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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: Did you know it’s ‘Bring Your Bible to School Day’?

Thu, 10/16/2014 - 9:56am

Today, you may not know, is  national “Bring Your Bible to School Day,” so declared by a Christian ministry called Focus on The Family. Here’s what a Web site promoting the event says:

Did you know that students have recently been ordered to stop reading their Bibles during free time at school? Here at Focus on the Family, we believe the Bible is a powerful message of hope and love for humanity—something to be celebrated, not banned. We also believe in the cherished religious freedoms our Founding Fathers fought to protect. Read full article >>






Categories: Education News

Strauss: Oops, never mind: Why a major university retracted report on charter schools

Thu, 10/16/2014 - 6:00am

Tulane University released a report this month which said that high schools in charter-heavy New Orleans were “beating the odds” with test scores and graduation rates higher than expected for most students. The report got some attention in education circles because New Orleans is the poster city for charter schools. Furthermore, Tulane is a well-regarded research university so one could rightly assume that the research it publishes is sound.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: The best way for students to become writers

Thu, 10/16/2014 - 6:00am

What is the best way for students to become writers? If you were going to say “by practicing writing,” you may be surprised by the answer in the following post, written by Joanne Yatvin, a past president of the National Council of Teachers of English. Most recently she has written books about teaching reading and writing in mixed language classrooms.

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Categories: Education News

Ebola could test college commitments to international academic exchange

Wed, 10/15/2014 - 9:49pm

U.S. colleges and universities have long prided themselves on an open-door policy that encourages enrollment of international students. Their commitment to that principle might get tested in coming months as the deadly Ebola virus ravages three west African nations.

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Categories: Education News

Enrollment in Prince George’s schools increases for a second straight year

Wed, 10/15/2014 - 9:44pm

After a decade-long decline in enrollment, the Prince George’s County public school system has gained students for the second year in a row.

The county’s school system grew by 2,769 students the past year, according to preliminary figures released this week. Unofficial tallies put enrollment at 127,905, up from 125,136 during the 2013-2014 school year. Enrollment was 123,833 the previous year. Official numbers are expected in mid-November.

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Categories: Education News

Family in Anne Arundel pastry gun case loses school board appeal

Wed, 10/15/2014 - 8:48pm

School officials in Anne Arundel County rejected an appeal filed by the family of a boy suspended after he chewed his breakfast pastry into the shape of a gun, according to a decision the family’s lawyer received Wednesday.

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Categories: Education News

School standardized testing is under growing attack, leaders pledge changes

Wed, 10/15/2014 - 8:38pm

The standardized test, a hallmark of the accountability movement that has defined U.S. public education since 2002, is under growing attack from critics who say students from pre-kindergarten to 12th grade are taking too many exams.

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Categories: Education News

3 former educators at Bailey’s in Fairfax file discrimination suit against principal

Wed, 10/15/2014 - 7:16pm

Three former educators at Bailey’s Elementary School for the Arts and Sciences allege in a federal lawsuit that they experienced severe workplace discrimination under the school’s principal, who continues to lead one of the largest elementary schools in the region.

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Categories: Education News

Region’s schools asking about student travel to Africa as precaution against Ebola

Wed, 10/15/2014 - 3:46pm

Public school systems across the Washington region are monitoring their students in a precautionary effort to prevent the spread of the deadly Ebola virus.

Students who show up at school health centers in Fairfax and Montgomery counties with signs of a fever are facing questions about their recent travel history, and new students in several districts must answer questions about travel to and from West Africa on enrollment forms so school officials can learn about possible exposure in the region of the world most affected by the Ebola outbreak.

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Categories: Education News

Rocketship encounters opposition; chosen location is near halfway house

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

Rocketship, a highly regarded California-based charter school operator, is encountering community opposition as it moves to open its first school in the District.

