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Class Struggle: June 6, 2010 - June 12, 2010

Must-read new report on high school dropouts

Swanson discovered, for instance, that just 25 of the 11,000 U.S. school districts with high schools accounted for one out of every five students who failed to graduate in 2007, the most recent year with relevant data. Those 25 districts at the top of the dropout scale had a quarter million non-graduates, as many as were counted in the lowest ranked 8,400 districts.

By Jay Mathews  |  June 10, 2010; 1:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (32)
Categories:  Trends  | Tags: 140 year history of drop-outs, 21 districts that have reduced drop-outs, 25 districts that produce one of every five drop-outs, drop-outs, high school graduation rates  
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Look for fun, not facts, on your campus visits

Applying to college is stressful enough without every step in the process requiring a clipboard. The average family visit occurs when we are on vacation, for pity’s sake. Why can’t we treat the day like a pleasant stop at a well-known tourist attraction, full of history and intriguing architecture and maybe even free snacks?

By Jay Mathews  |  June 9, 2010; 10:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Local Living  | Tags: college campus visits, don't bring a clipboard, have fun, save serious fact-finding for April after your student has been accepted  
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Your comment held? We are trying to fix that.

I am very happy with the relationships that have blossomed on this blog, both friendly and contentious, and would never condone killing a comment unless it failed our standards of taste and language.

By Jay Mathews  |  June 9, 2010; 4:26 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (7)
Categories:  Jay on the Web  | Tags: Jay is blameless, Post blog high command is working on it, blog comments wrongly held, please continue to be IMpatient  
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Short book review: How the Air Force educates

Reading the book helps illumine once again one of the great untold stories of American education, how the U.S. military has taught a huge chunk of the nation's youth a great many complicated and valuable things that they would not have learned in any other environment.

By Jay Mathews  |  June 9, 2010; 11:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Jay on the Web  | Tags: Air Force Academy, Diana Jean Schemo, Skies to Conquer  
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Down with celebrity graduation speakers! Up with teachers!

I don't like the competition among colleges and high schools to get big names to speak at grad night. The emphasis is always on how famous the person is. If your high school gets Joe Biden, you are feeling good until your rival high school gets Barack Obama. Is that kind of oneupsmanship in tune with the values we want our children to learn?

By Jay Mathews  |  June 8, 2010; 5:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (11)
Categories:  Jay on the Web  | Tags: Hillary Clinton would be boring, ban celebrity graduation speakers, choose teachers instead, why Jay was fired as a speaker  
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DC and other cities give new teacher breed a proving ground

The new contract in D.C. and related developments in Los Angeles, New York, Boston, Houston and elsewhere give this new bunch of educators an opportunity to prove their creative and aggressive teaching will help inner-city children realize their untapped potential.

By Jay Mathews  |  June 6, 2010; 10:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (57)
Categories:  Metro Monday  | Tags: DC teacher contract, Houston, Michelle A. Rhee, New York, Randi Weingarten, Susan Schaeffler, new breed of teachers will decide city's future, teacher activism in Los Angeles  
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