Education

Education

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    Will: How a Tight Budget Can Improve Education

    Funding for grades K through 12 comes in large measure from property taxes, and the housing crash depressed property valuations. But budget problems confronting municipalities can, Duncan thinks, have benefits because “when you’re flush, you keep doing the same things.”
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    When School Reformers and Union Leaders Unite

    In Hillsborough County, home of Tampa and St. Petersburg, the president of the teachers’ union is not the avowed enemy of reform. In fact, she’s a member of the leadership team.
  • Alter: Education Is Top Priority for Gates

    There’s a backlash against the rich taking on school reform as a cause. Some liberals figure they must have an angle and are scapegoating teachers. But most of the wealthy people underwriting this long-delayed social movement for better performance are on the right track.
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    Is the Cost of College a Bargain?

    For more than two decades, as the cost of college has climbed at twice the rate of inflation, critics have argued that bloated bureaucracies, overpaid faculty, and unnecessary amenities are inflating tuition.
  • A Push to Bring Bible Studies to All 50 States

    The average American can’t answer basic questions about world religion, according to a recent Pew Research Center survey, which prompted renewed calls for religious study in public schools. In many states, however, that education already exists. The overall numbers are still small, with about 10 percent of schools featuring academic courses in religion, usually focused on the Bible. But the last five years have seen the first major expansion in decades. More than 40 states have districts that teach academic Bible study; five of them have passed laws to encourage it, offering, in some cases, curricula guidelines or public funds.
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    What's Michelle Rhee's Next Mission?

    What’s next for Michelle Rhee? The combative Washington, D.C., schools chancellor resigned last week following September’s primary defeat of her boss, Mayor Adrian Fenty. “Not being in this role is heartbreaking,” she said. But, she tells NEWSWEEK, “everyone in the city needs to embrace reform, and that couldn’t happen while I am in the picture.” This does not mean, however, that she’s done working on the issue.
  • Education Reform and Accountability in Florida

    It’s the watchword of the Obama administration’s multibillion-dollar push for education reform. But “accountability,” the practice of tracking school performance, isn’t always a force for good. It has been linked to a host of unsavory behaviors, including cheating on official exams and suspending poor students on test day. Now, according to a new study published by the National Bureau of Economic Research, there’s an additional concern: teachers quitting.
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    New Orleans Accused of Failing Disabled Students

    A legal complaint alleges that New Orleans's charter schools discriminate against children with disabilities. What good is the charter revolution if it doesn't reach the students who are most in need?
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    Obama Calls for a Longer School Year

    American schoolkids attend school for fewer days than children in other educationally advanced countries, a situation President Obama said Monday needs to change. "I think we should have a longer school year," Obama said in response to a question from the "Today" show's Matt Lauer during a White House interview that kicked off the network's weeklong "Education Nation" focus on American schools.
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    Why Arne Duncan Wants Michelle Rhee to Stay

    U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan said Wednesday that he is actively reaching out to D.C. Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee and presumptive mayor Vincent Gray in an attempt to work out a deal to keep Rhee in her job.
  • How Students Can Build Credit in the Card Act Era

    Like tuition, college credit-card debt is on the rise. Half of college students have four or more cards, according to a 2009 Sallie Mae survey, and only 17 percent report regularly paying off their balance. As the school year begins, parts of 2009’s credit-card reform bill will finally begin to protect the young from their own spending habits. For starters, students will no longer see card issuers offering giveaways on campus. And for the first time, they won’t be able to sign up for a credit card if they’re younger than 21 unless they can find a cosigner or prove a source of income.
  • Women Earn More Doctorates Than Men

    A new enrollment study confirms that American women are now earning more doctoral degrees than men. But at the same time, a survey of women competing for tenure-track positions finds that many describe their workplaces as far from family-friendly.
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    Why School ‘Reform’ Fails

    What state education proposals really show is that few subjects inspire more intellectual dishonesty and political puffery than “school reform.”
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    Results in National School-Reform Contest Spark Complaints

