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The Answer Sheet: November 28, 2010 - December 4, 2010

Meier: Partisan mindsets and teacher collegiality

Veteran educator Deborah Meier writes about partisan mindset in education, and she asks whether there are institutions and publications today that are built around deep respect for the intelligence and inventiveness of teachers -- and kids.

By Valerie Strauss  | December 4, 2010; 10:11 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  Deborah Meier, Guest Bloggers  | Tags:  collaboration, deb meier, deborah meier, diane ravitch, teach for america, teachers, teachers and collaboration  
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What is Michelle Rhee up to in Florida?

What is Michelle Rhee up to by taking an unpaid, advisory position on the education transition team of Florida Gov.-elect Rick Scott?

By Valerie Strauss  | December 3, 2010; 1:02 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (16)
Categories:  Educational leadership  | Tags:  bush and rhee, florida schools, jeb bush, michelle rhee, rhee and education, rhee and florida, rhee in florida, rick scott, steven colbert, the colbert report, washington d.c. schools  
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So you want to go to law school? A laugh/cry video

Here's a video that will make you laugh and cry. It's about an eager student heading to law school who is talking to a veteran lawyer about her plans.

By Valerie Strauss  | December 3, 2010; 10:31 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  Laugh and cry  | Tags:  applying to law school, law school, lawyers, organic chemistry  
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Was achievement gap understated?

An education analyst writes that a graph released by government underestimates the achievement gap on the latest 12th grade National Assessment of Educational Progress scores.

By Valerie Strauss  | December 3, 2010; 10:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Achievement gap  | Tags:  achievement gap, bluegrass institute, education statistics, naep, national assessment of educational progress, nces  
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Time to pay attention to a reform that works

There’s an education reform strategy that has 50 years of solid research behind it, with proven results that demonstrate how to improve student achievement. It’s. a solution backed by both political parties to help narrow the achievement gap, increase high school graduation rates and reduce crime and delinquency. So why don't we focus on it like a laser beam?

By Valerie Strauss  | December 3, 2010; 5:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (14)
Categories:  Early Childhood, Guest Bloggers  | Tags:  achievement gap, early childhood education, kindergarten, pre-k, pre-kindergarten  
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Rhee joins Florida governor-elect's transition team

Florida's governor-elect, Rick Scott, has put former D.C. chancellor Michelle Rhee on his education transition team.

By Valerie Strauss  | December 2, 2010; 5:43 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (17)
Tags:  florida, michelle rhee, rhee and florida, rhee going to florida, rick scott, scott hires rhee  
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A system to tell how your kid is doing in school

Here's an assessment that can help parents figure out how well their kids are doing in school. And students can use it themselves if they are so inclined.

By Valerie Strauss  | December 2, 2010; 1:30 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Guest Bloggers, Learning, Parents, Teachers  | Tags:  how kids learn, learning, parents, report cards, teachers, teaching and learning  
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Rhee, Ackerman and 'cultural competence' in urban reform

Are any school superintendents who helicopter into big cities for a few years "culturally competent" to do the job well?

By Valerie Strauss  | December 2, 2010; 10:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (17)
Tags:  arlene ackerman, michelle rhee, philadelphia schools, public schools, school reform, the notebook, washington d.c. schools  
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Is progress in Florida schools exaggerated?

Florida’s public school system is frequently held up as an exemplary example of how specific school reforms -- vouchers, charter schools, on-line schooling, high-stakes standardized tests, etc. -- can improve student achievement. But things aren't always what they seem.

By Valerie Strauss  | December 2, 2010; 5:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (13)
Categories:  Accountability, Achievement gap, Research  | Tags:  achievement gap, charter schools, florida, florida's schools, jeb bush, school reform, vouchers  
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Sponsors tell story of Jeb Bush ed convention

If you have any doubt about the direction of where school reform is headed in this country, look at the sponsors of former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush’s two-day education conference in Washington D.C.

By Valerie Strauss  | December 1, 2010; 5:15 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (19)
Categories:  School turnarounds/reform  | Tags:  arne duncan, educational reform, jeb bush, school reform  
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Some Education Department spin

It didn’t long for the Education Department to try to link its school turnaround policy to a new report that says that the number of high school “dropout factories” has declined in the last decade. The problem for the department is that there is no link.

