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.
Updated: 5 hours 5 min ago

Fairfax school board to consider protecting gender identity

Wed, 03/11/2015 - 4:04pm
A Fairfax County school board member has proposed expanding the district’s nondiscrimination policy to include gender identity for the first time.Ryan McElveen (At Large) submitted a proposal last week to amend the school system’s anti-discrimination policy following an opinion issued earlier this month by Virginia Attorney General Mark R. Herring (D). Herring’s position reverses a 2002 opinion and now grants local school boards the authority to expand protections to employees and students to include sexual orientation and gender identity.Read full article >>

Categories: Education News

Virginia Tech student dies after falling over side of cruise ship

Wed, 03/11/2015 - 2:30pm
Cameron Smook, a Virginia Tech senior majoring in mining and minerals engineering, died last weekend after falling overboard a cruise ship, the school announced Wednesday.The 21-year-old student from Glen Allen, Va., who had been expecting to graduate from the College of Engineering in May, had left Saturday with friends from Miami aboard the Carnival Glory for a Caribbean cruise. His family asked for privacy and issued a statement through the Virginia Tech Web site:Read full article >>

Categories: Education News

Strauss: Kindergartners asked to ‘check out’ college scholarships and ‘select jobs’

Wed, 03/11/2015 - 2:19pm
For some time now, we’ve been watching kindergarten classrooms turn from places where kids learn by playing into places devoted to academics where there is sometimes no time for recess, naps, snacks or much fun. The Common Core includes standards for kindergartners, which you can see here, that many child development experts say are inappropriate for young children. And now we are seeing the spread of “checklists” that young children are supposed to complete that apparently ensure that they are “college- and career-ready.”Read full article >>

Categories: Education News

Montgomery superintendent calls for reduction of 370 school positions

Wed, 03/11/2015 - 1:39pm
Montgomery County’s interim superintendent has told principals to plan for 370 fewer school-based positions next year than previously projected as the school system anticipates a budget shortfall, a move that could increase some class sizes.Read full article >>

Categories: Education News

CAP brief: A federal loophole that shortchanges poor schools

Wed, 03/11/2015 - 1:30pm
As Congress debates how to best distribute federal funds to help states educate poor children, a new brief from the Center for American Progress argues that the current program, known as Title 1, has structural flaws that undermine its purpose.Read full article >>
Categories: Education News

Strauss: Five reasons standardized testing isn’t likely to let up

Wed, 03/11/2015 - 12:50pm
For well over a dozen years high-stakes standardized testing has become a hallmark of modern school reform, so much so that an anti-testing rebellion has erupted around the country among parents, students and educators. Even some of testing’s strongest proponents now say it is time to scale back on the number of assessments students must take.Read full article >>

Categories: Education News

Strauss: Why Teach For America alumni are urging group to reject funding from Arizona

Wed, 03/11/2015 - 11:26am
There’s an unlikely Teach For America controversy erupting in Arizona over whether or not the organization should accept state funding in Arizona. Here’s what’s happening:* The Arizona legislature just passed a new budget, and the Teach For America organization in Phoenix just won a $500,000 annual appropriation for the next three years — even while public education funding was cut elsewhere.Read full article >>

Categories: Education News

Prince William County students showcase their invention on the Hill

Wed, 03/11/2015 - 8:00am
Woodbridge High School senior Torger Olson drives a Ford Edge with black leather interiors, which means hot weather poses a common — and uncomfortable — problem.“When I’m wearing shorts in the summer, I hate when I have to sit down in the car,” he said. “It burns.”Read full article >>

Categories: Education News

How to spot a college about to go out of business

Wed, 03/11/2015 - 7:00am
The surprise announcement last week that Sweet Briar College will close at the end of the academic year caught many of its current students, their families, and alumnae by surprise. It also led to much speculation about whether such closures are about to become the norm in higher education.Read full article >>

Categories: Education News

Strauss: How one 10-year-old reacted to her standardized test score

Wed, 03/11/2015 - 4:00am
Colette Marie Bennett is the chair of the English Department at Wamogo High School (Region 6) in northwest Connecticut, with more than 21 years of experience teaching in Grades 6-12. She has also served as the social studies department chair. In the following post, Bennett writes about the impact that the standardized testing obsession in public education has had on her young niece by explaining how the young girl reacted to her fourth-grade scores on a high-stakes standardized test. This post tells a story that has been played out in many homes around the country — and will again in the current spring standardized testing season. This post first appeared on The Educator’s Room website.Read full article >>

Categories: Education News

Is SAE racist? Or did a racist chant on a bus tarnish 15,000 brothers?

