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The Answer Sheet: May 23, 2010 - May 29, 2010

Gender gap in higher education growing -- report

In less than a decade women will account for 59 percent of total undergraduate enrollment and 61 percent of graduate enrollment at the country’s colleges and universities and already have a dominant presence at every degree level, a new government report shows. But women still remain severely underrepresented in certain fields, the report shows, and young adult males still have higher median earnings than young adult females with the same levels of education at every degree level.

By Valerie Strauss  | May 29, 2010; 10:01 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Higher Education, Research  | Tags:  condition of education, condition of education 2010, female enrollment, female enrollment in higher education, gender and enrollment, higher education, male attainment and college, male enrollment, male enrollment in college, participation in higher education by gender, women and higher education  
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Winning question in National Geography Bee

Here's the final question in the National Geography Bee, and the boy who knew the answer.

By Valerie Strauss  | May 29, 2010; 8:47 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Tags:  geography bee, winning question  
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1 in 6 U.S. students in high-poverty schools

A government analysis of U.S. schools shows that one in six public school students attend high poverty schools and that the percentage of high-poverty schools has significantly increased over the past decade. There's a lot more data too.

By Valerie Strauss  | May 28, 2010; 12:07 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Equity, Research  | Tags:  2010 condition of education, analysis on high-poverty schools, condition of education, data on schools, equity, high-poverty schools, percentage of high-poverty schools, school  
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Even lousy summer internships can be useful

As the summer internship season begins, a lot of kids are going to be surprised about just how boring some seemingly exciting jobs really are. Still, says education counselor Eileen Wilkinson, every internship can teach some lessons.

By Valerie Strauss  | May 28, 2010; 11:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Guest Bloggers, Student Life  | Tags:  boring internships, great summer internships, student life, summer interns, summer internships  
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Why involve Michelle Obama in anti-test campaign?

I published a guest post yesterday about a postcard campaign starting today by a coalition of non-profit groups to try to persuade First Lady Michelle Obama to talk to her husband about changing his administration’s education policy on high-stakes standardized...

By Valerie Strauss  | May 28, 2010; 9:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (15)
Categories:  Standardized Tests  
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Today's college students less empathetic -- study

Are college students as nice as they used to be? Apparently, no, and modern technology may be partly to blame. A new University of Michigan study shows that today’s college students are not as empathetic as they used to be.

By Valerie Strauss  | May 28, 2010; 6:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  College Life, Research  | Tags:  analysis on empathy, are college students empathetic?, college students, college students and empathy, college students and university of michigan, study on empathy, u michigan study on college students  
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Sharp critique of for-profit ed companies

A highly successful and well-known Wall Street trader who has become famous for foreseeing the country's financial crash gives a speech blasting the for-profit education industry.

By Valerie Strauss  | May 27, 2010; 3:06 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (10)
Categories:  Higher Education  | Tags:  for-profit education, for-profit higher education, steven eisman and for-profit education, steven eisman speech, the big short  
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Postcards to Mrs. Obama: End high-stakes testing

Organizations opposed to high-stakes standardized tests are starting a postcard-writing campaign aimed at persuading First Lady Michelle Obama to "encourage" President Obama to end the use of high stakes tests. Lisa Guisbond of FairTest writes about the effort.

By Valerie Strauss  | May 27, 2010; 12:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (35)
Categories:  Education Secretary Duncan, Guest Bloggers, Lisa Guisbond, No Child Left Behind, Race to the Top, Standardized Tests  | Tags:  FairTest, fairtest, high-stakes standardized tests, michelle obama and tests, mrs. obama and standardized tests, no child left behind, obama and nclb, obama and race to the top, postcard campaign, postcard campaign to mrs. obama, postcards to first lady, postcards to michelle obama, postcards to mrs. obama, race to the top, standardized tests, standardized tests and results, the problem with race to the top, time out for testing  
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What’s wrong with standardized tests?

Standardized tests are used for so many purposes in schools today that it can be easy to forget why they shouldn’t be used as an exclusive measure to determine anything of importance. Let's review why

By Valerie Strauss  | May 27, 2010; 11:59 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (10)
Categories:  Standardized Tests  | Tags:  dangers of high-stakes standardized tests, high-stakes standardized tests, obama administration and school reform, obama and standardized tests, obama and tests, standardized tests  
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How Arizona is checking teachers’ accents

More than 1,500 teachers in Arizona have already been evaluated to see if they can speak English fluently, and some have been found to have problems, a Department of Education official said.

By Valerie Strauss  | May 27, 2010; 9:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Learning  | Tags:  arizona and teachers, arizona and teachers with accents, arizona monitors teachers with accents, arizona schools, arizona teachers, teachers and accents, teachers and accents and arizona  
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Vocabulary twist: Teaching words OUT of context

New vocabulary words should be taught in literary context. That's the conventional wisdom. But a teacher writes about how she she was successful with her students by being unconventional with vocab lessons.

By Valerie Strauss  | May 27, 2010; 6:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (10)
Categories:  Learning, Reading, Writing  | Tags:  how to teach vocabulary, how to teach words, literary context, teaching vocabulary words, teaching words in literary context, vocabulary lessons  
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Ann Curry gives wrong commencement speech

NBC reporter Ann Curry delivered a commencement address at Wheaton College in Massachusetts over the weekend, but thought she was talking to the student body at the Illinois institution of the same name.

