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The Answer Sheet: March 6, 2011 - March 12, 2011

5 Myths about zero-tolerance disciplinary policies

Zero-tolerance disciplinary policies have been popular for years in school districts around the country, often implemented on a set of assumptions that research shows are not true. Here are five myths about zero-tolerance, and the reality.

By Valerie Strauss  | March 11, 2011; 1:25 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (9)
Categories:  Discipline  | Tags:  a, acne medicine case, discipline and zero tolerance, discipline in schools, discipline policies, fairfax county public schools, fairfax schools, girl suspended acne medicine, girl suspended over acne medicine, school discipline policies, zero tolerance  
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How Bill Gates misinterprets ed facts

Richard Rothstein explains just how wrong Bill Gates is in his school reform prescriptions, which are based "on the misrepresentation of one fact, the misinterpretation of another and the demagogic presentation of a third." But his specific prescriptions, and the urgency he attaches to them, are based on the misrepresentation of one fact, the misinterpretation of another and the demagogic presentation of a third. It is remarkable that someone associated with technology and progress should have such a careless disregard for accuracy when it comes to the education policy in which he is now so deeply involved.c

By Valerie Strauss  | March 11, 2011; 5:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (15)
Categories:  Guest Bloggers, School turnarounds/reform  | Tags:  bill gates, naep, richard rothstein, student achievement, student progress, teacher development, teacher evaluation, the washington post, washington post op-ed  
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The Michigan Fish Test and school reform

Educator Larry Ferlazzo explains what school reformers could learn from the Michigan Fish Test: a little humility. (What's the Michigan Fish Test? Read on.)

By Valerie Strauss  | March 11, 2011; 4:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Guest Bloggers, Larry Ferlazzo  | Tags:  larry ferlazzo, michelle rhe, michigan fish test, school reform, studentsfirst  
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Defending Arne Duncan, sort of

Education Secretary Arne Duncan is getting bashed by critics and even supporters for telling Congress that 82 percent of public schools could be at risk of failing to meet education goals this year, up from 37 percent last year.

By Valerie Strauss  | March 10, 2011; 4:23 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (22)
Categories:  Accountability, No Child Left Behind, Race to the Top  | Tags:  education secretary arne duncan; arne duncan; nclb; no child left behind; 82 percent; ayp; adequate yearly progress; 82 percent and ayp;  
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Philosophical proof: Why testing obsession is nutty

Here a longtime educator and philosophy major presents a philosophical argument that she says proves that today's relentless focus on standardized test scores is crazy.

By Valerie Strauss  | March 10, 2011; 10:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (18)
Categories:  Guest Bloggers, School turnarounds/reform  | Tags:  biodiversty, homeschooling, philosophical proofs, philosophy, school reform, standardized test scores, standardized testing  
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Gates spends millions to sway public on ed reform

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is spending at least $3.5 million to create a new organization whose aim is to win over the public and the media to its market-driven approach to school reform, according to the closely held grant proposal.

By Valerie Strauss  | March 10, 2011; 5:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (32)
Tags:  bill & melinda gates foundation, bill gates, gates foundation, school reform, teacher assessment, teacher evaluation, teachers, teaching first, value added models, value-added  
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The problem with Rhee’s successor in D.C

The new permanent chancellor of D.C. schools is going to be Kaya Henderson, to no one’s surprise, and this, to her supporters, is a great thing because she is, as they say, Michelle Rhee without Michelle Rhee. Maybe not.

By Valerie Strauss  | March 9, 2011; 3:01 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (36)
Categories:  D.C. Schools  | Tags:  chancellor named in d.c., d.c. schools, impact, kaya henderson, mayor gray, mayor vincent gray, michelle rhee, new d.c. schools chancellor, poverty and student achievement, standardized tests, teacher assessment, teacher evaluation  
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Secrets to winning a college scholarship

A financial aid expert offers tips on how to maximize your chances of winning a college scholarship: Start applying in elementary school. Clean up your Facebook file. Avoid scams. And more.

By Valerie Strauss  | March 9, 2011; 8:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  College Costs  | Tags:  cleaning facebook, college scholarships, duct tape scholarship, facebook, facebook accounts, fastweb.com, mark kantrowitz, scholarship databases, scholarships, scholarships and facebook, winning college scholarships  
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Teach for America alum: Where TFA falls short

A Teach for America alumnus writes about why the organization must modernize: "With its emphasis on gains that can be measured on traditional paper and pencil assessments, Teach For America is reinforcing 20th century modes of teaching, thinking, and learning."

