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 35 min ago

Strauss: Why we are looking at the ‘value’ of college all wrong

Sat, 11/01/2014 - 9:30am

There is a national debate about whether going to college is worth the increasingly hefty price tag. The argument against it is that many students come out four — or five or six — years later and can’t find a job that pays a lot, or they can’t find a job at all. But in this post, St. John’s College President Christopher B. Nelson argues that “education and economics are essentially incompatible” and that the economic lens is the wrong way to judge education. Nelson has been president of St. John’s,  in Annapolis, Maryland, since June 1991. Before that he, practiced law in Chicago for 18 years and was chairman of his law firm. As university president, he has become a national spokesman for the liberal arts.  St. John’s, with a campus in Annapolis and in Santa Fe, N.M., has an unusual liberal arts  curriculum, one based on discussion of works from the Western Canon.

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Categories: Education News

Evaluating Md. kindergartners has become a one-on-one mission

Fri, 10/31/2014 - 10:03pm

Isaac Jackson, 5, walked slowly behind Kendra Sarris, his kindergarten teacher, into the hallway outside Room 19 at Accokeek Academy. The pair then sat at two tiny desks facing a concrete wall.

It was testing time.

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Categories: Education News

Va. Supreme Court: Parents can’t be charged when kids are late to school

Fri, 10/31/2014 - 7:46pm

Parents whose children arrive late to class cannot face criminal charges­ under a Virginia law requiring school attendance, the state’s highest court ruled Friday.

The decision by the Virginia Supreme Court exonerates a Purcellville mother of three who was convicted of misdemeanor charges­ for her children’s tardiness, and it ensures that — unless legislators act to change the law — bringing children to school late will no longer be a crime on its own in the state.

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Categories: Education News

Montgomery school board candidates focus on crowding, achievement gap

Fri, 10/31/2014 - 7:03pm

All eight of Montgomery County’s school board candidates say closing the academic achievement gap is a priority in a diverse county. All want to relieve school crowding, build new classrooms and increase community engagement.

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Categories: Education News

Alexandria City public schools see growth in student population

Fri, 10/31/2014 - 6:30pm

The Alexandria City public school system added nearly 600 students to its rolls this year, contributing to a 15 percent increase in ninth-graders, according to official enrollment data presented Thursday to the School Board.

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Categories: Education News

How many Chinese take the SAT every year? We may soon learn

Fri, 10/31/2014 - 5:07pm

Want to know how many Californians take the SAT?

The College Board reports that every year with precision. The number of students in the class of 2014 from the Golden State who took the college admission test: 236,923. Growth compared to the previous class: 2,156.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: Top colleges offer tanning beds to students despite dangers — report

Fri, 10/31/2014 - 4:50pm

A new report published online in JAMA Dermatology says that despite evidence that indoor tanning is a risk factor for skin cancer, many top colleges and universities make tanning beds available to students on campus and in off-campus housing.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: Internal Teach For America memo details how it fights media critics

Fri, 10/31/2014 - 1:21pm

An internal media strategy memo from Teach For America (see text below) reveals “the lengths” it went to to counter a story in the media that it considered negative and how it was alerted to the piece even before it was written by a U.S. Department of Education official. And it discusses how to improve media coverage by, among other things, fostering relationships with journalists at certain outlets.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: High-achieving teacher sues state over evaluation labeling her ‘ineffective’

Fri, 10/31/2014 - 5:00am

Sheri G. Lederman has been teaching for 17 years as a fourth-grade teacher  in New York’s Great Neck Public School district. