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The Answer Sheet: August 30, 2009 - September 5, 2009

7 Things I Learned This Week

1) Community colleges are hotter than ever. A new study by the Democratic Leadership Council concludes that jobs for community college graduates with two-year degrees will grow at nearly double the national average--and even faster than jobs for four-year bachelor’s...

By Valerie Strauss  | September 4, 2009; 2:37 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Tags:  computer addiction, giant jellyfish  
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TEENS to PARENTS: Calm Down!

The Answer Sheet asked a handful of high school students to advise parents on how to help kids get through the school year. The teens revealed what they want their parents to do--and what they don’t want them to do....

By Valerie Strauss  | September 4, 2009; 11:38 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Tags:  parent involvement, senior year, stress  
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Kids Should Listen to the U.S. President

Children should listen to the U.S. president. Period. Notice I didn’t say “agree with” or “blindly follow.” But the furor over a speech that President Obama plans to give Tuesday, live online at noon urging kids to take their education...

By Valerie Strauss  | September 4, 2009; 9:25 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
Categories:  Civics Education  | Tags:  civics education, obama, speech  
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The List: How to Beat Tiger Woods

Friday is List Day on The Answer Sheet. Email ideas for lists--and your own school-related lists. The Sheet will publish the most enlightening and entertaining. Top athletes and large corporations pay big bucks for advice on how to succeed from...

By Valerie Strauss  | September 4, 2009; 6:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Tags:  Gio Valiante, High Achievement, Success  
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Is Your Kid 'Sexting'?

It is easy to dismiss stories about celebrities whose private nude pictures are splattered over the Internet as a problem that won’t cross your personal world as a parent. Think again. Look at these statistics, from a public survey...

By Valerie Strauss  | September 3, 2009; 11:55 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Tags:  Parents, Sexting, cell phones  
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WHY IT MATTERS: The Obama Speech Flap

Sometimes I look at a controversy and want to shake people on both sides. This is one of those times. Republican critics of President Obama are in a public lather over the Department of Education’s promotion of suggested classroom activities...

By Washington Post editors  | September 3, 2009; 8:53 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (51)
 
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THE GROUP: Dreading the School Year

Peg dreads the loss of summer freedom; Linda, the homework and how to juggle her three jobs and her family. Jamie has found a way not to dread much at all, while Valerie (aka The Answer Sheet) is pretty much...

By Valerie Strauss  | September 3, 2009; 6:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  Homework, Parents  
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Turn Middle School Into ‘Boot Camp for Life'

As a longtime education reporter I have visited many middle and junior high schools--and I often wonder if we are subjecting the kids trapped inside to cruel and unusual punishment. The developmental profile of these students--from age 11 to 14--is...

By Valerie Strauss  | September 2, 2009; 11:24 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  Middle School  | Tags:  adolescents, community service, developmental issues, middle school  
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WHY IT MATTERS: The Montgomery College Furor

There are important reasons that all of us should care about the furor at Montgomery College--and one of them involves how much of your tax dollars are going to waste. Here’s a recap of events: Brian Keith Johnson, the president...

By Washington Post editors  | September 2, 2009; 10:12 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Tags:  Montgomery College, community colleges  
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SPOTLIGHT: The Philosopher Who Wants to Bring Back Shop Class

If Dr. Matthew B. Crawford were introduced to you as a political philosopher with a PhD from the University of Chicago, you might think, “The guy’s a brain.” Your assessment would likely be cemented when you learned that he is...

By Valerie Strauss  | September 2, 2009; 6:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (7)
Categories:  Learning  | Tags:  Matthew Crawford, shop class, the trades  
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Stop Sending Sick Kids to School

Let’s have a show of hands: How many of you have sent a child to school when you have suspected (I’m being polite here) that he/she was not well and might be contagious? Maybe it will help if I...

By Valerie Strauss  | September 1, 2009; 11:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (7)
Categories:  Parents, Teachers  | Tags:  school work, sick kids, swine flu, teachers  
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Getting it Right: Is Online Learning REALLY Better?

If you read a new Education Department study about online education and were not a professional researcher, it would be reasonable to come away thinking that on-line education helped students perform better than face-to-face instruction. I did. After all, the...

By Washington Post editors  | September 1, 2009; 6:35 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
 
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Q & A on Learning

As promised yesterday, here is more from cognitive scientist Daniel Willingham from the University of Virginia, and author of "Why Don't Students Like School," on how kids learn and what teachers should and shouldn’t be doing in class. The...

By Valerie Strauss  | September 1, 2009; 6:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Tags:  brain, learning, schoolwork, teachers  
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New Rules for Back- to-School Night

This really happened: An administrator at a school in Montgomery County welcomed several hundred parents at back-to-school night by relating his extensive experience as an educator and as a soldier. Then he said, “So you can see I am...

By Valerie Strauss  | August 31, 2009; 12:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (10)
Categories:  Parents, Teachers  | Tags:  back to school night, parent, teachers  
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The First Chat

Thanks for all the questions sent to The Answer Sheet for our first chat about a range of issues. Read a transcript by clicking here....

By Valerie Strauss  | August 31, 2009; 11:05 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Tags:  Spanish, foreign language, homework, parents, physical education, school, sleep, students  
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Why Do Kids Dislike School?

So. Your child is one of the millions who think school is a drag. He or she gets bored. Doesn’t stay focused. Avoids homework. When you ask what happened at school earlier in the day, the response is, “Nothing,”...

By Valerie Strauss  | August 31, 2009; 7:40 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (11)
Tags:  brain, learning  
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Why Read The Answer Sheet?

All about The Answer Sheet.

By Valerie Strauss  | August 31, 2009; 6:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  About This Blog  | Tags:  education policy, the answer sheet, valerie strauss  
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