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American Educator
Spring 2004


Table of Contents


For Better, for Worse: Standards and Accountability (PDF)

Our new department on what's going right... and wrong with standards and accountability. This issue: Getting test results that are timely and useful. Yes, it can actually happen.

It's Time to Tell the Kids: If You Don't Do Well in High School, You Won't Do Well in College (or on the Job)
By James E. Rosenbaum

With open admissions institutions, virtually anyone can go to college, and the vast majority of high school seniors intend to. But about half who go never earn a degree; 52 percent of those with C averages or lower in high school do not earn even one college credit. The facts are clear: High school preparation predicts college graduation. It's our job to make sure students know this.

What You Need to Do in High School If You Want to Graduate from College (PDF)
Flier for Posting and Distributing to Students

All Good Jobs Don't Require a College Degree...
But Getting a Good Job without a College Degree Depends a Lot on High School Effort—and the Support a High School Provides

High School Preparation Is the Best Predictor of College Graduation

What Does It Mean to Be Prepared for College?
(Or for Jobs in the High-Growth, High-Performance Workplace)
By the American Diploma Project

Two years of discussions with high school and college faculty and employers have produced a concrete description of what college-bound students—and students aiming for the high-performance workplace—need to know. Here, we reprint excerpts from ADP's English and mathematics benchmarks and actual examples of first-semester college assignments.

Education in Wonderland
Outdoor Classrooms and Rich Murals Make Learning a Delightful Adventure
By Roberta Fallon

Ever dream of teaching outdoors, with nature and the best teaching tools as part of your classroom? Thanks to the Mural Arts Program, and their hardworking teenagers, this Philadelphia school really is a dream com true.

Opening Classroom Doors
Heroes for the Good of the Profession
By James Hiebert, Ronald Gallimore, and James W. Stigler

To really improve teaching—ours and others—we need to examine classroom practice and analyze what's right and what could be improved. It all begins with opening the classroom door.

Ask the Cognitive Scientist
Practice Makes Perfect—but Only If You Practice Beyond the Point of Perfection
By Daniel T. Willingham

We all know practice makes perfect. But, says the cognitive scientist, thanks to the natural process of forgetting, we have to make use of our new knowledge regularly. The implications for teaching and learning are big.

Cultural Literacy Rocks
How Core Knowledge Can Help You Understand and Enjoy Rock Music ... and Much, Much More
By Matthew Davis

Back to the Garden? Anastasia's scream? Cortez's galleons? It's the stuff of great rock lyrics—and of great reading of all kinds, and it's all the more meaningful when you have the core knowledge that the allusions depend on.

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Winter 2003–2004

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Summer 2004


About American Educator

American Educator is a quarterly journal of educational research and ideas published by the American Federation of Teachers. Recent articles have focused on such topics as reducing the achievement gap between poor and affluent students, heading off student discipline problems, teaching an appreciation and understanding of democracy, the benefits of a common coherent curriculum, and other issues affecting children and education here and abroad. Total circulation, as of our most recent issue, is over 900,000.

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