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Bridging the false dichotomy between poverty and education reform

Recently I attended two days of meetings in Kalamazoo, Michigan that gave me a new sense of optimism for the future of our public schools and our neediest students. It was another reminder to me that school reform is a wonderfully hopeful and iterative process, despite the political and rhetorical flare-ups it may inspire at times.

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Five things U.S. can do to lead the world in education

Filmmaker M. Night Shyamalan and his wife created a scholarship for promising students from low-income backgrounds in his native Philadelphia, but the schools he saw while scouting for a movie location convinced him that handing out individual scholarships would do little to battle the systemic problems in education. So he traveled to schools and collected as much data on the subject as he could and came up with five keys to improving education and closing the gap in the U.S.

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American high school students slip in global education rankings

The influential Paris-based Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has just released its triennial study of global education systems, and once again, the U.S. earns bad grades. According to the study, American 15 year-olds tested were average in reading and science skills, and below-average in math.

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Lauren Williams's picture

Want to look great on global education surveys? Only test the top students

Once again, Shanghai students have outperformed their peers around the world, topping tests of mathematics, reading, and science, in the annual OECD PISA survey of global education.

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Lauren Williams's picture

Another international test. Another predictable call for more rigor. Is that the real story?

There’s a lot of fanfare around Tuesday’s release of the 2012 Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) scores, including a PISA day webcast featuring U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan and Angel Gurria, secretary-general of the group that administers the international benchmark test, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

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Lauren Williams's picture

U.S. schools still separate and unequal

The reason is that students in the United States once again scored poorly against their peers in other nations of the world. U.S. results, in fact, haven’t budged on these tests in a decade, despite a patchwork quilt of reform efforts from coast to coast.

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What Asian schools can teach the rest of the world

The most impressive performance of Shanghai's students is actually not on the tasks that ask them to simply reproduce what they have learned, but on tasks where they need to extrapolate from what they know and apply their knowledge creatively in novel situations.

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How I help all my students to be good at math

The idea of innate math ability is very harmful to both those who believe they possess it and to those who believe they don’t.

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Matthew Zalaznick's picture

There’s no shame in being an education reformer

Contrary to what you might read, education reformers are not all wealthy philanthropists. They are not pushing a corporate agenda to dismantle public education. They do not want to turn students and teachers into test-obsessed automatons. They are not anti-teacher.

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Matthew Zalaznick's picture

New Mexico students 2; education status quo 0

Last week a state district court judge threw out a wrong-headed challenge to the new state teacher evaluations that finally put student achievement front and center.

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