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Top (and Under-the-Radar) Education Headlines of 2010

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The 2010 headlines in education had the makings of a gripping drama: money, power, politics, Oprah! If there was any doubt that education has been pushed front-and-center to the spotlight, the screaming headlines of the Huffington Post Education page should put that to rest.

These two year-in-reviews are the standouts so far:

TakePart's take. By far the most comprehensive (so far), this list covers the gamut: Race to the Top funding, common-core standards, the "Waiting for Superman" kerfluffle, Michelle Rhee's rise, fall, and rise, billionaires' donations, cyberbullying spotlight, and Education Nation.

E-School News' Most Popular Ed-Tech Stories. The entry of the iPad into education circles, cloud computing, and collaborative learning, and the changing learning methods of the iGeneration are just a few of this education-related newsletter's top articles.


To these, I would add:

- The Los Angeles Times' publishing of "value-added" ratings of 6,000 public elementary school teachers, which has drawn sharp criticism for unnecessarily attacking teachers with dubious methods, and praise for promoting transparency in pointing to ineffective teachers.

- The development of a revolutionary new testing system that is meant to go beyond what most  agree are the current useless "bubble tests." These news assessments are supposed to be able to show more complex and important student performance.

- The release of the Department of Education's National Education Technology Plan, a comprehensive, step-by-step guide for pulling the American education system into the 21st century.

- A university's weeklong ban of Facebook and Twitter as a way of asking students to think about how and why they use social media.

- The New York Times' short-sighted, one-sided description of the "Wired Generation" and the impact of technology on younger generations, which elicited hundreds of comments on the site and followup articles that dismantled the articles' arguments one by one.

- The firing of a Boston-area teacher who called reportedly "called the residents of Cohasset [the neighborhood where she taught] 'arrogant and snobby,' and said that she is 'so not looking forward to another year at Cohasset schools.'" An important story highlighting the importance of mindful social networking interactions between students and teachers.