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Class Struggle: February 20, 2011 - February 26, 2011

'Pathway to Prosperity' authors educate me

I week ago I pummeled unmercifully a major report by the Harvard Graduate School of Education, "Pathway To Prosperity: Meeting the Challenge of Preparing Young Americans for the 21st Century." I headlined that column "Smart people + big report = dreamy nonsense." I said that in calling for new pathways to give students not wanting college a good high school education, the report ignored the realities of limits on employers' capacity to offer internships and school districts' willingness to totally remake their vocational classes. Now the report authors have a chance to respond.

By Jay Mathews  | February 25, 2011; 5:22 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (18)
Categories:  Trends  | Tags:  Pathways To Prosperity,, Robert B. Schwartz, Ronald Ferguson, can vocational education be fixed?  
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Changing my mind on high school recess

I have been dismissed by many students as an out-of-touch geezer who doesn’t understand how much more is demanded of high school students these days. Having read their many e-mails, I think they have a point.

By Jay Mathews  | February 23, 2011; 10:49 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (16)
Categories:  Local Living  | Tags:  Becky Lyon, Cole Gould, Ed Linz, Joanna Lewton, Julia Staron, Martha Somers, Spartan Times, Traci Barela, West Springfield High School, high school recess  
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The dangers of expelling kids in trouble

My colleague Donna St. George wrote a deep and moving piece for Sunday's paper about a good high school student who got into a little trouble, was not allowed back in his own school, had an emotional crisis and committed suicide. I don't blame the suicide on the Fairfax County school system. I think efforts to blame suicides on anyone are usually a waste of time, since the person who knows the real reason can't tell us what it was. But St. George's piece does raise an issue about high school discipline that I think has much wider application.

By Jay Mathews  | February 23, 2011; 11:45 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (22)
Categories:  Jay on the Web  | Tags:  Fairfax County schools, Montgomery County schools, Nick Stuban, Wayne Whigham, forced transfers, student commits suicides after being told he cannot return to his high school  
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Why my great fellow blogger Strauss is wrong on D.C. vouchers

One of the many reasons I appreciate my colleague Valerie Strauss' The Answer Sheet blog, with excerpts each Monday in our Metro section, is that her work contrasts so nicely with mine. Anyone who checks out both blogs, or compares her views to mine on the Monday page, understands why so many astoundingly brilliant people like Strauss and me can still vehemently disagree about how to fix our schools.

By Jay Mathews  | February 21, 2011; 10:24 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (18)
Categories:  Jay on the Web  | Tags:  Congress forced D.C. to accept charter schools, Congress interfering with D.C. schools, D.C. school voucher program, Valerie Strass, a good thing  
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A state test teachers want to save

I don’t necessarily accept the view that people who say they speak for teachers actually do. But they often have a good sense of faculty room opinion, including the fact that many teachers don’t like the state tests that have been imposed on them and their students. So what should I make of the e-mails that have been coming in from teachers all over Maryland begging that the state NOT carry out its plan to cancel the annual High School Assessment test in government?

By Jay Mathews  | February 20, 2011; 8:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (15)
Categories:  Metro Monday  | Tags:  Glenn Beck, Jon Stewart, Maryland state High School Assessment government test, government teachers want to keep government test, let's raise money to save test, test canceled to save money  
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