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The Washington Post Local Education section provides coverage and analysis of schools, home school and education policy for DC, Maryland and Virginia. With in-depth coverage and analysis of Washington, DC education and schools, including DC charter schools, DC Schools Chancellor, DC teacher contract news and map of DC schools.
Updated: 7 hours 19 min ago

Strauss: Pay for veteran teachers ‘painfully low’ in states like Colorado, where truckers earn more — new report

Thu, 07/24/2014 - 1:43pm

A new report on teacher pay finds that base salaries in some states are so “painfully low” for mid- and late-career teachers that truckers and sheet-metal workers earn more.

The report by the nonprofit Center for American Progress, titled “Mid- and Late-Career Teachers Struggle With Paltry Incomes,” says that many veteran teachers must work a second job to earn enough money to meet their basic needs.

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Categories: Education News

Fairfax teen is fifth in the world in biology competition

Thu, 07/24/2014 - 11:36am

A Fairfax County teenager finished fifth in the world and was the top American in an international biology competition for high school students held earlier this month in Bali, Indonesia.

William Long, a rising senior at the Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, bested 233 other competitors at the 25th annual International Biology Olympiad held July 5 to July 13 in Bali.

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Categories: Education News

D.C. names Height charter school as defendant in fraud case

Thu, 07/24/2014 - 9:17am

This story has been updated.

D.C. government lawyers have filed court documents naming Dorothy I. Height Community Academy Public Charter School as a defendant in an ongoing civil case, citing the school’s failure to stop making allegedly improper payments to its management company.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: The problem with how we talk about poverty and kids

Thu, 07/24/2014 - 5:01am

Ellie Herman has had a very interesting career. For two decades she 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.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: Educators who support Common Core call new tests ‘a travesty’

Thu, 07/24/2014 - 4:02am

Many parents and educators in New York are awaiting the release of results of controversial Common Core-aligned standardized tests that were given to students this past spring. Here is a letter that a principal and some of his teachers wrote to their state legislator expressing concerns about the exams. These concerns are shared by other N.Y. educators who have raised questions about what they say are badly constructed questions and arbitrarily determined cut scores for what constitutes student proficiency on the tests.

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Categories: Education News

Fairfax schools to vote on spending millions to turn half-day Mondays into full class days

Wed, 07/23/2014 - 7:43pm

The Fairfax County School Board is scheduled to vote Thursday on using $7.6 million to cover the estimated cost of extending Mondays from half a day of classes to a full day for elementary students in the coming school year.

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Categories: Education News

D.C. students ‘meet Washington’ to learn about careers and prepare for them

Wed, 07/23/2014 - 6:12pm

A group of D.C. students got a close look at the construction of the National Museum of African American History and Culture this week, with the senior project manager giving an overview of the design and building phases of the three-tiered copper building and the artifacts it will house.

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Categories: Education News

Maxwell appoints new chief financial officer for Prince George’s County schools

Wed, 07/23/2014 - 2:32pm

Eighteen years ago, Colby R. White was an accounting clerk for Maryland’s second-largest school system.

Today, he is the Prince George’s County school district’s chief financial officer, responsible for a staff of 175 employees and for helping craft the school system’s $1.8 billion budget. His office includes payroll, purchasing and worker’s compensation.

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Categories: Education News

D.C. Youth Slam Team brings home world championship

Wed, 07/23/2014 - 12:59pm

This story has been updated.

A D.C. slam poetry team won first prize at an international festival last weekend.

The 2014 Brave New Voices Festival, the largest youth slam poetry festival, attracted 50 teams from around the country and five international cities, and ended Saturday night with the “Grand Slam Finals.”

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Categories: Education News

Glenn Beck takes to the theaters to attack Common Core

Wed, 07/23/2014 - 11:56am

This story has been updated.

Conservative media commentator Glenn Beck led a national strategy session to kill the Common Core State Standards on Tuesday night, using a two-hour simulcast into movie theaters across the country as a way to embolden critics of the standards and recruit foot soldiers to the cause.

