Sarah Butrymowicz
Sarah Butrymowicz writes for The Hechinger Report. She received a bachelor’s degree from Tufts University and an M.S. from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. As an undergraduate, she worked as a news editor and managing editor for the Tufts Daily, and she interned at both the Green Bay Press-Gazette in Wisconsin and USA Today.

Skip school and lose welfare? The good and bad of Australia’s tough tactics on truancy

What if the punishment for skipping school was a loss in welfare benefits for your family? It’s a strategy that some politicians are considering in the U.S. – plans have been floated in Missouri and put into action in Michigan last year. But in Australia, they’ve already tried it, and the experience is a cautionary […]

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Can the U.S. learn from Australia’s high bar for new teachers?

A major ongoing fight in the U.S. is how to make the teaching profession less a clock-in, clock-out job and more like the high-paid, high-demand career of a lawyer or doctor. Unions and teachers argue better pay will elevate the profession. Politicians and advocates want to put more scrutiny on teachers and end tenure, arguing […]

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Lessons from abroad: If Republicans controlled U.S. education policy? Australia offers a sneak peek

What would happen if conservative ideas for improving education were given free reign in the United States? If Republicans take over the Senate and then the White House, a possibility, Americans might find out in the near future. Australia, similar in many ways to the U.S., provides a glimpse of what a transfer of power […]

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Which winning ideas could the U.S. steal from Singapore?

Singapore has one of the best education systems in the world, according to international assessments. President Barack Obama and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan talk about its performance. United Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten visited in 2012 and her counterpart at the National Education Association, Dennis Van Roekel, has praised its teacher training. And […]

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Lessons from Abroad: Singapore’s secrets to training world-class teachers

Singapore has been a hot topic in education circles ever since it began to appear near the top of the pack of international assessments in math and science in the mid-90s. The country has been held up as an example of a place where education is being done right: Singapore’s standards were higher and better […]

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Teachers weigh in on how to identify grit

Grit is one of education’s latest buzzwords, encompassing the idea that character traits like perseverance are critical to academic achievement. Now, educators around the country are trying to identify and quantify this intangible quality. In September, Angela Duckworth was awarded a $625,000 MacArthur “genius grant” to continue her work studying grit. In “How Children Succeed,” […]

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Common Core slow to change English classrooms

English teachers generally like the new national curricular standards known as the Common Core, but few of them have actually made the most important shifts required, according to a survey released Wednesday. The Thomas B. Fordham Institute, a conservative think tank, surveyed 1,154 English, language arts and reading teachers in the 45 states that have […]

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Unlike ‘Superman,’ Guggenheim’s new film champions teachers

In Davis Guggenheim’s “Waiting for Superman,” teachers and their unions were the antagonists. They looked out for their own interests, regardless of the impact on children, and were to blame for the U.S. educational problems. In his new film, “Teach,” Guggenheim has swung to the opposite end of the spectrum. The four teachers he follows […]

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Why did Tony Bennett change Indiana’s school grading system?

In 2010, I visited Christel House Academy, a charter school in Indianapolis that differed starkly from regular Indianapolis public schools. Spanish classes started in kindergarten. In fourth grade, overnight camping trips began and by fifth grade, so did college trips. As part of the school’s focus on project-based learning, a group of middle schoolers were […]

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New lawsuit an ‘assault’ on unions

A California lawsuit filed this spring against teachers unions could have widespread national implications for labor laws. Ten non-union teachers and the Christian Educators Association are suing their local, state and national unions, alleging that the organizations are forcing them to pay to support political activities they do not agree with in violation of their […]

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