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Class Struggle: June 27, 2010 - July 3, 2010

Schools with many AP tests but lousy scores

We education watchers are gradually waking up to the fact that a very small but growing number of educators are using Advanced Placement, originally designed for only the best high schools, as a shock treatment to improve instruction at some of our worst high schools.

By Jay Mathews  |  July 1, 2010; 9:30 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (27)
Categories:  Trends  | Tags: AP schools with bad passing rates, Catching Up lists, Challenge Index, using AP as a shock treatment for low-performing students  
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How NOT to write a college application essay

Let’s dispense quickly with the basics of writing how not to write a college application essay. The first rule is, do not dwell on your good grades, top scores, club presidencies and other triumphs. The essay is supposed to reveal something the college admissions people have not already learned from the rest of your application. If all you do in your essay is talk about what a star you are, you will be rejected, because no one wants to inflict such a bore on an unsuspecting freshman-year roommate.

By Jay Mathews  |  June 30, 2010; 10:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (21)
Categories:  Local Living  | Tags: be self-deprecating, don't dwell on your strengths, how not to write a college essay  
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If more D.C. testing is bad, why are Va., Md. schools so popular?

I have only one question for those who think Rhee heading down the wrong path adding more tests to D.C. high schools: Newcomers to the Washington area, if they have school age children, generally look to Fairfax and Montgomery counties for public schools, not D.C. Fairfax and Montgomery Counties, as well as Virginia and Maryland schools in general, have many more required tests in core subjects for high schoolers than D.C. schools do. What gives?

By Jay Mathews  |  June 29, 2010; 1:48 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (51)
Categories:  Jay on the Web  | Tags: Rhee plans more tests, Va. and Md. schools are very popular. what gives?, readers criticize her plans, she is adding more high school core subject tests like Va. and Md. have  
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Charters beat regular schools in summer learning

Nona Mitchell Richardson, spokeswoman for the D.C. Public Charter School Board, said an estimated 9,900 of 28,000 charter students in the city are expected to be in summer school this year, or 35 percent. Among students of regular D.C. public schools, 21 percent (9,429 out of 45,000 students) are enrolling this summer.

By Jay Mathews  |  June 27, 2010; 10:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (11)
Categories:  Metro Monday  | Tags: charter school kids get more summer school than regular school kids in DC, make it part of the full year plan, requiring summer school for all, summer learning loss  
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