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Updated: 1 hour 33 min ago

Strauss: The difference between ‘complex’ and ‘complicated’ — and why it matters in school reform

Fri, 08/08/2014 - 2:31pm

“Complex” isn’t the same thing as “complicated” — and the difference matters.  In this post, Stanford University’s Larry Cuban explains why in the context of school reform. Cuban was a high school social studies teacher for 14 years, a district superintendent (seven years in Arlington, VA), and professor emeritus of education at Stanford University, where he has taught for more than 20 years. His latest book is “Inside the Black Box of Classroom Practice: Change without Reform in American Education.” This appeared on Cuban’s on School Reform and Classroom Practice blog, which just turned 5 years old.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: ‘Nothing But Tears’ baby shampoo (because ‘it’s never too early’ to toughen up kids for school)

Fri, 08/08/2014 - 2:25am

From the hilarious (and satirical) newspaper The Onion, a story with this headline: Johnson & Johnson Introduces ‘Nothing But Tears’ Shampoo to Toughen up Newborns.

This tweet from the satirical newspaper says it all:

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Categories: Education News

Loudoun Valley football parents fight for helmet sensors, but administrators decline

Thu, 08/07/2014 - 5:36pm

Amid widespread debate about head trauma and the safety of playing football, parents of the athletes at Loudoun Valley High School in Purcellville, Va., were thrilled when a Bethesda, Md., company offered to place impact sensors on team helmets. A light would turn on when a helmet took a big hit, an indicator that trainers should check for a concussion.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: Ten ways to fix the mess that is kindergarten

Thu, 08/07/2014 - 12:05pm

I’ve posted a number of pieces recently about how kindergarten has been changing over the last decade or so. (See here, here, here and here.) Once a time for socialization and learning through play, school reformers have turned it into an academic exercise that, in some classrooms, leaves little or no time for play, recess or even snack for children as young as 5-years-old. Here is a vision of what kindergarten actually should be. It was written by Laurie Levy, founder and executive director of Cherry Preschool in Evanson, Illinois, and a writer on early childhood education. This first appeared on AlterNet.org.

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Categories: Education News

Prince William schools restrain, seclude disabled kids frequently, inquiry finds

Wed, 08/06/2014 - 7:19pm

Federal civil rights officials have found that two Prince William County public schools for students with emotional disabilities frequently restrained, secluded and removed children from classrooms in a “one-size-fits-all” approach to behavior management that took away instructional time and did not account for individual student needs.

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Categories: Education News

Proposal to quash dissent on University of Virginia’s governing board is abandoned

Wed, 08/06/2014 - 4:46pm

A proposal meant to silence dissenters on the governing board of Virginia’s flagship public university was officially scuttled Wednesday, days after state lawmakers raised an outcry.

The initial version of a “statement of expectations” for the University of Virginia’s Board of Visitors had stated that board members should not speak out publicly on board decisions — “whether past, present or imminent” — without permission from the board’s leader. The proposal drew sharp criticism after it surfaced publicly last week.

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Categories: Education News

Prince George’s County to host Back to School fair

Wed, 08/06/2014 - 2:31pm

The Prince George’s County Public School System is expecting thousands of families on Saturday to attend its annual Back to School fair at the Showplace Arena, an opportunity for students to register for classes, purchase uniforms and even get required immunizations.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: A lesson from South Korea: Student resistance to high-stakes testing

Wed, 08/06/2014 - 4:02am

Education Secretary Arne Duncan has said repeatedly that the United States isn’t as serious about educating its young people as the South Koreans. It’s just one of the many things he has said in comparing the U.S. public education system with that of other countries. But is South Korea really the country we should be emulating when it comes to schools? Kathy Schultz, a professor and dean of the School of Education at Mills College in Oakland,  is the author of  “Rethinking Classroom Participation: Listening to Silent Voices.” Young Whan Choi and Kathy Schultz answer that question in the following post. Young Whan Choi has taught in public schools in New York City, Providence, RI, and Oakland, CA, and has consulted on work-based learning and advisory models with schools in the United States and South Korea.  He has led the development of a national online Ethnic Studies curriculum.   Currently, as the Civic Engagement Coordinator in Oakland Unified School District, he is directing an initiative to ensure that all high schools students graduate with the knowledge, skills, and habits to be active members of their community.

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Categories: Education News

Shining Stars finds new home in time for school year

Tue, 08/05/2014 - 5:57pm

An earlier version of this story said that the Shining Stars Montessori Academy would be the first charter school to open in Ward 3. Washington Latin Public Charter School opened in Ward 3 and later moved. This version has been corrected.

