Education Roundup: Was One of America's Best High Schools Ruined By the Principal?

In this week's education news roundup: Do reform-minded principals or veteran teachers know best?


Welcome to the new High School Notes weekly roundup of education news. Every Friday, you'll find out what's making headlines around the Web.

School administration

During Valerie Reidy's first 10 years as principal of Bronx High School of Science, dozens of teachers quit or were forced out as she placed a larger emphasis on testing. Meanwhile, the number of students taking—and passing—Advanced Placement tests has increased during her tenure, yet disgruntled former teachers say she belittled them and changed their proven teaching methods. New York Magazine's interesting profile of the school pits reformers against traditionalists.

Charter school enrollment

The number of students attending charter schools in the United States passed 2 milliona 13 percent increase over the 2010-2011 school year, the largest year-over-year increase ever, according to a new study by the Alliance for Public Charter Schools. More than 500 charter schools opened this fall.

Testing security

The official in charge of test security for the Educational Testing Service discussed how the company is safeguarding the SAT after a host of Long Island teens were arrested for cheating on the exam earlier this fall.

Education technology

Salman Khan, whose free Khan Academy education lessons get more than 3.5 million monthly views on YouTube, is taking his classes to brick-and-mortar schools nationwide. At least 36 schools around the country are using his lessons to supplement traditional teaching methods. Many teachers are flipping homework and classworkasking students to view the lessons at home and complete practice problems in the classroom.

High school dropouts

A new report out of Illinois confirmed what many already knew: High school dropouts earn less money than those with degrees and cost society more in living assistance benefits, such as food stamps and welfare.

School safety

The Department of Education recently examined state bullying laws and found that only 13 states have laws that allow schools to punish students for bullying that happens off campus.

Meanwhile, sexting may not be as big of a problem as some thoughtjust 1 percent of students ages 10 through 17 have sent images of themselves or others that show "explicit nudity," according to a new report out of the University of New Hampshire. The findings also show that 7 percent of students said they had received a message containing explicit nudity.

STEM education

The teen winners of the 2011 Siemens Competition in Math, Science, and Technology did research that may revolutionize cancer treatment and cut the price of diagnostic tools for people with difficulty walking.

In other science education news, a new report by Change the Equation, a consortium of businesses that support science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education, found that state standards on science exams vary wildly. A student who passes an eighth grade science exam in Virginia, Michigan, or 14 other states wouldn't even have a "basic" level of understanding according to the National Assessment of Educational Progress. Linda Rosen, CEO of the organization, says these inconsistencies likely extend to tests for all grade levels.

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