

Words from a former student say more about the lifelong effects of a strong teacher-pupil tie than a value-added assessment formula ever could.

By Valerie Strauss  |  07:00 AM ET, 02/12/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 07:00 AM ET, 02/11/2012

Academic ‘walkthrough’ teams: Surreally real

Talk to teachers in Philadelphia, and you’ll hear more than a few complaints about walkthrough teams. These are the groups of educators sent each month to struggling schools to see how well teachers are following the details of the mandated curriculum, down to such items as how desks are arranged and what’s on classroom walls.

By Valerie Strauss  |  07:00 AM ET, 02/11/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 04:11 PM ET, 02/10/2012

How to attack the growing educational gap between rich and poor

As educational gaps between rich and poor grow, there are an array of strategies that can be highly effective in addressing them. Here some of them.

By Valerie Strauss  |  04:11 PM ET, 02/10/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 04:30 AM ET, 02/10/2012

Why Obama’s NCLB waivers aren’t what he says they are

President Obama sounded like the king of flexibility when he announced that his administration was granting 10 states the right to ignore the most onerous requirements of No Child Left Behind. “Sounded” is the key word in that sentence.

By Valerie Strauss  |  04:30 AM ET, 02/10/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 04:00 AM ET, 02/10/2012

The loss of solitude in schools

I have often heard from teachers that many students today don’t know how to stop talking — that they lack the practice of stilling themselves with a book or problem

By Valerie Strauss  |  04:00 AM ET, 02/10/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 04:00 AM ET, 02/09/2012

Taking a stand for ‘the whole child’ approach to school reform

The White House recently launched their We The People initiative that gives Americans a “new way to petition the Obama administration to take action on a range of important issues facing our country.” At ASCD, we are taking President Obama up on his offer to support “a whole child approach” to education reform.

By Valerie Strauss  |  04:00 AM ET, 02/09/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 10:00 AM ET, 02/08/2012

Education Department’s obsession with test scores deepens

In a new public display of its obsession with test scores, the Education Department is embarking on a study to determine which parts of clinical teacher training lead to higher average test scores among the teachers’ students.

By Valerie Strauss  |  10:00 AM ET, 02/08/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 04:00 AM ET, 02/08/2012

Reasonable doubt on teacher evaluation

What’s an acceptable tradeoff between efficiency and fairness in the mix of teachers’ rights and responsibilities?

By Valerie Strauss  |  04:00 AM ET, 02/08/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 12:55 PM ET, 02/07/2012

Sex abuse probe leads to removal of school’s entire staff

The entire staff of a Los Angeles elementary school is being removed and replaced this week after the arrest of two of the school’s veteran teachers on sex-abuse charges.

By Valerie Strauss  |  12:55 PM ET, 02/07/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 05:00 AM ET, 02/07/2012

Texas schools chief calls testing obsession a ‘perversion’

The Republican education commissioner of Texas, Robert Scott, might not be the first person you’d think would find common ground with California’s Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown, but Scott has spoken against high-stakes testing in a way that would make Brown smile.

By Valerie Strauss  |  05:00 AM ET, 02/07/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 04:00 AM ET, 02/07/2012

Badges: A solution to our teacher evaluation disaster?

Millions of Web programmers worldwide have learned to innovate at a far faster pace than most educators and to evaluate one another rigorously through peer assessment. Here’s a primer on how badging systems can help measure contribution and motivate learning for this century.

By Valerie Strauss  |  04:00 AM ET, 02/07/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 03:00 AM ET, 02/07/2012

The sexualization of children and what schools can do about it

As children become sexualized at younger ages in the popular media, corrective education is the best possible antidote — and schools can play a big role.

By Valerie Strauss  |  03:00 AM ET, 02/07/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 06:00 AM ET, 02/06/2012

Bottom 5 percent of economists face dismissal — unbelievable report

From an Onion-esque education journal: Responding to the crisis of failed policy recommendations from the nation’s economists, a consortium of colleges, universities and think tanks have agreed to annually fire the bottom five percent.

