Class Struggle: middle school

Posted at 06:00 PM ET, 10/03/2010

KIPP leaders unworried by test score drop

Fifth grade scores dropped this year at the KIPP DC charter schools. Some people wondered if the Knowledge Is Power Program’s long record of raising D.C. student achievement was in jeopardy. The woman who created KIPP DC seems unworried. She has already made a change that may drive some average scores even lower next year.

By Jay Mathews  |  06:00 PM ET, 10/03/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Metro Monday | Tags:  KIPP DC, KIPP DC: College Prep in its second year, KIPP culture change, KIPP fifth grade scores go down, Knowledge Is Power Program, Susan Schaeffler, for first time KIPP adds fourth grade to middle school

Posted at 06:00 PM ET, 07/11/2010

Sousa's principal: hero or bully?

Dwan Jordon's name has also spread quickly through the ranks of D.C. educators, for AFTER that great year of record test success, and the hard work of his staff, almost all of his teachers left, something that I have never seen before. Some were terminated. Some couldn’t stand to work for him again. He said the old staff had resisted his ideas, even though they worked. With a new hand-picked staff the next year “all of us were focused on doing what was best for students,” he said.

By Jay Mathews  |  06:00 PM ET, 07/11/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Metro Monday | Tags:  long history of school reformers breaking rules, new principal Dwan Jordon praised, scores rise at Sousa Middle School, teachers say he verbally abused them, union and principal helping each other unintentionally

Posted at 12:12 PM ET, 07/06/2010

Does Sousa story prove Rhee is right?

My colleague Stephanie McCrummen, a former Post foreign correspondent now on our education writing team, is not only a great journalist but has terrific timing. Her front page story today about rising test scores at Sousa Middle School in D.C. comes just at the local and national debate over the record of D.C. Schools Chancellor Michelle A. Rhee reaches a new peak.

By Jay Mathews  |  12:12 PM ET, 07/06/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Jay on the Web | Tags:  Sousa principal Dwan Jordon, good example of a Michelle Rhee principal, higher test scores at Sousa Middle School, was he right to remove so many teachers?

Posted at 10:49 AM ET, 04/16/2010

Brian Betts--a great loss for D.C. schools

It is difficult to adjust to any 6 a.m. phone call, but the one I received this morning was particularly jarring. Brian Betts, one of the most energetic and enthusiastic educators I have ever met, had been found dead in his home in Silver Spring, just months before what I expected would be good news about his relentless efforts to raise achievement for students at the Shaw Middle School at Garnet-Patterson.

By Jay Mathews  |  10:49 AM ET, 04/16/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Jay on the Web | Tags:  Brian Betts, D.C. Teacher a great loss for D.C. Schools, Shaw Middle School are Garnet-Patterson

Posted at 03:12 PM ET, 06/11/2009

Extra Credit: What Sort of Family Wants Stories Like This?

Dear Extra Credit: I am a soon-to-be stepmother to a lovely 12-year-old girl. She recently brought home a bright pink book with yellow smiley faces on the cover titled "TTYL" (Talk To You Later, in text/Internet-speak). The author is Lauren...

By Washington Post Editors  |  03:12 PM ET, 06/11/2009 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Extra Credit | Tags:  middle school, school reading