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The Answer Sheet: September 26, 2010 - October 2, 2010

School dances: Another baby boomer failure

For those of you fortunate enough not to have had experience with this yet, here’s what kids do today at many school dances (as well as parties, formal and otherwise): They provocatively grind their pelvises into each other on the dance floor, sometimes standing face to face, sometimes with the boy behind the girl.

By Valerie Strauss  | October 2, 2010; 1:13 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (13)
Categories:  High School, Student Life  | Tags:  baby boomers, boomer generation, boomers, school dances; dirty school dancing; teen dancing; grinding on dance floor  
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Tyler Clementi and all of the bystanders

Where were the people who knew what had happened to Rutgers University freshman Tyler Clementi and did nothing to help when he learned he had been secretly recorded while having sex with a man in his dorm room?

By Valerie Strauss  | October 1, 2010; 2:37 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (10)
Categories:  Bullying, College Life  | Tags:  bullying, clementi suicide, cyberbullying, dhraun ravi, gay suicide, invasion of privacy, molly wei, phoebe prince, rutgers university, student suicide, tyler clementi, tyler suicide  
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The poverty gap: There are always exceptions, but they make bad education policy

Part 2 of the elephant that President Obama and Matt Lauer failed to acknowledge in this week's interview: Of course there are some teachers and schools in impoverished areas that are successful. But they are exceptions that don't prove the rule.

By Valerie Strauss  | October 1, 2010; 11:49 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (18)
Categories:  Race to the Top, School turnarounds/reform  | Tags:  harlem children's zone, hcz, obama, obama and eform, promise neighborhoods, race to the top, school reform  
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Why won't Congress admit NCLB failed?

Monty Neill asks and answers: Why is Congress so unwilling to recognize both research and public opinion and overhaul the most basic fact of No Child Left Behind: Its high-stakes standardized testing regime has failed?

By Valerie Strauss  | October 1, 2010; 6:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (15)
Categories:  Guest Bloggers, No Child Left Behind, Standardized Tests  | Tags:  arne duncan, congress, congress nclb, fairtest, finland education, finland schools, gallup poll, nclb, no child left behind, singapore education, singapore schools  
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How Joel Klein insulted physical education teachers

Physical education teachers don't take kindly to a comment by New York City Schools Chancellor Joel Klein that math and science teachers should earn more than they do.

By Valerie Strauss  | September 30, 2010; 11:16 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (23)
Categories:  Health, Teachers  | Tags:  joel klein, klein teachers, physical education, physical education teachers, the view  
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Why kids shouldn't take SAT, ACT too early

Increasing numbers of high school students are taking the SAT or ACT college admissions test in the fall of their junior year. They shouldn't. A college admissions consultant explains why.

By Valerie Strauss  | September 30, 2010; 9:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Bruce Vinik, College Admissions, Guest Bloggers  | Tags:  act, college admissions, sat  
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The strange media coverage of Obama's education policies

School reform has suddenly caught the attention of mainstream news organizations in a big way. Why aren't they more skeptical about President Obama's reform agenda?

By Valerie Strauss  | September 30, 2010; 6:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (42)
Categories:  School turnarounds/reform  | Tags:  $100 million newark, education nation, journalism, nbc, school reform, waiting for superman, zuckerberg  
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How Zuckerberg should have spent $100 million

Robert Pondiscio explains how Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg could have made a real difference with the $100 million he just gave to the Newark public school system.

By Valerie Strauss  | September 29, 2010; 11:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (11)
Categories:  School turnarounds/reform  | Tags:  Mark Zuckerberg, Newark, education funding, facebook, facebook founder, innovation, paul allen, philanthropy, school reform  
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The new risk of plagiarizing college essays

There is a technology called Turnitin for Admissions, introduced late last year by iParadigms LLC, that can detect plagiarism in college application essays from numerous sites on the Internet. It is a version of Turnitin, which is used in thousands of academic institutions around the world to detect plagiarism in academics.

By Valerie Strauss  | September 29, 2010; 9:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  College Admissions, High School, Higher Education  | Tags:  cheating on college essays, college admissions, college essay plagiarism, college essays, how to write an essay, writing college essays  
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Ravitch: The long, failed history of merit pay and how the Ed Department ignores it

Education historian Diane Ravitch writes: "Few people realize that merit pay schemes have been tried again and again since the 1920s. Belief in them waxes and wanes, but the results have never been robust." And a day after a big study was released showing that performance pay made no difference, the Education Department handed out millions of dollars for the development of merit pay programs.

