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August 22, 2014

Posts in "Education"

February 25, 2014

Make Schools Like the Olympics | Pennsylvania Avenue

The Winter Olympics prove again (as if proof were needed) that competition makes athletes strive to go faster, jump higher and become more agile.

Competition also produces better cars, better cellphones and better food.

So, why not apply competition to education? Full story

November 20, 2013

Arne Duncan Was Right About U.S. Schools | Kondracke

OK. So Education Secretary Arne Duncan could have said it better, but fundamentally he was right: Parents are getting awakened to how inferior even “good” American schools are, and they don’t like it.

Speaking  to state school superintendents in Richmond last week, Duncan said that some opposition to adoption of the Common Core education standards is coming from “white suburban moms who — all of a sudden — [find] their child isn’t as brilliant as they thought they were …”

His comments lit a firestorm of criticism on Twitter and the blogosphere, with critics accusing him of sexism and racism, and he had to publicly admit “clumsy phrasing.”

If he was clumsy, it was in knocking the kids. On the rest of what he said, he was dead right. Full story

September 6, 2013

Don’t Blame Obama for GOP’s Lack of Remedies for Working Poor

Even though the unemployment rate dropped 0.1 percent in August, the job growth number — 169,000 — was anemic. So many people have given up looking for work that the true unemployment rate is 17.7 percent. The economy is still 1.9 million jobs short of its peak before the 2008 recession. This has been the slowest job-market recovery since World War II.

So, who’s to blame and what’s to be done?

In a provocative Wednesday column in The Wall Street Journal, editorial writer Stephen Moore points out that the groups losing the most during the so-called recovery — young voters, single women, blacks, Hispanics and people with a high school or less education — are the very groups that voted most strongly for Barack Obama in 2012. Full story

May 15, 2013

Online Learning Ideas Get Needed Boost From State Educators

As I alluded to in the previous post on the Education Innovation Summit in Scottsdale, Ariz., a number of digital technology programs today give kids and teachers a leg up on learning. They can provide instant feedback on what pupils are learning, customize content to a student’s achievement level, teach English as a second language in novel ways and help kids keep up with assignments.

Coursera, the university-based distant-learning system, has just announced it’s going to help K-12 schools, too.

There were hundreds of new digital ideas on display at the summit. Also, charter-school operators offering competition to public school systems — which can make them better if they will rise to meet the challenge. There’s even now a New Schools Venture Fund providing money for startup charters in poverty areas.

Full story

May 8, 2013

Digital Learning Offers U.S. a Path Out of Its 19th-Century Mold

In the 30th anniversary year of the landmark report on U.S. education failure, “A Nation at Risk,” I really think there’s hope — at long, long last — for a turnaround.

The hope lies in digital learning, in new schools that challenge the old kind and in the adoption by 45 states of a “core curriculum” whereby kids across the country will be taught what they need to succeed in the 21st century. Full story

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