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The Answer Sheet: January 23, 2011 - January 29, 2011

Does Kaya Henderson want to run D.C. schools?

It just may be that Kaya Henderson, the interim chancellor of D.C. schools who was tapped to succeed Michelle Rhee, doesn’t want the job permanently.

By Valerie Strauss  | January 29, 2011; 1:18 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (11)
Categories:  D.C. Schools  | Tags:  arne duncan, d.c. schools, d.c. superintendent, kaya henderson, michelle rhee  
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Study: Most high school biology teachers don’t endorse evolution

The central theory of biology is evolution yet a new study shows that most high school biology teachers are reluctant to endorse it in class.

By Valerie Strauss  | January 29, 2011; 1:07 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (39)
Categories:  Research, Science  | Tags:  biology, biology teachers, charles darwin, creationism, darwin, evolution, evolutionary biology, high school biology, high school science, intelligent design, study on evolution  
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Do tests really help students learn -- or was a new study misreported? -- Kohn

A new study that received attention was said to have concluded that kids should "take a test to really learn." Except, as Alfie Kohn explains, the study doesn't support that conclusion.

By Valerie Strauss  | January 28, 2011; 2:45 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (16)
Categories:  Alfie Kohn, Research, Standardized Tests  | Tags:  alfie kohn, high-stakes testing, new york times, rote learning, standardized testing, student on testing, testing, testing study  
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On this we should agree

A health expert writes that while there isn’t likely to be peace in the education world over charter schools and standardized testing, on this everyone should agree: The need to focus attention on disparities among our youth in education and in health.

By Valerie Strauss  | January 28, 2011; 5:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (16)
Categories:  Achievement gap, Guest Bloggers, Health, Poverty  | Tags:  achievement gap, anxiety-related behaviors, anxiety-related disorders, effects of poverty, environment and schools, health disparities, indian suicide rates, native american suicide rates, poverty and education, public health services, suicide rates  
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Film critic Ebert rescinds positive ‘Superman’ review

More bad news for “Waiting for Superman.”

By Valerie Strauss  | January 28, 2011; 5:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (22)
Categories:  School turnarounds/reform  | Tags:  academy award, davis guggenheim, oscar, oscar snubs, roger ebert, waiting for superman, why oscar snubbed superman  
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SpongeBob speaks: Exclusive interview on education

Ever wonder what SpongeBob thinks makes a great teacher? Of course you haven't, but he tells us in this unusual interview, and he answers more questions about education. Really he does.

By Valerie Strauss  | January 27, 2011; 10:54 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Talking Out of School  | Tags:  bikini bottom, nickelodeon, nickelodeon shows, patrick and spongebob, spongebob, spongebob characters, spongebob squarepants  
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Parents as tigers and wimps: Cycles in child rearing and schooling

An educator explains how the media hullabaloo over Amy Chua’s 'Tiger Mom' and angry rebuttals from many parents (and grandparents) are at the root of the traditional vs. progressive cyclical conflicts that have ebbed and flowed over what reforms work best in U.S. schools.

By Valerie Strauss  | January 27, 2011; 5:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Guest Bloggers, Larry Cuban, Parents, School turnarounds/reform  | Tags:  amy chua, battle hymn of the tiger mother, history of school reform, larry cuban, parenting, parenting techniques, school reform, tiger mom, tiger mother  
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School district turns snow days into ‘e-days’

A tiny rural Ohio school district is experimenting with a new version of the traditional snow day -- one that some kids are not likely to enjoy much.

By Valerie Strauss  | January 27, 2011; 3:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  On-line education, Technology  | Tags:  classes cancelled, e-days, inclement weather policy, ohio snow days, schools that closed, snow days  
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How a single test can change a child's life --a must-see video from Rhode Island

Here's an inventive video about how a single high-stakes test can change a child's life.

