Valerie Strauss

Valerie Strauss writes the Answer Sheet blog for the Washington Post.

Articles by this author

Tuesday, February 02, 2016
How Do States Support Their Public Schools? Badly, A New 50-state Report Card Shows.
How do the 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia support their public schools? Badly, according to a new report card (see in full below) which evaluates their performance on six key criteria and finds all of them wanting. The best overall grade is a C, with most states earning D’s or F’s. The...
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Thursday, October 08, 2015
How a Billionaire is Trying to Control Los Angeles Public Schools
Eli Broad is a housing and insurance tycoon whose California-based Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation has poured hundreds of millions into “transforming” K-12 urban education by training administrators and supporting charter schools, merit pay and other market-based reforms. And now, Broad wants to do...
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Thursday, July 09, 2015
What Should — and Should Not — Be Written Into a New US Education Law
Both the U.S. House and Senate are now — eight years late — debating this week how to rewrite the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, known in its current form as No Child Left Behind. Signed into law in 2002, NCLB was supposed to have been rewritten by Congress in 2007, but sheer negligence...
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Monday, March 30, 2015
Report: Big Education Firms Spend Millions Lobbying for Pro-Testing Policies
The four corporations that dominate the U.S. standardized testing market spend millions of dollars lobbying state and federal officials — as well as sometimes hiring them — to persuade them to favor policies that include mandated student assessments, helping to fuel a nearly $2 billion annual...
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Wednesday, January 14, 2015
What Are These Civil Rights Groups Thinking?
What are all these civil rights and advocacy groups thinking? Nineteen organizations, including the American Civil Liberties Union and the United Negro College Fund, just issued a joint statement (see text and full list of signatories below) about what they would like to see in a newly written No...
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Wednesday, October 15, 2014
How a National Moratorium on Standardized Testing Could Work
In early 2012, Robert Scott, then the commissioner of education in Texas, rocked the world of education reform when he declared that school accountability systems based on high-stakes standardized tests had led to a “perversion” of what a quality education should be and he called “the assessment...
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(Image: bigstock) Views
Tuesday, June 03, 2014
6th Graders Seeking Payment for Taking Common Core Field Tests
Some sixth grade students in Massachusetts who spent hours over several days taking practice versions of newly developed Common Core tests decided that they should be paid for their work and are seeking payment for serving as “guinea pigs.” The Ipswich Chronicle reported in this story about what...
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Arne Duncan and President Obama. (Yuri Gripas/Reuters) Views
Tuesday, May 27, 2014
Rating Colleges Is ‘Like Rating a Blender,’ says Education Department Official
This is what Jamienne Studley, a deputy under secretary at the Education Department, told a group of college presidents who were meeting to talk about President’s Obama’s plan to rate colleges with the apparent aim of driving out of business schools that don’t meet the administration’s definition...
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Karen Lewis, president of the Chicago Teachers Union, addresses a crowd in 2012 in Chicago. (Photo: Charles Rex Arbogast/AP) Views
Sunday, May 11, 2014
Chicago Teachers Union Passes Resolution Opposing Common Core
The Chicago Teachers’ Union House of Delegates has passed a resolution opposing use of the Common Core State Standards in teaching and testing, and it plans to lobby the Illinois Board of Education to reverse approval of the Core and ask its parent union, the American Federation of Teachers, to...
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The Supreme Court (Karen Bleier/AFP/Getty Images) Views
Wednesday, April 23, 2014
A New Setback for Racial Justice in College Admissions
By upholding Michigan’s ban on the use of racial preferences in college and university admissions, the U.S. Supreme Court Tuesday dealt a new blow to racial justice. Technically the court ruled that Michigan’s Proposal 2, a 2006 ballot initiative that led to a state constitutional ban on race-...
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