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Class Struggle: April 11, 2010 - April 17, 2010

Brian Betts--a great loss for D.C. schools

It is difficult to adjust to any 6 a.m. phone call, but the one I received this morning was particularly jarring. Brian Betts, one of the most energetic and enthusiastic educators I have ever met, had been found dead in his home in Silver Spring, just months before what I expected would be good news about his relentless efforts to raise achievement for students at the Shaw Middle School at Garnet-Patterson.

By Jay Mathews  |  April 16, 2010; 10:49 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (16)
Categories:  Jay on the Web  | Tags: Brian Betts, D.C. Teacher a great loss for D.C. Schools, Shaw Middle School are Garnet-Patterson  
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Five hard truths about charter schools

Charter schools are demanding places to teach and aren't for everybody. Teachers who move from regular to charter public schools "become partners in an enterprise that must sink or swim depending on performance. Hours, assignments, pay, and job security can't be guaranteed by a deep-pocket school district, but are products of collaborative effort at the school level," Paul T. Hill says

By Jay Mathews  |  April 16, 2010; 5:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (8)
Categories:  Trends  | Tags: Paul T. Hill, charters hard to reproduce, charters hard to run, hard truths about charter schools  
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Washington area's top education bloggers

Several weeks ago, my blogging colleague Valerie Strauss (The Answer Sheet) and I announced our picks for best education blogs of this year. Our favorites were a diverse bunch, with many witty teachers, incisive journalists and droll experts of other kinds providing unusual perspectives. But Washington area education bloggers were severely underrepresented. I found only two, one in Fairfax County and one in the District, who had the acidity and depth I craved.

By Jay Mathews  |  April 14, 2010; 10:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (14)
Categories:  Local Living  | Tags: GFBrandenburg's, Guy Brandenburg, Tim Stahmer, assortedstuff.com, top Washington area education bloggers  
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Should high schoolers read aloud in class?

Recently I visited a history class at a local, low-performing high school where students read in turn from the autobiography of a famous American. The teacher was bright and quick. He interrupted often with comments and questions. The 18 sophomores and juniors seemed to be into it, but it was such an old-fashioned--and I suspect to some educators elementary--approach for that I decided to see what other educators thought of it.

By Jay Mathews  |  April 11, 2010; 10:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (74)
Categories:  Metro Monday  | Tags: reading aloud in high school, round robin reading, round robin reading criticized and supported  
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