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Updated: 4 hours 56 min ago

Why most people, including me, like homework

Sun, 03/23/2014 - 3:59pm

Everyone seems angry about homework. The pitches I receive from experts on the subject are almost always about students getting too much of it. My recent column about Fairfax County teenager Maddy King’s critique of homework drew many sympathetic comments. The school stress documentary “Race to Nowhere” has drawn much support. Readers hailed a father’s lament in the September 2013 Atlantic: “My Daughter’s Homework is Killing Me.”

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Categories: Education News

Why most people, including me, like homework

Sun, 03/23/2014 - 3:59pm

Everyone seems angry about homework. The pitches I receive from experts on the subject are almost always about students getting too much of it. My recent column about Fairfax County teenager Maddy King’s critique of homework drew many sympathetic comments. The school stress documentary “Race to Nowhere” has drawn much support. Readers hailed a father’s lament in the September 2013 Atlantic: “My Daughter’s Homework is Killing Me.”

Read full article >>
    





Categories: Education News

Strauss: Sen. Grassley seeking to defund Common Core in Congress

Sun, 03/23/2014 - 1:56pm

Having tried unsuccessfully last year to persuade his colleagues in Congress to defund the Common Core program, Sen. Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa) is at it again.

Grassley is circulating a “Dear Colleague” letter asking legislators to sign on to a separate missive that will be sent early next month to Senate education budget appropriators, asking that they no more federal money be put into the 2015 budget that helps develop or promote the Core, a set of math and English language standards adopted by most of the states that has become increasingly controversial over the past year. Grassley is likely to meet resistance from Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), a Core supporter who is chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee and of the Senate Appropriations subcommittee on education.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: Sen. Grassley seeking to defund Common Core in Congress

Sun, 03/23/2014 - 1:56pm

Having tried unsuccessfully last year to persuade his colleagues in Congress to defund the Common Core program, Sen. Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa) is at it again.

Grassley is circulating a “Dear Colleague” letter asking legislators to sign on to a separate missive that will be sent early next month to Senate education budget appropriators, asking that they no more federal money be put into the 2015 budget that helps develop or promote the Core, a set of math and English language standards adopted by most of the states that has become increasingly controversial over the past year. Grassley is likely to meet resistance from Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), a Core supporter who is chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee and of the Senate Appropriations subcommittee on education.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: Kindergarten teacher: My job is now about tests and data -- not children. I quit.

Sun, 03/23/2014 - 11:30am

Susan Sluyter is a veteran teacher of young children in the Cambridge Public Schools who has been connected to the district for nearly 20 years and teaching for more than 25 years. Last month she sent a resignation letter ( “with deep love and a broken heart”) explaining that she could no longer align her understanding of how young children learn best in safe, developmentally appropriate environments with the testing and data collection mandates imposed on teachers today. She wrote in part:

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: Kindergarten teacher: My job is now about tests and data -- not children. I quit.

Sun, 03/23/2014 - 11:30am

Susan Sluyter is a veteran teacher of young children in the Cambridge Public Schools who has been connected to the district for nearly 20 years and teaching for more than 25 years. Last month she sent a resignation letter ( “with deep love and a broken heart”) explaining that she could no longer align her understanding of how young children learn best in safe, developmentally appropriate environments with the testing and data collection mandates imposed on teachers today. She wrote in part:

Read full article >>
    





Categories: Education News

Student alleged to have ricin had been reported to Georgetown

Sat, 03/22/2014 - 7:33pm

A Georgetown University student who was charged Friday with possessing the biological toxin ricin made aggressive comments online toward another student earlier this year, according to a recent Georgetown graduate who said she alerted the school’s administration to the messages and believed the second student might be in danger.

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Categories: Education News

Snow and severe winter take a toll on classroom learning

Sat, 03/22/2014 - 5:49pm

This winter’s frequent snowstorms have reshuffled lesson plans and testing schedules at schools across the Washington region, and the days off have left students worried about being ready for spring exams. Teachers wonder if first-graders will make their reading goals as they lose ground on snow days, and parents have been surprised by extra homework.

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Categories: Education News

The Committee: Excerpts from inside the inner sanctum of GW admissions

Sat, 03/22/2014 - 2:32pm

In the world of selective college admissions, the inner sanctum is The Committee.

This is a panel, found at many colleges and universities, that typically convenes to deliberate borderline applications. The Committee weighs the case and decides whether a student should be admitted, turned down or put on a waiting list.

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Categories: Education News

The Committee: Excerpts from inside the inner sanctum of GW admissions

Sat, 03/22/2014 - 2:32pm

In the world of selective college admissions, the inner sanctum is The Committee.

This is a panel, found at many colleges and universities, that typically convenes to deliberate borderline applications. The Committee weighs the case and decides whether a student should be admitted, turned down or put on a waiting list.

