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Class Struggle: September 26, 2010 - October 2, 2010

Ed school professors resist teaching practical skills

Amid the chatter about the Obama administration's Race to the Top funds, NBC's Education Nation programs and the release of the film "Waiting For 'Superman'" (warning: I am in it), I am not hearing much about how education schools fit into this new saving our schools ferment. A new survey of education school professors reveals traditional teacher training institute are trying, sort of, to adjust, but still resist giving top priority to hottest topic among young teachers, learning how to manage the kids.

By Jay Mathews  | October 1, 2010; 9:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (64)
Categories:  Trends  | Tags:  Education school professors resist teaching classroom skills, Thomas B. Fordham Foundation, but 63 percent like Teach For America, only 24 percent emphasize helping teachers work with new state standards and tests  
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American schools lax on cheating

Some students want their schools to do something about cheating. In the mid-1990s, I served on a citizen-teacher-student governance committee at Scarsdale High School in Westchester County, N.Y. When our chairman asked whether anyone had any personal complaints about the school, our two student members raised a topic we had never addressed: cheating. Non-cheating students, they said, felt abused by lax enforcement.

By Jay Mathews  | September 29, 2010; 8:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (36)
Categories:  Local Living  | Tags:  Christopher L. Doyle, Education Week, cheating gotten worse since the 1960s, student blame teachers for being lax, student cheating  
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Teacher/blogger critiques highly ranked school

A teacher who recently worked at one of my favorite D.C. schools, Columbia Heights Education Campus High School, James Boutin, sent me a detailed critique. He said CHEC did not deserve its high rank or my praise. I invited him to state his case here, and promised to get the school's response.

By Jay Mathews  | September 29, 2010; 5:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (55)
Categories:  Jay on the Web  | Tags:  Criticism of highly ranked Columbia Heights Education Campus High School, DCPS responds with detailed exposure of factual errors, he blogs on the school, teacher James Boutin sends long critique  
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Signal on D.C. education reform from Gray's camp

On Sunday, the All Opinions Are Local page of washingtonpost.com ran a commentary by former D.C. Council member Kevin P. Chavous. I am rerunning it because I think it has unusual importance as we look toward the future of D.C. schools under Vincent Gray. The piece doesn't indicate ties to Gray. Nor does the identification of Chavous that ran with the piece. But Chavous is close to the presumptive mayor and the commentary provides many clues to what Gray might try to do.

By Jay Mathews  | September 28, 2010; 12:40 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (18)
Categories:  Jay on the Web  | Tags:  Kevin P. Chavous, Vincent Gray, a clue to Gray's education reform plans  
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Obama is wrong about D.C. schools

President Obama told NBC interviewer Matt Lauer, on the video I just watched online that there was not a public school in Washington that matched the education his daughters are getting at Sidwell Friends, a private school. As a former Sidwell parent (I lost a family vote to send our daughter to a public school) and a longtime observer of the D.C. public schools, I think he is wrong.

By Jay Mathews  | September 27, 2010; 12:35 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (78)
Categories:  Jay on the Web  
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High school barred average students from AP

Flowers High School in Prince George's County was one of the few schools in the Washington area refusing to let average students challenge themselves in an Advanced Placement course. Students were told this year that AP English, biology, American history, calculus and most of the other college-level courses at the school were open only to those with at least a 3.0 grade point average. They also had to have written permission from a teacher.

By Jay Mathews  | September 26, 2010; 7:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (25)
Categories:  Metro Monday  | Tags:  3.0 average required, AP denied to average student, Advanced Placement, Charles Hebert Flowers High School, Prince George's County, principal Helena Nobles-Jones, school quickly drops its rule, violation of county policy  
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