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The Answer Sheet: September 5, 2010 - September 11, 2010

Skipping college to save money? Oh please

A hedge fund manager, Formula Capital President James Altucher, is quoted in a Washington Post article today as saying this: "You’ve been fooled into thinking there’s no other way for my kid to get a job . . . or learn critical thinking or make social connections.” Really now. How many people, do you suppose, he would want to hire?

By Valerie Strauss  | September 10, 2010; 3:18 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (29)
Categories:  College Costs  | Tags:  James Altucher, benefits of college degree, formula capital, is college overrated?, price tag of college degree, s, what is a college degree worth  
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Why we can't afford small classes anymore: One view

A veteran teacher says the country can no longer afford to maintain small classes, and would a bigger bang for its buck by concentrating on improving teacher quality.

By Valerie Strauss  | September 10, 2010; 11:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (10)
Categories:  Elementary School, Guest Bloggers  | Tags:  class sizes, florida and class size, florida and class size and referendum, research on class size, small classes, teacher quality  
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An unusual introduction to Native American YA lit

Here's a rather unusual introduction to Native American literature for young adults, with plenty of interesting titles and surprising facts.

By Valerie Strauss  | September 10, 2010; 10:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Guest Bloggers, Literature, Reading  | Tags:  Sherman Alexie, absolutely true diary of a part-time Indian, alexie sherman, john irving, joseph bruchac, native american literature, native american young adult literature, project letters, the world according to garp, ya literature, young adult literature  
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Why kids in school need to play

A veteran teacher asks: "Since when did the word "play" become outlawed in kindergarten?" And she explains why play is crucial for kids.

By Valerie Strauss  | September 10, 2010; 6:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  Early Childhood, Guest Bloggers  | Tags:  benefits of play, kids and play, play and kindergarten, playtime and schools  
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Rhee in D.C.: The myth of the heroic leader

A former superintendent and Stanford professor emeritus writes that the heroic view of superintendents breaking china in order to build a better district for students—an image loved by media and the public—is a sure-fire recipe for disappointment and cynicism over turning around failing schools.

By Valerie Strauss  | September 9, 2010; 6:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (29)
Categories:  D.C. Schools, Guest Bloggers  | Tags:  fenty and rhee, larry cuban, michelle rhee, michelle rhee and adrian fenty, rhee and d.c. schools, will rhee stay or go?  
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School board president: Ed reformers ‘just don’t get it’

A school board president blasts current education reformers, saying "They simply just don’t get it. They don’t realize what true education is and they have no clue the challenges we face in helping students engage in it."

By Valerie Strauss  | September 8, 2010; 11:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (20)
Categories:  School turnarounds/reform  | Tags:  charlotte hummel, education reform, school reform, william penn school district  
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Ravitch: Welcome back to school "reform"

Diane Ravitch predicts that the 2010-11 school year will be another year in which "teachers and principals will be blamed and punished" unless their students' test scores go "up and up," more principals will be fired and more schools will be closed. And more.

By Valerie Strauss  | September 8, 2010; 6:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
Categories:  Diane Ravitch, Education Secretary Duncan, Guest Bloggers, No Child Left Behind, Race to the Top, School turnarounds/reform, Teacher assessment, Teachers  | Tags:  diane ravitch, education secretary duncan, guest bloggers, no child left behind, obama and blueprint, obama and school reform, race to the top, race to the top winners, rttt winners, the death and life of the great american school system, top ooool reboamael  
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The (D.C.) Odyssey, starring Rhee and Fenty

Sam Chaltain explains how D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty and his schools chancellor, Michelle Rhee, have been on a journey befitting Homer's Odyssey: "From the start, Fenty and Rhee have behaved as strangers in a strange land. In Fenty’s case, it was by turning a tin ear to many of the core supporters who had been most essential to his victory in 2006. With Rhee, it was by repeatedly making public comments that demonized the group most essential to her efforts – the city’s teachers."

By Valerie Strauss  | September 7, 2010; 6:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (28)
Categories:  D.C. Schools, Guest Bloggers, Sam Chaltain  | Tags:  andrew rotherham and washington post, d.c. mayoral primary, d.c. schools, fenty and grey, fenty and race, rhee and fenty, will rhee stay or go?  
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Willingham: How to guarantee active learning? (Or, manipulatives vs. PowerPoint)

Cognitive scientist Daniel Willingham starts his discussion about active learning with a quiz, and then talks about how manipulatives have been oversold and PowerPoint sometimes unfairly criticized.

By Valerie Strauss  | September 6, 2010; 11:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
Categories:  Daniel Willingham, Guest Bloggers, Learning  | Tags:  Daniel Willingham, PowerPoint and use, PowerPoint in the classroom, Powerpoint and manipulatives, daniel willingham, manipulatives in the classroom  
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Things you should know about Labor Day

Since most of you have the day off on Labor Day, take a few minutes to read this and learn a little about the holiday. Then tell your kids.

By Valerie Strauss  | September 6, 2010; 6:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  Civics Education, History  | Tags:  history of labor, labor day, labor day facts  
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