By Valerie Strauss  | March 9, 2011; 5:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (12)
Categories:  Guest Bloggers, Teachers  | Tags:  21st century classrooms, teach for america, teachers  
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Ravitch: Jon Stewart and other education heroes

Education historian Diane Ravitch: "There really is a bipartisan consensus on education reform. It happens to be the Republican agenda of the past 30 years, minus the Republicans' traditional contempt for federal control of education policy. Where did the Democratic agenda go?"

By Valerie Strauss  | March 8, 2011; 12:15 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (49)
Categories:  Diane Ravitch, Guest Bloggers  | Tags:  angry curds, charter schools, diane ravitch, education reformers, gov. jeb bush, high-stakes testing, jon stewart, jon stewart and wisconsin, matt damon, merit pay, obama and bush, piers morgan, school reform, teacher assessment, vouchers, wisconsin, wisconsin protests, wisconsin teachers  
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The ed report that all 'reformers' should read

Here are two take-away messages for school reformers around the country that are embedded in an important new report about how the D.C. public school system is faring under the 2007 law that gave the mayor control.

By Valerie Strauss  | March 8, 2011; 5:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (25)
Categories:  D.C. Schools  | Tags:  dc cas, mayoral control, mayoral control of schools, michael bloomberg, michelle rhee, national academies, report on d.c. schools, standardized tests  
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Why schools should try things not "research-based"

A buzz phrase in schools across the country has become "research-based best practices" -- but sometimes schools may need to try things that have no evidence base.

By Valerie Strauss  | March 8, 2011; 3:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (8)
Categories:  Guest Bloggers  | Tags:  20th century schools, 21st century classroom, best practices, education buzzwords, research-based  
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Few schools enter contest for Obama commencement speech

The White House did not receive enough applicants in a contest it launched for schools to win a commencement address by President Obama so it extended the deadline and made the application process easier.

By Valerie Strauss  | March 7, 2011; 5:23 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (19)
Categories:  High School  | Tags:  commencement contest, obama speech, president obama, race to the top, race to the top commencement contest, white house contest  
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A Florida teacher tells Obama he disappointed her

A Florida public school teacher explains how she told President Obama that he has disappointed teachers -- and what she wishes she had more time to tell him.

By Valerie Strauss  | March 7, 2011; 1:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (19)
Categories:  Educational leadership, Guest Bloggers  | Tags:  class size, class size amendment, education month, jeb bush, jeb bush's foundation, obama and education, obama and education month, obama and jeb bush, obama visit to florida, president obama, school reform  
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Jon Stewart on hypocrisy behind assault on teachers

Jon Stewart, hosting education historian Diane Ravitch, outdoes even himself with a scathing and hysterically funny (and sad) new attack on the hypocrisy underlying the assault on public school teachers.

By Valerie Strauss  | March 7, 2011; 12:30 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (40)
Categories:  Diane Ravitch  | Tags:  diane ravitch, gov. scott walker, jon stewart, school reform, teachers unions, the daily show, wisconsin budget, wisconsin protests, wisconsin teachers  
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Teachers tell: One thing I wish I'd known

Teachers answer this question: “What was one thing you wished you’d known when you started teaching?”

By Valerie Strauss  | March 7, 2011; 5:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (12)
Categories:  Teachers  | Tags:  learning, teachers, teaching techniques  
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Obama's odd embrace of Jeb Bush

Here's why teachers got upset when President Obama embraced Jeb Bush and his education reform record last week at a Miami school.

By Valerie Strauss  | March 6, 2011; 1:20 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (23)
Tags:  anthony cody, education week, jeb bush, obama and education, obama and jeb bush, obama and teachers, president obama, teachers, teachers protest  
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Rheeform: How she fired teachers (with artistic license)

Here's an artist's rendering, so to speak, of how Michelle Rhee worked when she was chancellor of D.C. schools. A video that will make you laugh and cry.

By Valerie Strauss  | March 6, 2011; 5:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (32)
Categories:  Laugh and cry, Michelle Rhee  | Tags:  educational data, effective teachers, firing teachers, michelle rhee, teachers  
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