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The Answer Sheet: February 13, 2011 - February 19, 2011

A salvage operation for public education

Bill Gates may mean well, but he’s not qualified to be America’s education czar. Curriculum expert Marion Brady says that the first step in the salvage operation needed to save free, universal public education in this country is to reject centralized, top-down corporate control.

By Valerie Strauss  | February 19, 2011; 7:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (13)
Categories:  Guest Bloggers, Learning, Marion Brady, School turnarounds/reform  | Tags:  bill gates, how kids learn, how students learn, marion brady, public education, school reform, the learning process  
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D.C. vouchers and the arrogance of Congress

U.S. legislators have some nerve telling the District government that Congress will probably cut funding for the city’s public schools if D.C. officials don’t revive a federal voucher program.

By Valerie Strauss  | February 18, 2011; 11:18 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (7)
Categories:  Vouchers  | Tags:  congress, d.c. home rule, d.c. opportunity scholarships, d.c. vouchers, joe lieberman, kwame brown, mayor gray, mayor vincent gray, private schools, sen. susan collins, vouchers  
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Dawn of the dumbest school data

A teacher writes: "Dawn of the dumbest data ... data-driven dementia... data: It keeps teachers busy. Take your pick. But these cats at my school really have to be stopped."

By Valerie Strauss  | February 18, 2011; 8:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (12)
Categories:  Guest Bloggers, Laugh and cry, Teachers  | Tags:  data-driven reform, data-driven school reform, guest bloggers, mr. teachbad, school data, school reform, teachers, test-driven data  
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Texas may reopen social studies standards for rewrite

Sharp criticism by a conservative think tank of Texas’s new social studies standards has sparked new debate over the controversial issue and may lead to a rrewriting of the standards.

By Valerie Strauss  | February 18, 2011; 5:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  History  | Tags:  fordham institute, history standards, houston chronicle, texas board of education, texas legislature, texas social studies standards, the answer sheet  
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STEM Sell: Are math, science really more important than other subjects?

Does one subject merit special attention, deserve more dollars, constitute the core of what we expect our schools to offer? Alfie Kohn writes about the latest obsession with STEM subjects.

By Valerie Strauss  | February 17, 2011; 8:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (49)
Categories:  Alfie Kohn, Guest Bloggers, Math, Science  | Tags:  STEM, STEM education, alfie kohn, dow jones, obama and STEM, obama school reform, president obama, school reform  
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Chamber of Commerce vs. Tea Party over Wake County schools

The Chamber of Commerce of Greater Raleigh, hardly a radical organization, has jumped into the controversy over the Tea Party-backed school board's plan to dismantle the school system's acclaimed school integration plan. The chamber has now issued a plan of its own to maintain diversity and stop national ridicule directed at Wake County.

By Valerie Strauss  | February 17, 2011; 5:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  Equity, Guest Bloggers, Poverty  | Tags:  center for american progress, chamber of commerce, chamber of commerce school plan, charlotte-mecklenburg's schools, desegregation plans, high-poverty schools, raleigh schools, resegregation in schools, tea party, tea party in raleigh, wake county schools  
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Why didn’t NYU fire Nir Rosen over Lara Logan?

Why did New York University allow Nir Rosen to resign after he made vile comments about the CBS correspondent brutally attacked and sexually assaulted in Egypt? Why wasn't it tougher?

By Valerie Strauss  | February 16, 2011; 1:24 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (38)
Categories:  Higher Education  | Tags:  cbs, egypt, egypt democracy, lara logan assault, lara logan attack, laura logan, new york university, nir rosen, nir rosen tweets, nyu, nyu center for law and security, rosen apologizes, rosen tweets  
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Teacher sickout closes Madison schools

Public schools in Madison closed today because a big percentage of public school teachers and staff called in sick to protest what they describe as the Wisconsin governor’s union-busting legislation.

By Valerie Strauss  | February 16, 2011; 12:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (31)
Categories:  Teachers  | Tags:  collective bargaining, gov. scott walker, madison schools closed, madison teachers, teachers, teachers sickout, teachers strike, teachers walkout  
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Mobile technology and school reform: What’s the connection?

The United States has regained dominance in mobile technology, according to The Economist. How does that square with warnings that our troubled schools have harmed the U.S. ability to compete internationally?

By Valerie Strauss  | February 16, 2011; 10:40 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  Standardized Tests, Technology  | Tags:  arne duncan, education secretary arne duncan, international competitiveness, international tests, mobile technology, pisa, robert j. samuelson, school reform, sputnik, the answer sheet, the economist  
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4 concerns about Michelle Rhee

A veteran teacher lists his four chief concerns with Michelle Rhee and her leadership of D.C. schools.

By Valerie Strauss  | February 16, 2011; 5:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (21)
Categories:  Guest Bloggers, Larry Ferlazzo, Michelle Rhee  | Tags:  d.c. schools, d.c. test scores, larry ferlazzo, michelle rhee, rhee test scores, student achievement  
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Ravitch: The Problem with Teach For America

Education historian Diane Ravitch discusses why Teach For America is not the transformative organization that it says it is.

By Valerie Strauss  | February 15, 2011; 12:15 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (40)
Categories:  Diane Ravitch, Guest Bloggers, Teachers  | Tags:  20th anniversary, arne duncan, diane ravitch, secretary duncan, teach for america, teachers, tfa, tfa anniversary  
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How to avoid college scholarship and aid scams

The good news: Billions of dollars are available for scholarships and financial aid for college-bound students. The bad news: It isn’t that hard to get scammed, or to wind up paying for services that you could have received for free.

By Valerie Strauss  | February 15, 2011; 7:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  College Life  | Tags:  college costs, college financial aid, college scholarships, fafsa, federal student aid, financial aid, free scholarships, how to get student aid, paying for college, scholarship scams, scholarship search, student aid  
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Why Obama’s 2020 graduation goal isn’t attainable

President Obama set as a goal that by 2020, the United States will have the highest proportion of college graduates in the world. But there is a numbers game working against the realization of his goal, and his 2012 proposed education budget isn't going to help the situation.

By Valerie Strauss  | February 15, 2011; 5:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (10)
Categories:  High School, Higher Education  | Tags:  2012 budget, 2020, early literacy, graduation 2020, obama, obama 2020 goal, obama budget, reading by 3rd grade  
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The problem(s) with Obama’s 2012 education budget

President Obama and Education Secretary Arne Duncan talk a lot about using “what works” in helping to improve public schools, but their proposed $77.4 billion education budget for 2012 unfortunately wouldn’t do that.

By Valerie Strauss  | February 14, 2011; 4:54 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (18)
Categories:  Education Secretary Duncan, School turnarounds/reform  | Tags:  2012 budget, arne duncan, budget, career and technical education, charter school funding, education budget, education funds, harlem children's zone, increase in education budget, obama 2012 budget, obama budget, president obama, race to the top, teach for america  
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Why teacher bashing is dangerous

What's really at stake in the increasingly polarized education policy debate is more than whether teachers feel attacked or whether school budgets are cut yet again.

By Valerie Strauss  | February 14, 2011; 5:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (33)
Categories:  Guest Bloggers, Teachers  | Tags:  charter schools, chris christie, gov. christie, no child left behind, race to the top, stan karp, teacher bashing, teachers  
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Veteran teacher: My problem(s) with Teach For America

A veteran teachers explains why he is troubled by Teach For America.

By Valerie Strauss  | February 13, 2011; 2:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (20)
Categories:  Anthony Cody, Guest Bloggers, Teachers  | Tags:  education, school reform, schools, teach for america, teacher development  
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