By Valerie Strauss  |  06:00 AM ET, 02/06/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 04:00 AM ET, 02/06/2012

The difference between good schools and effective schools

Effective schools aren’t necessarily good schools. Veteran educator Joanne Yatvin explains why.

By Valerie Strauss  |  04:00 AM ET, 02/06/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 11:15 AM ET, 02/05/2012

Tom Brady vs. Eli Manning: Who’s smarter?

Even National Football League teams use a standardized test to assess whether athletes are smart enough to draft.

By Valerie Strauss  |  11:15 AM ET, 02/05/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 10:00 AM ET, 02/04/2012

How real school reform should look (or explaining water to a fish)

Veteran educator Marion Brady offers a completely different view of school reform that tackles the essential elements — how people learn. Charter schools and vouchers have nothing to do with it.

By Valerie Strauss  |  10:00 AM ET, 02/04/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 04:30 PM ET, 02/03/2012

DCPS fires principal forced out of Dallas school (updated)

D.C. schools officials have fired a principal they had recently hired without knowing that she had been accused of “unethical” behavior when she was a principal in Dallas.

By Valerie Strauss  |  04:30 PM ET, 02/03/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 11:08 AM ET, 02/03/2012

Criticizing (common criticisms of) praise

In a critical analysis of praise, Alfie Kohn concludes that “the problem isn’t that kids expect praise for everything they do. It’s our need for control, our penchant for placing conditions on our love, and our continued reliance on the long-discredited premises of behaviorism.”

By Valerie Strauss  |  11:08 AM ET, 02/03/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 05:11 PM ET, 02/02/2012

Ellen DeGeneres: Public education’s new funding stream

Ellen DeGeneres just gave $100,000 to a teacher from a public school district in Pennsylvania that ran out of money.

By Valerie Strauss  |  05:11 PM ET, 02/02/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 12:00 PM ET, 02/02/2012

Value-added teacher evaluation goes on trial — literally

Value-added teacher evaluation goes on trial — literally. Here’s what the transcript might look like if it were to happen. Laugh and cry.

By Valerie Strauss  |  12:00 PM ET, 02/02/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Teacher assessment

Posted at 06:00 AM ET, 02/02/2012

How Race to the Top is like ‘Queen for a Day’

A superintendent in a Georgia school district explains how — unfortunately — Race to the Top is like the old television show “Queen for a Day.” Neither were real solutions to the problems they confronted.

By Valerie Strauss  |  06:00 AM ET, 02/02/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 05:58 PM ET, 02/01/2012

New D.C. principal’s termination letter from Dallas

Here’s part of the letter recommending termination of a principal who left Dallas public schools last year amid a scandal and then was hired by D.C. public schools.

By Valerie Strauss  |  05:58 PM ET, 02/01/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  education

Posted at 12:30 PM ET, 02/01/2012

Does merit pay really increase teacher retention?

The new push for merit pay programs in public education raises this question: Does it really help retain teachers in the classroom? Despite some media articles suggesting that it does, the evidence does not consistently bear this out.

By Valerie Strauss  |  12:30 PM ET, 02/01/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 04:00 AM ET, 02/01/2012

New D.C. school principal left Texas under cloud

A principal recently hired by D.C. Public Schools is the same principal put on leave late last year in Dallas after investigators accused her of ordering third-grade teachers to focus only on math and reading in order to maintain an “exemplary” rating based on standardized test scores.

By Valerie Strauss  |  04:00 AM ET, 02/01/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  D.C. Schools

Posted at 06:07 PM ET, 01/31/2012

College admits inflating SAT scores to boost ranking

A California college has acknowledged that one of its officials inflated its SAT scores for six years to boost the school’s place in annual college rankings.

By Valerie Strauss  |  06:07 PM ET, 01/31/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  SAT and ACT

Posted at 11:24 AM ET, 01/31/2012

Does Obama understand Race to the Top? — Ravitch

Education historian Diane Ravitch pinpoints contradictions in President Obama’s policies and statements about school reform, leading to the question about whether he actually understands the effects of his own Race to the Top program.

By Valerie Strauss  |  11:24 AM ET, 01/31/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Diane Ravitch

 

© 2011 The Washington Post Company