Archive for the ‘Education’ Category

4/2: Lessons learned

Moderated by Maureen Downey

We devote today’s topic to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s unprecedented analysis of 1.6 million student records from nearly 70,000 schools, an analysis that reveals improbable test-score swings similar to what the AJC found in Atlanta in 2008.

The series has sparked a range of responses, including one today from an official of the National Center for Fair & Open Testing.

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4/1: Shred school falsehoods

By the AJC Editorial Board

“We trust the media and public will focus on the main findings of the report that there is no orchestrated cheating in Atlanta Public Schools.”

— Beverly Hall, August 2010, summing up an investigation solicited by the district.

Atlantans know what came next, after truth’s chisel crumbled walls of denial.

Scores of communities from Maine to California may find themselves enduring a similarly traumatic experience, based on The Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s “Cheating our children” series, which found that test scores in nearly 200 school districts resemble those that drew Atlanta into the biggest cheating scandal in American history.

Thus, national attention has once again turned toward Atlanta. Unlike when the cheating scandal first surfaced, Atlanta can now provide an instructive example of how to address a civic tragedy.

Read the rest of what the AJC editorial board has to say, along with commentary by Leslie Hiner, vice president of the …

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3/26: Computer-based learning

Moderated by Maureen Downey

It seems everyone has a game plan on how to improve education, and today we explore several ideas. An outstanding DeKalb graduate points to more engaged students as the key to enhancing education. And I examine the growing sentiment that schools should step outside the box — or should I say step into the box — and consider the possibilities offered by computer-based or virtual learning.

What do you think?

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3/19: Rancor in ranks; pop culture in classrooms

Moderated by Maureen Downey

The crowning of valedictorians is growing more complex as students take different routes and courses to diplomas. Last year, Cherokee’s Etowah High learned how complex the process can be. As I discuss today, Gainesville High is learning it this year.

In a guest column, a UGA professor recommends that teachers incorporate pop culture phenomenons such as  “The Hunger Games” into their classrooms.

Read what we have to say and comment below.

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3/12: Lost opportunities in education

By Maureen Downey

A new, sweeping survey by the U.S. Department of Education on discipline, college readiness, teacher equity and retention according to race and disability status has spurred many debates, and today we join the conversation.

I write about the survey findings, while a Duke University economist says there may be valid and positive reasons for the racial disparities in school discipline.

Please comment on these topics on my Get Schooled blog, linked above.

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3/5: Internet harassment; rewriting history

Moderated by Maureen Downey

Bullying, harassment and pranks have moved from the playground to the Internet. But the authority of schools to police cyberplaygrounds is murky, and the Supreme Court just declined to step in and provide clarity in what has become a complex problem. I write about the challenges facing districts. Click here to comment on my Get Schooled blog or comment below.

In addition, a UGA professor says an attempt by the Legislature to rewrite U.S. history is a mistake. Click here to comment on on the history topic on the Get Schooled blog or comment below.

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2/27: Debating charter school amendment

Moderated by Maureen Downey

Folks who assume education news is dull haven’t been following the lively debate in the General Assembly over the charter school amendment, the subject of a guest column today.  (You may comment on his essay below.)

Nor have they been paying attention to the passionate discussion sparked by last week’s U.S. Supreme Court decision to consider again whether race should be a factor in college admissions, which I tackle. To comment on this essay, visit my Get Schooled blog at this link.

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2/20: School board size; Teach for America

Moderated by Maureen Downey

Is there an ideal size for a school board? The Legislature attempted to answer that question last year with a law reducing the DeKalb board, but inadvertently created a mess, which I describe today.

In a guest column, a Teach for America teacher wonders why Cobb wouldn’t welcome her and her peers.

Tell us what you think here or on my Get Schooled blog.

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2/13: Amendment vital to education reform?

Moderated by Maureen Downey

The Legislature is likely this week to revisit a controversial constitutional amendment that would allow the state to approve charter schools. The sponsor explains in a column today why the amendment is vital to education reform.

I interview a MacArthur “Genius Grant” winner about why race still matters in the classroom. Comment below or on Maureen Downey’s Get Schooled blog.

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1/30: Lessons ignored; HOPE cap

Moderated by Maureen Downey
The Legislature will spend a lot of time debating school reforms and the HOPE scholarship. We tackle both issues today, beginning with a call by a state senator to impose an income cap on HOPE, a proposal that meets with mixed response from readers. I discuss whether one of the world’s most successful reform models — Finland’s — holds any lessons for America.

Tell us what you think about school reforms or the HOPE scholarship.

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