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.

Lessons from abroad: If Republicans controlled U.S. education policy? Australia offers a sneak peek

What would happen if conservative ideas for improving education were given free reign in the United States? If Republicans take over the Senate and then the White House, a possibility, Americans might find out in the near future. Australia, similar in many ways to the U.S., provides a glimpse of what a transfer of power […]

Which winning ideas could the U.S. steal from Singapore?

Singapore has one of the best education systems in the world, according to international assessments. President Barack Obama and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan talk about its performance. United Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten visited in 2012 and her counterpart at the National Education Association, Dennis Van Roekel, has praised its teacher training. And […]

Lessons from Abroad: Singapore’s secrets to training world-class teachers

Singapore has been a hot topic in education circles ever since it began to appear near the top of the pack of international assessments in math and science in the mid-90s. The country has been held up as an example of a place where education is being done right: Singapore’s standards were higher and better […]

With reservations, Massachusetts schools begin to adopt Common Core

Part two of a two-part series on the Common Core standards, focusing on a low-performing school in Boston’s Dorchester neighborhood. (Read the first piece in the series.) This story was co-produced with WGBH. BOSTON  – The metal detector at Dorchester’s Jeremiah Burke High School beeped softly as students passed through it on a cold November morning. […]

For special education students, diplomas, jobs increasingly elusive

HATTIESBURG, Miss. — Four weeks into a medical assistant program at Antonelli College, Nikki Mclendon eagerly took her parents to the college’s student appreciation day. The 20-year-old looked forward to discussing her progress and pre-registering for the next term, but instead received devastating news. School officials told the Mclendons their daughter was ineligible to continue. […]

De Blasio’s challenge: Paying for middle schoolers to stay late … and getting them to show up

When she heard last fall that she would have to stay in school until nearly 5 p.m., sixth grader Jenaba Sow tried to get out of it by telling her mom she had “after school-itis.” Although the new after-school program at P.S. 109 in Flatbush, Brooklyn, was presented as mandatory, Jenaba managed to skip the […]

Some California charter schools are opening for the wrong reasons, experts say

SAN CARLOS, Calif. – In cities across the country, charter schools have become known for anxiety-fueled lotteries, bitter disputes over sharing buildings with traditional schools, and teaching methods that are sometimes unorthodox. But in California, as well as some other states, charter schools have increasingly become associated with something more basic yet elusive: money. In […]

Q&A with Anthony Kim: What will the next phase of blended learning look like?

Blended learning, when students learn both from a teacher and from online programs, has become a popular choice for schools around the country.  In 2009, 3 million k-12 students took and online course, up from 45,000 nine years prior, according to a report by the Clayton Christensen Institute for Disruptive Innovation. In large urban districts […]

Teachers weigh in on how to identify grit

Grit is one of education’s latest buzzwords, encompassing the idea that character traits like perseverance are critical to academic achievement. Now, educators around the country are trying to identify and quantify this intangible quality. In September, Angela Duckworth was awarded a $625,000 MacArthur “genius grant” to continue her work studying grit. In “How Children Succeed,” […]

Making the next generation of educational video games

REDWOOD CITY, Calif.  — The video games that Kyle Brda, a ninth-grader from Redwood City, Calif., plays at home typically involve shooting people. But on a recent day in September, he spent the afternoon at an office building in Silicon Valley, constructing wind and solar power plants in a virtual world that may soon be accessible […]

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