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The Answer Sheet: June 27, 2010 - July 3, 2010

What Americans don't know about their history

A new poll gauging American knowledge on a basic question about the nation’s history -- “From which country did the United States win its independence?" -- is either good news or bad news, depending on your expectations.

By Valerie Strauss  | July 3, 2010; 12:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (18)
Categories:  Civics Education, History  | Tags:  civics education, knowledge of july 4th, marist poll, marist poll on independence, naep, naep and civics, national assessment of educational progress, what americans know  
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Top 5 Independence Day myths

Did you know that American independence wasn't really declared on the Fourth of July? Or that most delegates to the Constitutional Convention didn't sign the Declaration of Independence on the Fourth of July? Read on.

By Valerie Strauss  | July 3, 2010; 7:12 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (11)
Categories:  History  | Tags:  adams and jefferson, declaration of independence signed, facts about independence day, facts about july 4, history, independence day, john adams and thomas jefferson, july 2nd and independence, july 4th, malia obama and birthday, the crack in the liberty bell, the liberty bell, when did adams and jefferson die, when was independence declared  
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Favorite quote of the week (by Obey)

House Appropriations Committee Chairman David Obey uttered my favorite quote of the week. In a town not known for its humor, this made me laugh.

By Valerie Strauss  | July 2, 2010; 2:26 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (13)
Categories:  Education Secretary Duncan, Race to the Top  | Tags:  cuts to race to the top, david obey, education jobs at risk, edujobs bill, house passes war bill, house rules committee, obey duncan, race to the top, race to the top and duncan, saving education jobs  
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Declaration of Independence rough draft shows crossout

Just in time for the Fourth of July, the Library of Congress has this news: Hyperspectral imaging of Thomas Jefferson’s rough draft of the Declaration of Independence has confirmed that he originally wrote the phrase “our fellow subjects,” but then scrawled over it the word “citizens.”

By Valerie Strauss  | July 2, 2010; 10:13 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (52)
Categories:  History  | Tags:  Fourth of July, July 4, declaration of independence, declaration of independence and signers, declaration of independence text, history, independence day and history, library of congress and declaration, thomas jefferson and declaration  
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Reality check on school accountability movement

A teacher writes about how off-base today's accountability movement has become.

By Valerie Strauss  | July 2, 2010; 6:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (22)
Categories:  Guest Bloggers  | Tags:  obama and school reform, school reform  
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Why Rhee's mayoral comments are troubling

D.C. Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee's all-but-direct threat to quit if Fenty loses to D.C. Council Chairman Vincent C. Gray in September’s Democratic Party raises a troubling question about her priorities, not to mention her reluctance to admit that she might not have all the answers to fixing D.C. schools.

By Valerie Strauss  | July 1, 2010; 4:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (36)
Categories:  D.C. Schools  | Tags:  michelle rhee and d.c. mayor, michelle rhee and fenty, michelle rhee and vincent gray, rhee and d.c. mayor, rhee and d.c. schools, rhee and fenty and gray, rhee and quit, rhee's threat to quit  
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Correction on Ed Dept and charters

The Education Department’s press secretary e-mailed me to say that I was wrong when I wrote in a recent post that states wishing to win federal money in Duncan’s Race to the Top contest “had to pledge” to open more...

By Valerie Strauss  | June 30, 2010; 6:41 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
 
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How a school changed a girl’s life

A high school graduation speech reveals the power of a school to change a young person's life.

By Valerie Strauss  | June 30, 2010; 12:10 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
Categories:  High School  | Tags:  best graduation speeches, graduation speeches, mclean school  
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How and what to get kids to read this summer

If you are secretly in despair that your child will never willingly read a book this summer, Micki Freeny has some advice for you. Freeny is the coordinator of children and youth services at the D.C. Public Library, and her thoughts on how to get kids to read may surprise you.

By Valerie Strauss  | June 30, 2010; 6:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  Reading  | Tags:  best books for teens, books on tape and value, d.c. public library, getting kids to read, graphic novels, great books for kids, justin bieber and magazines, reading, reluctant readers, tom braden  
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Why Jay Mathews is wrong about Rhee and standardized testing

My colleague Jay Mathews, in a post on his Class Struggle blog, praises D.C. Schools Chancellor Michelle A. Rhee for planning to subject children in the city’s public schools to more standardized testing. Here's why I disagree.

By Valerie Strauss  | June 29, 2010; 4:49 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (51)
Categories:  D.C. Schools, Standardized Tests  | Tags:  class struggle and jay, class struggle and jay mathews, d.c. schools, d.c. schools and michelle rhee, d.c. tests, fairfax county schools, jay mathews, michelle rhee, montgomery county schools, rhee and schools, rhee and tests, standardized tests, standards of learning and virginia  
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Bill to ban corporal punishment in schools introduced in Congress

A bill is introduced in Congress that would ban corporal punishment in most private and public schools across the country. Twenty states now still allow the practice.

By Valerie Strauss  | June 29, 2010; 12:28 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (11)
Categories:  Bullying, Health  | Tags:  ban on corporal punishment act, corporal punishment, corporal punishment and ban, corporal punishment in schools, hitting kids in school, mccarthy and corporal punishment  
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Two new studies on charter schools

Two new studies are released today on charter schools, one on financing and the other on student achievement. Neither is especially good news for charter schools.

By Valerie Strauss  | June 29, 2010; 10:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
Categories:  Charter schools, Research  | Tags:  charter school financing, charter school movement, charter schools, mathematica research, research on charter schools, student achievement and charter schools  
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New analysis of achievement gap: ½ x ½ = 1½

David Berliner, a prominent education researcher, writes about new data and analysis showing that when it comes to student achievement, family resources are important, school resources are important and the joint effect of the social and fiscal resources found in families and schools appears to be much greater than either alone.

By Valerie Strauss  | June 29, 2010; 6:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (9)
Categories:  David Berliner, Guest Bloggers, Learning, Research  | Tags:  arizona state university, coleman report, coleman report and 1960s, david berliner, educational research, effects on student achievement, how much does school affect student achievement?, parental influence and student achievement, standard deviations  
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Willingham: Newsweek story on single-sex ed research misses mark

Cognitive scientist Daniel Willingham critiques a Newsweek article on single-sex education and how faithfully it represents research on the issue.

By Valerie Strauss  | June 28, 2010; 1:14 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Daniel Willingham, Guest Bloggers, Research, Science  | Tags:  dan willingham, daniel willingham, education research, newsweek, research and education, single-sex education, single-sex education and effectiveness.  
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Haitian-American teen gets into 4 Ivy League schools

A first-generation Haitian-American teenager talks about being accepted into four Ivy League schools.

By Valerie Strauss  | June 28, 2010; 6:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
Categories:  College Admissions  | Tags:  cc, getting into the ivy league, haitian american accepted into four ivy league schools, ivy league admissions, teen accepted into four ivy league schools  
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Obama policy blamed for popular principal's reassignment

A popular principal is being reassigned in Lincoln, Neb., and district officials say that the U.S. Education Department is to blame.

By Valerie Strauss  | June 27, 2010; 11:42 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (27)
Categories:  Education Secretary Duncan  | Tags:  de ann currin, duncan and obama and school reform, elliott elementary school, lincoln public schools, obama administration and education policy, obama's education policy, replacing the principal, restructuring and school, restructuring models, schools and federal intervention, stimulus money for education, title 1 money, title 1 schools  
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