By Jim Roope, CNN
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(CNN) – Getting into a good college is so competitive that even the nearly perfect student has trouble.
[0:38] “I got a 2390 out of 2400 on my SAT,” said 18-year-old Kevin Mark.
Yet with that near-perfect SAT score, a 4.0+ GPA throughout high school, an Eagle Scout and volunteer work for his church and community, he was not accepted to MIT, his first choice of college, nor his second choice Cal Tech.
What do you think about the pressure today's students are facing? Do you have any stories to share? Please leave your comments below.
Editors note: A recent Schools of Thought reader made this comment: "Equal air time for Ravitch – all this can and should be debated fairly – the blog space is welcome but insufficient." Diane Ravitch is scheduled to appear on CNN Newsroom Weekend with Randi Kaye this Saturday, August 18.
By John Martin, CNN
(CNN) – Education historian and professor Diane Ravitch took issue with a recent CNN appearance by former D.C. Schools chancellor Michele Rhee. Rhee and Ravitch both believe that quality teaching can make a difference in the classroom. But the two have fundamental differences in their beliefs about the quality of America's education system and its teachers.
Rhee told CNN, "The problem is that people don't understand where we stand right now in international rankings on academics. We are behind countries like Hungary and Luxembourg." On Schools of Thought, Ravitch responded, "[Rhee] is obviously unaware that our nation has never had high scores on those tests. When the first international test was given in 1964, our students ranked 11th out of 12 nations. Yet our nation went on to become the most powerful economy in the world."
Rhee's organization, StudentsFirst, says on its website that "an effective teacher produces three times more learning than an ineffective teacher," but Rhee's critics, including Ravitch, say the group ignores the influence of poverty in America. Ravitch says that, "Family poverty is the most reliable predictor of low test scores," and that America has a much higher poverty rate than other countries.
Ravitch's response to Rhee was well-received by teachers, among others.