Education

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Category archives for Education

Tierney asks: Science or Garbage

A teacher in West Virginia rallied her students to fight to keep the right to recycle — presumably for the civic (and eco) learning experience. John Tierney argues she’s missing a better teaching opportunity: If we want our children to be scientifically literate and get good jobs in the future, why are we spending precious…

From The Great Beyond Far East top in science subjects Researchers in the US have released the latest figures comparing the maths and science abilities of 4th- and 8th-grade students in countries across the globe. Far Eastern countries dominate the top tens, with Singapore top for science in both 4th and 8th grade. In maths,…

Gladwell on spotting great teachers

Malcolm Gladwell on how to spot great teachers (and why we should want to): Eric Hanushek, an economist at Stanford, estimates that the students of a very bad teacher will learn, on average, half a year%u2019s worth of material in one school year. The students in the class of a very good teacher will learn…

Old School

At the New Republic, Seward Darby worries that Obama’s choice for the head of his transition’s education-policy team means he’s not serious about shaking up the educational system: In November, Barack Obama bewildered education reformers by tapping Linda Darling-Hammond, a Stanford professor who had advised his campaign, to oversee the transition’s education policy team. Their…

The Lightning Rod Makes Time

Last month I drew notice to an Atlantic story about (and an interview with) Michelle Rhee, the Washington, D.C., school chancellor who is aggressively pressing reforms in that district, most notably an effort to replace tenured teacher tracks with a system emphasizing higher salaries but more accountability and merit pay. She’s been controversial, to say…

Michelle Rhee interview

Earlier today I posted about Paul Tough’s Clay Risen’s* Atlantic profile of Michelle Rhee, the controversial Washington DC school chancellor. I forgot to mention that there is also an interview of Rhee on the Atlantic website. *correcttion made 11/09/08

Michelle Rhee photo by David Deal, from Atlantic Monthly To my surprise, one of the most-read posts on this mostly-science blog is “Are Teachers Profesionals of Public-Service Workers?“, which looked at a NY Times Magazine piece on school reforms by Paul Tough. Tough now has Now there is a piece by Clay Risen* in the…

This week’s Science is particularly rich in stories, it seems. These stories require a paid subscription, alas — but the write-ups here, in Science’s weekly mailing, make pretty good reading on their own for those without a subscription. My favorites: From the Minds of Babes I became fascinated with baby cognition when I did a…

I’ve often wondered why there wasn’t more focused discussion on a great paradox in the way public-school teacher contracts are structured in this country. On one hand teachers seek to be considered as professionals; on the other, they seek (and generally get) union contracts that structure their employment like that of trade unions or cops.…