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The Answer Sheet: March 7, 2010 - March 13, 2010

Obama and NCLB: The good--and very bad--news

Today we learned the vision that President Obama has for the American public education system in the post-No Child Left Behind era. Unfortunately, it doesn't look different enough. George Bush probably never realized how much of a friend Obama would be to NCLB.

By Valerie Strauss  | March 13, 2010; 1:45 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (37)
Categories:  Education Secretary Duncan, No Child Left Behind, Race to the Top  | Tags:  Arne Duncan, No Child Left Behind, President Obama, school reform  
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Obama’s contradictions on education

President Obama has said repeatedly that his education goal is to make sure that every child has a quality education and the opportunity to graduate from college -- and he displayed his commitment to that by donating some of his Nobel Prize money to organizations that help underserved children get ready for college. But his education policies are guaranteed not to reach that goal.

By Valerie Strauss  | March 13, 2010; 8:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (34)
Categories:  No Child Left Behind, Race to the Top  | Tags:  Arne Duncan, No Child Left Behind, President Obama, Race to the Top  
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Whitmire: New data on how far boys are falling behind

Richard Whitmire looks at a new report to be released next week that shows that males are not doing as well on state tests as females--more evidence that the Obama administration's approach to school reform must include targeted efforts at males.

By Valerie Strauss  | March 12, 2010; 3:55 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (36)
Categories:  Guest Bloggers  | Tags:  Richard Whitmire, Why Boys Fail, guest bloggers  
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Harvard study: Are weighted AP grades fair?

By Debra Viadero. A new study by a Harvard University researcher looks at the practice of giving weighted grades to high-level high school courses, and he issues a warning about the effects on college admissions.

By Valerie Strauss  | March 12, 2010; 3:46 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  AP,IB,honors, College Admissions, Grades  | Tags:  AP, college admissions, weighted grades  
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Why Obama should invest in teachers

How a professional learning community works--and why the most important investment the Obama administration can make in education is in teachers and teaching.

By Valerie Strauss  | March 12, 2010; 9:33 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (13)
Categories:  Guest Bloggers, No Child Left Behind, Teachers  | Tags:  George Wood, Obama, guest bloggers, teachers, teaching  
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Why Obama, Duncan should read Linda Darling-Hammond’s new education book

If President Obama and Education Secretary Arne Duncan were to read Stanford University Professor Linda Darling-Hammond's new book on education--and Diane Ravitch's too--it's hard to believe they would stay on the same disastrous education course upon which they have embarked.

By Valerie Strauss  | March 12, 2010; 6:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (12)
Categories:  Education Secretary Duncan, No Child Left Behind  | Tags:  Arne Duncan, Education Department, education reform  
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Education Department buying 27 shotguns

Why is the U.S. Department of Education buying 27 new Remington shotguns?

By Valerie Strauss  | March 11, 2010; 3:07 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (30)
Categories:  Education Secretary Duncan  | Tags:  Education Department, shotguns  
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Helping students know what they don’t know-Part 3

The third part of an article by cognitive scientist Daniel Willingham, a professor at the University of Virginia, explains how parents and teachers can help kids understand when they don't know material that they think they do--and then, how they can really learn it.

By Valerie Strauss  | March 11, 2010; 12:56 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Daniel Willingham, Guest Bloggers, Learning  | Tags:  Daniel Willingham, helping kids learn, the brain  
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How students trick themselves about what they know--Part 2

In the second part of his article on why students think they know material that they don't, cognitive scientist and University of Virginia professor Daniel Willingham discusses the situations that can get kids in trouble in this regard.

By Valerie Strauss  | March 11, 2010; 12:51 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Daniel Willingham, Guest Bloggers, Learning  | Tags:  Daniel Willingham, guest bloggers, learning, the brain  
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Willingham: Why students think they know material they don't--Part 1

In the first of three posts, cognitive scientist Daniel Willingham, a professor at the University of Virginia, tackles the subject of how students (and adults) think they know material when they don't really understand it. The second post will look at how we wind up in such a situation, and the third, how to help students overcome it.

By Valerie Strauss  | March 11, 2010; 12:50 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Daniel Willingham, Guest Bloggers, Learning  | Tags:  Daniel Willingham, how students learn  
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The school message hoax: Press 1 to lie about your kid's absence

A school phone announcement gaining popularity on YouTube that tells parents to press 1 if they want to lie about why their child is absent, and to press 2 if they want to make excuses for why their child hasn't done homework, and on and on, is a hoax, but a funny one at that.

By Valerie Strauss  | March 11, 2010; 12:45 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Teachers  | Tags:  school hoax  
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Should this man lead a school system?

The president of the Detroit Board of Education has great trouble with writing, and a newspaper columnist asks if he should be in charge of the 90,000-student system.

