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The Answer Sheet: October 10, 2010 - October 16, 2010

Supt. Ackerman's critique of 'manifesto'

Philadelphia Schools Supt. Arlene Ackerman writes why she doesn't agree with the "reform manifesto" approved by 15 other big city school district chiefs.

By Valerie Strauss  | October 16, 2010; 11:34 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (19)
Categories:  Guest Bloggers, School turnarounds/reform, Teachers  | Tags:  arlene ackerman, charter schools, joel klein, manifesto, michelle rhee, school reform, teachers  
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It’s Dictionary Day! Learn some weird words

It's Noah Webster's birthday, or, Dictionary Day! Celebrate the glory of words by learning some new ones, like "hebesphenomegacorona."

By Valerie Strauss  | October 16, 2010; 11:13 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Reading  | Tags:  dictionaries, dictionary day, noah webster, webster, weird woods, words  
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Superintendent Ackerman withdraws name from 'manifesto'

So it turns out that Philadelphia Schools Superintendent Arlene Ackerman doesn’t really agree with the “reform manifesto” that appeared this week in the Washington Post and signed by 16, scratch that, now 15, big-city school district chiefs.

By Valerie Strauss  | October 15, 2010; 2:02 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (13)
Categories:  School turnarounds/reform  | Tags:  arlene ackerman, buffalo public schools, james raymond, joel klein, jonathan raymond, klein manifesto, manifesto, philadelphia schools, reform manifesto, sacramento schools, school manifesto, school reform  
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The limits of Moco schools' economic integration study

There are big limits to the study released today showing that several hundred low-income students who went to school in low-poverty schools in Montgomery County did better on standardized math tests than kids who went to high-poverty schools.

By Valerie Strauss  | October 15, 2010; 11:35 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (12)
Categories:  Equity, Research, School turnarounds/reform  | Tags:  casey foundation, david berliner, economic integration, high-poverty schools, low-income families, michelle rhee, moco schools, montgomery county schools, poverty, standardized tests  
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Two superintendents who rejected the "manifesto"

A lot has been written about a school reform “manifesto” signed by 16 big-city public school district bosses, but little has been said about the superintendents who refused to sign on. Here, two explain why they rejected the document.

By Valerie Strauss  | October 15, 2010; 9:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (17)
Categories:  School turnarounds/reform  
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Are we still capable of educating for 'us-ness?'

Educator Marion Brady writes: Maintaining a viable democracy requires an educated citizenry willing, able, even eager, to talk about matters like these, matters having to do with who we are as a people, why we do the things we do, and where we’re headed. Those conversations require at least some understanding of the past, national character, economics, politics, government, science, religion, and so on-intellectual tools that allow us to trace the trends of our era, the curves of history, the causes and consequences of change. Those were the kinds of conversations thoughtful educators used to try to encourage ... Now, not so much."

By Valerie Strauss  | October 15, 2010; 6:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (12)
Categories:  Civics Education, Guest Bloggers, Marion Brady, National Standards  | Tags:  common standards, gettysburg address, joel klein, marion brady, michelle rhee, ronald reagan, school reform  
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Michelle Rhee's greatest hits

Here are some of the most memorable things that Michelle Rhee said during her tenure as chancellor of Washington D.C. schools. I think my favorite is the one about taping students' mouths shut.

By Valerie Strauss  | October 14, 2010; 1:41 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (47)
Categories:  D.C. Schools  | Tags:  d.c. schools, greatest hits, michelle rhee, rhee, rhee quits, rhee's greatest hits, rhee's tenure, school reform  
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What's wrong with the ‘manifesto’ -- point by point

Here is a point by point critique of the "school reform" manifesto signed by 16 school superintendents, including New York City's Joel Klein and the soon to be departing Michelle Rhee of Washington D.C. Plus an alternative vision of how to fix schools.

By Valerie Strauss  | October 14, 2010; 10:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (28)
Categories:  Guest Bloggers, School turnarounds/reform  | Tags:  joel klein, manifesto, michelle rhee, reform manifesto, school reform, washington post  
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The PSAT/National Merit test: What you should know

What you should know about the PSAT if you have a high school student.

By Valerie Strauss  | October 14, 2010; 9:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  College Admissions, SAT and ACT, Standardized Tests  | Tags:  National Merit, National Merit scholarships, PSAT, PSAT prep, Princeton Review, SAT prep, college admissions, college scholarships, scholarships, test prep  
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Radical idea: Public schools aren't an awful mess

A longtime educator writes about public education: "Backed into a corner, beat up and wildly uneven in quality, yes." But an unmitigated disaster? No.

By Valerie Strauss  | October 14, 2010; 6:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (18)
Categories:  Guest Bloggers, School turnarounds/reform  | Tags:  ariana huffington, arne duncan, gerald bracey, guest bloggers, hurricane katrina, katrina nation, nancy flanagan, pisa, public education, school reform, teachers, waiting for superman, wendy puriefoy  
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What D.C. schools need now: A departure from Rheeism

Grand experiments certainly are grand, but they have no real place in the world of education. It’s time for them to stop and for schools to get down to the business of building strong teams to use what is already known about how to build successful schools.

By Valerie Strauss  | October 13, 2010; 2:33 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (27)
Categories:  D.C. Schools  | Tags:  d.c. schools, d.c. schools rhee, esigns, henderson, interim chancellor, kaya henderson, michelle rhee, michelle rhee quits, rhee, rhee quits, school reform  
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Ravitch: Charters are a lead bullet

Education historian Diane Ravitch writes: "Charters are not a silver bullet. They are a lead bullet. Their target is American public education.""

