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Class Struggle: January 10, 2010 - January 16, 2010

Charters raising less

Someone in New York associated with a GothamSchools funder has calculated how much charter schools in New York are raising beyond the money they get from the school district. Apparently the private money has declined because of the recession.

By Jay Mathews  |  January 15, 2010; 5:33 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Jay on the Web  | Tags: GothamSchools blog, New York charter schools, Philissa Cramer; private funds  
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Higher education's shame

Merit aid seems to be motivated, at least in part, by a lust for higher ratings in U.S. News and World Report. Is that the right way to go?

By Jay Mathews  |  January 15, 2010; 1:30 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  Jay on the Web  | Tags: merit scholarships; merit aid; more aid for affluent students; Education Trust  
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Best education blogs for 2010

My blogging Post colleague Valerie Strauss of The Answer Sheet and I realize the weight of our decisions on the best education blogs for this year. These choices will undoubtedly alter the course of the Internet.

By Jay Mathews  |  January 15, 2010; 5:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (13)
Categories:  Trends  | Tags: Best education blogs, Deborah Meier, Diane Ravitch, Jay Mathews, Ken Bernstein, Linda Perlstein, Valerie Strauss  
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Suburbs too good for charters?

Maybe some (but not all) of our suburban districts are good enough that they don’t need charters. Still, I can’t understand why any district would be so in love with its own rules that it would keep creative teachers from showing what they can do.

By Jay Mathews  |  January 13, 2010; 10:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (33)
Categories:  Extra Credit  | Tags: suburban charter schools; school board blindspots; Va. governor Robert McDonnell  
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Mr. Obama: Kill NCLB

The anniversary of the signing of the No Child Left Behind last Friday reminded me that my long support for that landmark bipartisan law needs revision. The law has served its purpose. Instead of amending it, as the Obama administration and the Congress seem likely to do, let's dump it and try something different.

By Jay Mathews  |  January 13, 2010; 5:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (51)
Categories:  Jay on the Web  | Tags: National Assessment of Educational Progress; No Child Left Behind; national school standards; uniform national tests; Chester E. Finn Jr.;  
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NEA's caution on test scores

My colleague Nick Anderson on the national education beat reports that the National Education Association shares many of the views American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten espoused this morning in a speech on teacher evaluation, test scores and...

By Washington Post editors  |  January 12, 2010; 5:20 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
 
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Best education blogs for 2010 to be revealed Friday

The excitement is mounting. My friendly rival Post education blogger Valerie Strauss and I have surfed every online beach, consulted every expert, considered every possible consideration and come up with our list of the 20 best education blogs for...

By Jay Mathews  |  January 12, 2010; 12:57 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Jay on the Web  
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Silly but useful Fairfax hysteria

For a middle class, education-conscious community like Fairfax, a cut-back in full day kindergarten will have no discernable effect on student achievement. The same goes for an increase in class size of one or two students per teacher. Research shows that for middle class parents who read to their kids and value schooling, the quality of their elementary schools have little effect on their children's achievement.

By Jay Mathews  |  January 12, 2010; 12:18 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (13)
Categories:  Jay on the Web  | Tags: school budget cuts; Fairfax County budget cuts; Jack Dale; Challenge Index; class size  
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New ideas from Weingarten

It's hard satisfying everyone, particularly for a teachers union leader these days. I like the fact that Weingarten is giving it her all, with a lot of fresh ideas. I think those of us who have our doubts about teachers unions' ability to bury bad old habits should keep an open mind about Weingarten and her team.

By Jay Mathews  |  January 11, 2010; 9:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (15)
Categories:  Jay on the Web  | Tags: Kenneth Feinberg, Randi Weingarten, rules for dismissing teachers, teacher evaluation, teachers unions  
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Study shows how dumb we can be

Some of us freak out over even relatively small differences between schools, like a ten percentage point gap in proficiency rates. Districts have changed principals and curriculums based on such results. Give that low-performing elementary school more phonics. Get some reading coaches into that middle school where the scores dipped. But the Study of Instructional Improvement document described in Rothman’s article rips a big hole in the idea that changes in those schools’ reading programs will have much effect on what going on in their classrooms.

By Jay Mathews  |  January 10, 2010; 6:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (21)
Categories:  Metro Monday  | Tags: teacher variability; myths on raising achievement; school reform models; Robert Rothman; Brian Rowan; Harvard Education Letter;  
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