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We Read So You Don't Have To

A few good tidbits you might have missed when you were lazing around this weekend (or slacking off last Friday in anticipation of lazing around all weekend):

Over at his collegepuzzle blog, Stanford prof Mike Kirst tries to prod higher ed into an active role in shaping the common standards everyone's talking about. If colleges sit on the sidelines as these standard are developed, he says, they'll be contributing to a stumbling block that has dogged far too many high school students: a huge disconnect between what they need for high school graduation and what they need to thrive in college.

Also check out the Washington Post's Jay Mathews weighing in on a new twist in the expansion of AP. He notes that his forthcoming list of America's top high schools, to be published this week on newsweek.com, turns up some intriguing news: some schools are requiring AP for all kids, even those who are panting to keep up academically.

Lastly, former New York City Schools Chancellor Harold O. Levy opines in today's New York Times on five ways to fix schools, with a focus on high schools. Among his ideas? Make kids stay in school til they're 19 (I can just imagine the reaction that would get from my kids. If they don't already want to put poison in my coffee, this would do it.). Make truant officers into high pressure salesmen, eliciting promises from parents—in front of witnesses, nonetheless—to make sure kids get to school.

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