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The Answer Sheet: January 9, 2011 - January 15, 2011

Education 'Inception' and Michelle Rhee's wrong idea

Ms. Rhee has shown she believes that the best way to mobilize people is through conflict, oppositional language and negative emotion.

By Valerie Strauss  | January 15, 2011; 12:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (23)
Categories:  Educational leadership, Guest Bloggers, Michelle Rhee, School turnarounds/reform  | Tags:  Christopher Nolan, Inception, inception, michelle reform and school reform, michelle rhee, michelle rhee and agenda, movie Inception, peter cobb, rhee, school reform, students first  
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Robocall revenge--the postscript

Update at 5:20 p.m.: Editor's note: Titus reports receiving inquiries from "Fox, NBC, CBS, MSNBC, a ton of local affiliates.  Good Morning America is stopping by in about 40 minutes. I’ve got the Early Show tomorrow morning, followed by Fox...

By Washington Post editors  | January 14, 2011; 3:52 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
 
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The biggest flaw in Gates value-added study

Were the conclusions of a major Gates Foundation study on value-added measures to evaluate teachers predetermined?

By Valerie Strauss  | January 14, 2011; 12:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (12)
Categories:  Guest Bloggers, Matthew Di Carlo, Research, Teacher assessment  | Tags:  MET project, MET study, assessing teachers, bill gates, bill gates foundation, gates foundation, teacher assessment, teacher evaluation, value-added, value-added measures  
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The astrology college story

There are a lot of schools that teach astrology, but only one ever received permission from a state to award degrees to its students.

By Valerie Strauss  | January 14, 2011; 11:04 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Tags:  astrological schools, astrology, astrology college, astrology schools, kepler college  
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What reformers are doing to urban kids (or 'it's terrible what they are doing to these schools')

What it means to learn has been transformed for a generation of urban children, writes author Natalie Hopkinson. In the name of reform, education -- for "failing" urban kids, anyway -- is about learning the rules and following directions. Not critical thinking. Not creativity.

By Valerie Strauss  | January 14, 2011; 5:01 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (26)
Categories:  Charter schools, Guest Bloggers, School turnarounds/reform  | Tags:  african-american blacks, charter schools, d.c. charter schools, d.c. schools, the root, urban schools  
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Math class: What’s the right order?

In what order should students take math? Should Geometry come before or after Algebra II? Here are some of the ways schools around the country are experimenting.

By Valerie Strauss  | January 14, 2011; 5:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (8)
Categories:  Math  | Tags:  STEM, algebra 1, algebra 2, algebra II, calculus, geometry, high school, high school math, math classes, order of math class, pre-caculus  
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Should Duncan have plugged Henderson for D.C. schools boss?

If Education Secretary Arne Duncan were sitting in the editorial board of The New York Times talking about education, do you think he would put in a plug for a specific candidate to be chancellor of the city's public schools?

By Valerie Strauss  | January 13, 2011; 5:47 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (17)
Categories:  D.C. Schools, Education Secretary Duncan  | Tags:  arne duncan, d.c. schools, d.c. schools chancellor, education secretary arne duncan, kaya henderson, mayor gray, mayor vincent gray, vincent gray  
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Va. orders history textbook review -- finally

The Virginia Board of Education has finally taken the first step toward removing two elementary school history textbooks that it had earlier approved despite many errors.

By Valerie Strauss  | January 13, 2011; 3:16 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  History, Textbooks  | Tags:  errors in textbooks, five ponds press, history textbooks, textbook controversy, textbook errors, textbooks, textbooks and errors, virginia board of education, virginia history, virginia textbooks  
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New analysis challenges Gates study on value-added measures

A new analysis challenges a Gates Foundation study said to support the validity of value-added measures to evaluate teachers by using students' standardized test scores.

By Valerie Strauss  | January 13, 2011; 11:01 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
Categories:  Research, Teacher assessment  | Tags:  bill gates, gates foundation, gates foundation study, gates-funded research, how to evaluate teachers, teacher assessment, value-added, value-added measures  
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Are more high-stakes tests inevitable? A teacher says 'no'

A teacher writes that education reformers have promised far more than they can deliver, and that more testing is not inevitable as many teachers, students and parents fear.

By Valerie Strauss  | January 13, 2011; 5:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  Anthony Cody, Guest Bloggers, Standardized Tests  | Tags:  anthony cody, high-stakes standardized tests, high-stakes tests, nclb, no child left behind, school reform, standardized tests  
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The big 5: A teacher's translation guide for policymakers

Those hoping for educator buy-in on the next big education reform idea should first consult this translation guide , which explains some catchphrases and buzzwords that set off warning bells for teachers.

By Valerie Strauss  | January 12, 2011; 12:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (12)
Categories:  Guest Bloggers, Roxanna Elden, Teachers  | Tags:  edu-speak, education buzzwords, education policy, educational rigor, failure is not an option, paradigm shift, research-based methods, rick hess, roxanna elden, teachers  
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Framing education as a business

If you have any doubt that business thinking has taken over the education policy debate, take a look at these invitations from two non-profit organizations in Washington D.C., the CATO Institute and the Center for American Progress.

By Valerie Strauss  | January 12, 2011; 11:29 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Education as Business  | Tags:  bill clinton, cato institute, center for american progress, education as business, education buzzwords, education debate, education policy, john podesta, president clinton, public education, return on investment  
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A critical shortage of school counselors

Public schools in the United States on average give each school counselor more than twice the recommended number of students to help. And in some states, including Arizona, the ratio is much higher.

