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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.
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Strauss: Teach For America and protesting Harvard students open dialogue

8 hours ago

Earlier this month I wrote about some Harvard University students in a group called United Students Against Sweatshops who wrote a letter to Harvard President Drew Faust asking her to sever ties with Teach For America unless TFA made big changes. It didn’t, and the ties remain, but the students and TFA have been talking and may sit down and meet face to face. Here’s the exchange of letters between TFA and USAS.

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Categories: Education News

Later school start times in Fairfax could set a trend as experts call for more teen sleep

Fri, 10/24/2014 - 11:44pm

Fairfax County’s plan to give more than 55,000 teens extra sleep next fall by delaying the first class of the day until 8 a.m. could set a trend for large school districts across the country as experts and educators seek to improve the health and well-being of high school students.

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Categories: Education News

Authorities confirm body is U-Va. student Hannah Graham

Fri, 10/24/2014 - 8:27pm

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — The body found on an abandoned property outside of this college town has been confirmed as the remains of University of Virginia sophomore Hannah Graham, a grim result that came nearly six weeks after the 18-year-old from Fairfax County went missing.

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Categories: Education News

Pr. William redraws new high school’s boundaries after DOJ inquiry

Fri, 10/24/2014 - 6:16pm

Prince William County officials have redrawn proposed attendance boundaries for its new high school after the initial plan prompted concerns and an inquiry from the U.S. Department of Justice because of the number of minority students slated to be sent to the high school.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: IS MIT researcher being censored by Educational Testing Service?

Fri, 10/24/2014 - 11:45am

Les Perelman is a research affiliate in the Comparative Media Studies/Writing program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he spent years as a director of undergraduate writing. He researches ways to improve student writing and has been a vocal critic of the automated grading of essays. Perelman, along with MIT and Harvard students, designed the Basic Automatic B.S. Essay Language Generator, or Babel, a machine built to prove that essay-grading software is very limited in its ability to find meaning or check the accuracy of a piece of writing.  In this post, Perelman says that the Educational Testing Service, the world’s largest private nonprofit educational testing and assessment organization, is censoring him in his effort to test a product ETS is selling to schools. ETS denies it in a response following Perelman’s piece.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: Teacher spends two days as a student and is shocked at what she learns

Fri, 10/24/2014 - 5:00am

Do teachers really know what students go through? To find out, one teacher followed two students for two days  and was amazed at what she found. Her report is in  following post, which appeared on the blog of Grant Wiggins, the co-author of “Understanding by Design” and the author of “Educative Assessment” and numerous articles on education. A high school teacher for 14 years, he is now the president of Authentic Education,  in Hopewell, New Jersey, which provides professional development and other services to schools aimed at improving student learning.  You can read more about him and his work at the AE site.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: Why is bilingual education ‘good’ for rich kids but ‘bad’ for poor, immigrant students?

Fri, 10/24/2014 - 4:00am

 If you follow the public debate about bilingual education, you know that there are two basic opposing views. As Claire Bowern, the author of the following post, writes,

To put it bluntly, bilingualism is often seen as “good” when it’s rich English speakers adding a language as a hobby or another international language, but “bad when it involves poor, minority, or indigenous groups adding English to their first language, even when the same two languages are involved. Read full article >>






Categories: Education News

Fairfax County high schools to push back start times next fall

Fri, 10/24/2014 - 12:42am

Fairfax County teens will get extra sleep next fall under a new initiative approved late Thursday that will push back the first class of the day in high schools to 8 a.m. or after.

The school board voted 11 to 1, with board member Kathy Smith (Sully) opposed, to delay start times to between 8 a.m. and 8:10 a.m. in the county’s 22 high schools and three secondary schools.

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Categories: Education News

Graham abduction suspect Jesse Matthew Jr. charged in Fairfax sexual assault case

Thu, 10/23/2014 - 8:21pm

CHARLOTTESVILLE — The suspect in the disappearance of University of Virginia student Hannah Graham might soon be moved to Northern Virginia to face new charges related to a vicious sexual assault in 2005 in Fairfax City.

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Categories: Education News

UNC scandal not just about athletes; many who took ‘paper classes’ were not in sports

Thu, 10/23/2014 - 5:28pm

Much has been made of irregular “paper classes” at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, which helped numerous student-athletes score high grades for little, if any, academic work.

