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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 51 min ago

D.C. principals: When is there too much choice?

Mon, 09/15/2014 - 1:47pm

What happens to students who attend five schools in six years? How can schools attract enough students to balance their budgets and stay competitive when new schools are opening all the time? How does school choice benefit families who are the least prepared to make informed decisions?

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: How one middle school handled 136 unruly students

Mon, 09/15/2014 - 1:03pm

Normandy Middle School in north St. Louis — a few miles away from Ferguson, where the August killing of a black teenager by a white police officer sparked civil unrest — has been the worst-performing district in Missouri for several years. As a result, the state took over the Normandy School District, replaced 45 percent of the staff and ordered mandatory training for teachers. When school started in mid-August, educators hoped that it was the dawn of a new era. It wasn’t.

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Categories: Education News

Northeastern U. talks up professional connections, not its U.S. News ranking

Mon, 09/15/2014 - 1:01pm

Several weeks ago, Northeastern University’s president dropped by The Washington Post to talk up the private institution in Boston.

Joseph E. Aoun wanted to get the word out about “experiential learning” programs that combine professional work with academic scholarship in an attempt to position students for high-powered careers.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: How to get girls more interested in STEM subjects

Mon, 09/15/2014 - 9:30am

Why are girls underrepresented in STEM classes and careers? What can be done about it? Author Annie Murphy Paul   discusses that in this post. She is a contributing writer  for Time magazine, writes a weekly column about learning for Time.com, blogs about learning for a number of websites and contributes to various publications.  She is the author of “The Cult of Personality,” a cultural history and scientific critique of personality tests, and of “Origins,” a book about the science of prenatal influences. Her latest book is “Brilliant: The New Science of Smart.” This post appeared on Paul’s Brilliant Blog and was produced by The Hechinger Report, a nonprofit, nonpartisan education-news outlet affiliated with Teachers College, Columbia University.

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Categories: Education News

Schools move toward ‘Bring Your Own Device’ policies to boost student tech use

Sun, 09/14/2014 - 6:05pm

His iPhone is on his desk, out in the open, and Joshua Perez’s teacher does not take it away. Instead, she asks the eighth-grader and his classmates in honors geometry at Argyle Magnet Middle School to Google the words “vertex form parabola.”

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Categories: Education News

Mathews: Why admiring Chinese test scores might hurt U.S. schools

Sun, 09/14/2014 - 1:13pm

I have spent much of my life studying China and the countries near it. Just ask and I’ll show you my master’s degree in East Asian regional studies, and my five years of Washington Post articles from Hong Kong and Beijing. So it’s depressing to realize what I learned about the cultural advantage Asians have over us Americans — particularly in the classroom — might be wrong.

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Categories: Education News

Ohio State accord on sexual assault ends federal investigation

Sun, 09/14/2014 - 12:51pm

Ohio State University has agreed to several steps to strengthen its policies on sexual assault and harassment, the federal government said, concluding a four-year civil rights investigation at one of the nation’s largest public universities.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: Chicago schools filthy with rodents, roaches, garbage — principals say

Sun, 09/14/2014 - 10:59am

School reformers today, operating under the illusion that the private sector can do just about everything better and cheaper than government institutions, have been working to privatize public education by contracting out to private entities key operations of schools — and often entire schools. Such a move with the custodial force in Chicago Public Schools has, principals say, led to a mess.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: Common Core: yes or no? A debate.

Sun, 09/14/2014 - 4:00am

Embrace the Common Core State Standards? Do not embrace the Common Core? That was the question in New York when four people — two for embracing and two against — participated in a recent debate about the controversial initiative.

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Categories: Education News

Algebra failures in Montgomery did not lead to summer session for most students

Sat, 09/13/2014 - 7:56pm

Roughly 1 in 7 students who failed the most recent Algebra 1 final exam in Montgomery County — a test that produced high failure rates and led to a mass grade recalculation — attended special summer reteaching sessions, according to newly released schools data. Another group retook the course.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: Former education secretary Bill Bennett paid to praise Common Core to conservatives

Sat, 09/13/2014 - 10:33am

Bill Bennett, who was education secretary under President Ronald Reagan, just published an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal: “The Conservative Case for Common Core,”  with the subhead: Federal intrusion and misleading rumors do a disservice to an effort that started in the states.

