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The Answer Sheet: May 30, 2010 - June 5, 2010

Consequences for playing 'Beat the Jew'

What should the consequences be for high school seniors who concoct a game called “Beat the Jew,” advertise it on line, and then play it by dividing kids up into “Nazis,” who chase and try to capture a runner labeled a “Jew"?

By Valerie Strauss  | June 5, 2010; 2:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (14)
Categories:  Discipline  | Tags:  beat the jew, jews and game, jews and nazis, kids play beat the jew game  
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About that baseball apology

If you need evidence that kids aren’t learning some of the most basic lessons of human courtesy, consider umpire Jim Joyce’s now-famous baseball apology.

By Valerie Strauss  | June 5, 2010; 12:20 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Tags:  armando galarraga and jim joyce, baseball and apology, baseball and perfect game, baseball apology, galarraga, jim joyce, perfect game, umpire and call and perfect game, umpire apologizes, umpire blows call, umpire misses call  
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In Arizona, a school mural controversy

In Arizona, an elementary school principal is said to have ordered that the faces of some children depicted in a giant mural be lightened after complaints were made about the ethnicity of the kids.

By Valerie Strauss  | June 4, 2010; 10:41 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (17)
Categories:  Elementary School  
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Why fun is important in learning

By Sean Slade. Why do we assume that learning only occurs when kids are serious and quiet? This anti-fun vein is evident in education editorials and discussion boards, but brain research suggests that fun is not just beneficial to learning but required for long-term memory and authentic learning.

By Valerie Strauss  | June 4, 2010; 11:19 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (14)
Categories:  Learning  | Tags:  ascd, engaging students, fun in education, healthy classrooms, healthy school communitiesy, learning, theory of learning  
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Florida’s Race to Top application: Not what it seems

No sooner had the deadline passed for the second round of applications from participating states in the Obama administration’s $4 billion Race to the Top contest than we learn that at least one bid isn’t quite what it seems.

By Valerie Strauss  | June 4, 2010; 6:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
Categories:  Race to the Top  | Tags:  arne duncan and race to the top, florida and race to the top, florida's rttt application, obama and race to the top, race to the top, school reform and obama, second round and race to the top  
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College awareness: How much is too much?

How old should children be before they are asked to start worrying about going to college? Eight years old? Ten? Thirteen? Fifteen? How about 5?

By Valerie Strauss  | June 3, 2010; 2:31 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Elementary School, Higher Education  | Tags:  college readiness, college readiness week, kalamazoo and obama, kalamazoo school, kalamazoo school district, newsom and savings account, obama's 2020 goal and college, san francisco and kindergarten savings account  
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Movies and School Reform: Lessons from ‘An Inconvenient Truth’

By Frederick M. Hess. I can’t recall how many times over the years I’ve heard from school reformers, "We need our own ‘An Inconvenient Truth.’ " You know, a cinematic indictment of the educational status quo jarring enough to stir a lethargic public. Well, all of a sudden, we’ve got a whole bunch of them, and we’re about to see how much they matter.

By Valerie Strauss  | June 3, 2010; 12:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
Categories:  Guest Bloggers  | Tags:  documentaries on education, education movies, education reform, frederick hess, guest bloggers, movies and school reform, the cartel and movie, the lottery and movie, waiting for superman  
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Sheep deaths in university research lead to probe

Put this in the category of the perils of research: Nine University of Wisconsin-Madison researchers and officials are being investigated to see if they broke state law by killing or allowing sheep to be killed through decompression as part of an experiment on “the bends.”

By Valerie Strauss  | June 3, 2010; 10:42 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Research  | Tags:  research, sheep deaths, special prosector and sheep, university of wisconsin at madison  
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Problem seen with admissions process to U.S. service academies -- Vinik

College admissions consultant Bruce Vinik explains why applicants to the U.S. service academies have a tougher admissions process than everybody else.

By Valerie Strauss  | June 3, 2010; 10:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Bruce Vinik, College Admissions, Guest Bloggers  | Tags:  college admissions, nominations to service academies, u.s. air force academy, u.s. naval academy, u.s. service academies, west point  
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What Common Core State Standards are -- and aren't

So now we have a set of national standards for math and English language arts that all states can adopt to help making learning more uniform across the country. There’s no real arguing with the notion that a student in Florida should learn the same important concepts and skills as a kid in Alaska. But we should be clear about what the results of the Common Core State Standards Initiative actually are -- and what they aren’t.

By Valerie Strauss  | June 3, 2010; 6:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
Categories:  National Standards, No Child Left Behind  | Tags:  common core standards, common core states standards initiative, math and reading standards, national standards, new standards, standards for k-12, standards initiative  
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Must we link P.E. (and everything else) to test scores?

Is there nothing in education today that we do not feel the need to justify through improved standardized test scores? A new report is out about physical education in public schools. The news is not good.

By Valerie Strauss  | June 2, 2010; 5:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  Health, Sports, Standardized Tests  | Tags:  american heart association, let's move, michelle obama, michelle obama's anti-obesity campaign, obama and get Fit, obesity, obesity epidemic, physical activity and health, physical education, physical education and test scores, recommended physical education guidelines, standardized test scores  
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'Beach Week' is upon us: the event and the book

There's Beach Week, the annual celebrations now upon us in which high school graduates spend a week unchaperoned and create all manner of havoc. And there is "Beach Week," the new novel by Susan Coll, which describes in painful detail what actually can happen at the real thing. Read and learn.

