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Class Struggle: November 8, 2009 - November 14, 2009

Sidwell Friends School as Rorschach test

My colleague Michael Birnbaum's great story about demonstrators descending on the Sidwell Friends School because of the First Family's presence proves once again that people see in famous schools---as they do in Hollywood celebrities or sports stars or religious...

By Jay Mathews  | November 13, 2009; 1:38 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
Categories:  Jay on the Web  | Tags:  Sidwell Friends School; Gerald W. Bracey; President Obama's daughters; private vs. public schools  
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Bracey's last report--trashing our educational assumptions

I got to the last page of the last icon-shattering piece Gerald W. Bracey will ever write, and felt sad and empty. As usual, he had skewered--with great erudition and insight--some of my fondest beliefs about how to improve schools....

By Jay Mathews  | November 13, 2009; 7:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (8)
Categories:  Trends  
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Arne answers your questions

I had a good chat with U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan this morning at his office. He had other important duties, but I would not let him go until he addressed each and every one of the questions sent...

By Jay Mathews  | November 12, 2009; 3:05 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (8)
Categories:  Jay on the Web  
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Why was Maryland the only state to stop tuition increases?

[This is my Local Living section column for Nov. 12] I often interview educators and gather data to find which high schools are doing the best job teaching kids. It is satisfying work, with the biggest payoff in visiting...

By Jay Mathews  | November 11, 2009; 10:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Extra Credit  
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What should I ask Arne?

The Obama administration once again shows its willingness to deal with even the most wayward types by inviting me for a visit to the U.S. Education Department tomorrow, Thursday, at 10 a.m. This thoughtful gesture came after I set...

By Jay Mathews  | November 11, 2009; 6:06 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (10)
Categories:  Jay on the Web  | Tags:  Arne Duncan; education secretary;  
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Extra Credit--Why your commute is like algebra

My weekly Extra Credit column in the Extra sections of the Post, in which I dealt with questions or observations from readers, is no more, because the Extra sections have evolved into the more colorful and more exciting Local...

By Jay Mathews  | November 11, 2009; 11:44 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
 
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Rating Md., Va. and D.C. schools--a puzzle

My colleage Nick Anderson nicely dissects a new assessment of education state-by-state. His story exposes the confusion that can result when you try to toss many different measures into the same pot. Maryland looks bad compared to Virginia in...

By Jay Mathews  | November 10, 2009; 5:45 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (8)
Categories:  Jay on the Web  | Tags:  Maryland schools, Virginia schools  
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Teacher union's Randi Weingarten for next D.C. schools chief

I like D.C. Schools Chancellor Michelle A. Rhee. She is a controversial figure, but her efforts to raise standards and give principals more power are smart and necessary. Unfortunately, our Reliable Source column reveals she is engaged to a...

By Jay Mathews  | November 10, 2009; 5:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (13)
 
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Bad eighth grade math placements--an update

A thoughtful reader who signs on as "raging moderate" (my own self-concept too) asked two good questions about my recent Local Living column on bad timing in placing students in Algebra 1. Here is raging moderate's query, followed by...

By Jay Mathews  | November 9, 2009; 4:23 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (9)
Categories:  Jay on the Web  
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Forget about rating teachers---rate schools instead.

Those unfortunate people in the District may worry about the quality of their teachers, and wait anxiously for the results of the school system’s controversial new evaluation of classroom techniques and test score improvement. But those of us in...

By Jay Mathews  | November 8, 2009; 11:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (39)
Categories:  Metro Monday  | Tags:  teacher evaluation  
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