By Valerie Strauss  | September 29, 2010; 6:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (20)
Categories:  Diane Ravitch, Guest Bloggers, Performance pay, Teacher assessment, Teachers  | Tags:  $1.2 billion and merit pay, diane ravitch, education department and merit pay, merit pay, merit pay study, performance pay, ravitch book, study on performance pay, vanderbilt study  
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About the suicide of an L.A. teacher

A Los Angeles teacher took his own life, reportedly depressed because of his evaluation in a database created by the Los Angeles Times. Let's be clear: the newspaper isn't responsible.

By Valerie Strauss  | September 28, 2010; 4:37 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (41)
Categories:  Teachers  | Tags:  l.a. teacher, la teacher, los angeles teacher, los angeles times, teacher database, teacher evaluation, teacher suicide  
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The irony behind Obama’s Sidwell/D.C. schools remarks

There is some irony behind President Obama's comment that his daughters could not get as fine an academic experience in a D.C. public school as they do at private Sidwell: His policies promote practices Sidwell wouldn't dream of adopting.

By Valerie Strauss  | September 28, 2010; 11:22 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (32)
Categories:  D.C. Schools  | Tags:  jay mathews, matt lauer, michelle rhee, obama and d.c. schools, obama and sidwell, obama daughters, obama school reform, obama schools, president obama and sidwell, sidwell, sidwell and d.c. schools, sidwell friends  
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Strengths and weaknesses of 'Superman'

Educator Mark Phillips writes that there are notable strengths to "Waiting for Superman," but it is too much like a "Superman" film, replete with heroes and villains, hostile threats and romanticized outcomes.

By Valerie Strauss  | September 28, 2010; 9:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (23)
Tags:  al gore, an inconvenient truth, charter schools, davis guggenheim, the lottery, waiting for superman  
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A kid reporter learns the ropes covering Obama

Here's a charming report by a Scholastic kid reporter on covering his first presidential press conference at the White House. Kids interested in journalism deserve attention!

By Valerie Strauss  | September 28, 2010; 6:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  Student Life  | Tags:  kids press corps, obama and schools, obama press conference, scholastic  
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The elephant that Obama and Lauer ignored: Poverty and student achievement

When President Obama sat down for an interview about school reform with NBC's Matt Lauer, they walked right up to the link between poverty and student achievement, but wound up ignoring the elephant in the room. And that tells you what you need to know about the Obama administration's school reform policy.

By Valerie Strauss  | September 27, 2010; 2:41 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (84)
Categories:  Education Secretary Duncan, Race to the Top, School turnarounds/reform  | Tags:  arne duncan, education nation, obama, obama nbc, obama school reform, obama schools, president obama, president obama; obama interview; obama lauer interview; obama education interview; student achievement poverty; poverty and schools, race to the top  
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Willingham: 'Superman' is entertainment, nothing more

Cognitive scientist Daniel Willingham says that in its quest for movie simplicity, "Waiting for Superman" Wa

By Valerie Strauss  | September 27, 2010; 11:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (9)
Categories:  Daniel Willingham, Guest Bloggers, School turnarounds/reform  | Tags:  back to the future, dan willingham, michael j. fox, school reform, waiting for superman  
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What ‘Superman’ got wrong, point by point

The education film "Waiting for Superman" ignores deep historical and systemic problems in education. Here, point by point, is a primer on what the movie gets wrong and leaves out.

By Valerie Strauss  | September 27, 2010; 5:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (40)
Categories:  Guest Bloggers, No Child Left Behind, Race to the Top, School turnarounds/reform, Teacher assessment  | Tags:  arne duncan, michelle rhee, race to the top, school reform, superman and rhee, superman film, waiting for superman, waiting for superman and rhee  
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Student gets in trouble for e-mail on scooter parking

In the "what were they thinking" category, a student who sent an email complaining about scooter parking available at the University of Georgia is accused of "disorderly conduct."

By Valerie Strauss  | September 26, 2010; 4:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (23)
Tags:  campus parking, disorderly conduct, fire, free speech, free speech on campus, parking services, scooter parking, speech codes, uga, university of georgia  
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Will Rhee be a footnote in school reform history?

Like Hugh Scott, the first African American superintendent in Washington D.C., Michelle Rhee will be a footnote in a doctoral dissertation on the D.C. schools a generation from now, educator Larry Cuban writes.

By Valerie Strauss  | September 26, 2010; 1:03 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (25)
Categories:  D.C. Schools, Guest Bloggers, Larry Cuban, School turnarounds/reform, Teacher assessment  | Tags:  $100 million and newark, $100 million newark schools, adrian fenty, gray and schools, larry cuban, mark zuckerberg, michelle rhee, newark schools, rhee and fenty, rhee and vincent gray, school reform, teacher assessment, teachers, will rhee stay, zuckerberg and newark  
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