By Valerie Strauss  | May 26, 2010; 2:24 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  College Life  | Tags:  ann curry, ann curry and speech, ann curry gives wrong speech, commencement speech, wheaton college, wheaton college and commencement and speech, wheaton college commencement, wrong commencement speech, wrong speech  
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Geography Bee today! Test your geo smarts

Nearly 5 million kids across the country participated in state and local competitions for the 2010 National Geography Bee, and it came down to 10 finalists--all boys 11 to 13 years old -- in today’s championship round being held in the nation’s capital.

By Valerie Strauss  | May 26, 2010; 10:34 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Tags:  National Geographic Bee, geographic bee, geography quiz, geography studies, learning geography, national geographic studies  
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Ravitch's 10 reasons to 'no' to Race to the Top

Education historian Diane Ravitch lists her top 10 reasons for why states should say "no" to Education Secretary Arne Duncan and refuse to participate in Race to the Top.

By Valerie Strauss  | May 26, 2010; 9:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
Categories:  Diane Ravitch, Guest Bloggers, No Child Left Behind, Race to the Top  | Tags:  arne duncan, bridging differences, diane ravitch, no child left behind, race to the top, ravitch and race to the top  
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When teens get too affectionate at school

Maybe it’s the advent of spring, or the promise of prom, but more students are engaging in public displays of affection at school--and it isn’t only the adults in the building who are getting embarrassed and annoyed. Kids are complaining that their friends are grossing them out. Where should the line be drawn?

By Valerie Strauss  | May 26, 2010; 6:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Health, High School  | Tags:  PDA and high school, PDA policies, PDA policies and school, PDAs at school, ban on hugs, high school bans PDA, middle school bans hugs, public displays of affection  
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Charter school stats challenged

Statistics can be deceiving. I received an email taking issue with a post I wrote on Sunday in which I challenged part of a Steven Brill article in The New York Times magazine. Here's the email, and why I wrote what I wrote.

By Valerie Strauss  | May 25, 2010; 6:01 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  Charter schools  | Tags:  Brill piece, New York City schools, New York Times magazine and Brill story, P.S. 149, Steven Brill story, charter schools, statistics in charter school piece  
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Why Arizona targeted ethnic studies

This is not a defense of ethnic studies in general. This is not a defense of an ethnic studies program in particular. What follows is an open letter written by Tom Horne, Arizona’s longtime secretary of education, that explains why he disliked an ethnic studies program in the Tuscon Unified School District so much that he pushed through a law that he hoped would end it. I find his motivations highly revealing.

By Valerie Strauss  | May 25, 2010; 11:27 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (7)
Categories:  Civics Education, History  | Tags:  arizona and ethnic studies, arizona department of education, arizona law on ethnic studies, ethnic studies, ethnic studies law, history, mexican-american studies, tom horne  
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Concern over accented teachers not original to Arizona

The state of Arizona has gotten a lot of attention lately for its decision to remove teachers who speak with pronounced foreign accent and/or whose speech is ungrammatical from classrooms with students learning to speak English. But the idea wasn’t original to the Arizona Board of Education.

By Valerie Strauss  | May 25, 2010; 6:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (8)
Categories:  Learning  | Tags:  arizona and accents, arizona remove teachers with accents, foreign accents and teachers, research on teachers with accents, teachers with accents  
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Many colleges over-enrolled for fall

Many colleges and universities across the country suddenly have a good problem: They are over-enrolled for this fall and are scrambling to figure out how to accommodate the extra students in classes and dormitories.

By Valerie Strauss  | May 25, 2010; 6:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  College Admissions  | Tags:  college admissions, college enrollment, enrollment at schools, freshmen class, schools that are overenrolled  
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Data shows kids shouldn't multitask -- Willingham

Cognitive scientist Daniel Willingham looks at the data about whether kids really can effectively multi-task in the way many of them think they can.

By Valerie Strauss  | May 24, 2010; 12:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (9)
Categories:  Daniel Willingham, Guest Bloggers, Research  | Tags:  can kids multitask?, daniel willingham, data on multitasking, multitasking and kids, research on multitasking  
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Bad standards: Not just in Texas

Texas isn’t the only place with lousy social studies standards, though you might be forgiven for thinking so considering all the attention that Texas Board of Education has received in recent months as it adopted a new set of standards.

By Valerie Strauss  | May 24, 2010; 6:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
Categories:  History, National Standards  | Tags:  Indiana textbooks, Oregon standards, Texas board of education, Texas social studies standards, Texas standards, history, social studies standards, standards, textbooks  
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Charters vs. public schools: Behind the numbers

In a New York Times magazine article today, writer Steven Brill compares a charter school in Harlem with a traditional public school which is housed in the same building. He says the student populations are the same. They aren't.

By Valerie Strauss  | May 23, 2010; 2:58 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (22)
Categories:  Charter schools  | Tags:  brill and story about unions, brill's story and charter schools, charter schools, steven brill story, the new york times and brill story, the teachers unions last stand  
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