By Valerie Strauss  | March 11, 2010; 6:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (8)
Categories:  Writing  | Tags:  detroit public schools  
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Virtual college fair lets students ‘visit’ schools

The country's largest virtual college fair is coming up, allowing students to 'visit' college campuses across the country and talk with school officials and current students as well as financial aid experts.

By Valerie Strauss  | March 10, 2010; 9:13 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  College Admissions  | Tags:  college admissions  
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Common sense on school dress codes

When I went to high school back in the 1970s in Miami, we were not allowed to wear shorts. In Miami. It gets really hot in Miami. Being something of a contrarian, I decided to start wearing them anyway....

By Valerie Strauss  | March 10, 2010; 11:35 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (12)
 
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“Eyeballs in the Fridge”--New data on what drives males, females into science

What drives males and females to become scientists? A new study finds differences, and suggests that more science should be taught earlier.

By Valerie Strauss  | March 10, 2010; 10:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  Research, Science, University of Virginia  | Tags:  education research, science  
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The problem(s) with the Common Core standards

Wanting kids around the country to know the same important skills and concepts makes sense. But there are problems with the national Common Core Standards in math and English that are being released today

By Valerie Strauss  | March 10, 2010; 6:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (22)
Categories:  National Standards  | Tags:  Common Core standards, national standards  
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Should PETA be protesting at elementary schools?

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals plans a protest against a circus at a D.C. elementary school, complete with a person in an elephant suit with a bandage around its head. Is this any way to teach kids about the treatment of animals?

By Valerie Strauss  | March 9, 2010; 1:10 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  D.C. Schools  | Tags:  D.C. schools, PETA, circus  
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Shalala outlines benefits of new GI Bill

University of Miami President Donna Shalala outlines the educational benefits that the new Post-9/11 GI Bill offers to military veterans and service members, and explains why it is good for all Americans.

By Valerie Strauss  | March 9, 2010; 10:40 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Guest Bloggers, Higher Education  | Tags:  GI Bill, educational benefits for military  
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Higher ed gender gap seems stable--except for Hispanics

The gender gap in higher education--in which males represent 43 percent of traditional age undergraduates--has stayed stable since 2000, except for Hispanic males. Here are details of a new report.

By Valerie Strauss  | March 9, 2010; 9:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Higher Education  | Tags:  gender gap, higher ed and gender  
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A guide to help you advocate for your child

Here's a new guide for parents to help them advocate for their child's education, as well as for education advocates and policymakers.

By Valerie Strauss  | March 9, 2010; 6:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Elementary School, High School, Middle School, Parents  | Tags:  education advocacy  
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Eeek! Rats in MoCo school!

Rodent problems are a common occurrence in school buildings around the country -- including in some of the best schools, including Burning Tree Elementary in Montgomery County Public Schools. Forty-two traps have been set in and around classrooms.

By Valerie Strauss  | March 8, 2010; 12:49 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Montgomery County Public Schools  | Tags:  Moco Schools, rodents in schools  
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Choosing ACT, SAT scores to send to colleges: A good idea?

High school students taking the SAT and ACT more than once can choose which scores (by test date--not by individual section) to send to many colleges and universities. The question is whether it is a good idea to cherry pick the scores. It may seem like it on the surface, but there are good reasons to reconsider.

By Valerie Strauss  | March 8, 2010; 12:02 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  College Admissions, SAT and ACT, Standardized Tests  | Tags:  ACT, SAT, college admissions  
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Why the Census is important

The data collected by the U.S. Census has a profound impact on school kids across the country. Billions of dollars in federal aid are distributed based on demographics.

By Valerie Strauss  | March 8, 2010; 9:39 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Tags:  U.S. Census, census forms  
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How does outer space smell?... Quiz a Nobel laureate

The people behind the Nobel Prizes are offering us regular folks a chance to directly question some of the brilliant winners. Here's how to pose your questions. One of my favorites:

By Valerie Strauss  | March 8, 2010; 7:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Intelligence  | Tags:  ask a nobel laureate, nobel laureates  
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Virginia colleges: Just say 'no' to Cuccinelli

Virginia's attorney general has really stirred the pot by telling the state's colleges and universities that they should remove from their anti-discrimination employment policies anything that covers homosexuals. Virginia's school's should just say "no."

By Valerie Strauss  | March 7, 2010; 9:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (22)
Categories:  Higher Education  | Tags:  cuccinelli letter, higher education  
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College admissions strategies: Don't listen to friends, and more

By Angel B. Perez. Here's some advice from a college admissions dean for high school students getting ready to start the college admissions progress: Don't listen to your friends, and four more key strategies.

By Valerie Strauss  | March 7, 2010; 7:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  College Admissions  | Tags:  college admissions  
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