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The Answer Sheet: August 29, 2010 - September 4, 2010

How 'Twilight,' other dark fiction affect teen brains

Scientists, authors and education experts are meeting this weekend at Cambridge University to investigate how fiction with dark themes, such as the "Twilight" saga and the "Harry Potter" series, affects and alters the teenage brain. Here's a Q&A with the conference organizer, who talks about what parents can/should do about it.

By Valerie Strauss  | September 4, 2010; 11:23 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (12)
Categories:  Literature, Reading, Research  | Tags:  altering teen mind, brain research, cambridge university conference, dark themes in young adult literature, edward cullen, effects on teen brains, emergent adult, emergent adult conference, harry potter and twilight, his dark materials, how teen brains are affected by reading, neuroscience and teenage brain, teenage brain, themes in YA lit, twilight, twilight and teen mind, twilight saga, young adult literature  
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The decade’s best education books?

The magazine Education Next's poll of best education books of the past decade is showing some ironic results.

By Valerie Strauss  | September 3, 2010; 6:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (10)
Categories:  Daniel Willingham, Guest Bloggers, Reading  | Tags:  best education books, best education books of the decade, daniel willingham, diane ravitch, ed next's poll of books, education next, education next's poll, linda darling-hammong, poll of education books, the death and life of the great american school system, why don't students like school?  
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How much power should we give to ed data?

A veteran teacher writes about what gets left out in today's education world where reformers are obsessed with "data" and test scores.

By Valerie Strauss  | September 2, 2010; 11:46 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (35)
Categories:  Guest Bloggers, Teacher assessment, Teachers  | Tags:  evaluating teachers, how to evaluate teachers, power of data, teacher assessment, value added, value added and teachers  
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How to help your child adapt to college life

An expert in first-year student transitions gives advice for parents to help their child freshman successfully make the transition from high school to college. The tips, in fact, are useful for all college students.

By Valerie Strauss  | September 2, 2010; 6:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  College Life, Guest Bloggers  | Tags:  adapting to college, college freshmen, es a, first-year experience, transition and high school and college  
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Should test scores be used AT ALL for teacher evaluation?

A major new report concluded that "value-added" measures using standardized student test scores to evaluate teachers should not be heavily used because they are unreliable. Well, if the measures are unreliable, should they be used at all?

By Valerie Strauss  | September 1, 2010; 2:30 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (20)
Categories:  Research, Teacher assessment, Teachers  | Tags:  VAM, economic police institute, epi report, evaluating teachers, la times and teachers, los angeles times and teachers, research, teacher assessment, teachers project, value added and teachers, value added formulas, value-added, value-added measures  
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Why paying parents to attend school events is wrong

Veteran teacher Larry Ferlazzo writes about two new programs to pay parents to attend school meetings, explaining why this is a bad idea and what schools can do instead to promote parent engagement.

By Valerie Strauss  | September 1, 2010; 6:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Guest Bloggers, Larry Ferlazzo, Parents  | Tags:  daniel pink and drive, larry ferlazzo, parent university, paying parents, paying parents and schools  
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Surviving back-to-school night

Two problems that can mar back to school night -- the annual event when parents and teachers get together at the start of the new year -- are the parents and the teachers

By Valerie Strauss  | August 31, 2010; 6:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (17)
Categories:  Parents, Teachers  | Tags:  back to school night  
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The surprising thing teachers want from parents -- Willingham

Cognitive scientist Daniel Willingham asked teachers: "If you could magically make parents do ONE thing this coming school year to support their child, what would it be?" Here's the surprising answer.

By Valerie Strauss  | August 30, 2010; 11:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (22)
Categories:  Daniel Willingham, Guest Bloggers, Parents, Science, Teachers  | Tags:  daniel willingham, how many hours should kids sleep?, parent involvement, sleep and teens, students and sleep, teenagers and sleep  
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Education implications of D.C. mayoral primary

Frederick Hess looks at the three education takeaways from The Washington Post poll showing D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty behind his challenger in the Democratic primary.

By Valerie Strauss  | August 30, 2010; 6:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (13)
Categories:  D.C. Schools, Guest Bloggers  | Tags:  adrian fenty, d.c. mayor, d.c. mayor's race, d.c. public schools, d.c. schools and rhee, fenty and rhee. mayor's race, fenty poll, frederick hess, mayor's poll, michelle rhee, rick hess, washington post poll, will rhee stay?  
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Study blasts popular teacher evaluation method

A study released today criticizes the way many school districts are evaluating teachers today, saying that it is unreliable.

By Valerie Strauss  | August 29, 2010; 3:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (27)
Categories:  Research, Teacher assessment, Teachers  | Tags:  economic policy institute, how to evaluate teachers, research and teacher evaluation, teacher evaluation, value added, value added and teachers, value added measures, value added modeling  
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