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The Answer Sheet: January 2, 2011 - January 8, 2011

Why Fairfax's textbook recall is surprising

Now that Fairfax County is recalling a fourth-grade social studies textbook with dozens of errors, the question is why any other system using them hasn't done the same thing.

By Valerie Strauss  | January 8, 2011; 11:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (10)
Categories:  History, Textbooks  | Tags:  a history of us, errors in textbooks, history textbooks, joy hakim, textbook adoption, textbook adoption process, textbook recall, textbooks, virginia social studies textbooks, virginia textbooks  
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What really helped Florida's test scores

Florida, which is increasingly being looked to as a school reform model did achieve considerable improvements in student achievement during the last decade. But it is important to see when, where and why the gains occurred. The real answer, it turns out, is not the one often given.

By Valerie Strauss  | January 7, 2011; 12:02 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  Guest Bloggers, School turnarounds/reform, Standardized Tests  | Tags:  florida reform, jeb bush, jeb bush and school reform, naep scores, national assessment of educational reform, school reform  
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What 2010 education research really shows about reform

A review of 2010 education research on charter schools, value-added measures and merit pay shows that the results were not great news for supporters of these reforms.

By Valerie Strauss  | January 7, 2011; 5:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (18)
Categories:  Charter schools, Guest Bloggers, Matthew Di Carlo, Research, Teacher assessment  | Tags:  charter schools, education research, market-based reforms, shankar blog, value-added, value-added measures  
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NCLB's 9th anniversary: 'Will there be anything we will need to remember after the test?'

Nine years ago this week president Bush signed into law the No Child Left Behind Act. Take a look at what it wrought.

By Valerie Strauss  | January 6, 2011; 11:15 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (14)
Categories:  Guest Bloggers, No Child Left Behind, Standardized Tests  | Tags:  congress and nclb, esea, esea reauthorization, national education association, nclb, nclb reauthorization, no child left behind, standardized testing, teachers unions  
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A principal on standardized vs. teacher-written tests

Educator George Wood urges Congress not to rely on standardized tests to measure achievement. If you don't think that "data-driven decision-making" is really test-driven decision making, consider this: Ohio’s school report cards consist of 26 “data” points, and 24 of them—92%--are test scores.

By Valerie Strauss  | January 6, 2011; 5:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (15)
Categories:  Congress, George Wood, Guest Bloggers, No Child Left Behind, Standardized Tests  | Tags:  arne duncan, disaggregated data, education secretary duncan, elementary and secondary school act, esea, esea reauthoraization, george word, nclb, new congress, new york performance assessment consortium, no child left behind, reauthorization of no child left behind, standardized tests  
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Resolutions someone should make for 2011

An educator offers some resolutions for the new year: That President Obama et al stop saying, "We are going to educate ourselves toward a 21st Century economy;" that people who really know about education appear on Oprah; that policy makers stop making standardized testing the gold standard of student achievement and teacher effectiveness; that we stop using corporate speak (game changer, incentivize) to talk about education. And more.

By Valerie Strauss  | January 5, 2011; 12:30 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (10)
Categories:  Guest Bloggers, Learning, Mike Rose, School turnarounds/reform, Standardized Tests, Teachers  | Tags:  2011 resolutions, ian hacking, mike rose, new year's resolutions, obama and education policy, oprah, oprah winfrey, president obama, standardized tests, stephen jay gould, student achievement, teacher effectiveness  
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A satirical look at Rhee's 'Students First' (or how students fell to a tie for third)

Here's a satirical look at Michelle Rhee's Students First campaign. Students, it seems, have fallen from First.

By Valerie Strauss  | January 5, 2011; 11:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
Categories:  Laugh and cry, Michelle Rhee  | Tags:  edtweak, education tweak, michelle rhee, students first  
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How technology will and won't change schools by 2020

Will ever newer technological devices really lead to an educational revolution and make schools unrecognizable by 2020?

By Valerie Strauss  | January 5, 2011; 5:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
Categories:  Guest Bloggers, Larry Cuban, Technology  | Tags:  education technology, handhelds, larry cuban, technology, technology in schools  
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Obama girls miss two days of school; when is it okay to keep a kid out of school?

Malia and Sasha Obama are missing two days of school to stay on vacation with their parents, the president and the first lady. When is it okay to keep a child out of school?

By Valerie Strauss  | January 4, 2011; 10:10 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (61)
Categories:  Student Life  | Tags:  malia, malia and sasha, malia and sasha obama, malia obama, michelle obama, obama and hawaii, obama and sidwell, obama daughters, obama daughters miss school, obama trip, obama vacation, president obama, sasha, sasha obama, sidwell friends  
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Myths and realities about KIPP

In our recent education debate, Jay Mathews and I disagreed on attrition rates at the Knowledge Is Power Program, or KIPP charter schools. Here's Richard Kahlenberg's look at who was right and why.

By Valerie Strauss  | January 4, 2011; 5:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (49)
Categories:  Charter schools, Guest Bloggers  | Tags:  KIPP, KIPP schools, century foundation, charter schools, jay mathews, knowledge is power program, richard kahlenberg  
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A response to Arne Duncan

Here's a response to a piece Education Secretary Arne Duncan wrote in The Washington Post today.

By Valerie Strauss  | January 3, 2011; 2:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (58)
Categories:  Education Secretary Duncan, School turnarounds/reform  | Tags:  arne duncan, bill gates, education secretary arne duncan, esea, nclb, no child left behind, school reform, testing industry  
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America’s disdain for its children

Americans don’t really think very much of their children. Not really. Just take a look at the world of education.

By Valerie Strauss  | January 3, 2011; 1:36 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (23)
Categories:  Charter schools, Standardized Tests, Student Life, Teachers  | Tags:  charter schools, children, poverty, standardized tests, teacher evaluation, teachers  
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The "bad teacher" bogeyman and its consequences

An educator dissects how the teaching profession is being attacked and what the consequences are for the country.

By Valerie Strauss  | January 3, 2011; 4:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (20)
Categories:  Anthony Cody, Guest Bloggers, Teacher assessment, Teachers  | Tags:  anthony cody, assessing teachers, bad teachers, effective teachers, eric hanushek, school reform, standardized tests  
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