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Teachers in the Trenches Aren't Impressed with Arne Duncan's "Appreciation Letter"

Duncan's open letter to teachers expressing his appreciation for their hard work hasn't exactly been well-received.

"Sorry, Arne. I think this is just lip service."

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Should a Teacher's Value-added Score Be Made Public?

New York City's teachers' union wants to keep teacher performance data from being released. What's to hide?

Should the names of teachers and the test scores of their students be made public? Not according to the United Federation of Teachers, which represents New York City's public school teachers. Earlier today, the union's lawyers presented oral arguments to the New York Supreme Court in Manhattan to keep the New York City Department of Education from giving media outlets the names of teachers and their student's test results

These "Teacher Data Reports" for the city's fourth through eighth grade math and English teachers include what the union calls, "fundamentally flawed" value-added data, "based on the students' standardized test scores, which themselves were found to be inflated and inaccurate."

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Efforts such as One Laptop Per Child attempt to address the so-called "digital divide," the access to computers and the Internet by lower income children throughout the world. The argument: These children are at a disadvantage because they aren't exposed to the technologies, information, and, frankly, learning opportunities that others get.

But, maybe a lack of connectivity isn't such a bad thing: A new study out of Duke University's Sanford School of Public Policy finds that having access to a computer could exacerbate the achievement gap in test scores. When families of lower income and minority students (particularly middle schoolers) get these technologies, they tend to post lower reading and math scores.

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