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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: 40 min 58 sec ago

Prince George’s schools cut costs by reducing printers, sparking complaints

Mon, 09/29/2014 - 8:29pm

Prince George’s County has significantly reduced the number of printers in its public schools this year, leading teachers to complain that they are losing instructional and planning time because they have to go to the main office to make copies. They also said they often end up waiting in long lines behind other teachers and have dealt with far more machine malfunctions.

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Suspect’s arrest in U-Va. case provides lead in 2009 death of Virginia Tech student

Mon, 09/29/2014 - 8:19pm

Virginia State Police investigators said Monday that the arrest of Jesse L. “LJ” Matthew Jr., who allegedly abducted missing U-Va. student Hannah Graham this month, has provided “a significant break” in the case of a young woman who similarly disappeared in Charlottesville five years ago and was later found dead.

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Takeovers of struggling charter schools offer families stability, and a culture clash

Mon, 09/29/2014 - 7:03pm

The line of parents waiting to attend back-to-school night stretched down the sidewalk, and many of them had no idea what to expect as they approached the historic school on Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue in Southeast Washington.

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Categories: Education News

Montgomery’s school board race comes into focus, with eight candidates

Mon, 09/29/2014 - 1:42pm

With the November election five weeks away, the race for school board in Montgomery County is expected to come into sharper focus Monday night at one of the first major forums of the fall campaign season.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: Are these the best and worst states for teachers?

Mon, 09/29/2014 - 12:21pm

The WalletHub Web site looked at data to determine the states that they call the “teacher friendliest states in the country.”

The data used to come up with the rankings include (see entire methodology below) average starting salaries, median annual salaries, number of teacher per capita, unemployment rates and much more. It also included data from other WalletHub rankings, including one purportedly ranking the “best and worst school systems” based in part on standardized test scores (which really tell us far less than commonly believed) and other data points that are open to interpretation, such as instances of bullying (which are handled differently in different schools).

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Special education, ESL students in D.C. among least likely to graduate

Mon, 09/29/2014 - 12:19pm

A report released Friday looks at the drop-out crisis in the District and identifies early risk factors that can derail students from graduating. Currently, as many as 40 percent of students in the District do not graduate in four years, one of the lowest graduation rates in the country.

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Categories: Education News

Want proof college is worth it? Look at this list of the highest-paying majors

Mon, 09/29/2014 - 8:15am

Is a four-year college degree worth it? Generally yes, but the results vary quite a bit across majors — and can even vary widely within majors.

That’s the takeaway from new research by Brad Hershbein and Melissa Kearney at The Hamilton Project. The authors analyzed Census Bureau data to find out which college majors earned the most and the least. Topping the list are the engineering fields, to no one’s surprise. Some of the least-earning majors are related to education, theater and art. Over a lifetime, the median expected earnings for a drama or theater arts major is lower than that of someone with a two-year associate’s degree.

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Categories: Education News

What it’s like to graduate from college with the lowest-paying major

Mon, 09/29/2014 - 8:14am

The preschool teacher walked a 4-year-old student to his apartment in Rogers Park, a neighborhood in Chicago where many straddle the poverty line. On this September evening, Cayla Calfee, 23, met the boy’s mother, a full-time nanny for two families. They discussed the boy’s goals, the application process for a competitive kindergarten.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: Why the kids who most need arts education aren’t getting it

Mon, 09/29/2014 - 5:00am

Though the benefits of art education are very real (see here for a list of 10), it is one of the big, unfortunate casualties of the high-stakes testing era, with its laser focus on math and English Language Arts — especially in schools with big populations of students who live in poverty. Just how effective a good arts program can be was shown by Michael Sokolove, a contributing writer for the New York Times Magazine, in his book titled “Drama High: The Incredible True Story of a Brilliant Teacher, a Struggling Town and the Magic of Theater,” about an elite high school theater program in a blue-collar Pennsylvania town. The book will be issued in paperback on Oct. 7. Here’s a piece by Sokolove on saving arts education.

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Categories: Education News

Mathews: Parents saying no to too much homework

Sun, 09/28/2014 - 5:40pm

A Prince George’s County reader who identifies herself on my Web page as JenPam2003 did not like my suggestion that parents enforce a reasonable amount of time for their children’s homework. I said their kids should do something else when that time expired, even if the assignments are not finished.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: How much time will new Common Core tests take kids to finish? Quite a lot.

Sun, 09/28/2014 - 1:21pm

(Correction: Fixing the number of states believed to be using PARCC exam this school year.)