By Valerie Strauss  | June 2, 2010; 11:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Parents, Student Life  | Tags:  all about beach week, beach week, beach week is here, parents and beach week, planning for beach week, susan coll, susan coll novels  
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The most common mispellings, er, misspellings

The National Spelling Bee is being held this week in Washington D.C. to promote perfect spelling. But what about those words that constantly trip us up?

By Valerie Strauss  | June 2, 2010; 7:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
Categories:  Reading  | Tags:  Goldman Sachs, Gulf oil spill, Jake Gyllenhaal, Justin Bieber, Lost series finale, National Spelling Bee, Parvati Shallow, Scripps National Spelling Bee, Vanya Shivashankar, commonly misspelled words, lost series finally, spelling bee, words most commonly misspelled  
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The desperation of Race to the Top

Virginia Gov. Robert McDonnell should stop sounding so defensive about why the state opted out of the second round of the $4 billion Race to the Top contest. Virginia and at least 20 other states did the right thing.

By Valerie Strauss  | June 1, 2010; 5:16 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
Categories:  Education Secretary Duncan, Race to the Top  | Tags:  duncan and race to the top, education secretary arne duncan, race to the top, race to the top second round, rttt second round, school reform and arne duncan, states and race to the top  
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Chicago's teacher performance-based pay didn't work -- new analysis

A study released today shows no evidence that performance-based compensation for teachers in Chicago improved student math and reading tests when compared with a group of similar schools that did not use the system. Meanwhile, states are rushing to implement this kind of payment system without real evidence that it works.

By Valerie Strauss  | June 1, 2010; 1:38 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (22)
Categories:  Education Secretary Duncan, Research, Teachers  | Tags:  analysis on performance-based pay, chicago tap, chicago tap and report, chicago tap program, duncan and chicago, education secretary arne duncan, performance-based pay, race to the top, report on performanced-based pay, tap  
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Clemson student charged for rude e-mail

Here’s another in a long list of overreactions by school officials to young people saying things in a way others would rather they didn’t. At Clemson University, an undergraduate was charged with "disorderly conduct," "harassment" and other school rule violations for sending a rude e-mail to an administrator.

By Valerie Strauss  | June 1, 2010; 9:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (8)
Categories:  Higher Education  | Tags:  1st amendment rights, Clemson University, FIRE, disorderly conduct charges, first amendment rights, free speech at school, free speech on campus, student charged for nasty email, student charged for rude email, student charged with disorderly conduct, the right to free speech  
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School graduations in church ruled unconstitutional

A federal judge rules that a Connecticut school system’s practice of holding high school graduation ceremonies in a Christian church is unconstitutional and that a different venue must be found.

By Valerie Strauss  | June 1, 2010; 4:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (12)
Categories:  High School  | Tags:  commencement and church, enfield graduation, enfield high school and graduation, enfield schools, federal judge rules on graduation in church, fermi high school and graduation, graduation and church and unconstitutional, graduation and establishment clause, graduation in church, judge declares graduation in church unconstitutional, judge janet hall, judge janet hall and schools, judge rules about graduation, ruling on graduation in church  
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The schooling of Buddy Valastro, the Cake Boss

Here is another in my "Talking Out of School" series of interviews with people from different walks of life about their education, formal and informal. Today read about Buddy Valastro, aka, the Cake Boss.

By Valerie Strauss  | May 31, 2010; 12:25 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Talking Out of School  | Tags:  Buddy Valastro, Buddy Valastro and cake Boss, Cake Boss, Cake Boss and school, Cake boss and education, Talking Out of School, buddy and carlo's bakery, buddy valastro and cakes, carlo's bakery, carlo's bakery in hoboken  
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Academic 'stereotype threat' is real -- Willingham

Boys outscore girls in standardized tests of science. For example, in the 2005 National Assessment of Educational Progress, boys did slightly better than girls at fourth grade, eighth grade, and twelfth grade. Quick, what’s the reason for the difference? It's not what you think. Cognitive scientist Daniel Willingham looks at how gender plays into student performance.

By Valerie Strauss  | May 31, 2010; 12:17 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Daniel Willingham, Guest Bloggers, Science  | Tags:  gender gap, gender stereotypes, science, stereotype threat, study on gender gap  
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Kids spend Memorial Day in school

Memorial Day is a holiday to honor Americans who have died while serving in the U.S. military, and, at least unofficially, makes the beginning of summer. But today, in school districts across the country, a lot of kids who usually have the day off are instead in class.

By Valerie Strauss  | May 31, 2010; 10:45 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Tags:  biden and arlington, memorial day and president, memorial day and school, memorial day classes, memorial day events, memorial day observances, obama and arlington, obama and memorial day, president obama and memorial day  
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School junk food ban works, study finds

Banning junk food from schools actually does have a beneficial effect on students, a new research study shows.

By Valerie Strauss  | May 30, 2010; 11:04 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (11)
Categories:  Health, Research  | Tags:  banning junk food, healthy school breakfasts, healthy school lunches, nutrition policies, research on junk food, school lunches, school nutrition policies, study on banning junk food, university of nebraska-lincoln  
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