By Valerie Strauss  | October 13, 2010; 12:02 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (18)
Categories:  Charter schools, Diane Ravitch, Guest Bloggers  | Tags:  CREDO, broad roundation, charter schools, diane ravitch, icef, richard riordan, ross global, ross global academy  
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A different vision from a different superintendent

Jonathan P. Raymond, superintendent of Sacramento schools, offers a starkly different vision of school reform than that portrayed in a manifesto signed by 16 of his colleagues, including the soon-to-be-departing Michelle Rhee of Washington D.C.

By Valerie Strauss  | October 13, 2010; 6:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (13)
Categories:  School turnarounds/reform  | Tags:  jonathan p. raymond, klein rhee manifesto, manifesto, michelle rhee, reform manifesto, sacramento schools, school reform, supt. raymond  
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Rhee’s big legacy: Being a whirlwind

She came in like a whirlwind, kicking up dust wherever she went, and now, Michelle Rhee, all-powerful chancellor of D.C. public schools, is leaving after three years, securing her place in the history of D.C. public education as, well, mostly a whirlwind.

By Valerie Strauss  | October 13, 2010; 5:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (26)
Categories:  D.C. Schools, School turnarounds/reform  | Tags:  d.c. schools, michelle rhee, michelle rhee quits, michelle rhee resigns, reformer quits, reformers, rhee leaving, rhee quits, rhee resigns, school reform  
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Study shows deep disparities in funding for schools

A new study starkly shows deep disparities in the way school districts across the country are funded, a reality that raises big questions about how effective “reforms” that don’t deal with the issue of equity can really be.

By Valerie Strauss  | October 12, 2010; 1:21 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
Categories:  Equity, Research  | Tags:  cost per student, equity, funding report card, how to fund schools, is school funding fair?, report card, research, school funding, school resources  
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Teaching college kids to 'pilot their own helicopter'

Oberlin College President Marvin Krislov writes that colleges make a mistake when they urge parents to drop their kids off at college and quickly drive away. The trick is to strike a balance between too much parental involvement and too little.

By Valerie Strauss  | October 12, 2010; 11:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  College Life, Guest Bloggers, Parents, Student Life  | Tags:  adjusting to college, college admissions, helicopter parents, marvin krislov, oberlin, oberlin college, parents, university of michigan  
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'Manifesto' should be resignation letter

Educator and researcher Kevin G. Welner writes that none of the reforms discussed in a "manifesto" for school reform by Joel Klein, Michelle Rhee and 14 other schools chiefs are grounded in research and are nothing more than fads and gimmicks.

By Valerie Strauss  | October 12, 2010; 6:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (36)
Categories:  Charter schools, Guest Bloggers, Kevin Welner, Performance pay, Research, School turnarounds/reform, Standardized Tests, Teacher assessment, Teachers  | Tags:  charter schools, fixing schools, joel klein, klein manifesto, klein rhee, manifesto, merit pay, michelle rhee, obama and school reform, obama and schools, president obama, reform manifest, rhee manifesto, school reform  
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U-Md. marching band wins $25,000 challenge with 'Book em Danno'

The University of Maryland marching band wins $25,000 for its ability to spell out "Hawaii Five-0" and "Book em Danno." If you don't know what that means, you have never watched Hawaii Five-0, the old series or the new one.

By Valerie Strauss  | October 12, 2010; 12:08 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  University of Maryland  | Tags:  000, band challenge, book em danno, hawaii 5 0, hawaii five-0, maryland $25, maryland marching band, maryland wins, maryland wins $25, um marching, umaryland wins, university of maryland  
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Obama, the 'Superman' movie flack?

President Obama is welcoming to the White House the five young students who star in "Waiting for Superman." Thank you, Mr. President, for drawing more attention to the tendentious movie. The $2 million given by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to promote the movie apparently wasn't enough.

By Valerie Strauss  | October 11, 2010; 12:48 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (60)
Categories:  Charter schools, School turnarounds/reform  | Tags:  davis guggenheim, kids and obama, matt lauer, obama, obama and sidwell, obama daughters, president obama, sidwell friends school, students go to white house, superman film, superman kids, superman kids at white house, superman movie, waiting for superman, white house  
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Willingham: 'Manifesto' more like a job wish list

Cognitive scientist Daniel Willingham writes about the "school reform manifesto" New York's Joel Klein, Washington D.C.'s Michelle Rhee and other schools chiefs: "What’s left out of the manifesto says much more than what’s in it... The manifesto boils down to this: 'If district leaders had more freedom to do what we want, things would improve.' "

By Valerie Strauss  | October 11, 2010; 11:10 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (12)
Categories:  Daniel Willingham, Guest Bloggers, School turnarounds/reform  | Tags:  dan willingham, daniel willingham, fixing schools, how to fix our schools, joel klein, klein and rhee, manifesto, manifesto and post, michelle rhee, reform manifesto, rhee klein, school manifesto, school reform  
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Stuff you should know about Columbus

A lot of what you think you know about Christopher Columbus is probably wrong. Here are some things about the explorer that might surprise you.

By Valerie Strauss  | October 11, 2010; 6:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (11)
Categories:  History  | Tags:  1492, christopher columbus, columbus bio, columbus biography, columbus day, columbus facts, discovery day, explorers, facts about columbus, history, native people  
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How to save schools right now: Let teachers teach

A teacher writes: "We don’t have to wait for Superman to save our public schools. We can save our schools ourselves. .... The answer can be stated in seven words that even a child could understand: Train teachers well -- then let them teach."

By Valerie Strauss  | October 10, 2010; 11:55 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (23)
Categories:  Teachers  | Tags:  dangerous minds, louanne johnson, superman, teachers, waiting for superman  
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