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The Answer Sheet: September 6, 2009 - September 12, 2009

8 Things I Learned This Week

1) America’s two richest universities--Harvard and Yale--did not come out looking so rich or so smart when it was reported that they each lost about 30 percent of their endowments last year due to lousy investments. The median college endowment...

By Valerie Strauss  | September 11, 2009; 4:25 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (9)
Tags:  Sen. Tom Harkin, college endowments, insects  
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P.S.: Who Watched Obama's Back-to-School Speech

My colleague Nick Anderson on the national schools beat offers a postscript to the flap over President Obama's back-to-school speech: There was much buzz beforehand about whether it was appropriate to show students the speech that Obama gave Tuesday at...

By Valerie Strauss  | September 11, 2009; 11:55 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Civics Education, D.C. Schools, Fairfax County Public Schools  | Tags:  Arlington Public Schools, Calvert County Schools, D.C. schools, Fairfax County Public Schools, Howard County schools, Montgomery County Schools, P.G. Schools, President Obama, back-to-school, education speech  
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A Private School Parent's Nightmare

This is a parent’s school nightmare: You decide that your local public school is not what you want for your child, and you find the money to pay tuition at a private religious school. One morning when you drop your...

By Valerie Strauss  | September 11, 2009; 11:43 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  Private Schools  | Tags:  Progressive Christian Academy, parochial schools, private schools  
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THE LIST: How the U.S. Treats Its Children

A new comprehensive ranking of the well-being of children in 30 industrialized countries shows that the United States spends more public money than most but has less impressive outcomes in health, education and poverty. The study called “Doing Better for...

By Valerie Strauss  | September 11, 2009; 6:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Tags:  Child well-being, U.S. children  
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Who Is Right in Fairfax Schools Contract Issue?

A coalition of Fairfax County parents groups and teachers unions are upset at what they say was little public input into an expected decision tonight by the School Board to extend the control of Jack Dale, the schools superintendent. This...

By Valerie Strauss  | September 10, 2009; 2:03 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  Fairfax County Public Schools  | Tags:  Fairfax County Public Schools, Fairfax County School Board, Jack Dale, teenagers and sleep  
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TRACHTENBERG: What Is a College Education For?

The Answer Sheet will frequently host guests writing on a range of education topics. Today we hear the voice of Stephen Joel Trachtenberg, president emeritus of George Washington University, a professor of public policy and a man with many informed...

By Valerie Strauss  | September 10, 2009; 11:35 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Tags:  College Education, Stephen Joel Trachtenberg  
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THE GROUP: When Do You Tell on Another Child?

Today The Answer Sheet’s group of moms (and sometimes dads) discusses what to do when you have learned something disturbing about another child. Please carry on the conversation in the comments section. Email The Sheet with issues you’d like...

By Valerie Strauss  | September 10, 2009; 6:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Tags:  parenting  
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Obama, McCartney, Springsteen: Let Them Talk to Kids in School!

The Answer Sheet loves the Beatles and is delighted that the group is the No. 1 band in the world right now, even though the boys haven’t played together in 40 years and two are dead. It seems unfair, though,...

By Valerie Strauss  | September 9, 2009; 1:35 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Tags:  Bruce Springsteen, Paul McCartney, President Obama, music education, the Beatles  
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WHY IT MATTERS: Porn Movie Tests University Leaders

The Answer Sheet bets that setting policy about pornographic movies is not the first thing you would think higher education administrators would be wrestling with at the start of a new year. But at the University of Maryland at College...

By Valerie Strauss  | September 9, 2009; 11:35 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Higher Education, University of Maryland  | Tags:  Maryland legislature, college park, free speech, higher education, pornography, university of maryland  
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School Fashion Issues Start Early--And Don't Go Away

When I was in junior high school it seemed that everybody but me had cool Villager skirts and designer shirts. My family went to Sears to buy back-to-school clothes, and I tried to replicate “the look” but it looked like...

By Valerie Strauss  | September 9, 2009; 9:13 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
Categories:  Parents  | Tags:  Back-to-school clothes, Parentings  
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SPOTLIGHT: The Man Who Takes SAT Tests for a Living

“On the SAT, if you’re brilliant and slow - you’ll get a very average score.”--test expert Edward Carroll Edward Carroll takes tests for a living. To be precise, he takes the SAT, the dreaded college admissions test owned by the...

By Valerie Strauss  | September 9, 2009; 6:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  College Admissions, SAT and ACT, Standardized Tests  | Tags:  ACT, SAT, college admissions, test preparation  
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Teach Your Child to Be Their Own Advocate

There are many things that experts tell parents they ought to do for their child at the start of the school year: *Help kids create a schedule to do homework and outside activities. *Create a quiet work space for them...

By Valerie Strauss  | September 8, 2009; 1:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  Parents, Teachers  | Tags:  Parenting, Teaching Kids to Advocate  
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Valerie & Jay Debate The Speech

The Answer Sheet and colleague Jay Mathews, of Class Struggle fame, staged a head-to-head debate over President Obama's speech at Wakefield High. Their material: an advance text of the speech and who-knows-how-many years of education reporting experience.--The Editors strong>JAY MATHEWS:...

By Washington Post editors  | September 8, 2009; 9:02 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (20)
 
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CHECKING IT OUT: What's a ‘highly skilled’ teacher in D.C.?

Back in the day at Everglades Elementary School in Miami, I had a fifth-grade teacher named Berry Shaw. She was known as the second toughest--read that, second meanest--teacher in the place, and I quaked on the first day of class....

By Valerie Strauss  | September 8, 2009; 6:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (16)
Categories:  D.C. Schools, Teachers  | Tags:  D.C. schools, Highly Skilled Teachers, Michelle Rhee, Teachers  
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A Lesson on Labor Day

Labor Day is the perfect day to explain to kids complaining about going back to school just how much worse things could be for them. In fact, they once were: Kids were forced into back-breaking jobs day and night in...

By Valerie Strauss  | September 7, 2009; 6:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Civics Education  | Tags:  American history, Labor Day, workers  
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