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Categories: Education News

Report: D.C. youth more likely to attend preschool, have health insurance

Wed, 07/23/2014 - 9:30am

Children in the District are attending preschool at higher rates, performing better academically and are more likely to have health insurance, according to an annual report of child well-being indicators released this week.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: Studying Jon Snow: U-Va. offering ‘Game of Thrones’ summer course

Wed, 07/23/2014 - 9:26am

If “The Simpsons” can be the subject of a college course (“Simpsons and Philosophy” at the University of California Berkeley), as well as “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” (at Portland State University), it was only a matter of time before “Game of Thrones” would make it onto some course catalog. And now it has.

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Categories: Education News

McAuliffe will not appeal Virginia ruling that struck down school-takeover board

Tue, 07/22/2014 - 6:25pm

Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe said Tuesday that he will not appeal a circuit court’s ruling that struck down a newly created state board specializing in school takeovers as being unconstitutional.

His decision effectively neutralizes state lawmakers’ efforts to hand control of the state’s worst-performing public schools to universities or private charter groups.

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Categories: Education News

Louisiana parents, teachers, charters sue to get the Common Core back on track

Tue, 07/22/2014 - 5:19pm

A group of parents, teachers and a foundation that runs charter schools filed a lawsuit Tuesday alleging that Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) lacks the authority to withdraw his state from the Common Core national academic standards.

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Categories: Education News

Two Prince George’s County students take home awards at NAACP convention

Tue, 07/22/2014 - 3:52pm

As Alfred A. Dudley III, who recently graduated from Suitland High School, sat in the ballroom of the Mandalay Bay Resort in Las Vegas last weekend, he said he couldn’t help but be grateful to the African American heroes he depicted in his drawing and to his high school art teachers who helped him hone his craft.

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Categories: Education News

Montgomery County panel proposes cutting schools-issued credit cards for board

Tue, 07/22/2014 - 3:39pm

Montgomery County Board of Education members should discontinue their use of school system credit cards for travel and other expenses, a board committee recommended Tuesday.

The panel proposed replacing the cards with a per-diem allowance for members attending professional conferences and establishing a list of preapproved public events members may attend at taxpayer expense. The group also recommended that board members receive supplies to maintain home offices but that the school system no longer reimburse home office Internet service.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: ‘Say this, not that’: A slick PR guide to selling charter schools by key charter group

Tue, 07/22/2014 - 2:12pm

It appears as if the charter school sector believes that it needs to better hone its public messaging. At its recent annual convention, the National Alliance for Public Charter School handed out an 18-page “Charter School Messaging Notebook” that actually has sections that include, “Say This, Not That,” and “Who Are ‘Our People?’ ” (See below for the entire notebook).

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: New state rankings on how America’s children are faring

Tue, 07/22/2014 - 1:12pm

A new report on how America’s children are faring, just released by the  nonprofit Annie E. Casey Foundation, found that Massachusetts is doing the best job and Mississippi the worst in four areas: economic well-being, education, health and family/community indicators.

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Categories: Education News

Wayne A.I. Frederick named 17th president of Howard University

Tue, 07/22/2014 - 12:01pm

Howard University’s Board of Trustees has named interim leader Wayne A.I. Frederick, a cancer surgeon who holds three Howard degrees, as the school’s 17th president.

His appointment comes at a tumultuous time for the historically black university, which in the past year has faced allegations of fiscal mismanagement, two credit downgrades amid concerns about the financial health of a university-owned hospital, and a drop in a major national ranking of higher-education institutions.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: Educator: The many reasons ‘I am ashamed to be part of the system’

Tue, 07/22/2014 - 4:03am

Back in May I published a post by a veteran elementary school teacher named Ralph Ratto with this headline: ‘Today was the first day I was ever ashamed to be a teacher.’ What prompted him to write it was his experience administering controversial new Common Core-aligned standardized tests to his students in New York. I just received an e-mail that takes off from where Ratto’s piece ends, written by  from someone who has worked in two public school systems in Maryland and in private schools for some 25 years as a teacher, counselor, administrator at the school and district levels and in other positions. This person, who is still working, wishes to remain anonymous out of fear of reprisal.

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Categories: Education News
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