Tue, 03/10/2015 - 9:32pm
This story has been updated.As a racist video from the University of Oklahoma’s Sigma Alpha Epsilon chapter went viral Sunday night, one comment echoed again and again: They knew all the words.The video apparently shows a bus full of SAE brothers wearing tuxedos in a celebratory mood chanting what sounds like: “There will never be a n—— SAE/There will never be a n—— SAE/You can hang ‘em from a tree, but it will never start with me/There will never be a n—— SAE.”Read full article >>

Categories: Education News

Fraternity brothers who joined racist chant at University of Oklahoma apologize

Tue, 03/10/2015 - 9:26pm
Two fraternity members expelled from the University of Oklahoma after a racist chant was caught on video — and went viral on social media — apologized Tuesday night.[Is SAE racist? Or did a racist chant on a bus tarnish 15,000 brothers?]Read full article >>

Categories: Education News

Montgomery County student wins first-place in Intel science contest

Tue, 03/10/2015 - 9:03pm
A Montgomery County high school student was named one of three first-place winners in the prestigious Intel Science Talent Search competition Tuesday night, earning a prize of $150,000 as one of the nation’s most promising young scientists.Read full article >>

Categories: Education News

Charter schools less likely to have libraries

Tue, 03/10/2015 - 5:53pm
Charter schools are far less likely than traditional schools to have libraries or librarians, surveys show. During the 2011–12 school year, 49 percent of public charter schools reported having a library media center compared to 93 percent of traditional public schools in the United States, according to a survey by the National Center on Education Statistics.Read full article >>

Categories: Education News

Strauss: Publisher to destroy AP history test prep books that equate KKK with Clarence Thomas

Tue, 03/10/2015 - 4:27pm
Put this in the you-can’t-make-up-this-stuff category.Barron’s Educational Series Inc., a private publisher of materials to help students prepare for standardized tests, included in its “Barron’s AP European History,” 7th Edition, a graphic that lumps conservative Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas with the Ku Klux Klan as “those who want things like they used to be,” and is linked with an arrow to the words “reactionary/fascist.”Read full article >>

Categories: Education News

Chiefs for Change education advocacy group is headed for more change

Tue, 03/10/2015 - 2:02pm
Chiefs for Change, an advocacy group created by former Florida governor Jeb Bush to promote many of his K-12 education policies around the country, is breaking away from its origins and expanding to try to attract big city school leaders. Read full article >>

Categories: Education News

Two students expelled from OU for leading racist chant

Tue, 03/10/2015 - 12:47pm
Two students were expelled from the University of Oklahoma on Tuesday for allegedly leading a racist chant that was caught on a video that went viral on social media as shocked and horrified people shared the clip.Read full article >>

Categories: Education News

She got into her first-choice college. Then found out on Facebook it was closing.

Tue, 03/10/2015 - 11:04am
Amelia Currin, a 17-year-old from rural North Carolina, survived all the stress of the college-admissions process — or so she thought. She writes about how she found out that the president of Sweet Briar College, the small private women’s college in Virginia she expected to attend in the fall, announced the school would shut down forever this summer. And while she now knows alumnae are fighting to save the 114-year-old college, she has a problem: Where will she go to school this fall? Amelia tells her story:Read full article >>

Categories: Education News

Controversial riders threaten Kentucky student voice bill

Tue, 03/10/2015 - 11:02am
A bill that would give Kentucky students a voice in selecting school system superintendents has hit a snag. On Monday, Kentucky senators tacked on two controversial amendments — one relating to which school bathrooms transgender students may use, the other protecting religious speech at school — that the students say are likely to doom their effort.Read full article >>

Categories: Education News

Fairfax students headed to National Science Bowl finals

Tue, 03/10/2015 - 9:35am
A team of Fairfax County students from Longfellow Middle School has won a regional competition in the National Science Bowl and will advance to the finals to be held in the District in April.It is the second year in a row that a team from Longfellow has qualified for the finals of the 25th annual National Science Bowl organized by the Department of Energy. The students were the only middle school team from Virginia to advance.Read full article >>

Categories: Education News
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