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The ‘alien structure’ of education, and other thoughts

John Merrow on the Atlanta cheating scandal, the rise of testing, the Save Our Schools rally, and much more.

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To save our schools, wear sunblock and bring ideas

John Merrow previews the Save Our Schools March and Rally Weekend of late July 2011.

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With testing, where do we go from here?

Tweet As always, remember that John’s book The Influence of Teachers is for sale at Amazon. Forget cheating on tests for a minute and think about the concept of ‘teaching to the test.’ Just what does that mean? The usual line (which I have used myself) goes something like this: “It’s OK if it’s a [...]

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David Brooks, Diane Ravitch, and the education wars

John Merrow examines the recent David Brooks op-ed column taking Diane Ravitch to task, and how it fits into the overall public education reform discussion.

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A speech I’d like to hear

John Merrow pens a speech for an important educational figure, and invites you — the reader — to do the same.

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A Paradox? Or a Genuine Contradiction?

Can something really be good and bad at the same time? How about that delicious but fattening dinner you had last week? It was great, until you added up the calories, right? Now what about a school? Can it be both good and bad at the same time? Is educational quality–like beauty–in the eye of the beholder or do test scores say it all?

More precisely, can a school with only 18% of its 4th graders at grade level in reading be considered a good school? Before you say, “Of course not,” please read on. Because we discovered that the FIRST graders at that school were reading confidently and competently. That’s right: the first graders were readers, but the fourth graders weren’t according to the results of the state test.

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The international divide

Is the United States doing right by its students?

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