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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: 10 hours 58 min ago

Strauss: How to spot a fake ‘grassroots’ education reform group

Sun, 10/12/2014 - 9:30am

It can be bewildering to keep track of all the “grassroots” education reform groups that have popped up in recent years. Where, have you ever wondered, do they all come from? Daniel Katz, an assistant professor of educational studies at Seton Hall University, explains in the following post who is actually funding many of them — and how “grassroots” they actually aren’t.  This appeared on his blog.

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Categories: Education News

The legacy of a school transformed: Name changed to honor educator Jody Leleck

Sat, 10/11/2014 - 6:44pm

It’s been a decade since JoAnn “Jody” Leleck helped transform Montgomery County’s lowest-performing school into one of its high achievers — a decade since she was clocking so many hours at Broad Acres Elementary that her staff fondly dubbed her “Ms. 7-11.”

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: Pearson apologizes to mom for wrong answer

Sat, 10/11/2014 - 10:30am

Earlier this week I published a post titled “Pearson’s wrong answer — and why it matters in the high-stakes testing era” by Sarah Blaine, a mother, former teacher and full-time practicing attorney in New Jersey who writes at her own parentingthecore blog. The post (which has been very popular) detailed what happened when her fourth-grade child came home with some school work and she discovered an error by Pearson, the giant education company, which, she noted, matters a great deal in this high-stakes testing era. It turns out that a Pearson official, Brandon Pinette, senior public affairs manager, posted a comment on Friday to the post on The Answer Sheet apologizing for the mistake.

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Categories: Education News

<p>A third generation Virginia educator

Fri, 10/10/2014 - 11:02pm

A third generation Virginia educator whose lessons on farming explore the mysteries of plant life and the finer points of livestock care was named the state’s teacher of the year for 2015.

Jaclyn Marie Roller Ryan, a agriscience teacher at Signal Knob Middle School near Strasburg, was among eight finalists in the state for the honor. The surprise announcement was made Friday at a hotel in Richmond by Virginia Superintendent of Public Instruction Steven R. Staples and state board of education president Christian N. Braunlich.

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Categories: Education News

Maryland chooses Howard County educator as Teacher of the Year

Fri, 10/10/2014 - 10:10pm

A high school teacher from Howard County who helped boost minority enrollment in Advanced Placement courses and improve minority success rates on exams was named Friday as Maryland’s 2014-15 Teacher of the Year.

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Categories: Education News

Duke Ellington School of the Arts mourns death of principal John Payne

Fri, 10/10/2014 - 6:41pm

Students and staff at the Duke Ellington School of the Arts are mourning the loss of their principal, who died suddenly Thursday night.

John Payne collapsed at the school and was taken to the hospital. He died of an apparent heart attack.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: The amazing thing Malala plans to say if a Taliban gunman approaches her again

Fri, 10/10/2014 - 5:22pm

The Norwegian Nobel Committee just did what it should have done in 2013: Give the Nobel Peace Prize to Malala Yousafzai, the inspirational 17-year-old Pakistani who advocates for the right of girls to get a formal education — and who nearly died after being shot by Taliban gunmen who did not want girls to go to school.

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Categories: Education News

Stanford’s Hennessy on technology, college ratings, sex assault prevention — and more

Fri, 10/10/2014 - 3:45pm

The head of the Silicon Valley university at the forefront of the digital revolution in teaching and learning warned more than two years ago that “there’s a tsunami coming” in higher education. In hindsight, Stanford University President John L. Hennessy’s assessment could be seen as overstated.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: The serious problem with the 2014 SAT scores

Fri, 10/10/2014 - 3:39pm

(Update: College Board releases  SAT data tables after pressure from journalists, particularly my colleague Nick Anderson.)

In case you missed it, the 2014 SAT test scores were just released and looked stubbornly like the scores from 2013. Naturally, the results were met with alarm by those who seem to really believe that the college admissions exam scores are truly reflective of readiness for college and/or how well an individual student will do in college. If they really were that valuable, the College Board, which owns the exam, wouldn’t be creating a substantially revised test — set for unveiling in 2016 —  for the second time since 2005.

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Categories: Education News

Former Howard County school official named Prince George’s interim CFO

Fri, 10/10/2014 - 2:51pm

A former deputy school superintendent in Howard County has been named the interim chief financial officer for Prince George’s County School System.

