Education News from Washington Post

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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: 11 hours 17 min ago

D.C. charter board member has $195,000 contract with D.C. charter school

Fri, 07/18/2014 - 7:58pm

A member of the D.C. Public Charter School Board is receiving $195,000 to do consulting work for a network of schools that the board is responsible for overseeing, according to a list of recent contracts the board published on its Web site.

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Categories: Education News

New college data give fuller picture of graduation rates — and show challenges

Fri, 07/18/2014 - 4:05pm

Dozens of public universities across the country, including three in Maryland, report that fewer than half of their full-time freshmen in 2007 earned bachelor’s degrees after six years at those schools or after switching to other schools.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: Mom’s letter to college-bound daughter: Why ‘I have reason to fear’

Fri, 07/18/2014 - 12:31pm

Vicki Abeles is a filmmaker, attorney and mother of three. She is also the co-director and producer of the education documentary “Race to Nowhere,” which revealed the damage to young people being done by the pressures of school, homework, tutoring and extracurricular activities. In the following letter Abeles tells her daughter Jamey, who will be a freshman at the University of Denver, to “stay true to the strong and talented self you’ve worked so hard to find, and show the world what college is really for.” Here’s her letter (which appeared on Huffington Post):

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Categories: Education News

South County principal Jane Lipp named assistant superintendent in Fairfax

Fri, 07/18/2014 - 11:38am

Fairfax County Schools Superintendent Karen Garza named South County High School principal Jane Lipp as the assistant superintendent for special services.

Lipp, who had served as South County principal since 2008, will succeed Kim Dockery, who was promoted to the new position of chief academic officer in July.

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Categories: Education News

Financial review of D.C. charters includes new scrutiny of management contracts

Thu, 07/17/2014 - 6:35pm

The D.C. Public Charter School Board released its annual review of charter school finances this week, and for the first time, the board offered a snapshot of schools that have contracts with outside management companies, expenditures of taxpayer dollars that are difficult to track.

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Categories: Education News

Fairfax school system ends the year with millions in unspent cash, again

Thu, 07/17/2014 - 5:17pm

The Fairfax County school system ended the past fiscal year with more than $38 million in extra cash, the result of budgeted funds officials did not spend.

Each year, the school system revisits the budget to identify leftover cash that can be used at the school board’s discretion for future projects. The administration plans to use approximately $20 million of this year’s funds to address a projected shortfall of more than $55 million for fiscal 2016.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: A basic flaw in the argument against affirmative action

Thu, 07/17/2014 - 4:02pm

A panel of judges from the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals just issued a ruling saying that the University of Texas can continue to use race as one factor in undergraduate admissions decisions in an effort to create a diverse student body.

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Categories: Education News

Poll: 70 percent of voters support federal preschool expansion

Thu, 07/17/2014 - 1:52pm

Seven in 10 voters, including six in 10 Republicans, support a plan for the federal government to expand quality early childhood programs for low- and middle-income families, according to a national poll sponsored by the First Five Years Fund, an advocacy group.

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Categories: Education News

D.C. schools hire expert to help improve outcomes for African American boys

Thu, 07/17/2014 - 1:00pm

D.C. Schools Chancellor Kaya Henderson has hired Robert Simmons, a professor of urban education whose work focuses on the experiences of African American boys, for a new senior-level position as the school system’s chief of innovation and research.

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Categories: Education News

Amid Common Core debate, North Carolina opts to tweak, not abandon, standards

Wed, 07/16/2014 - 5:51pm

Lawmakers in North Carolina agreed Wednesday to come up with an alternative to the Common Core State Standards in math and reading.

Sort of.

The House and Senate agreed to a compromise that creates a commission to reexamine the Common Core standards and find ways to improve on them.

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Categories: Education News

Early education should be integral part of elementary schools, foundation says

Wed, 07/16/2014 - 1:38pm

Preschool programs should be integral parts of elementary schools with comparable funding levels and school hours; child-care professionals should be trained as teachers, not babysitters; and state data systems should include information about early education, according to a blueprint for speeding up improvements in early education.

