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Class Struggle: November 21, 2010 - November 27, 2010

Is it harder for affluent schools to have good character?

Reading Samuel Casey Carter's new book, "On Purpose," I wondered about the friction that may result from focusing on character in schools: How can we create more single-minded schools like these in a democratic society if some teachers and students wish to express contrary thoughts and feelings? Is raising the standards for student and teacher behavior harder or easier on more affluent campuses?

By Jay Mathews  | November 24, 2010; 5:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (24)
Categories:  Trends  | Tags:  Samuel Casey Carter, character education, creating schools of good character, do affluent schools have a harder task?, do such schools encounter dissent, good character produces good students  
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Let schools be creative with motivation

Two demographically similar and academically impressive local high schools — Northwood in Montgomery County and West Potomac in Fairfax County — have been debating grades. Both schools have been accused of letting too many students pass their courses without learning the material. This is in line with what millions of Americans say about schools in general. But they disagree over whom to blame. Unmotivated students? Lazy teachers? Cowardly administrators? Short-sighted parents? I wonder if there isn’t a way for all of these people to resolve the dispute by offering school choices that would approach grading and teaching in different ways

By Jay Mathews  | November 21, 2010; 8:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (12)
Categories:  Metro Monday  | Tags:  Northwood High School, West Potomac High School, educators have creative solutions, grading systems, motivating students, readers say schools and teachers should get tough, schools accused of passing students who don't master the material, why not give families the choice of some school with radical solutions  
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