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The Answer Sheet: March 21, 2010 - March 27, 2010

More on Duncan’s VIP list in Chicago

There are new details about a list of VIPS and others who asked then Chicago Schools Superintendent Arne Duncan for help in getting certain children into top public schools. And here's an interesting discussion about the list and Duncan's record in Chicago.

By Valerie Strauss  | March 27, 2010; 8:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
Categories:  Education Secretary Duncan  | Tags:  Chicago public schools, Ed Secretary Arne Duncan  
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Duncan silent on Florida’s education mess

Despite a growing chorus of opposition from teachers, students and even school superintendents, the Republican-dominated Florida Legislature is intent on passing a bill that would make eliminate teacher tenure, link teacher pay to student standardized test scores, and add a heap more tests on already test-plagued students. Education Secretary Arne Duncan doesn't have a word to say about it.

By Valerie Strauss  | March 26, 2010; 10:39 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (35)
Categories:  Education Secretary Duncan, No Child Left Behind  | Tags:  Arne Duncan, Florida, NCLB  
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Why students get rejected from college

By Jerome A. Lucido. Step into my office for a brief counseling session on dealing with college rejection. Frankly, it’s like the tried and true break-up line: “It’s not you; it’s me.” Only this time, the line is true. The truth is that there is always a reason that colleges accept a student, but very often there is not a reason that they don’t. It’s truly nothing a student did--or even didn’t do.

By Valerie Strauss  | March 26, 2010; 6:25 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  College Admissions  | Tags:  college admissions  
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Diane Ravitch didn’t make a U-turn--Senechal

By Diana Senechal. A cliche has arisen in the media about Diane Ravitch: the assertion that she has made an “about-face,” a “U-turn,” or a “180-degree turn,” that she now says she was “wrong about everything.” She didn't, and she wasn't.

By Valerie Strauss  | March 25, 2010; 4:15 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (12)
Categories:  Guest Bloggers, No Child Left Behind  | Tags:  Diana Senechal, Diane Ravitch  
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When kids cheat on SAT, ACT

What happens to kids who cheat on the SAT and the ACT? Even when they are caught, not as much as you might think.

By Valerie Strauss  | March 25, 2010; 12:13 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  College Admissions, SAT and ACT  | Tags:  SAT and ACT, cheating on SAT, college admissions, college admissions tests  
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Parents spending time with kids: Good and bad news

By Debra Viadero. A new study has some good news: Parents are spending more time with their children. And it has some bad news, too: The increase is twice as great for college-educated parents as it is for less-educated parents. Why is that bad news? It has the potential of expanding already-persistent achievement gaps in U.S. society.

By Valerie Strauss  | March 25, 2010; 6:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  College Admissions, Guest Bloggers, Parents, Research  | Tags:  Debra Viadero, achievement gap, college admissions, research  
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Florida Senate approves disastrous teachers bill

On Wednesday, the Florida Senate passed a bill that would end job security for teachers in the state and require school districts to evaluate and pay them primarily on the basis of student test scores.

By Valerie Strauss  | March 24, 2010; 5:04 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (43)
Categories:  No Child Left Behind, Standardized Tests, Teachers  | Tags:  FCAT and bush, Florida Senate Bill 6, NCLB, standardized tests, teachers  
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NAEP reading scores: Bad news was sadly predictable

It is no surprise that the National Assessment of Educational Progress showed that the nation's fourth- and eighth-graders have made no progress in reading under No Child Left Behind. The literacy program at the heart of NCLB was no good to begin with.

By Valerie Strauss  | March 24, 2010; 11:54 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (12)
Categories:  No Child Left Behind, Reading  | Tags:  NAEP, No Child Left Behind, Reading First  
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Disaster for Florida teachers: Senate Bill 6

A bill in the Florida Senate would go a long way to destroying the teaching profession in the state: It would eliminate job security, and link most of a teacher's pay to how well students perform on standardized tests. The bill takes to extremes the notion, supported by President Obama, of linking teacher evaluation to test scores.

By Valerie Strauss  | March 24, 2010; 6:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (66)
Categories:  Education Secretary Duncan, Standardized Tests, Teachers  | Tags:  Arne Duncan, Florida legislature, President Obama, standardized tests, teacher pay, teachers  
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One teacher’s cure for senioritis

An award-winning high school teacher in Virginia has come up with a cure for senioritis, that "crippling disease" that affects high school seniors in a big way from now until graduation.

By Valerie Strauss  | March 23, 2010; 12:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  College Admissions, High School  | Tags:  high school, senioritis  
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Why aren’t there more women in STEM?

A new report says that social and environmental factors still play the biggest role in the gender gap in science and engineering fields.

By Valerie Strauss  | March 23, 2010; 9:15 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (8)
Categories:  Math, Research, Science, Technology  | Tags:  AAUW report, gender gap in STEM  
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Ravitch's NCLB book an unexpected best seller

Education policy books aren't usually best sellers, but Diane Ravitch's new "The Death and Life of the Great American School System," has become so popular that many bookstores are sold out.

By Valerie Strauss  | March 23, 2010; 6:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (12)
Categories:  Education Secretary Duncan, No Child Left Behind  | Tags:  Arne Duncan, Diane Ravitch, President Obama  
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Willingham on Obama's vision for education

Cognitive scientist Daniel Willingham reviews President Obama's new vision for rewriting No Child Left Behind. He says that interventions proposed for the lowest-achieving schools will result no in a race to the top, but a scramble from the bottom.

By Valerie Strauss  | March 22, 2010; 2:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (15)
Categories:  Daniel Willingham, Guest Bloggers, No Child Left Behind  | Tags:  Daniel Willingham, No Child Left Behind, guest bloggers  
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Obama's student loan reform -- a no-brainer

The Obama administration deserves applause by passing major student loan reform that will save billions of dollars over the next 10 years, despite efforts to stop it that sometimes were just plain silly.

By Valerie Strauss  | March 22, 2010; 11:55 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  College Costs  | Tags:  college costs, student loan reform  
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What’s an admissions ‘likely’ letter?

Colleges sometimes send out 'likely' letters to strong applicants suggesting that they will be admitted but not offering acceptance.

By Valerie Strauss  | March 22, 2010; 9:44 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  College Admissions  | Tags:  college admissions  
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Inexcusable: Empty promises to a D.C. school

What can you say after you say that D.C. school officials have yet again let down a school community that has been trying for years to get decent conditions in which its students and young children can learn each weekday? A lot.

By Valerie Strauss  | March 22, 2010; 6:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (12)
Categories:  D.C. Schools  | Tags:  Chancellor Michelle Rhee., D.C. public schools  
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Tonight watch Discover's new 'Life' series

Tonight the Discovery Channel is starting its 11-part natural history series called "Life," the follow-up to the wildly successful "Planet Earth." This new effort is fabulous too. So science teachers and parents: Find a way to get kids to tune in. Make it an assignment. Bribe 'em. Enjoy it with them. Whatever. Just watch.

By Valerie Strauss  | March 21, 2010; 6:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Science  | Tags:  Discovery Channel, Life series, Planet Earth  
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