But one aspect of the latest report on the scandal, this one from investigator Kenneth L. Wainstein, is worth a closer look: It wasn’t just about special favors for student-athletes.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: Just when things were looking bad for PARCC, they got worse

Thu, 10/23/2014 - 4:35pm

Just when things were already looking bad for PARCC, one of the two multi-state Common Core testing consortia, they just got worse.

The chief executive of the Chicago Public School system said that she wants to delay the use of the Common Core test being developed by PARCC (the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers) — even though she knows state education officials don’t want to take that action. That’s how concerned she is about the test.

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Categories: Education News

Multiple cases of meningitis reported at U-Md.

Thu, 10/23/2014 - 3:26pm

Multiple cases of meningitis have been reported at the University of Maryland, College Park.

Katie Lawson, a university spokeswoman, said that she did not know the number of cases, but knew that more than one student was sick. She did not know when the illness was first reported on campus.

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Categories: Education News

D.C. mayoral candidates sound off on future of charter and traditional schools

Thu, 10/23/2014 - 3:13pm

D.C. mayoral candidates faced a math problem of sorts Wednesday night at the campaign’s only major forum devoted to education: In 1966, the District had about 147,000 students in 196 schools. Now, there are 86,000 students in 213 neighborhood and charter school buildings, yet the city continues to open charter schools.

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Categories: Education News

Average Prince George’s SAT score declines

Thu, 10/23/2014 - 11:15am

The average SAT score for the Class of 2014 in Prince George’s County was 1197, down 10 points from the year before, according to figures released by county school system officials.

This year’s students in Prince George’s County also fared worse on the SAT test than students nationally, who scored an average of 1497 on the college admission test that has a perfect score of 2400 for critical reading, math and writing.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: Read the report: 18 years of academic fraud at UNC for athletes, other students

Thu, 10/23/2014 - 10:28am

For nearly 20 years, employees at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill perpetrated an academic fraud involving fake classes and grades that permitted at least 3,100 students — many of them athletes — to graduate, according to a newly released report (which you can read in full below). While a number of employees have been fired or under disciplinary review, there are still big questions about who knew what and when that the report doesn’t directly answer.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: Texas textbook review: ‘I’d like a Biblical check on that’

Thu, 10/23/2014 - 8:39am

The Texas Education Agency held a special meeting this week at which members asked  publishers to respond to criticisms of proposed textbooks in social studies, fine arts and mathematics in advance of next month’s vote on approval of next texts. Earlier this year after publishers submitted textbooks for adoption next month, critics pored over them and found what they said were numerous inaccurate, distorted and biased material in history, geography, government, religion and other subjects.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: ‘To the casual observer, my erratic college visiting search could be seen as disorganized and careless’

Thu, 10/23/2014 - 4:00am

This post is the third in a continuing series about a high school senior as she navigates through the process of searching for and applying to college.  She is Samantha Fogel, a student at The Derryfield School, a private college preparatory day school for grades six through twelve in Manchester, New Hampshire. Samantha and her college counselor, Brennan Barnard, are documenting her application process in a series of occasional posts that will include the voices of her parents, teachers, friends and others. Her story may help debunk some myths surrounding selective college admission while providing a window into a time of transition for one young woman growing up in rural New Hampshire.

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Categories: Education News

Rumors about possible violence at Fright Fest prompt principal to send warning

Wed, 10/22/2014 - 7:58pm

A high school principal in Prince George’s County is urging parents not to send their children to Six Flags America this weekend because of the threat of violence at Fright Fest.

“Don’t allow your children to go to Six Flags this weekend,” Nate Newman, principal of Suitland High School, said to parents in a text message. “Big gang fight planned. Retaliation from last incident.”

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Categories: Education News

Students jive to Charlie Parker and Count Basie during Montgomery blues program

Wed, 10/22/2014 - 7:13pm

The band’s beats and chords squished together like putty and dangled apart across subtle silence, and 1,600 pairs of little eyeballs widened as trombone tones danced to a Caribbean groove. Children jived and twisted in their seats as notes barreled and swayed around them.

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Categories: Education News

Text messages between substitute teacher and detective acting as student victim

Wed, 10/22/2014 - 4:47pm

The following is the text of a court document that outlines text messages between Symone Greene, a substitute teacher at a D.C. charter school charged with having oral sex with a student football player, and a D.C. police detective purporting to be the victim. The phone was in police custody at the time.

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Categories: Education News
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