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The Answer Sheet: February 20, 2011 - February 26, 2011

Why NAEP science scores were so low

What is surprising about the newly released science scores in the 2009 National Assessment of Educational Progress, commonly known as the nation’s report card, is that anybody is surprised that they were so low.

By Valerie Strauss  | February 26, 2011; 2:01 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
Categories:  Science, Standardized Tests  | Tags:  naep, naep science scores, no child left behind, standardized tests  
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D.C. reaches pre-school milestone

Today in Washington D.C. there are enough preschool and Pre-K slots for every 3- and 4-year-old seeking a spot. This is a milestone worth applauding -- but the next phase is more daunting: ensuring quality in all programs.

By Valerie Strauss  | February 26, 2011; 1:30 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
Categories:  Early Childhood, Guest Bloggers  | Tags:  early childhood education, early education, head start, pre-k, preschool, quality pre-k  
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Providence threatens all teachers with termination

Why is the Providence school board threatening every single one of the nearly 2,000 public school teachers in Rhode Island’s capital city with termination?

By Valerie Strauss  | February 25, 2011; 1:55 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (54)
Categories:  Teachers  | Tags:  central falls, providence, providence schools, providence teachers, teach for america, teachers  
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Open letter to residents of Wisconsin

A former Wisconsin school administration writes an open letter to residents of her home state, where teachers are protesting the governor's effort to strip them of collective bargaining rights.

By Valerie Strauss  | February 25, 2011; 8:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (16)
Categories:  Guest Bloggers  | Tags:  collective bargaining, gov. scott walker, middle class and unions, teachers, teachers unions, wisconsin, wisconsin protests, wisconsin teachers  
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The "three great teachers in a row" myth

It's time to stop the constant recitation that the achievement gap could be closed if all students had three, or four, or five great teachers in a row. Here's a history of the myth.

By Valerie Strauss  | February 25, 2011; 5:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (26)
Categories:  Congress, Diane Ravitch, Research, Teacher assessment, Teachers  | Tags:  center for american progress, diane ravitch, education trust, standardized tests, teacher evaluation, teachers  
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Sick of highly paid teachers? Here's what to do

Here's a brilliant plan to solve the problem of all those highly paid teachers, who earn so much and only work 9 or 10 months a year!

By Valerie Strauss  | February 24, 2011; 11:10 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (98)
Categories:  Laugh and cry, Teachers  | Tags:  Are you sick of highly paid teachers?  
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The day all the public schools died

A laugh/cry satire: Public schools close as a result of No Child Left Behind and Race to the Top. Students and teachers flock to Mark Zuckerberg's new Textbook. Eminen's anthem for frustrated teachers wins a Grammy. Wikileaks delivers the final blow. And more.

By Valerie Strauss  | February 24, 2011; 5:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  Guest Bloggers, Laugh and cry, Mark Phillips  | Tags:  amazon, eminem, facebook, mark zuckerberg, no child left behind, public schools, race to the top, school reform, secretary of education, textbook, wikileaks  
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Rhee’s new campaign is not about the kids

Former D.C. Chancellor Michelle Rhee likes to say that everything she does is for kids. But the first big campaign of her “Students First” organization, announced today, isn't really about them.

By Valerie Strauss  | February 23, 2011; 3:40 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (31)
Categories:  Michelle Rhee, Teachers  | Tags:  last hired first fired, michelle rhee, save great teachers, students first, teacher tenure, teachers, teachers and protests, wisconsin protests, wisconsin teachers  
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Why politicians should spend time at school

Pop your head into a room of first-graders for a few minutes and all may seem well. Stay awhile longer and your observations may paint a different picture - one that reveals some of the pernicious ways that current test-and-punish policies distort teaching and learning, a teacher explains.

