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Debunking one myth about U.S. teachers

Back in 2010, McKinsey & Company issued a report that made a powerful argument: the world’s top performing school systems draw teachers from the best and brightest in…

The push for standards is seeping into arts education

Advocates for arts education are in the midst of a counter offensive. Arguing that post-recession budget cuts and Bush-era testing policies have prompted schools to cut art (in order to…

Summer school seems to work better for math than for reading

Back in 2007 a team of Johns Hopkins researchers found that low-income children tended to improve in reading just as much as their wealthier peers did during the…

California study finds harm for some in repeating algebra, questions whether it benefits anyone

AP Photo One of the most often repeated courses in U.S. high schools is algebra. Teachers and school leaders understandably worry whether a student who can’t solve…

Should students discover their own math lessons?

Example of a student-centered homework problem from the November 2014 AIR study. Student-centered instruction is difficult jargon for lay people like myself to get their heads around,…

Three lessons from data on children’s reading habits

More than a decade ago a company called Renaissance Learning developed a computerized way for teachers to track students’ reading outside of the classroom. Instead of pasting stars on a…

The sorry state of vocational training

Source: OECD Skills Beyond School Synthesis Report Nov 2014. Click on the chart to see a larger version. I had long been under the impression that the…

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Absenteeism: another way to measure school poverty

Map of New York City, showing neighborhoods with the highest rate of chronic absenteeism in the elementary schools. South Bronx and Central Brooklyn are shaded dark red. Center…

More than 6,000 charter schools now operate in the United States

The number of charter schools surpassed 6,000 at the start of the 2012-13 school year, as these schools — publicly financed, but privately run — steadily increased by 7 percent…

Three lessons from the science of how to teach writing

What’s the best way to teach writing? The experts have many answers — and they often contradict each other. In contrast to the thousands of studies on effective…

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