Q) How much time will it take for students to complete some of the new Common Core standardized math and English Language Arts tests?

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: Why college freshmen need to take Emotions 101

Sun, 09/28/2014 - 11:00am

Too many college students face challenges for which they are emotionally ill-equipped to handle. In fact, suicide is the second leading cause of death for college students. In this piece, from OpEd Project’s Yale Public Voices Fellowship program, two mental health experts and program fellows explain how colleges and universities can better deal with the problem of student anxiety and depression. It was written by Diana Divecha, a developmental psychologist and research affiliate of the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence, and Robin Stern, a psychoanalyst and associate director of the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: Colorado school district votes to opt most students out of Common Core testing

Sat, 09/27/2014 - 10:23am

The board of education in Colorado’s second largest city has voted to opt out most of its 30,000 students from new Common Core standardized testing and will ask the state government for flexibility to carry out its plan. It is the first district in the state and one of the first in the country to do so.

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Categories: Education News

‘Fight club’ tweets, gun rumor apparently keep many Fauquier students home Friday

Fri, 09/26/2014 - 8:27pm

Hundreds of students did not come to classes at Fauquier High School on Friday after numerous fights broke out during the week and rumors swirled that a student might bring a gun to the school on Friday.

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Categories: Education News

JMU president versed in civil rights law

Fri, 09/26/2014 - 7:34pm

HARRISONBURG, Va. — College presidents nationwide are racing this year to school themselves on what federal civil rights laws require when sexual violence flares on campus.

Jonathan R. Alger, president of James Madison University, might have an edge over his peers. A graduate of Harvard Law School, Alger worked as an attorney in the Office for Civil Rights at the U.S. Education Department from 1992 to 1996.

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Categories: Education News

Campus discussions increasingly focus on sex assault

Fri, 09/26/2014 - 7:34pm

HARRISONBURG, Va. — Parents have always sent their kids off to college with lots of advice: Study hard, do your laundry, don’t spend all your money in the first week.

This year, with rising urgency, many are adding serious words of caution. To their daughters: Don’t walk alone at night. To their sons: No means no. To both: Beware of sexual hookups after heavy drinking.

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Categories: Education News

Suspect returned to Va. to face charges in U-Va. case

Fri, 09/26/2014 - 7:14pm

CHARLOTTESVILLE — The suspect in the disappearance of University of Virginia student Hannah Graham was moved from a Texas holding facility and arrived Friday in Virginia, authorities said.

Jesse L. “LJ” Matthew Jr., 32, who has been charged with one count of abduction with intent to sexually assault Graham, arrived at Charlottesville-Albemarle Airport at about 5:45 p.m., Charlottesville police said. They said Matthew was being held without bond at the Albe­marle-Charlottesville Regional Jail. He is expected to have a bond hearing on Thursday. The courthouse is closed for a statewide judicial conference that runs Monday through Wednesday.

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Categories: Education News

Two N.Y. cities and a promise: A full ride to college for high school graduates

Fri, 09/26/2014 - 5:44pm

What if every student who graduated from a city’s public high schools were guaranteed the money needed to go to college?

An experiment like this is under way in Syracuse and Buffalo through the efforts of a New York foundation called Say Yes to Education. The Syracuse promise dates to 2008, and the Buffalo version to 2011. In all, the foundation has helped more than 3,600 graduates from the two New York cities — many of them from low-income families — go to college.

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Categories: Education News

Muslim community raises concerns about equal treatment for school holidays

Fri, 09/26/2014 - 3:42pm

The Muslim community is concerned about “disparate treatment” toward religious groups from different Montgomery County agencies, a Muslim leader told school officials.

Saqib Ali, a former state delegate and a co-chair of the Equality for Eid Coalition, said the Muslim community took note of a recent decision by the county’s parks department to cancel a fall harvest festival that conflicted with the Jewish holy day of Yom Kippur.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: Why we can’t reform literacy and math all at once

Fri, 09/26/2014 - 3:30pm

School “reform” is hardly a new phenomenon in the public school system, with decades of efforts to improve reading and math scores. Why haven’t all these efforts met expectations? Here’s one explanation, from Andy Hargreaves, the Brennan Chair in Education in the Lynch School of Education at Boston College and an adviser to the  premier and minister of education of Ontario, Canada. His new book, with Alan Boyle and Alma Harris, is “Uplifting Leadership.” This first appeared on the blog of Lesley University’s Center for Reading Recovery and Literacy Collaborative.

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