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Categories: Education News

Virginia college presidents skeptical of Obama plan to rate colleges

Tue, 08/05/2014 - 5:45pm

Fifty higher-education leaders from Virginia are voicing skepticism about an Obama administration plan to rate colleges on measures of access and value and link those ratings to federal aid.

Presidents of schools ranging from the public University of Virginia to the private Liberty University put their names on an unusual joint letter sent July 22 to the state’s congressional delegation as well as to Education Secretary Arne Duncan and Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D).

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Categories: Education News

Bowie student selected to serve on national board promoting healthy habits among kids

Tue, 08/05/2014 - 1:23pm

Jodi Evans is a national advocate for children.

And she’s just a child herself.

Jodi, 11, a sixth-grader at Robert Goddard French Immersion School in Prince George’s County, was recently selected to serve as a youth ambassador on the Alliance for a Healthier Generation’s youth advisory board. It will be her third year serving on the board.

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Categories: Education News

Montgomery task force on cyber civility extends its work into the fall

Tue, 08/05/2014 - 11:53am

A Montgomery County schools task force looking into how to boost online civility will extend its work into the fall, continuing to meet through late October, the group decided.

The task force was announced last December after Superintendent Joshua P. Starr was zinged with offensive tweets as he and other district officials weighed whether to close schools for snow and icy weather. Some tweets included cursing or racial epithets.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: Michelle Rhee has a new position

Tue, 08/05/2014 - 10:02am

Michelle Rhee just got a new position.

According to the Sacramento Bee she was just named interim board chairwoman of St. Hope Schools, a small group of Sacramento charter schools. The new position gives “Rhee a powerful new role in the charter school system founded by her husband, Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson.” But she isn’t giving up her day job, which is running the advocacy group StudentsFirst.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: School reforms that actually work

Tue, 08/05/2014 - 6:01am

For years now education leaders have been pushing onto school districts school reforms that don’t show any sign of working while giving short shrift to those that have a track record of working. Gary Ravani, a 35-year public school teacher and president of the California Federation of Teachers’ Early Childhood/K-12 Council, explains in this post.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: If this isn’t school reform failure, what is?

Tue, 08/05/2014 - 4:02am

School reformers have made student standardized test scores the most important measure of how public schools are doing, so it seems only fair to measure their performance by their own definition of success. The newly released 2014 high-stakes test scores tells us that D.C. Public Schools doesn’t have a great deal to show for its reforms since Michelle Rhee became chancellor in 2007 and her deputy, Kaya Henderson, succeeded her in 2010.

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Categories: Education News

College application cycle for 2015 begins

Mon, 08/04/2014 - 1:50pm

In these lazy days of early August, many rising high school seniors no doubt relish a few more carefree weeks before classes resume. But some are now plunging deep into their college applications.

Indeed, a few have already filed.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: It’s innovative, but is it really better?

Mon, 08/04/2014 - 4:01am

The word “innovative” is invoked a lot to describe school reform policies that are alleged to be improvements over what existed before. But is innovative inherently better? Arthur H. Camins answers the question in the following post. Camins is the director of the Center for Innovation in Engineering and Science Education at the Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, N.J. The ideas expressed in this article are his alone and do not represent Stevens Institute. His other writing can be found at www.arthurcamins.com.

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Categories: Education News

D.C. charter school educates parents alongside children

Sun, 08/03/2014 - 8:18pm

The images in the book were bright and the words simple, but many of the women in the classroom hesitated as they sounded out each sentence.

“If you can’t read the words, can you talk about the pictures?” teacher Elizabeth Bergner coached. The goal for the women enrolled in Bergner’s adult-education class in the District is to learn English, but an equally important target is to help their children learn to read.

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Categories: Education News

Why college kids aren’t timid or lost

Sun, 08/03/2014 - 5:23pm

Author and former Yale faculty member William Deresiewicz has created a sensation with his attack on the Ivy League, published in the New Republic.

He is right to question our misplaced respect for elite colleges. He also wisely wonders why such institutions can’t welcome more students from low-income homes.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: Fact-checking Campbell Brown: What she said, what research really shows

Sun, 08/03/2014 - 10:31am

Former CNN correspondent Campbell Brown appeared on The Colbert Report last week in her role as head of the new Partnership for Educational Justice, an advocacy organization that is supporting seven parents in a lawsuit against New York State’s teacher tenure laws. (Supporting may be underestimating what the group is doing, given that she called the parents “our plaintiffs.”)  Colbert asked her some good questions but her answers were, well, questionable. In the following post, Alyssa Hadley Dunn,  a former high school English teacher who is now an assistant professor of teacher education at Michigan State University, fact-checks Brown’s answers. Dunn researches urban schools, educational policy, and social justice.

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Categories: Education News
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