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.
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Georgetown students plan to unite far from Westboro Baptist picketers

Tue, 04/21/2015 - 5:04pm
When some students at Georgetown learned the school would be the next targets of Westboro Baptist Church, a small and stridently anti-gay group best known for its protests at military funerals, they didn’t want to hold a counter-protest.Read full article >>






Categories: Education News

Strauss: How to really change education — excerpt from Sir Ken Robinson’s new book

Tue, 04/21/2015 - 4:59pm
In 2006, the internationally known educator Sir Ken Robinson gave a TED talk — titled “How schools kill creativity” — that became the most popular of all time, with more than 32.6 million views to date. Robinson, who has worked in education for some 40 years, published a new book on Tuesday that expands on his previous work about creativity and human potential and offers descriptions of schools that are doing the work that he advocates with young people. Below is an excerpt.Read full article >>






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Sen. Jon Tester seeks to end annual standardized testing

Tue, 04/21/2015 - 1:45pm
Amid a national debate about overtesting, Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.), a onetime elementary school music teacher, wants to erase the federal requirement that states test every child every year in math and reading.Read full article >>






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Strauss: Letting kids struggle in school: When is it too much of a useful thing?

Tue, 04/21/2015 - 7:01am
This is the first in a series of essays I will publish in the coming weeks that emanated from a project in which more than 20 biology teachers around the country wrote around the prompt: “What is the value of letting students struggle in class?”  The effort was an attempt to give teachers an avenue to discuss teaching and how they deal with the struggles of their students. You can read about the project in the previous post.  This essay was written by Sydney Bergman, a biology teacher and Science Department chair at School Without Walls Senior High School in Washington D.C.Read full article >>






Categories: Education News

Strauss: Smart video games can assess kids better than standardized tests, a new book says

Tue, 04/21/2015 - 4:00am
A new book is being released on Tuesday titled “The Game Believes in You: How Digital Play Can Make Our Kids Smarter.” If you doubt the title, read this post — and then the book.It was written by Greg Toppo, USA Today’s national K-12 education writer, who spent eight years as a teacher in public and private schools before becoming a journalist. He worked for the Associated Press as its national K-12 education writer, moving to USA Today in 2002. In 2010, Toppo was a Spencer Fellow at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism, and the next year, he co-led a team of USA Today  reporters that investigated educators cheating on standardized tests, prompting the inspector general in Washington D.C. to launch a probe into high erasure rates on test forms.Read full article >>






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Local education reporting nets Pulitzer

Mon, 04/20/2015 - 6:22pm
Local education reporting is rarely glamorous, but a team of California journalists has shown that it can be powerful. They revealed that the superintendent of a small school district in Los Angeles County had received excessive compensation and an unusually plush set of perks at the same time tight budgets were forcing teacher layoffs and budget cuts. Read full article >>






Categories: Education News

Strauss: Computer troubles (yet again) create havoc on testing day in Florida

Mon, 04/20/2015 - 4:05pm
This belongs in the you-can’t-make-this-stuff-up category.Students across Florida were supposed to spend Monday taking computer-based standardized exams — high school students, end-of-course tests; kids in Grades 5-10, the math portion of the new high-stakes Florida Standards Assessment.Read full article >>






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A hip-hop star and an academic offer to school anyone on religion

Mon, 04/20/2015 - 2:53pm
Rice University has taken one of its most popular humanities courses to the people, offering “Religion and Hip-Hop Culture” online free at edX this spring.The class is taught by a professor of religious studies and a rapper who ask students to look at the parallels, and the tensions, between the two disparate worlds.Read full article >>






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Advanced Placement offerings vary widely in D.C. high schools

Mon, 04/20/2015 - 2:15pm
The number of Advanced Placement classes at high schools in the District ranges from 29 courses at Wilson High School to three courses at Anacostia High School east of the river.Offerings at Wilson, the city’s largest high school, with about 1,800 students, include studio art, computer science and Chinese. School Without Walls offers the second-highest number of AP courses, at 21, including Latin and comparative government.Read full article >>






Categories: Education News

Strauss: What the future of science education should look like

Mon, 04/20/2015 - 12:00pm
Science is one of those subjects that everybody agrees is of the highest importance but somehow manages to get short shrift when it comes to policy. In the following post, Arthur H. Camins looks at where science education has been and what it should look like. Camins is the director of the Center for Innovation in Engineering and Science Education at the Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, N.J. He has taught and been an administrator in New York City, Massachusetts and Louisville, Kentucky. The ideas expressed in this article are his alone and do not represent Stevens Institute.Read full article >>






Categories: Education News

Strauss: What Hillary Clinton said about the Common Core State Standards

Mon, 04/20/2015 - 10:47am
Hillary Clinton, the only declared Democrat running for president in 2016, was at a community college in Iowa the other day for a roundtable discussion about education.The former secretary of state and U.S. senator appeared last week at Kirkwood Community College in Monticello, Iowa, and talked with students and educators for more than an hour, listening to their stories and answering their questions.Read full article >>






