Valerie Strauss

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

Articles by this author

(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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Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel waves during the St. Patrick’s Day parade in Chicago on March 15, 2014. (AP Photo/Paul Beaty) Views
Wednesday, April 09, 2014
Another Study Shows Charters Do No Better Than Public Schools
An examination of every score that Chicago students earned on state-mandated standardized tests last year reveals that charter schools — which Mayor Rahm Emanuel (D) has been promoting — don’t perform any better than traditional public schools. The analysis, conducted by the Chicago Sun-Times and...
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Friday, March 21, 2014
School Reformers Love "Choice" in Education, Except When …
School “reformers” love to promote “choice.” Charters. Vouchers. Tuition tax credits. It’s all about giving parents choices, right? Well, not always. Reformers don’t actually like choice quite so much when:
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Tuesday, March 11, 2014
Teachers Union Cites Common Core in Decision to Cut Gates Funding
The American Federation of Teachers, which has won millions of dollars in grants from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, will no longer accept foundation money for its Innovation Fund. Union members have expressed concern about the poor implementation in many states of the Common Core State Standards, one of the initiatives in which the fund invests.
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Wednesday, January 29, 2014
Obama on Education: Rhetoric vs. Reality
There’s nothing new about President Obama giving speeches in which he talks about school reform in ways that have little to do with reality (see, for example, here and here ), but there was something especially disconnected about the education rhetoric in his 2014 State of the
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Monday, September 23, 2013
It’s Banned Books Week. Read a Banned Book!
It’s Banned Books Week, an annual celebration of the freedom to read, sponsored by the American Library Association. Every year, libraries and bookstores around the country use the week to highlight censorship by displaying books that are challenged and/or banned, and hosting events about the issue.
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Friday, August 23, 2013
‘Perfect Storm’ Threatens Philadelphia Schools
The Philadelphia public school system is in a financial and leadership crisis so severe that writer Aaron Kase said in this article on that the district is in its “death throes.” While that may be premature, there is no question that the system is in agony, having been starved for funding by the state for years and used as a playground by school reformers who imposed one experiment after another, each which served to undermine the traditional public school
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