Here's what the editors of Schools of Thought are reading today:
Huffington Post: Education Top-Tier 2012 Election Issue In Swing States, Survey Shows
Talk about education issues has been largely absent from the presidential primary campaign, with only one percent of debate questions centered around the issue. The College Board says its new survey shows that education issues rank third in importance among voters in swing states like Ohio.
Mashable.com: Facebook Launches Groups for Schools
Facebook is going back to its roots as it launches groups that only people with ".edu" email addresses can join. New apps and the social networking site itself are bringing back some of the features that once made Facebook a college campus hub on the Internet.
WSBTV.com: Student refuses to go to graduation at New Birth Missionary Baptist Church
Nahkoura Mahnassi plans to skip her high school graduation because it is being held inside a church. The school district says that its schools must select venues that are large enough for the graduating class, even if the building is owned by a faith-based organization.
New York Times: College Admissions Advice for 'Neurotic' Parents
As her sons started looking at colleges, blogger J.D. Rothman began to stress out a little. She asked a panel of experts for advice on summer activities, test prep, and safety schools.
Education Week: Texas H.S. Football Players Spend Spare Time as 'Bully Guards'
At some schools, football players may have a reputation for bullying. At Johnson High school in Texas, football players are the bodyguards.
By Gary Rubinstein, Special to CNN
Editor’s Note: Gary Rubinstein is a high school math teacher and the author of two guidebooks for new teachers, “Reluctant Disciplinarian” and “Beyond Survival.” He is also a two-time recipient of the Math for America Master Teacher Fellowship. He blogs at http://garyrubinstein.teachforus.org
In a recent investigation, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution analyzed data from nearly 70,000 schools and found indications of standardized test cheating in as many as 200 districts. When a school tampers with standardized tests, certain people benefit while others suffer. The principal of the cheating school might get a bonus, while the honest school might get shut down.
Though test tampering is bad, I have examined eight other common types of cheating for my blog that I believe are even worse.
In my opinion, a huge cheat that would cost nearly nothing to fix is the way some charter schools claim they get miraculous results with the “same kids” as the “failing” public schools down the road. Studying the newly released New York City teacher data reports, I found strong evidence that some charters in New York have incoming students who are a bit above average. Not only that, but the improvements achieved with those students were also merely average. This cheat helps some charter school CEOs get rich, but that money comes at the expense of the public school that unnecessarily loses its funding. All schools should have to accurately publish information on their incoming students, including prior academic achievement.