By Valerie Strauss  | January 12, 2011; 5:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (13)
Categories:  Research, Student Life  | Tags:  counselors, jared lee loughner, jared loughner, loughner, loughner and mental health, mental health, mental health issues, mental illnesses, school counselors  
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How to talk to kids about violence

High-profile acts of violence can scare and confuse children. Here is advice on how to talk with them about the Arizona shooting rampage.

By Valerie Strauss  | January 12, 2011; 5:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Parents  | Tags:  arizona shooting, gabby giffords, gabrielle giffords, jared lee loughner, loughner, school psychologists, talking to kids about violence, tucson shootings  
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Ravitch: The chutzpah of rewriting Mark Twain (and how it relates to "The Wire")

Education historian Diane Ravitch writes about the latest effort to cleanse Mark Twain's "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" of hurtful words.

By Valerie Strauss  | January 11, 2011; 1:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (9)
Categories:  Diane Ravitch, Guest Bloggers, Literature  | Tags:  censorship, classic literature, diane ravitch, huck fin, huckleberry fin, the wire, william shakespeare, writing mark twain  
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Joel Klein's snow job

A New York City teacher takes a critical look at the legacy of Joel Klein, former schools chancellor and a leader of the modern reform movement.

By Valerie Strauss  | January 11, 2011; 5:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (14)
Categories:  Educational leadership, Guest Bloggers, Marc Epstein, School turnarounds/reform  | Tags:  joel klein, joel klein legacy, klein's legacy, michael bloomberg, new york city schools, nyc schools, school reform  
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Auburn football team champs on field but not in graduation rates

Auburn University’s football team won the national collegiate football championship but the Tigers aren’t exactly champs when it comes to graduation rates.

By Valerie Strauss  | January 11, 2011; 12:25 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (12)
Categories:  Sports  | Tags:  auburn, auburn beats university of oregon, auburn national champs, auburn no. 1, bowl championship, bowl champs, football and graduation rates, national champs, ncaa  
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Has American education peaked?

Educator Marion Brady argues that our current reform road will do nothing to fix our school system, and he offers a way to imagine real alternatives.

By Valerie Strauss  | January 10, 2011; 11:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
Categories:  Guest Bloggers, Marion Brady, School turnarounds/reform  | Tags:  21st century skills, arne duncan, marion brady, obama school reform, president obama and school reform, school curriculum, school reform  
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Duncan: Arizona community college did what it could with suspect

Education Secretary Arne Duncan said today that the community college that forced out the suspect in the Arizona shooting rampage because he was disruptive did what it could in handling the young man, and he asked how the young man was able to get a gun.

By Valerie Strauss  | January 10, 2011; 6:31 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (24)
Categories:  Education Secretary Duncan  | Tags:  arizona community college, arizona shootings, gabby giffords, gabrielle giffords, giffords, jared lee loughner, loughner, pima community college, shooting suspect, the washington post  
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More questions for KIPP

Here's the next chapter of a debate on KIPP schools.

By Valerie Strauss  | January 10, 2011; 4:30 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (14)
Categories:  Charter schools, Guest Bloggers  | Tags:  century foundation, charter schools, charter schools and segregation, jay mathews, kipp, kipp charter schools, kipp schools, knowledge is power program  
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How colleges can identify depressed students

One out of every four or five students who visits a university health center for a routine cold or sore throat turns out to be depressed, but most centers miss the opportunity to identify these students because they don’t screen for depression, according to new research.

By Valerie Strauss  | January 10, 2011; 1:40 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Higher Education, Research, Student Life  | Tags:  depressed students, depression, depression and college, northwestern university, research on depression, screening for depression, students and depression, university health centers  
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D.C. named most literate U.S. city

a new study that looks at six different factors concludes that Washington D.C. is the most literate city in the country.

By Valerie Strauss  | January 10, 2011; 1:09 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  Reading  | Tags:  d.c. literate, d.c. most literate cities, literacy, literacy and d.c., literate cities, most literate cities  
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KIPP responds to criticism on attrition rates

Officials from the Knowledge Is Power Program, or KIPP charter schools, respond to a post about attrition rates and other issues.

By Valerie Strauss  | January 10, 2011; 8:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (8)
Categories:  Charter schools, Guest Bloggers  | Tags:  charter schools, kipp, kipp schools, knowledge is power program  
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Latino studies program in Tucson declared illegal

An Arizona official has declared that an ethnic studies program on Latino culture is illegal under a new law that went effect on Jan. 1.

By Valerie Strauss  | January 10, 2011; 5:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (9)
Categories:  History  | Tags:  arizona schools, ethnic studies program, ethnic studies program declared illegal, latino studies, mexican-american studies program, tom horne, tucson schools  
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Banned student play will go on!

A student-written play about school reform in New York that was banned by two school principals because it was critical of former chancellor Joel Klein will now be allowed to be performed.

By Valerie Strauss  | January 9, 2011; 2:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  Arts Education, Student Life  | Tags:  antigone, banned play, jamaica high school, principals reverse decision, student play  
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How to be taken seriously as a reformer (don't be an educator)

In the current upside-down world of education policy, there's one foolproof strategy for being taken seriously as a reformer: Make sure you're not an educator. Here, an educator writes about what counts -- and what SHOULD count -- in the school reform debate.

By Valerie Strauss  | January 9, 2011; 10:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (30)
Categories:  Guest Bloggers, Standardized Tests, Teacher assessment, Teachers  | Tags:  Illiinois schools, Performance Counts, bill gates, eli broad, jeb bush, mark zuckerberg, obama and schools, obama daughters and school, oprah, performance counts, president obama and daughters, school reform, sidwell and obama, standardized tests, teacher assessment, teachers  
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