Valerie Strauss

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

Articles by this author

In July, Arne Duncan, the Obama administration education secretary, visited Parkland, Fla., to pitch parents on his idea for a national school boycott designed to force Congress to take action on gun legislation. (Tonya Alanez/South Florida Sun-Sentinel/AP) Views
Monday, August 13, 2018
Arne Duncan Never Learns
Arne Duncan never seems to learn. Duncan, who served as President Barack Obama’s education secretary for seven years and was more powerful than any of his predecessors, is hitting the interview and lecture circuit to promote his new book, “ How Schools Work: An Inside Account of Failure and Success...
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Pianta and Ansari note in the study that previous research on the impact of school voucher programs “cast doubt on any clear conclusion that private schools are superior in producing student performance.”(Photo: iStock) Views
Monday, July 30, 2018
No, Private Schools Aren’t Better at Educating Kids Than Public Schools. Why This New Study Matters
Despite evidence showing otherwise, it remains conventional wisdom in many parts of the education world that private schools do a better job of educating students, with superior standardized test scores and outcomes. It is one of the claims that some supporters of school choice make in arguing that...
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The superintendent of a Florida school district, who asked not to be named, said in an interview that DeVos said privately during a visit to the state this year that DACA would remain in place. Views
Wednesday, September 06, 2017
Remember When Betsy DeVos Said ‘Dreamers’ Shouldn’t Worry About The Trump Administration?
There’s been a lot of reaction from within the world of education to the Trump administration’s decision to end the federal program that allows younger undocumented immigrants, known as “dreamers,” to live in the United States without fear of being deported — and just about all of it has been...
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Sunday, July 23, 2017
Florida’s Education System—the one Betsy DeVos Cites as a Model—Is in Chaos
The K-12 education system in Florida — the one that Education Secretary Betsy DeVos likes to praise as a model for the nation — is in chaos. Traditional public school districts are trying to absorb the loss of millions of dollars for the new school year that starts within weeks. That money, which...
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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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