Opponents say that the school’s chosen location in Anacostia is unsafe — across the street from a halfway house for returning felons — and that the charter operator did not make sufficient efforts to reach out to its new neighbors. In letters to the D.C. Public Charter School Board, 11 people cited safety and other concerns.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: Campbell Brown, Wendy Kopp donate to D.C. school board candidate

Wed, 10/15/2014 - 11:06am

You might not think that a school board race in Washington D.C., where the Board of Education lost most of its power years ago, would be all that interesting to anybody but Washingtonians — and then again only to those who live in a particular district. But, mirroring a trend in once-invisible school board races elsewhere around the country, outsiders have taken an interest in a candidate running for Ward 1 State Board of Education representative in the Nov. 4 elections.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: Ten things not to do when your child is applying to college

Wed, 10/15/2014 - 5:00am

If you are a parent trying to help a child apply for college, you know how hard the process can be. Figuring out what to do and not do can be bewildering. In this post, Liz Willen, editor of The Hechinger Report, a nonprofit, independent news website focused on inequality and innovation in education, offers some help. This post was produced by The Hechinger Report.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: Education Department investigating three school civil rights complaints

Wed, 10/15/2014 - 4:00am

(Correction: Earlier version mislabeled who protested at high school. It was community members, not students.)

The Education Department’s Office of Civil Rights is investigating three complaints filed on behalf of African American parents in New Orleans, Chicago and Newark alleging racial discrimination in the closing of scores of neighborhood public schools in those three cities.

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Categories: Education News

Report finds wide disparities in local per-pupil spending; D.C. charters spend most

Wed, 10/15/2014 - 12:01am

Charter schools in the District spent $18,150 per student during the 2011-2012 school year, while Prince George’s County Public Schools spent $10,408 on each child it served, a significant difference between the highest and lowest spenders in the Washington region, according to a study released Wednesday by the Thomas B. Fordham Institute.

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Categories: Education News

School bus cameras spot hundreds of drivers illegally passing stopped buses

Tue, 10/14/2014 - 6:21pm

Drivers in Montgomery County have received 825 citations this year for illegally passing school buses that were stopped to drop off and pick up children, according to data from buses equipped with enforcement cameras.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: How a national moratorium on standardized testing could work

Tue, 10/14/2014 - 5:00am

In early 2012, Robert Scott, then the commissioner of education in Texas, rocked the world of education reform when he declared that school accountability systems based on high-stakes standardized tests  had led to a “perversion” of what a quality education should be and he called “the assessment and accountability regime” not only “a cottage industry but a military-industrial complex.”  Different kinds of protests by parents and educators, school boards and students began in Texas, California, New York and other states, and the year ended with a public call by  Joshua Starr, superintendent of Montgomery County Public Schools in Maryland, for a three-year moratorium on standardized testing. Since then the “test reform movement” has grown around the country, with tens of thousands of parents opting their children out of mandated standardized tests, teachers are starting to raise their voices and refusing to administer them, students are leading protests for sanity in school accountability.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: The trouble with parenting the college applicant

Tue, 10/14/2014 - 4:00am

With the 2014-15 school year  in full swing, many high school seniors are finding that they have two jobs: keeping up with classes and filling out college applications. This post is the second in a continuing series about one senior as she navigates the college search and application process. 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, will document her experience applying to college in 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

Strauss: Ailing Karen Lewis won’t run against Chicago mayor

Tue, 10/14/2014 - 3:14am

Karen Lewis, the fiery Chicago Teachers Union president who was expected to challenge Mayor Rahm Emanuel in the February 2015 election and who had been leading him in the polls, will not wage a campaign against him. A statement released by her exploratory committee Monday said that Lewis, who was hospitalized last week with an illness described only as “serious,” will not run and confirmed what many had already suspected.

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Categories: Education News

‘Men Make a Difference’ in Prince George’s County schools

Mon, 10/13/2014 - 3:14pm

Malik Shakur said he was so inspired by the participation at the Prince George’s County School System’s annual “Men Make a Difference Day” on Monday that he is seriously considering joining the PTSA at his son’s school, John Hanson Montessori School in Oxon Hill.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: James McPherson defends new AP U.S. History framework

Mon, 10/13/2014 - 1:39pm

With the new framework for the Advanced Placement U.S. History course under attack by critics who have claimed that it isn’t patriotic enough and even, perhaps, un-American, I decided to ask historian James McPherson for a considered opinion.

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Categories: Education News
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