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December 27, 2007

Same Grades, Different GPA

There's an AP story posted today that pretty much sums up my frustrations as a high school student in a high-performing, affluent school district. Here's the basic gist of it: "In most of the [Washington, D.C. area], a score of 90 or higher will earn a student the top mark. But in Fairfax County, (...

December 20, 2007

Competition vs. Collaboration

I read an article this morning called "Collaboration--Rather than Competition--For Quality Learning" by Marvin Marshall, author of the book Discipline Without Stress, Punishments, or Rewards. As the title suggests, the article makes the argument that learning is enhanced by a collaborative setting, ...

December 04, 2007

Problems with Class Rank

I'm not one to hold grudges, but my college application process was one of the most stressful and disappointing experiences in my recent memory. Despite four years of extracurricular activities, volunteer work, college-level classes, and loads of homework, I was still rejected from my first-choice s...

August 01, 2007

The Temptation to Cheat

It is the season for school report cards, and I’ve seen a number of news clips about student progress and overall school performance on state tests reported under the requirements of the federal No Child Left Behind Act. But alongside the coverage of test results, a parallel story line is playin...

June 29, 2007

Getting Rid of Rank

I've seen a ton of articles this graduation season about schools choosing to do away with class rank. For example, from today: "Schools playing down valedictorian honors." The whole thing's become too competitive, school leaders and parents say. But for many high schoolers, being at the top—or...

December 11, 2006

Competitive Lessons

To appreciate how passionate some kids are about student academic competitions, you need only watch the National Spelling Bee on ESPN. Those boys and girls in that competition are engaged 100 percent in what they are doing. Other academic events, such as the Siemens-sponsored science competition,,...

October 16, 2006

Motivated to Cheat

A survey released today by the Josephson Institute of Ethics found that 60 percent of the 36,122 high school students surveyed admitted cheating on a testing once during the past year, 35 percent said they had cheated two or more times, and a third said they had used the Internet to plagiarize a sch...

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