Valerie Strauss

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

Articles by this author

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Tuesday, August 06, 2013
Five Absurdities about High-Stakes Standardized Tests
Barely a day goes by when the education world isn’t treated to some new story involving high-stakes standardized tests, the chief metric of “accountability systems” in the modern era of school reform.
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Friday, May 31, 2013
Jeb Bush’s Disdain for Public Education
It’s always useful to know where people are coming from, so we can thank former Florida governor Jeb Bush for making it so easy to understand where he stands on public education. He has nothing but disdain for it.
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Thursday, May 23, 2013
The Billionaires Lose One
Big money doesn’t always win the day. At least it didn’t in a school board race in Los Angeles in which a few million dollars showered on a favored candidate failed to overcome the poorly funded campaign of a fifth-grade teacher.
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Friday, May 10, 2013
Bill Gates’s $5 Biillion Plan to Videotape America’s Teachers
If, say, Dennis van Roekel or Randi Weingarten, the presidents of the nation’s two national teachers unions, proposed spending as much as $5 billion to videotape every teacher in the United States so their performance could be judged by strangers as part of their evaluation, you can bet that they would be called nutty spendthrifts. By everyone.
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Wednesday, May 01, 2013
Extreme Common Core Rhetoric Clouds Serious Debate
The Common Core State Standards initiative was started with bipartisan support. But new and often nonsensical criticism from right-wing Republicans is making it seem as if the Core is a partisan issue, and, further, is clouding important and serious-minded criticism about the standards and their implementation.
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Monday, April 29, 2013
Obama’s Big Second-Term Education Problem? His First Term Policy
President Obama has a big problem in his second term in terms of education policy: his first term.
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Sunday, April 14, 2013
Study: School Reform in 3 Major Cities Didn't Pass the Test
Many people paying attention to corporate-based school reform in recent years will not be surprised by this, but a new study on the effects of this movement in Washington, D.C., New York City and Chicago concludes that little has been accomplished and some harm has been done to students, especially the underprivileged.
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Monday, April 01, 2013
Atlanta Test Cheating: Tip of the Iceberg?
It would be easy to think that the Atlanta cheating scandal by adults on standardized tests is the worst we have seen, given last week’s startling indictment against former Atlanta schools superintendent Beverly Hall and 34 others under a law used against mobsters. But you shouldn’t.
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Thursday, March 14, 2013
The Day Teachers Said ‘No’ to Standardized Tests
It all started with one teacher who got fed up.
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Monday, March 04, 2013
Big Outside Money Pouring Into L.A. School Board Races
Local school board races used to be decided by local voters, but not anymore, at least in Los Angeles. Tuesday’s elections have attracted millions of dollars from outsiders who have a stake in the future of school reform in the country’s second-largest district. In fact, there is nothing ordinary about the races for three Los Angeles Unified School District Board of Education:
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