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Class Struggle: February 27, 2011 - March 5, 2011

Randi Weingarten scolds KIPP

Yesterday afternoon I got a call from Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers. She was responding to my request for her union's view of the charge that union rules might force KIPP to close its high-performing schools in Baltimore. Weingarten was not happy. She unloaded the harshest assessment of KIPP, the nation's best-known charter school network, and its dealings with her and her union I have ever heard from her.

By Jay Mathews  | March 4, 2011; 5:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (69)
Categories:  Trends  | Tags:  Baltimore Teachers Union, Baltimore schools, KIPP, KIPP Ujima Village, KIPP threatens to close its Baltimore schools, Randi Weingarten  
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Private school rejection? Don't panic.

I write mostly about public schools, but private schools have their own methods and rituals that affect many families. At this time of year, for instance, parents looking for a good private school often find themselves in trouble. They have applied to a school they had their heart set on. They have been rejected. Actually, it is their child who has been turned down, but you know what I mean.

By Jay Mathews  | March 2, 2011; 8:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (25)
Categories:  Local Living  | Tags:  Liz Perelstein, Charlotte Nelsen, Frances Turner, Georgia K. Irvin, Jean Baldwin, Private school rejection, Rich Weinfeld, educational consultants say there are many late options, private schools admissions direction never says  
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College prep credential scam

Jerry Heverly, a high school English teacher in the San Francisco Bay area, posted a comment last week that resonated with me and other readers. He suggested that the money his school and others pour getting more kids ready for college is a waste, and maybe also a money-making stunt.

By Jay Mathews  | March 1, 2011; 5:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (25)
Categories:  Jay on the Web  | Tags:  40 percent college drop-out rate, Jerry Heverly, college prep classes, students right to leave college  
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America's best high school soft on math?

By all accounts, he is one of the best math teachers in the country. The Mathematics Association of America has given him two national awards. He was appointed by the Bush administration to the National Mathematics Advisory Panel. For 25 years he has prepared middle-schoolers for the tough admissions standards at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, the most selective high school in America. Yet this year, when Vern Williams looked at the Jefferson application, he felt not the usual urge to get his kids in, but a dull depression.

By Jay Mathews  | February 27, 2011; 8:23 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (11)
Categories:  Metro Monday  | Tags:  Junior USA Math Olympiad, STEM, Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, Vern Williams, great math students being rejected  
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