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Class Struggle: August 29, 2010 - September 4, 2010

How AP and IB mess up college enrollment

Extra credits from AP or International Baccalaureate don't fit easily into the standard college schedule. They force newcomers to compete with second year students for limited space in second year courses. They aggravate the need to take less favored courses just to maintain your full-time status. They waste time and money.

By Jay Mathews  |  September 3, 2010; 5:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (40)
Categories:  Trends  | Tags: AP and IB complicate college scheduling, colleges not used to freshmen arriving with so many AP credit, second year courses not ready for them  
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What your college counselor doesn't know

An insightful new book on the admissions process has convinced me that many hardworking and thoughtful high school counselors have a weak spot that I have overlooked. Both they and I don’t have as deep an understanding of the intricacies of college finance as is needed in this era of huge tuition bills.

By Jay Mathews  |  September 2, 2010; 5:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (9)
Categories:  Local Living  | Tags: Debt-Free U, High school counselors are weak on financing college, Zac Bissonnette book, tendency to favor expensive private colleges  
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Changes in America's worst-college list

The Washington Monthly has posted a corrected list of America's Worst Colleges, based on six-year graduation rates. The new bottom 10 are below, replacing the list I posted last week. The monthly removed from its list three schools -- St....

By Jay Mathews  |  September 1, 2010; 4:50 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  Jay on the Web  
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Irrepressible ed blogger beats me up, again

Jay and the the new generation of reformers doing the same thing as the last generation (when will they become the status quo?) would rather look at test score growth over time, especially when big achievement gap closing claims by your favorite politicians do not materialize.

By Jay Mathews  |  September 1, 2010; 2:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (49)
Categories:  Jay on the Web  | Tags: Horn attacks Mathews view on forgetting about the achievement gap, Jim Horn, Mathews attacks Horn, Schools Matter blog, and reader Ira Socol, for judging schools without visiting them.  
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America's best teacher and the L.A. Times

Once the Los Angeles Times announced it was going to release its analysis of how much value each one of 6,000 L.A. elementary school teachers had added to their classes, based on test scores, I knew I had a good test of the validity of their project. I have spent much time in room 56 at Hobart Boulevard Elementary School in Los Angeles, where fifth grade teacher Rafe Esquith has proved himself to be, in my view, the best classroom teacher in the country, and certainly in his city.

By Jay Mathews  |  August 31, 2010; 12:56 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (43)
Categories:  Jay on the Web  | Tags: Testing L.A. Times teacher assessment project, but Esquith still thinks the Times project has problems, he does, many mediocre teachers at his school get high scores, will America's best teacher Rafe Esquith do well  
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Forget about the achievement gap

The D.C. mayoral race is deeply split on most issues, but everyone agrees on one thing: We must reduce the achievement gap between minority and white students. It is too bad, then, that that the gap is such a mindless measure of school progress.

By Jay Mathews  |  August 29, 2010; 6:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (74)
Categories:  Metro Monday  | Tags: achievement gap, all DC officials say it must be closed, focusing on gains for all, gaps narrow if whites don't improve, numbers show it is a mindless measure  
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