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The Answer Sheet: December 27, 2009 - January 2, 2010

Take The Sheet's 2009 Education Quiz

Happy and healthy new year to all of you ... and now let’s start off the new decade with, appropriately for an education blog, a quiz. I thought about doing one of those top 10 education story of the year or decade lists, but realized it would be repetitive: Budget cuts hurt K-12; budget cuts squeeze community colleges big-time; budget cuts and endowment losses bring pain to colleges and universities ... etc. A quiz sounded more fun. Here are some unusual education stories you may not have read in 2009. Take a look and guess from where they came. Where, for example, did a university professor try to teach math to middle school students but give up after two months because the kids were so unruly? Where did a teacher accidentally put pornography on a DVD of school memories? What books were more challenged?

By Valerie Strauss  | January 1, 2010; 3:41 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  High School, Higher Education, Learning, Middle School, Reading, Teachers  | Tags:  The Education Quiz  
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Answer Sheet to education quiz

Here are the answers to the 10-question education quiz for 2009.

By Valerie Strauss  | January 1, 2010; 5:40 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  High School, History, Learning, Teachers  | Tags:  Education quiz  
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Talking Out of School: Claire Danes on college, getting tutored on TV and her so-called life

Claires Danes talks about her unusual education that included being tutored on television and movie sets. "I would be doing a death scene and then go back to my geometry lesson," she said. This is one in an occasional series of conversations I am having with people from different walks of life about their own educational experiences.

By Valerie Strauss  | December 31, 2009; 11:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Talking Out of School  | Tags:  Claire Danes, Talking Out of School  
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High School Report: From Briar Woods in Virginia, the top 5 stories of 2009

Which 2009 news story scored the most hits on the web site of 5-year-old Briar Wood High School’s student newspaper, the Falcon Flyer, in Ashburn, Va.? The Flyer counts down what student journalists deemed to be the five most important stories in 2009 to the Briar Wood community. They include the start of the Obama administration, the domestic violence case involving Rihanna and Chris Brown, and two school state championships.

By Valerie Strauss  | December 31, 2009; 6:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  High School  | Tags:  top stories of 2009  
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Obama's view of sex education broader than Bush's

Even as proponents of abstinence-only sex education continue to hope that the health care reform package will fund their programs, President Obama is supporting a broader approach to the subject. Sarah Kliff at Newsweek reports that funding for sex education in a 146-page appropriations bill for the departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and related agencies does not require an abstinence-only approach as did the Bush administration. In fact, the only thing it seems to require is that programs be able to prove that they work.

By Valerie Strauss  | December 30, 2009; 11:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (12)
Tags:  sex education  
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The value of standardized tests

I think I’ve left a false impression. Three times in the past month I’ve had people tell me that I am anti-test. They have gotten this idea from my posts about the dangers of high-stakes standardized testing. For whatever record there is, I am not opposed to tests. What is troubling is the way we use the results of some tests. I received an email from Patrick Mattimore, a lawyer and former Advanced Placement teacher who makes the case for the value of multiple choice standardized tests. Read it and judge for yourself.

By Valerie Strauss  | December 30, 2009; 10:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (10)
Categories:  Standardized Tests  | Tags:  standardized tests  
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Jay Mathews, E.D. Hirsch and other education greats honored

Jay Mathews, E.D. Hirsch, Geoffrey Canada and others won Upton Sinclair Awards for lasting contributions to the world of education given by EducationNews.org. Jay is the only reporter in the group, deservedly so. I have worked with Jay for years and have always been astounded at his depth and breadth of knowledge, his unrelenting energy and optimism, and his extraordinary collegiality.

By Valerie Strauss  | December 30, 2009; 8:56 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Tags:  Jay Mathews, education awards  
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A gift from a stranger

Rosemary Saddler saved the trip. When last I wrote about how the East Coast’s blizzard had snarled my family’s trip to Israel, it was unclear whether we would in fact be able to take the trip or would have to return home. Stuck in the snow-bound Philadelphia airport for two days, U.S. Airways mysteriously managed to lose all record of my family’s outgoing flight--and had no space to offer us on other flights for days. (Lesson learned: Do not book a flight that is the only one a particular airline offers to that destination each day.)

By Valerie Strauss  | December 30, 2009; 6:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Tags:  travel  
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Do we need more male teachers?

Ronald Maggiano is somewhat unusual in the teaching profession. That is because he is male. Maggiano is an award-winning teacher in the Social Studies Department at West Springfield High School in Virginia. In a piece on his blog, "The Classroom Post," he calls for more males to enter the profession. Here's why: Men Teach, a non-profit organization that encourages men to enter teaching, reports that in 2008, 18.8% of all elementary and middle school teachers were men.

By Valerie Strauss  | December 29, 2009; 11:46 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (21)
Categories:  Race to the Top, Teachers  | Tags:  male teachers, teaching profession  
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Why Duncan's record in Chicago is a problem

It’s an all too familiar story. Someone gets appointed to a big job because he supposedly got great results at his old one. It doesn’t take too long for people to realize that the supposedly great results weren’t so great--but the boss has taken the new organization on the same route anyway. This is the story of Rod Paige as education secretary under then president George Bush early in this decade, and now, according to a Washington Post story today by my colleague Nick Anderson, of Arne Duncan as education secretary under President Obama. Here we go again.

By Valerie Strauss  | December 29, 2009; 9:18 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (13)
Categories:  Education Secretary Duncan, No Child Left Behind, Race to the Top  | Tags:  education reform, no child left behind  
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Willingham: No evidence exists for learning style theories

By Daniel Willingham. The idea that we have in hand a learning styles theory that can be used to improve instruction is remarkably well ingrained. But a new journal article supports a conclusion I have made in the past: There is no evidence supporting any of the many learning style theories that have been proposed. This should raise serious questions about teaching training.

By Valerie Strauss  | December 28, 2009; 11:22 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (8)
Categories:  Daniel Willingham, Guest Bloggers, Learning  | Tags:  Daniel Willingham, learning styles  
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How can your school go green?

My colleague Michael Birnbaum today detailed the things Washington-area private schools are doing to go green. Tell me what your (public or private) school could do. Please hit the "comments" button below and list the name of your school, where...

By Washington Post editors  | December 28, 2009; 9:28 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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