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Class Struggle: April 4, 2010 - April 10, 2010

Principal keeps student in AP class she rejected

I can hear some of you mumbling: What is Mathews doing? His nutty campaign for AP and International Baccalaureate and his love of anything to which the word rigor can be attached is the reason why educators push this stuff too hard. Is he finally confessing his sins of overdoing challenging courses?

By Jay Mathews  |  April 9, 2010; 5:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (22)
Categories:  Trends  | Tags: Barren County High School, Jerry Ralston, Keith Hale, Sherry Arritt, student changes schools to avoid AP course, student forced to take AP course  
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Why I ignore some great schools

Cedric Sheridan, a Prince George’s County parent, worries about the high school where his son is a senior and his daughter is a junior. He told me “I fear that it started on a downward slide a few years ago.” The school is Eleanor Roosevelt High School, one of the highest-performing public schools in the country. It is a model of good teaching and successful racial integration. Why would anyone have any concerns about it?

By Jay Mathews  |  April 7, 2010; 10:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (24)
Categories:  Local Living  | Tags: Cedric Sheridan, Challenge Index, Eleanor Roosevelt High School, Prince George's County, ignoring great schools, journalists ignore old school stories  
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How real student in the Escalante movie turned out

Those of you who saw the film, Stand and Deliver, might enjoy this piece I did for the Los Angeles Times on Sunday, about the only real student portrayed in the movie, and her unusual path to success. I will be away for a couple of weeks, but I have all the columns done and scheduled, so there should be something new here nearly every day.

By Jay Mathews  |  April 6, 2010; 5:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  Jay on the Web  | Tags: the story of the only real student in Stand and Deliver  
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Parents spending more time with teens, college race blamed

National time-use surveys show that between 1995 and 2000 the hours spent by college-educated women caring for or handling travel and activities for their older children increased from 6.6 to 10 a week. This was driven, a new study says, by the “increasingly severe cohort crowding at quality schools” like the University of Pennsylvania, Rice University or UCSD.

By Jay Mathews  |  April 4, 2010; 10:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (23)
Categories:  Metro Monday  | Tags: Garey and Valerie Ramey, college competition influence U.S. parents, parents spending more time with teens  
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Unlike many, Escalante believed in teaching, not sorting

From 1982 to 1987 I stalked Jaime Escalante, his students and his colleagues at Garfield High School, a block from the hamburger-burrito stands, body shops and bars of Atlantic Boulevard in East Los Angeles. I was the Los Angeles bureau chief for The Washington Post, allegedly covering the big political, social and business stories of the Western states, but I found it hard to stay away from that troubled high school.

By Jay Mathews  |  April 4, 2010; 9:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (12)
Categories:  Jay on the Web  | Tags: Garfield High School, Jaime Escalante, opening AP to all, restricting access to AP, teaching not sorting  
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