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Categories: Education News

Maryland principal accused of bullying members of her staff

Fri, 09/12/2014 - 7:43pm

When a Prince George’s County high school launched an anti-bullying campaign four years ago, students pledged to support anyone being harassed, to report instances of bullying and to treat others with respect.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: Proposed Texas textbooks are inaccurate, biased and politicized, new report finds

Fri, 09/12/2014 - 4:44pm

When it comes to controversies about curriculum, textbook content and academic standards, Texas is the state that keeps on giving.

Back in 2010, we had an uproar over proposed changes to social studies standards by religious conservatives on the State Board of Education, which included a bid to calling the United States’ hideous slave trade history as the “Atlantic triangular trade.” There were other doozies, too, such as one proposal to remove Thomas Jefferson from the Enlightenment curriculum and replace him with John Calvin. Some were changed but the board’s approved standards were roundly criticized as distorted history.

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Categories: Education News

Arlington School Board appoints former PTA president to fill vacant seat

Fri, 09/12/2014 - 3:15pm

The Arlington School Board appointed a former parent teacher association president to fill the seat of a member who resigned Aug. 1.

In a special meeting Friday morning, Nancy Van Doren was sworn in to take the place of Noah Simon, who left the post last month to spend more time with his family. She will hold the position until a special election scheduled for Nov. 4.

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Categories: Education News

Alexandria marks the opening of $45 million Jefferson-Houston School building

Fri, 09/12/2014 - 2:32pm

The sleek new gym at Jefferson-Houston School roared with applause Friday morning as Alexandria Schools Superintendent Alvin L. Crawley cut a ceremonial ribbon with oversized scissors, officially marking the opening of a new $45 million school building.

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Categories: Education News

More than 200 Fairfax students among National Merit semi-finalists

Fri, 09/12/2014 - 1:13pm

More than 200 Fairfax County students have been named National Merit Scholarship semi-finalists for 2015.

The 205 Fairfax seniors are among 16,000 high school students who are semi-finalists this year for the scholarship program. The students were picked based on their 2013 PSAT and qualifying test scores. The semi-finalists represent the top-scoring students in each state and make up less than one percent of all high school seniors.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: How a Koch foundation influenced a university economics department

Fri, 09/12/2014 - 11:02am

Earlier this year, I published a piece about the role that the billionaire Koch brothers are playing not only in conservative politics but in pushing their own agenda in higher education. The piece was written by Dave Levinthal of the Center for Public Integrity, one of the country’s oldest and largest nonpartisan, nonprofit investigative news organizations that reveals abuses of power, corruption and betrayal of public trust by public and private institutions. It said in part:

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Categories: Education News

Prince George’s to hold free student immunization clinics Saturday

Fri, 09/12/2014 - 10:27am

The Prince George’s County School System is making a final push for students who have not received the new required immunizations to get their shots before Tuesday’s deadline.

The school district will offer free immunization clinics on Saturday at four schools. Health professionals will be on hand at Bladensburg, Fairmont Heights, Northwestern and Oxon Hill high schools to provide the immunizations. The clinics will be open from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

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Categories: Education News

Record donations to colleges in D.C., Maryland and Virginia

Thu, 09/11/2014 - 10:00pm

The University of Maryland plans to announce Friday that it has received the largest donation in its history, a $31 million gift from Brendan Iribe, a highly successful 35-year-old high-tech entrepreneur who dropped out of U-Md. during his freshman year in the late 1990s. He said the university was an inspiration to him, a place where he forged lifelong relationships, and he wanted to give back to students who are studying, and will study, computer science.

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Categories: Education News

Brendan Iribe, co-founder of Oculus VR, makes record $31 million donation to U-Md.

Thu, 09/11/2014 - 10:00pm

Brendan Iribe dropped out of college during his freshman year at the University of Maryland to join a throng of young entrepreneurs hoping to shake up the world with high-tech start-ups.

Iribe’s brief tenure in College Park was followed by extraordinary successes in video-game technology, as he held key positions in companies that sold for millions or hundreds of millions of dollars. His latest venture, Oculus VR, which developed the Oculus Rift virtual-reality headset, sold to Facebook for $2 billion this year.

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Categories: Education News
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