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December 13, 2011

Gum-Chewing to the Test

A new study reports that college students who chewed gum prior to taking a test exhibited improved memory function and performed better than their non-gum-chewing counterparts. The theory behind this, according to one of the study's authors, is that the chewing motion improves blood flow to the brai...

October 11, 2011

South Korea Cracks Down on Late-Night Tutoring

Well, here's one educational problem we probably don't have to worry about in the U.S.: Were you aware that the South Korean government is now conducting late-nights raids to enforce a new curfew on after-hours tutoring operations? The raids, Amanda Ripley reports in a fascinating article for Time...

September 30, 2011

Taking a Philosophical View of Standardized Tests

On the New York Times' Opinionator blog, a Notre Dame philosophy professor warns against the inclination to take "immediate and drastic" corrective action based on subpar student standardized test scores. Tests, he suggests, are not always a good gauge of students' applicable knowledge in a particul...

September 29, 2011

The Tao of Finland's Schools

This month's Smithsonian magazine includes an interesting article exploring the (relatively recent) success of Finland's school system. The author highlights a certain Zen-like quality in the way Finnish schools operate: Teachers in Finland spend fewer hours at school each day and spend les...

September 19, 2011

Has Reading Instruction Lost the 'Gist'?

In the New York Times, literary critic and Core Knowledge Foundation founder E.D. Hirsch reasserts his case that the recent drop in SAT reading scores derives not from student demographic changes but from a long-term de-intellectualization of elementary school curricula: The most credible analyses...

September 15, 2011

What's Behind the SAT Reading-Score Drop?

Washington Post education blogger Valerie Strauss takes issue with the College Board's explanation that the decline in the SAT reading scores this past year was caused largely by an increase in the number and diversity of test-takers. She puts the blame squarely on the effects of recent education po...

September 13, 2011

Test Prep in the Kitchen

Looking for a new way to help students prepare for entrance exams? Have you tried teaching them to cook? Seriously, there's even a book for it. Charis Freiman-Mendal, an enterprising freshman at Choate college prep, has just published Cook Your Way Through the SAT, a cookbook in which the recipes ...

September 01, 2011

Teacher Collaboration: The Missing Link in School Reform?

The current education reform ethos has centered on improving individual teachers' effectiveness and accountability—through merit-pay programs and the use of value-added performance data, for example. But in an interesting article in the Stanford Social Innovation Review, Carrie R. Leana, a prof...

August 24, 2011

Is Rampant Test-Tampering Inevitable?

Responding to news of possible "test tampering" in New York City, NYC Educator makes a troubling prediction: Count on this—the cheating we hear about is the tip of the iceberg, and as long as we have this insane emphasis on test scores, it will grow exponentially worse. On the other hand: ...

August 12, 2011

Study: When Bullying is Up, Test Scores Are Down

A new study finds that schools with more bullying may also have lower test scores.

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