    While celebrations occurred in Massachusetts, New York, Hawaii, Florida, Rhode Island, the District of Columbia, Maryland, Georgia, North Carolina, and Ohio after the 10 were named winners of round two of the administration’s national education-reform competition, controversy was mounting over some of the more surprising winners and losers.
  • Best and Worst Cities for School Reform

    If you think about the cities best known for education reform, a few always come to mind: New Orleans, New York, Philadelphia, Milwaukee, Washington, D.C. But sometimes reputations outlast reality, and stars in the making don’t get the recognition they deserve.
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    L.A. Times Ranks City Teachers by Effectiveness

    Do parents have the right to know which of their kids' teachers are the most and least effective? That's the controversy roaring in California this week with the publication of a Los Angeles Times investigative series.
  • Senate Saves Race to the Top Education Program

    In a surprise move, the U.S. Senate did something good Wednesday—it moved to prevent more than 100,000 teachers from being laid off this fall and restored funds for President Obama’s signature Race to the Top education program.
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    Schools Start Financial-Literacy Requirements

    The financial-reform bill signed into law last week includes a section on dangerous mortgages, with a provision for educating the elderly, the poor, minorities, those with language barriers, and “other potentially vulnerable consumers.” Who’s not mentioned but should be? The young. Among unemployed Americans ages 18 to 29, more than a quarter are behind on mortgage payments, one 2009 study found, and this group also has soaring credit-card debt and bankruptcy rates.
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    Should Seniority Count in Teacher Layoffs?

    Education reformers were feeling optimistic. With President Obama’s Race to the Top competition, which offers financial rewards to states willing to hold teachers accountable for their students’ performance, they’ve made real progress in weeding out poor teachers.
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    The Creativity Crisis

    Back in 1958, Ted Schwarzrock was an 8-year-old third grader when he became one of the “Torrance kids,” a group of nearly 400 Minneapolis children who completed a series of creativity tasks newly designed by professor E. Paul Torrance. Schwarzrock still vividly remembers the moment when a psychologist handed him a fire truck and asked, “How could you improve this toy to make it better and more fun to play with?”
  • Teachers' Union Anger Mounts for an Administration It Helped to Elect

    The theme of this year’s national teachers' union conventions was anger, particularly at President Obama, Education Secretary Arne Duncan, and reformers in general. But American Federation of Teachers president Randi Weingarten’s decision to emphasize collaboration rather than opposition to reform efforts could well boost her national image as the union leader the administration can work with.
  • The Boom in Online Courses

    Last month on the Daily Show, Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty predicted the rise of “iCollege,” a Web-based model of higher education that students could download for $199 rather than “haul their keister” to class. Many academics snarled back (“pedagogical dystopia,” one Cornell professor called it), since the idea seems to minimize the role of live student-teacher exchanges. But Pawlenty’s vision already has some lofty adherents. Pennsylvania’s university system is considering making its language courses online only; Indiana recently added an “affordable” Web-based campus; and Yale Law School is sharing resources with the University of the People, a pioneering “global college” that’s tuition-free and totally online.
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    Can Legislation Fix the U.S. Science Gender Gap?

    In 1972, when Mae Jemison was just 16 years old, she arrived at Stanford University, where she intended to pursue a degree in engineering. But it wasn’t long after arriving in Palo Alto that she learned that the university’s science departments weren’t nearly as enthusiastic about her as she was about them.
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    The New Segregation Debate

    Single-sex classes have increased by 4,000 percent in less than a decade. Can educating girls and boys separately fix our public schools, or does it reinforce outmoded gender stereotypes?
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    Kirk Accused of Exaggerating His Teaching Record

    Mark Kirk, the Republican contender for Barack Obama's former Illinois Senate seat, had previously misrepresented his military service in the course of campaigning. Now his oft-recalled time as a teacher is being questioned too.