a few links

Testing 4-year-olds isn't the answer - Education - Salon.com:
"When I heard the news last week that the Department of Education is aiming to subject 4-year-olds to high-stakes testing, all I could do was shake my head in disbelief and despondently mutter a slightly altered riff off 'The Big Lebowski's' Walter Sobchak. 
Four-year-olds, dude."
Schools could provide services that parents want like preschool that was ungraded, untested, and a service to stressed families if schools saw themselves as service providers instead of in charge of drilling stuff into people's heads.

The Opportunity Gap is an interactive database where you can find out how a school performs up at ProPublica and Harvard's Nieman Report discusses the projet and its value for journalism:
ProPublica’s newest news app uses education data to get more social » Nieman Journalism Lab » Pushing to the Future of Journalism: "Yesterday, the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights released a data set — the most comprehensive to date — documenting student access to advanced classes and special programs in public high schools. Shorthanded as the Civil Rights survey, the information tracks the availability of offerings, like Advanced Placement courses, gifted-and-talented programs, and higher-level math and science classes, that studies suggest are important factors for educational attainment — and for success later in life."
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