By Valerie Strauss  | January 26, 2011; 1:47 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (11)
Categories:  Standardized Tests  | Tags:  graduation requirements, graduation test, necap, rhode island, rhode island schools, standardized tests  
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Things I’m sick of hearing

It’s time for school reformers to find new ways to attack their critics. It’s getting tiring hearing the same old refrains, which go something like this.

By Valerie Strauss  | January 26, 2011; 5:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (23)
Categories:  Achievement gap, Charter schools, Laugh and cry, Michelle Rhee, Standardized Tests  | Tags:  charter schools, data-driven reform, michelle rhee, president obama, school reform, standardized tests, teachers unions  
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Obama’s faulty education logic: What he said and failed to say

Someone should have told President Obama that there were important contradictions in the education portion of his State of the Union address before he delivered it to Congress.

By Valerie Strauss  | January 25, 2011; 10:15 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (43)
Categories:  No Child Left Behind, Poverty, Race to the Top  | Tags:  education reform, no child left behind, obama, obama education initiative, obama education reform, obama race to the top, obama speech, obama state of the union, president obama, public school reform, public schools, race to the top, state of the union, state of the union speech  
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Why Oscar snubbed ‘Superman’ -- deservedly so

The documentarians get it: “Waiting for Superman” was not a good/accurate enough documentary to be nominated for an Academy Award.

By Valerie Strauss  | January 25, 2011; 10:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (36)
Categories:  Diane Ravitch, Michelle Rhee, School turnarounds/reform  | Tags:  academy award nominations, academy awards, davis guggenheim, diane ravitch, documentaries, feature documentaries, films that were snubbed, inside job, michelle rhee, movies snubbed, oscar nominations, oscar snubs, oscars, randi weingarten, superman, waiting for superman  
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Teaching without classroom teachers

Florida is the state that keeps on giving, at least to education writers. What it gives to its students is another question. One thing it isn’t giving to all of its students these days is classroom teachers.

By Valerie Strauss  | January 25, 2011; 8:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (8)
Categories:  Teachers  | Tags:  florida, florida education, florida schools, florida virtual school, gov. rick scott, online classes, rick scott, virtual classrooms  
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Teachers and nanny cams: Compliance vs. trust

Are "nanny cams" in classrooms a great way to evaluate how well teachers do their jobs, or are they manifestations of the notion that we simply don't trust teachers?

By Valerie Strauss  | January 25, 2011; 5:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
Categories:  Guest Bloggers, Teacher assessment, Teachers  | Tags:  evaluating teachers, gates foundation, gates foundation and met project, met project, teacher assessment, videotaping teachers  
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Education and the State of the Union: a perennial favorite

This item comes from my colleague Nick Anderson, the Post's national education writer and deputy education editor. It's a safe bet President Obama will dwell on education Tuesday night in his second State of the Union address. (His speech to...

By Nick Anderson  | January 24, 2011; 3:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (12)
 
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JFK's Harvard application: 'Lackluster' applicant

John F. Kennedy's 1935 application to Harvard College is now online, and it shows him to be something less than a superlative applicant.

By Valerie Strauss  | January 24, 2011; 8:23 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  History  | Tags:  college application, college essays, harvard application, harvard college, jfk, jfk anniversary, jfk application, jfk documents, jfk library, john f. kennedy, joseph p. kennedy, kennedy family  
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Test scores and economic competitiveness

What does international economic competitiveness have to do with kids’ test scores? Not much.

By Valerie Strauss  | January 24, 2011; 8:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (9)
Categories:  Guest Bloggers, Standardized Tests  | Tags:  international competitiveness, international test scores, pisa scores, test scores, u.s. economy  
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Teacher: The worst of "best practices"

A teacher explains how the push to use "best practices" gets out of hand and winds up wasting time and money.

By Valerie Strauss  | January 24, 2011; 5:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (8)
Categories:  Guest Bloggers, Laugh and cry, Roxanna Elden, Teachers  
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