Amanda Ripley

Amanda Ripley is the author of The Smartest Kids in the World—and How They Got That Way (coming August 2013).

  • The Case Against High-School Sports
    Darren Braun

    The Case Against High-School Sports

    The United States routinely spends more tax dollars per high-school athlete than per high-school math student—unlike most countries worldwide. And we wonder why we lag in international education rankings?

  • Motivation Matters More Than Ever
    Le Tigre
  • Why Kids Should Grade Teachers
    Brian Rea

    Why Kids Should Grade Teachers

    A decade ago, an economist at Harvard, Ronald Ferguson, wondered what would happen if teachers were evaluated by the people who see them every day—their students. The idea—as simple as it sounds, and as familiar as it is on college campuses—was revolutionary. And the results seemed to be, too: remarkable consistency from grade to grade, and across racial divides. Even among kindergarten students. A growing number of school systems are administering the surveys—and might be able to overcome teacher resistance in order to link results to salaries and promotions.

  • Boot Camp for Teachers

    Before the Air Force technician George Deneault flew combat missions, he had to practice—a lot. “You can’t fool around on combat aircraft.”…

  • The World’s Schoolmaster
    Nigel Dickinson

    The World’s Schoolmaster

    How a German scientist is using test data to revolutionize global learning

  • Your Child Left Behind

    For years, poor performance by students in America relative to those in other countries has been explained away as a consequence of our nationwide diversity. But what if you looked more closely, breaking down our results by state and searching not for an average, but for excellence?

  • What Makes a Great Teacher?
    Veronika Lukasova

    What Makes a Great Teacher?

    For years, the secrets to great teaching have seemed more like alchemy than science, a mix of motivational mumbo jumbo and misty-eyed tales of inspiration and dedication. But for more than a decade, one organization has been tracking hundreds of thousands of kids, and looking at why some teachers can move them three grade levels ahead in a year and others can’t. Now, as the Obama administration offers states more than $4 billion to identify and cultivate effective teachers, Teach for America is ready to release its data.

  • In Case of Emergency
    Mike Theiss/Corbis

    In Case of Emergency

    FEMA’s new administrator has a message for Americans: get in touch with your survival instinct.

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Adventures in Legal Weed

Colorado is now well into its first year as the first state to legalize recreational marijuana. How's it going? James Hamblin visits Aspen.

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What Makes a Story Great?

The storytellers behind House of CardsandThis American Life reflect on the creative process.

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Tracing Sriracha's Origin to Thailand

Ever wonder how the wildly popular hot sauce got its name? It all started in Si Racha.

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Where Confiscated Wildlife Ends Up

A government facility outside of Denver houses more than a million products of the illegal wildlife trade, from tigers and bears to bald eagles.

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Is Wine Healthy?

James Hamblin prepares to impress his date with knowledge about the health benefits of wine.

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The World's Largest Balloon Festival

Nine days, more than 700 balloons, and a whole lot of hot air

Writers

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