Education News from Washington Post
Sara Stevenson is the librarian at O. Henry Middle School in Austin, Texas, who is sick and tired of assaults on the very notion of public education. Here are her reflections on the value of public education and what is being done to it in the name of ”‘reform.”Read full article >>
Dozens of members of the clergy in Newark have warned Gov. Chris Christie (R) that school reform efforts by his appointed superintendent are causing so much controversy and “unnecessary instability” in the city that they are “concerned about the level of public anger we see growing in the community” over the issue.Read full article >>
Brock Cohen taught in the Los Angeles Unified School District for 12 years and is now pursuing a doctorate at the University of Southern California while working at the nonprofit Los Angeles Education Partnership as a schools transformation coach. He helps develop community schools, which build strategic partnerships with both public and private organizations to provide essential supports and resources that low-income and high-needs students often go without. Cohen says these schools share a moral imperative to remove barriers to learning so that disadvantaged children can thrive academically, socially, and emotionally. Here’s a new piece by Cohen on what a 17-year-old boy taught him and the value of community schools.Read full article >>
The Loudoun County School Board might cut bus service for county students who attend Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology in Fairfax County, a move that could jeopardize county students’ ability to go to the elite magnet school.Read full article >>
The following e-mail message was sent from the principal of Fairfax County’s W.T. Woodson High School to parents on April 11, discussing the school’s actions following a series of suicides at the school. The message came ahead of the school’s spring break and a day before The Washington Post published a story about the suicides of six Woodson students in the past three years and the effects the suicides have had on their families and the school community.Read full article >>
In the aftermath of a series of student suicides at W.T. Woodson High School, parents are urging Fairfax County schools administrators to help the teens cope with stress at the high-performing school.
Six teens at the school have died by suicide during the past three years, including two students who died within a day of each other in February. The deaths have shocked the school community and have left parents, teachers and students searching for answers.Read full article >>
There he goes again.
Education Secretary Arne Duncan went to New York recently and introduced state Education Commissioner John King at a function at New York University, calling him “a remarkable leader” and “as smart and as thoughtful as anyone working in this space.” As for the growing number of critics of King’s education reforms, Duncan dismissed the movement as “lots of drama, lots of noise” on which the media likes to focus. He could have been referring to the tens of thousands of parents opting their children out of Common Core-aligned standardized tests, or the nearly 3,000-delegate body of the New York State United Teachers, which earlier this month overwhelming approved a resolution calling for King to resign, or anybody else who doesn’t agree with him and King.Read full article >>
When colleges say they believe in diversity, what do they really mean? It talk of diversity nothing more than a gimmick to get college websites and brochures to look like politically correct Benetton ad? Alejandra Dubcovsky, an assistant professor of history at Yale University, addresses this issue in the following post. Dubcovsky’s research and teaching focus on colonial America. She is a Public Voices Fellow with The OpEd Project, an Echoing Green project aimed at increasing the range of voices and quality of ideas heard in the public space.Read full article >>
A group of black law students at Washington and Lee University is urging administrators to atone for its Confederate heritage and what they call the “dishonorable conduct” of namesake Robert E. Lee.
The movement has struck a racial divide on the bucolic campus in Lexington, Va., where black students make up about 3.5 percent of the total student population.Read full article >>
Undergraduate tuition and fees at the University of Virginia would rise 4.3 percent for Virginians in the coming year under a proposal the governing board will consider next week.
The basic in-state price of the public flagship university, not counting room and board, would be $12,998 if the Board of Visitors approves the increase at its meeting Wednesday in the southwest Virginia town of Abingdon. The current price is $12,458.Read full article >>
D.C. parents and education activists on Thursday praised Mayor Vincent C. Gray’s proposal to invest tens of millions of extra dollars to help at-risk students in the city’s traditional schools next year, but they criticized Gray’s administration for failing to explain how and where those dollars would be spent.Read full article >>
If you need a laugh, this is for you. It’s by Matt Farmer, a Chicago trial lawyer who is a member of the Local School Council at Philip Rogers Elementary School. Farmer wrote this satirical piece about Race to the Top, the competitive funding program run by Arne Duncan’s Education Department to dispense federal grants to states and school districts that promised to implement specific school reforms.Read full article >>
For two decades, Ellie Herman was a writer/producer for television shows including “The Riches,” “Desperate Housewives,” “Chicago Hope” and “Newhart.” Her fiction has appeared in literary journals, among them The Massachusetts Review, The Missouri Review and the O.Henry Awards Collection. In 2007, she decided, “on an impulse,” she wrote, to become an English teacher and got a job at a South Los Angeles charter school that was 97 percent Latino and where 96 percent of the students lived below the poverty line. She taught drama, creative writing, English 11 and 9th grade Composition at a charter high school in South Los Angeles until 2013, when she decided to stop teaching and spend a year visiting classrooms and learning from other teachers. She is chronicling the lessons she is learning on her blog, Gatsby in L.A., where the following post appeared. I’ll be posting more work from her soon.Read full article >>
Bobby Jindal, governor of Louisiana, and John White, Louisiana’s education commissioner, were once a great school reform pair -- seemingly inseparable. Times have changed.
In early 2011, Jindal tapped White, then the superintendent of the Recovery School District in New Orleans, to become education chief in Louisiana and the state Board of Education approved the choice. At the time, Jindal said in a statement:Read full article >>
Dartmouth College’s president lamented Wednesday that the Ivy League school’s promising future “is being hijacked by extreme behavior,” including sex assaults, parties with “racist and sexist undertones,” and a campus culture in which “dangerous drinking has become the rule and not the exception.”Read full article >>
Virginia Tech has paid $32,500 to satisfy federal fines lodged by the U.S. Department of Education, which charged that the university did not adequately warn its campus community at the beginning of a 2007 rampage that became one of the deadliest mass shootings in U.S. history.Read full article >>
The early results of The Washington Post’s SAT quiz -- including sample questions from the College Board’s revamped SAT -- are in, and it’s clear from the numbers that those who took the test are more astute at reading than they are at math.Read full article >>
The College Board released new details on Wednesday about how the SAT will change in early 2016. My colleague Nick Anderson wrote about the changes in this story, explaining how the test, once billed as evaluating “aptitude,” is now being marketed as a measure of high school achievement. But does it even do that? Bob Schaeffer, public education director of the National Center for Fair & Open Testing, known as FairTest, explains. FairTest is a non-profit organization dedicated to ending the misuse of standardized tests.Read full article >>
Sam Levin was a student when, in 2011, he founded the Independent Project at Monument Mountain Regional High School in Massachusetts. He had thrown out an idea to administrations about allowing students to create a learning environment in which teachers serve as mentors and coaches while students post questions and design ways to answer them in unorthodox ways. The project started as a pilot and is now in several different schools. Levin graduated and went to Oxford University in England, where he is now a senior. Here’s a piece he wrote about what students really need in school.Read full article >>
I’ll be doing a live chat on washingtonpost.com at 1 p.m. today, so if you have any questions or comments about anything in education (or even marginally related), send them in here:Read full article >>