Ray Brown was welcomed by Schools Chief Kevin M. Maxwell at Thursday night’s board meeting.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: Educating kids isn’t rocket science. It’s harder.

Fri, 10/10/2014 - 7:00am

Many school reformers blame unions and entrenched bureaucracy for blocking school reforms that, they say, would have worked beautifully if  they had been implemented as designed. Actually, as Jack Schneider explains in this post, most school reforms imposed over decades have been implemented but they never turn out to be as effective as promised. Schneider is an assistant professor of education at the College of the Holy Cross, the author of two books, and the father of a pre-K public school student. He tweets @Edu_Historian.

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Categories: Education News

SAT scores in most Fairfax high schools see notable jump, while some still struggle

Fri, 10/10/2014 - 6:00am

The average SAT score in Fairfax County jumped five points in 2014, even as students around the country saw scores remain stagnant.

Compared to 2013, the average composite score for students in Fairfax, the 10th-largest school division in the country and most dynamic district in the sate, rose to 1668, more than 170 points above the nationwide average of 1497.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: Why students don’t read books assigned in class — and how they get away with it

Fri, 10/10/2014 - 4:00am

Here’s a video in which young people explain why they don’t read the books that are assigned in school but somehow manage to get away with it in class. They also talk about how much they actually like to read — when given a chance to pick their own material.

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Categories: Education News

Prince George’s board members charge thousands in local restaurant meals

Thu, 10/09/2014 - 10:15pm

Prince George’s County school board members have used credit cards issued by the district to pay for thousands of dollars in meals at local restaurants, spending that some are calling a misuse of school system funds even though it does not appear to violate the rules.

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Categories: Education News

Would-be challenger to Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel is seriously ill

Thu, 10/09/2014 - 5:50pm

Karen Lewis, the fiery Chicago Teachers Union president who has been laying the groundwork for a challenge to Mayor Rahm Emanuel, underwent emergency surgery Wednesday and has a “serious illness,” according to the union.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: Really? D.C. charter school employees to get admissions preference for their kids.

Thu, 10/09/2014 - 4:51pm

The Web site of the D.C. Public Charter School Board, the entity that approves and oversees 60 charter schools in the nation’s capital,  says the following:

Charter  schools  are  public,  taxpayer-funded  and  open  to  all  DC  residents;  parents  can  enroll  their  child  if  there  is  space,  and  if  there  is  not,  schools  hold  a  random selection  process  or  lottery. Charter  schools  are  not  selective.” Read full article >>






Categories: Education News

Counties look at cost of educating unaccompanied minors who crossed border

Thu, 10/09/2014 - 3:34pm

Officials in three Northern Virginia counties are scrutinizing the costs of educating the nearly 2,000 unaccompanied immigrant children living there with an eye toward recouping expenses from the federal government for keeping the young migrants — who crossed the U.S. border without their parents — in local public schools.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: School districts moving to cut reliance on test scores to evaluate schools

Thu, 10/09/2014 - 1:00pm

Big school districts around the country — including in New York City — are starting to lessen their misplaced reliance on student standardized test scores to evaluate schools, as this roundup of “test reform” news shows. And some are doing it in unusual ways.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: Why are TFA and a California billionaire investing in Minnesota school board race?

Thu, 10/09/2014 - 5:00am

For several years now local school board races around the country have attracted big money from outside the state — and sometimes from across the country — as school reformers and their supporters seek to elect like-minded public officials. In 2013, for example, millions of dollars were spent on school board races in Los Angeles and in 2012, outsiders poured money into a New Orleans school board race. The following post looks at what is going in a Minnesota school board race . It was written Minneapolis-based writer and former teacher Sarah Lahm, published by In These Times, and reported in partnership with The Investigative Fund with support from the Puffin Foundation.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: Tell us what you really think

Thu, 10/09/2014 - 4:00am

In Hinsdale, Illinois, the school board has been negotiating with the teachers union on a new contract but things have not gone well. In fact, some members of the community in the Chicago suburb felt that the negotiators for the conservative board were trying to bust the union — an idea that seems to have been reinforced by the following advertisement placed in the Daily Herald [bold face in the ad is mine] after it was feared that the teachers might strike:

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Categories: Education News
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