Read full article >>
    





Categories: Education News

Inside the admissions process at George Washington University

Sat, 03/22/2014 - 2:12pm

Britt Freitag, an admissions officer at George Washington University, confessed she was “slightly nervous” about a candidate for the Class of 2018. His grades were solid, but not stellar. The student had taken some tough courses, but not as many as Freitag would have liked. Test scores, she said, were “definitely on the low side.”

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Categories: Education News

Inside the admissions process at George Washington University

Sat, 03/22/2014 - 2:12pm

Britt Freitag, an admissions officer at George Washington University, confessed she was “slightly nervous” about a candidate for the Class of 2018. His grades were solid, but not stellar. The student had taken some tough courses, but not as many as Freitag would have liked. Test scores, she said, were “definitely on the low side.”

Read full article >>
    





Categories: Education News

Strauss: Things teachers learn in their first year

Sat, 03/22/2014 - 2:00pm

Here is a lovely video from BuzzFeed Video featuring teachers talking about the things they learned during their first year on the job.

Excerpts:

You think right off the bat you’re gonna be this amazing teacher and you kinda have to come and realize that you’re not.

--

You don’t know the life of your students so something at home could be a really big problem. Some kids reading on a 12th grade level. Some kids reading on a sixth grade level. And when you are faced with that reality every single day you are making up for a lot of lost time. You have to be a counselor, a best friend, a father figure, a mother figure.

--

I had a student who was so defiant he was border-line threatening me.

--

Teaching has really showed me that there is no kid who doesn’t want to learn.

--

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: Things teachers learn in their first year

Sat, 03/22/2014 - 2:00pm

Here is a lovely video from BuzzFeed Video featuring teachers talking about the things they learned during their first year on the job.

Excerpts:

You think right off the bat you’re gonna be this amazing teacher and you kinda have to come and realize that you’re not.

--

You don’t know the life of your students so something at home could be a really big problem. Some kids reading on a 12th grade level. Some kids reading on a sixth grade level. And when you are faced with that reality every single day you are making up for a lot of lost time. You have to be a counselor, a best friend, a father figure, a mother figure.

--

I had a student who was so defiant he was border-line threatening me.

--

Teaching has really showed me that there is no kid who doesn’t want to learn.

--

Read full article >>
    





Categories: Education News

Strauss: A ‘Dear John’ letter to Florida -- from 2010 state Teacher of the Year

Sat, 03/22/2014 - 11:50am

Megan Allen is a veteran English teacher who was the 2010 Florida Teacher of the Year and a finalist for National Teacher of the Year. She is also a National Board Certified Teacher. But she left Florida with her morale extremely low because of a series of reforms that she felt were targeting teachers in ways that unfairly hurt them as well as their students.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: A ‘Dear John’ letter to Florida -- from 2010 state Teacher of the Year

Sat, 03/22/2014 - 11:50am

Megan Allen is a veteran English teacher who was the 2010 Florida Teacher of the Year and a finalist for National Teacher of the Year. She is also a National Board Certified Teacher. But she left Florida with her morale extremely low because of a series of reforms that she felt were targeting teachers in ways that unfairly hurt them as well as their students.

Read full article >>
    





Categories: Education News

Performance, standards of ‘traditional’ magnet schools in N.Va. prove alluring to parents

Fri, 03/21/2014 - 8:18pm

Arlington County has magnet schools for Spanish immersion; science and math; Montessori; and hands-on, nature-based learning. Another popular option is harder to describe: Arlington Traditional School.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: Chicago students pulled out of class for questioning over test boycott

Fri, 03/21/2014 - 4:37pm

Some Chicago public school students were taken out of class and questioned by district investigators who are looking into a boycott staged by teachers of the mandatory Illinois Standard Achievement Test earlier this month -- and their parents, who weren’t asked for permission -- are angry.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: Teachers: ‘sit and stare’ policy is ‘spiteful’

Fri, 03/21/2014 - 4:10pm

Believe it or not, some school administrators are forcing kids who are opting out of taking high-stakes standardized tests to sit in their chairs and stare while their classmates complete the exams. (You can read about it here.) Here’s a resolution by the Buffalo Teachers Federation against this policy, which I am publishing because it represents the thinking of many critics of this policy. The resolution refers to the NYSED, which stands for the New York State Education Department.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: Hillary and Jeb: Clinton to appear at Bush education conference

Fri, 03/21/2014 - 3:06pm

(Correction: Duncan will appear via video)

Hillary and Jeb? I’m not talking about the 2016 presidential race -- at least not yet. For now, Hillary Clinton has accepted an invitation from former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush to appear at a conference in Texas that he is co-hosting next week on higher education. Education Secretary Arne Duncan will be there, too, by video.

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Categories: Education News
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