Published Online: December 1, 2009
Published in Print: December 2, 2009, as Blogs of the Week

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Smells Like Team Spirit

Read deep into the final regulations for Race to the Top, and you’ll see an outline of how the Education Department plans to judge states’ applications. For the finalists, there’s one last step: Fly to Washington, bring your five best people, and give us your sales pitch.

Kinda like the Olympics. Remember when Chicago brought in the Obamas, and Oprah, to make its case to the Olympic Committee? Course that didn’t turn out so well.

The regulations also specifically ban consultants from the group of five people that can make the pitch. But which state will snag an Oprah-like celebrity? We’ll have to stay tuned. —Michele McNeil


OMG Studying Sux

High school students say that doing their homework and studying for class are important, but they are spending more time chatting on the phone, surfing the Web, or watching television, a new survey shows.

The High School Student Engagement Survey, released last month, captures scads of boredom and disinterest at school from 134,706 students (half say they’re bored every day). When asked how much time they spend on various activities in the course of a week, a little more than half say they spend an hour or less studying for class. But 60 percent to 70 percent say they spend two or more hours per week watching television, playing video games, surfing or chatting online, or talking on the phone. This is in spite of survey feedback that more than 70 percent of the students rate studying for class as somewhat important, very important, or top priority. —Catherine Gewertz

Vol. 29, Issue 13, Page 12

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