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Categories: Education News

Why I was wrong to trash poster boards

Wed, 07/16/2014 - 1:26pm

Several teachers and parents have been eviscerating me, rightfully, for my thoughtless dismissal of poster-board projects — those visual assignments we’ve all had to do — as homework. My column on that subject cited an expert — former national high school principal of the year, Mel Riddile — who thought poster boards were often misused. But I failed to emphasize something Riddile and I both know: These days poster boards can be vital for the presentation skills all children should learn.

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Categories: Education News

Deirdre Lavery is new principal of Fairfax’s Lee High School

Wed, 07/16/2014 - 12:18pm

Veteran Fairfax County administrator Deirdre Lavery has been named principal of Springfield’s Lee High School.

Lavery succeeds Abe Jeffers, who left Lee in May to serve as a top administrator in Richmond city schools. Lavery had most recently served as the director of the old Cluster 3.

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Categories: Education News

Tierra Jolly wins D.C. State Board of Education race

Wed, 07/16/2014 - 8:00am

Tierra Jolly defeated opponent Philip Pannell in a sleepy special election Tuesday to fill the Ward 8 seat on the D.C. State Board of Education, according to unofficial results from all 17 precincts posted online late Tuesday.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: Did Obama and Duncan really hear what four teachers told them?

Wed, 07/16/2014 - 5:02am

Here is the third in a series of pieces I have been publishing about a lunch meeting that President Obama and Education Secretary Arne Duncan had recently with four teachers from high-poverty schools that focused on education, the teaching profession and school reform.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: Why building relationships is vital in school reform

Wed, 07/16/2014 - 4:02am

Is it possible that some school reforms that hold promise are failing because educators are simply not given the time or resources to communicate and build meaningful relationships with each other in order to properly implement them? Or because the conditions in which they do their work do not support productive interactions?  The authors of the following post, Kara S. Finnigan and Alan J. Daly, explain research they have done that underscores the importance of the relational element in reform, and they draw on social network research as a way to highlight the importance of relationships as conduits through which valued resources flow and can bring about systemwide change.

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Categories: Education News

Report: Nearly 1 million community college students can’t take out federal loans

Tue, 07/15/2014 - 5:05pm

Nearly 1 million students in community colleges are unable to take out federal student loans because their schools don’t participate in the federal program, an advocacy group reported Tuesday.

The Institute for College Access and Success, which studied the issue nationally, said 8.5 percent of all students at the public two-year colleges are blocked from a source of financing usually cheaper than a private loan.

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Categories: Education News

D.C. leaders celebrate topping-out at new Ballou High

Tue, 07/15/2014 - 4:28pm

Mayor Vincent C. Gray and D.C. Council member Marion Barry on Tuesday joined hundreds of hard-hatted construction workers in celebrating the topping-out of Southeast Washington’s new Ballou High, expected to open to students in January 2015.

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Categories: Education News

Garza recommends later start time for Fairfax high schools

Tue, 07/15/2014 - 12:38pm

This story has been updated.

The first classes of the day at Fairfax County high schools in 2015 could begin after 8 a.m. under a plan being considered by the school district administration.

Fairfax County schools superintendent Karen Garza said that she endorsed a proposal to push back the start of high school classes by at least 40 minutes as part of a long-enduring effort to help teens get more sleep, provided that the plan could be modified to start middle schools earlier but after 7:30 a.m. The proposal likely would cost more than $5,580,000 in new buses.

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Categories: Education News

Prince George’s gets grant to open schools for young English-language learners

Tue, 07/15/2014 - 12:00pm

Prince George’s County will open two high schools in 2015 that are specifically designed to help recent immigrant students and second-generation students who are struggling academically to adapt in the United States, school system officials said Tuesday.

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Categories: Education News
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