Michelle Rhee's New Olympic-Themed Ad Ridiculing Public Education Misses the Mark

According to Rhee, our students and schools are like an overweight man performing a bad rhythmic gymnastics routine.


The Olympic Games are a time for the world's nations to showcase their very best, but a new ad from Michelle Rhee's education reform group Students First has chosen to use the games to shine an unflattering spotlight on America's public schools.

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Should Portfolios Replace Placement Tests?

It’s what you’ve done, not how you scored.

How do we know if a student is ready for high school algebra—or college-level English or math? Most K-12 schools and universities rely on placement tests, high-stakes standardized exams, to decide. And, if you don’t do well on that single test, you’re out of luck.

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The Testing Bubble Getting Artistic with Standardized-Test Answer Sheets

Increasingly, multiple-choice tests are how schools measure what students have learned. But where does that leave creativity? We sent answer sheets to five artists to find out.

The seventh-century Chinese emperor Yangdi is usually remembered as a megalomaniac who led his newly united nation into a series of debilitating wars. But Yangdi’s real legacy is his development of the world’s first standardized testing system. The idea was to locate China’s most talented rural scholars and bring them into the nascent empire’s civil service.

The history of education is filled with such earnest, progressive hopes for stan- dardized testing; Napoleon built the French bureaucracy in much the same way, and the SAT, for all its flaws, played an important role in opening up the Ivy League to Jews, Catholics, and public-school students.

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Is the White House Committed to Addressing the Role Poverty Plays in the Achievement Gap?

The Department of Education is allocating more money to the Promise Neighborhoods program. Is it enough to make a real difference?

More money is coming to the U.S. Department of Education's year-old Promise Neighborhoods program. Modeled after Geoffrey Canada's successful Harlem Children's Zone (HCZ) initiative, the Promise Neighborhoods program awarded $10 million in 2010 to 21 mostly nonprofit and higher education-based applicants. That money funded the planning stage of comprehensive, cradle-through-college-to-career wraparound services with great schools at the center. Now, starting today, the USDOE is launching a second phase of the program and will provide $30 million to a new round of grant applicants and fund the implementation of 4-6 existing projects.

But given that 20 percent of American students live in poverty, will this limited amount of money scale up the interventions fast enough to make a difference for kids?

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