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The Answer Sheet: November 21, 2010 - November 27, 2010

Report on college attendance crisis for black males exaggerated

The education crisis for African-American males is a serious concern, but, as one education activist, we shouldn't make it worse than it actually is. One piece of data that recently became big news was widely misunderstood.

By Valerie Strauss  | November 26, 2010; 6:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
Categories:  Achievement gap, Guest Bloggers  | Tags:  achievement gap, african-american males, attendance crisis, black males, college attendance and african american males  
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An education on Thanksgiving calories

This explains how quickly you can put on two pounds on Thanksgiving. Get educated on just how many calories are in all of that turkey and stuffing.

By Valerie Strauss  | November 25, 2010; 12:07 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Tags:  Thanksgiving, Thanksgiving calories, Thanksgiving dinner, calories, calories in stuffing, calories in turkey, thanksgiving  
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Stuff to know about Thanksgiving: 242 million turkeys, 1.9 billion pounds of sweet potatoes, etc.

Turkeys, cranberries, cherries, sweet potatoes, etc.: Here are all the facts about Thanksgiving anybody would want to know.

By Valerie Strauss  | November 25, 2010; 11:09 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Tags:  cranberries, thanksgiving, thanksgiving facts, thanksgiving meal, turkeys  
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The first Thanksgiving proclamation, by George Washington

From a 1789 newpaper, here's President George Washington's proclamation of the first official Thanksgiving holiday in the United States.

By Valerie Strauss  | November 24, 2010; 3:30 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  History  | Tags:  first thanksgiving, george washington, history of thanksgiving, thanksgiving, thanksgiving holiday, washington's proclamation  
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Why we don't eat deer for Thanksgiving (the Pilgrims did)

When did Americans start eating turkey on the national holiday of Thanksgiving? It wasn't when, or for the reason, you probably learned in school.

By Valerie Strauss  | November 24, 2010; 2:19 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  History  | Tags:  abraham lincoln and thanksgiving, colonists thanksgiving, george washington and thanksgiving, ha, history of thanksgiving, pardon and turkey, pilgrims, plymouth colony, presidential pardon, presidential turkey, squanto, thanksgiving, thanksgiving dinner, the first thanksgiving, turkey, wampanoag indians, when was the first thanksgiving?  
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The mismatch between Duncan's words, actions

A veteran teacher writes an open letter to Education Secretary Arne Duncan, saying that the mismatch between Duncan's words and actions makes "a real consensus impossible."

By Valerie Strauss  | November 24, 2010; 9:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (12)
Categories:  Anthony Cody, Education Secretary Duncan, Guest Bloggers  | Tags:  anthony cody, arne duncan, education secretary, evaluating teachers, school reform, standardized tests, teacher assessment, value-added  
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Schools chief returns Race to the Top money -- for his teachers

A number of school districts in states that won money in the Education Department's $4 billion Race to the Top competition have decided they don’t actually want the money because, in most cases, officials think it is more trouble to accept it.

By Valerie Strauss  | November 24, 2010; 5:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (16)
 
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Murdoch buys education technology company

This didn't take long: Joel Klein announces on Nov. 9 that at year’s end he will resign as York City’s Schools chancellorship to become executive vice president at Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation. Yesterday the company announced it was buying a technology company with big financial ties to the New York City school system.

By Valerie Strauss  | November 23, 2010; 12:06 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (16)
Tags:  education technology, joel klein, new york city public schools, news corp., news corporation, nyc schools, public schools, rupert murdoch, school policy, school reform, schools, wireless generation  
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Take this 1931 8th grade test (you will probably flunk)

The following exam was given in 1931 by the West Virginia Department of Education to students seeking graduation from eighth grade, which was most often the end of formal education. Take the test. It's harder than you might think. (THE LINK TO THE TEST HAS BEEN FIXED.)

By Valerie Strauss  | November 23, 2010; 9:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (13)
Categories:  History, Quizzes, Standardized Tests  | Tags:  education history, exams, great depression, great generation, standardized tests, testing, the depression, west virginia  
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A new mess at Central Falls High in Rhode Island

Things aren’t going well at Central Falls High, the Rhode Island school that became famous last spring when all of the teachers were fired and President Obama praised the “accountability” move.

By Valerie Strauss  | November 23, 2010; 5:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (22)
Categories:  School turnarounds/reform  | Tags:  arne duncan, central falls, central falls high school, president obama, school reform, school transformation, school turnaround, teachers  
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The N.Y. chancellorship mess gets messier

It’s about time that there’s a strong public backlash to an ill-considered education decision. New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg likely did not anticipate the strong pushback he would get to his decision to tap as the next chancellor of New York’s public school system a media executive with no experience in public education.

By Valerie Strauss  | November 22, 2010; 1:18 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (7)
Categories:  Educational leadership  | Tags:  cathie black, cathleen black, chancellorship, david steiner, joel klein, new york city chancellorship, new york city schools, schools, steiner, steiner panel  
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The social cost to academic achievement -- Willingham

Cognitive scientist Daniel Willingham asks and answers: "Is there a social cost to academic achievement?"

By Daniel Willingham  | November 22, 2010; 11:38 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  Achievement gap, Daniel Willingham, Guest Bloggers, Research  | Tags:  academic and ethnic, achievement gap, daniel willingham, john ogbu, social cost to academic achievement  
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Hannah Arendt and the point of education

An award-winning veteran teacher reflects on the reasons we bother to educate children, and concludes that we have forgotten or never knew, because if we did, we wouldn't do it the way we do now. "I find I am becoming increasingly radicalized as I age," he writes.

By Valerie Strauss  | November 22, 2010; 9:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
Categories:  Guest Bloggers  | Tags:  education, guest bloggers, hannah arendt, kenneth bernstein, standardized tests  
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How to help African-American males in school: Treat them like gifted students

The way to help African-American males in school is for teachers to do for them what works for gifted students: Develop their strengths.

By Valerie Strauss  | November 22, 2010; 6:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (28)
Categories:  Achievement gap, Guest Bloggers  | Tags:  SAT scores, achievement gap, african-american males, black males, council of great city schools, national urban alliance, schools  
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Teacher runs into power of Teach for America

A teacher writes about difficulty finding a job in an urban school district because of choosing traditional training rather than Teach for America or a similar alternative program.

By Valerie Strauss  | November 21, 2010; 1:16 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (65)
Categories:  Teachers  | Tags:  diane ravitch, teach for america, teacher training, teachers, wendy kopp  
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