Sarah Butrymowicz
Sarah Butrymowicz is a staff writer. Her work has appeared in The Washington Post and the Los Angeles Times, as well as on and She was the winner of the 2012 New York Press Club’s Nellie Bly Cub Reporter Award. She received a bachelor’s degree from Tufts University and an M.S. from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism. As an undergraduate, she worked as a news editor and managing editor for the Tufts Daily, and she interned at both the Green Bay Press-Gazette in Wisconsin and USA Today.

How many bad teachers are there?

Pittsburgh officials revealed the first official results of a new teacher evaluation system designed to help weed out ineffective teachers Thursday. The verdict? Nearly all the teachers – 96.9 percent – are good at their jobs. The results, praised by the local teachers union and school system alike, follow a pattern emerging around the country: […]

A troubled trial run for new Common Core tests

A trial run of new online tests in Massachusetts has received mixed reviews from the state’s educators. Although some school district officials say they’re confident they’ll be able to handle the shift to computer-based testing if it becomes mandatory in two years, others worry that technical problems on the local level will make the results meaningless.

Q&A with Randi Weingarten: Is Australia’s conservative government doing more about school equity than the Obama administration?

President of the American Federation of Teachers Randi Weingarten has traveled the globe, to places like Argentina, Finland and Singapore, to bring lessons back from foreign education systems to the United States. She spent three days in Australia in April, visiting schools and talking to union officials from across the country. Australia, like the United […]

Can schools find room for Greek tragedy in Common Core?

CONCORD, Mass. — Freshmen in David Nurenberg’s honors English course were spending their Monday morning analyzing the ending to “Oedipus the King.” For an hour, students theorized about why Oedipus would blind himself with his mother’s brooch and debated who, if anyone, was at fault in the famous Greek tragedy. One student dissected the play’s […]

In Singapore, training teachers for the ‘Classroom of the Future’

SINGAPORE — Alarm bells sound. A faint burning smell creeps into the room. The students have failed to curb human consumption enough and climate change has taken its toll in the 4D immersive lab. Welcome to the Classroom of the Future – a mock-up of what learning might look like someday. Singapore’s National Institute of […]

How is Australia beating the U.S. at graduating first-generation, low-income college students?

PARRAMATTA, Australia — Students in polos and plaids streamed into the auditorium at the University of Western Sydney as Lorde’s “Royals” blasted on repeat. While she sang about having “no post code envy,” hundreds of low-income high school seniors and students who would be the first in their families to go to college took their […]

How does one of the top-performing countries in the world think about technology?

SINGAPORE—Forty students in bright yellow shirts hunched over their computers in Singapore’s Crescent Girls School as they raced against their teacher’s digital stopwatch. They had just a few minutes to add their thoughts about a short film on discrimination into a shared Google Doc and browse the opinions of their classmates. When the time was […]

As online courses expand, so do questions about ownership

It took a year for Christopher Nelson to create a course for a new online degree program in philosophy at South Texas College, where he had to squeeze in the job while teaching classes in logic, ethics, and social and political philosophy to students just getting started in the field. A Kierkegaard scholar and published […]

Skip school and lose welfare? The good and bad of Australia’s tough tactics on truancy

What if the punishment for skipping school was a loss in welfare benefits for your family? It’s a strategy that some politicians are considering in the U.S. – plans have been floated in Missouri and put into action in Michigan last year. But in Australia, they’ve already tried it, and the experience is a cautionary […]

Can the U.S. learn from Australia’s high bar for new teachers?

A major ongoing fight in the U.S. is how to make the teaching profession less a clock-in, clock-out job and more like the high-paid, high-demand career of a lawyer or doctor. Unions and teachers argue better pay will elevate the profession. Politicians and advocates want to put more scrutiny on teachers and end tenure, arguing […]

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