By Valerie Strauss  | February 23, 2011; 8:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (9)
Categories:  Congress, Guest Bloggers  | Tags:  adequate yearly progress, education policy, no child left behind, politicians, president obama, teachers, teaching  
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David vs. Goliath: The battle over public education

What can the protesting teachers in Wisconsin and elsewhere learn from the success of David when he took on Goliath?

By Valerie Strauss  | February 23, 2011; 5:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (7)
Categories:  Guest Bloggers  | Tags:  collective bargaining, david and goliath, david v. goliath, wisconsin protests, wisconsin teachers  
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Why my fellow blogger Jay Mathews is wrong

Jay, Jay, Jay. You know I don’t like arguing with you because you know more than I do about a great many things. But in this case, not so much.

By Valerie Strauss  | February 22, 2011; 2:44 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (13)
Categories:  Congress, School turnarounds/reform, Vouchers  | Tags:  charter schools, class struggle, d.c. vouchers, detroit schools, jay mathews, joe lieberman, no child left behind, race to the top, school reform, susan collins, voucher program, vouchers  
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Jack Dale's response to Stuban family letter

Fairfax Superintendent Jack Dale replied Monday to a letter sent by the family of Nick Stuban, 15, a high school sophomore who killed himself on Jan. 20 in the aftermath of a disciplinary procedure. The full text of Dale's letter...

By Washington Post editors  | February 22, 2011; 9:23 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (9)
Categories:  Discipline  
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The meaning of Michelle Rhee

Educator Mike Rose writes about how the creation of the public Michelle Rhee is emblematic of the weaknesses of current school reform.

By Valerie Strauss  | February 22, 2011; 9:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (29)
Categories:  Guest Bloggers, Michelle Rhee, Mike Rose  | Tags:  d.c. public schools, michelle rhee, mike rose, new teacher project, school reform, standardized tests, students first, teach for america  
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Ravitch: Why should teachers have unions?

Education historian Diane Ravitch writes why she is standing with the protesting teachers of Wisconsin.

By Valerie Strauss  | February 22, 2011; 5:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (39)
Categories:  Diane Ravitch, Guest Bloggers, Teachers  | Tags:  cnn.com, collective bargaining, gov. scott walker, green bay packers, teachers and protest, teachers unions, wisconsin, wisconsin protests, wisconsin teachers  
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The irony of Obama’s ‘help’ for Wisconsin teachers

President Obama’s support to Wisconsin's protesting teachers is ironic, given that teachers and their collective bargaining rights have already been undermined by his education reform policies.

By Valerie Strauss  | February 21, 2011; 11:18 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (78)
Categories:  Race to the Top, Standardized Tests, Teacher assessment, Teachers  | Tags:  collective bargaining, gov. scott walker, labor, labor movement, madison schools, madison schools closed, madison teachers, wisconsin, wisconsin governor, wisconsin protests, wisconsin teachers  
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A Presidents' Day quiz

Test your presidential knowledge with this quiz.

By Valerie Strauss  | February 21, 2011; 5:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  History, Quizzes  | Tags:  facts about presidents, presidential trivia, presidents day, presidents day quiz, presidents quiz, u.s. presidents  
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Whom does Presidents' Day really honor?

Ask half a dozen people who President's Day is meant to honor, and you may get half a dozen different answers. There isn't even universal agreement on whether there is an apostrophe in "presidents."

By Valerie Strauss  | February 21, 2011; 2:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
Categories:  History  | Tags:  abraham lincoln's birthday, george washington's birthday, holidays, lincoln's birthday, national holidays, presidents day, washington's birthday  
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Why school zero tolerance policies make no sense

The discipline policy in Fairfax County public schools failed a 15-year-old football player who killed himself after undergoing a disciplinary process. It needs to be changed.

By Valerie Strauss  | February 20, 2011; 1:01 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (25)
Categories:  Discipline, Fairfax County Public Schools  | Tags:  fairfax county schools, fairfax schools, fairfax suicide, football player suicide, nick stuban, teen suicide, zero tolerance, zero tolerance policy  
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