Education

President Obama has threatened to veto the war funding bill that passed the House on Thursday night. The president's beef is with a provision to prevent teacher layoffs, which Democrats tacked onto the bill along with several other domestic priorities. To pay for the measure, the House agreed to cut money from some of the president's key education reform initiatives. Obama isn't happy about it. Nor should he be. Here's the back story: Thanks to severe cuts in state budgets, between 100,000 and 300,000 teachers could lose their jobs this year.

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Milwaukee is home to the most extensive private school voucher program in the country. New research, conducted by voucher advocates, shows... that the program doesn't improve the education of students at all. AEI's Frederick M.

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Welcome to the fourth installment of our online debate about the state of American education. In this round, Richard Rothstein, who on Monday praised Diane Ravitch's view--expressed in her new book The Death and Life of the Great American School System: How Testing and Choice Are Undermining Education--that the current trajectory of education reform is endangering student learning, argues that teachers can't be held accountable for the economic and social factors that negatively affect students' classroom performance.

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Standard Bearer

As any education wonk, school board member, or exasperated parent could tell you, there is no shortage of obstacles to fixing our country’s grossly inadequate public schools. But, for years, one of the most stubborn barriers to progress has been the highly localized nature of American education--namely, the fact that, unlike in numerous countries with top-notch schools, each state sets its own standards for what students should learn. In recent decades, different factions have had their own reasons for working to preserve this illogical arrangement.

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On Monday, we kicked off a symposium about American education reform. Some of the brightest minds in education have come together to debate Diane Ravitch's new book, The Death and Life of the Great American School System: How Testing and Choice Are Undermining Education, and its claims that the currentcraze for standardized testing and school choice are undermining student learning.

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From: Kevin Carey To: Diane Ravitch, Richard Rothstein, and Ben Wildavsky Subject: Looking for answers to the problems plaguing education? Diane Ravitch doesn't offer them.  Apostates always make a good story. So it's been no surprise to see Diane's high-profile repudiation of her ideological fellow travelers, chronicled in The Death and Life of a Great American School System, featured prominently in The New York Times and The Washington Post. The book is selling briskly.

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Has education reform failed America's children? According to outspoken education historian Diane Ravitch, the answer is yes. In her new book, The Death and Life of the Great American School System: How Testing and Choice Are Undermining Education, the one-time supporter of No Child Left Behind explains why she thinks the biggest attempt to overhaul U.S. education in recent memory has floundered.

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Before Sunrise

When President Obama arrives in Tokyo on Friday, he will confront a country that seeks to be an ally of the United States. For Japan has never been an American ally. It was first a rival, then an enemy, and finally, after it lost the war it foolishly started with the U.S., it became a protectorate, not an ally.   The distinction matters. An alliance is an institution negotiated between two sovereign governments in which each agrees to a series of reciprocal obligations that have the force of law.

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Forty years ago, the rumor that Paul McCartney had died, and that the Beatles had covered up his death while for some reason scattering clues of it in their albums, leapt from the counterculture to the mainstream, where it briefly transfixed millions. The key event in the rumor going viral was a Michigan Daily article by student Fred LeBour. Michigan Today recounts the story: On the morning of October 14, the university community awoke to the shocking and incredible report that one of the world's most popular and beloved entertainers was no more.

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One of the most revealing moments in Saturday's debate over health care reform was when Rep. Anthony Weiner of New York took the floor. Weiner is a rising star in the Democratic Party, having quickly established himself as an unusually engaging speaker. But, in this case, it was Weiner's effective use of a prop that stood apart. The prop was the handbook for the Federal Employees Health Benefits Plan, or FEHBP--which is, very roughly speaking, a model for how a reformed health care system might work.

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