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Trends from the 2015 America’s Most Challenging High Schools list

Mon, 04/20/2015 - 9:00am
What intrigues me about the 2015 edition of The Washington Post’s annual America’s Most Challenging High Schools list is the jump in the number of qualifying schools, about 20 percent more than at this time last year. But there are several other takeaways, particularly about the schools at the very top of the list.Read full article >>






Categories: Education News

America’s Most Challenging High Schools national top 25 list for 2015

Sun, 04/19/2015 - 6:00pm
America’s Most Challenging High Schools ranks schools through an index invented by Washington Post education columnist Jay Mathews. The index formula is a simple ratio: the number of Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate and Advanced International Certificate of Education tests given at a school in 2014, divided by the number of graduates that year.Read full article >>






Categories: Education News

America’s Most Challenging High Schools local top 25 list for 2015

Sun, 04/19/2015 - 6:00pm
America’s Most Challenging High Schools ranks schools through an index invented by Washington Post education columnist Jay Mathews. The index formula is a simple ratio: the number of Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate and Advanced International Certificate of Education tests given at a school in 2014, divided by the number of graduates that year.Read full article >>






Categories: Education News

Many U.S. schools still resist challenging all their students

Sun, 04/19/2015 - 6:00pm
When my wife and I lived in Scarsdale, N.Y., in the 1990s, I was surprised that our son Peter had to take an entrance exam to get into the Advanced Placement U.S. History course at the local public high school. I remembered the five years I spent writing a book about an inner-city East Los Angeles school that had great success letting anyone who wanted to work hard have a chance at tackling AP. Read full article >>






Categories: Education News

Top-performing schools with elite students

Sun, 04/19/2015 - 6:00pm
The Washington Post’s America’s Most Challenging High Schools list is designed to recognize schools that challenge average students. These top-performing schools, listed in alphabetical order, were excluded from the list because, despite their exceptional quality, their admission rules and standardized test scores indicate they have few or no average students. Non-neighborhood schools with SAT or ACT averages above the highest averages for neighborhood schools nationally are placed on this list. Our sampling of private schools is exempt from this rule so that readers can see how they compare to schools on the main list.Read full article >>






Categories: Education News

How the America’s Most Challenging High Schools list works

Sun, 04/19/2015 - 6:00pm
1. How does the America’s Most Challenging High Schools list work?We take the total number of Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate and Advanced International Certificate of Education tests given at a school each year and divide by the number of seniors who graduated in May or June. I call this formula the Challenge Index. With a few exceptions, public schools that achieved a ratio of at least 1.00, meaning they had as many tests in 2014 as they had graduates, were put on the national list. We rank the schools in order of ratio, with the highest (20.44) this year achieved by BASIS Oro Valley, in Oro Valley, Ariz., which takes over as the top-ranked school after the American Indian Public Charter in Oakland, Calif., held the position for two years.Read full article >>






Categories: Education News

Strauss: School removes word ‘feminist’ from 13-year-old’s shirt in class picture

Sun, 04/19/2015 - 12:51pm
A middle school in Ohio printed class photos of students but only after removing the word “feminist” from the T-shirt worn by one student.The teen, eighth-grader Sophie Thomas at Clermont Northeastern Middle School in Owensville, had been wearing the T-shirt to school with no consequences as it didn’t violate the dress code and nobody seemed to care what it said. That, according to the Women You Should Know Web site, changed when it was time for class pictures. Sophie realized it after the pictures were given to students.Read full article >>






Categories: Education News

Strauss: Educators alarmed by some questions on N.Y. Common Core tests

Sun, 04/19/2015 - 12:15pm
I wrote a post yesterday saying education activists were reporting more than 175,000 New York students had opted out of Common Core English Language Arts exams given last week — and many more districts were still unheard from.  New York is at the center of a growing movement among parents around the country to protest new standardized tests aligned to the Common Core (or similar state standards) that they think are unfair to students and teachers because the results are used for high-stakes decisions against the advice of assessment experts. The post also mentioned some complaints from teachers about the composition of the tests, which are aligned to the Core and were created for the state of New York by Pearson, the largest education company in the world.Read full article >>






Categories: Education News

Strauss: PISA’s potentially dangerous problems — and what to do about them

Sun, 04/19/2015 - 11:04am
Last month I ran a post looking at the troubled Program for International Student Assessment, better known in the education world as PISA, which has come under fierce criticism in recent years. PISA is given every three years to 15-year-olds around the world in reading, math and science, and the results are taken as proxies by many governments — including the Obama administration — as important reflections of the state of their education systems. Critics say the tests are flawed in various ways and the results should not be taken as solemn pronouncements on the success of a school system. (Incidentally, the United States has always tested average at best on the exams.)Read full article >>






Categories: Education News
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