By Valerie Strauss  | December 1, 2010; 9:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
Tags:  america's promise, arne duncan, building a grad nation, dropout crisis, dropout factories, education department, high schools, school dropouts, school reform, turnaround models  
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First blame the teachers, then the parents

An educator warns that after teachers have been sufficiently scapegoated for the troubled public education system, parents will be next. And she offers an alternate framework for which to reform schools, one of responsibility rather than phony accountability.

By Valerie Strauss  | December 1, 2010; 5:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (17)
Categories:  Accountability, Guest Bloggers, Parents, Teachers  | Tags:  accountability, arne duncan, department of education, school reform, teachers  
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Early college admissions applicants: Have a Plan B

Early decision applicants are on edge waiting to hear if their first choice college accepted them, but they should be preparing in case the answer is "no."

By Valerie Strauss  | November 30, 2010; 11:10 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  College Admissions, Guest Bloggers  | Tags:  college admissions, college applicants, college applications, early action, early action vs. early decision, early decision  
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Ravitch answers Gates

Bill Gates, in an article by Jonathan Alter of Newsweek, poses some questions to education historian Diane Ravitch, who Alter inexplicably calls the Microsoft founder's "chief adversary." Here she answers Gates' questions.

By Valerie Strauss  | November 30, 2010; 5:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (67)
Categories:  Diane Ravitch, School turnarounds/reform  | Tags:  bill gates, charter schools, diane ravitch, jonathan alter, microsoft, newsweek, school reform, teachers  
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Report: Number of 'dropout factories' declines

A new report says that the number of high school "dropout factories" declined in the last decade.

By Valerie Strauss  | November 30, 2010; 12:01 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  High School, Research  | Tags:  america's promise, bilding a grad nation, dropout factories, dropout factory, graduation rates  
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Bloomberg gets his schools chancellor in NYC

Why did Cathie Black generate more hostility than Joel Klein did when they -- both non-educators -- were chosen eight years apart to run the largest public school system in the country.

By Valerie Strauss  | November 29, 2010; 6:38 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (7)
Categories:  Educational leadership  | Tags:  black and waiver, cathie black, cathleen black, chancellor black, david steiner, new york city schools, nyc chancellor, nyc schools, steiner grants waiver, waiver  
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Willingham: Why Black deserves a chance to run NYC schools

Cognitive scientist Daniel Willingham writes: "Understanding and actually attending to teachers’ perspectives on New York City classrooms in 2010 is probably mostly a matter of listening, and of valuing what teachers have to say." That's why, he says, Cathy Black deserves a chance to run the schools.

By Valerie Strauss  | November 29, 2010; 11:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (11)
Categories:  Guest Bloggers  | Tags:  cathie black, cathleen black, daniel willingham, educational leadership, new york city schools, new york city schools chancellor, nyc schools, nyc schools chancellor  
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What Tom Friedman got wrong about schools and why it matters

The great New York Times columnist Tom Friedman wrote in a recent piece that if he were a cub reporter today, he’d want to be “covering the epicenter of national security -- but that would be the Education Department.” If Friedman the cub reporter had turned in this piece, a veteran education editor would have sent it back, asking him to back up his contentions with research. He’d have a hard time.

By Valerie Strauss  | November 29, 2010; 5:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (46)
Categories:  Guest Bloggers, Race to the Top, School turnarounds/reform  | Tags:  arne duncan, education secretary arne duncan, performance pay, public schools, school reform, schools, standardized tests, teacher evaluation, the new york times, tom friedman  
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Why non-educator school chiefs aren't the answer

Historian Larry Cuban looks at how big-city school systems decided to reach into the corporate ranks to find school superintendents, and why they are no silver bullet to improving schools.

By Valerie Strauss  | November 28, 2010; 8:59 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (14)
Categories:  Educational leadership, Guest Bloggers, Larry Cuban  | Tags:  cathie black, cathleen black, educational leadership, qualifications for superintendents, school reform, school superintendents, schools, superintendents  
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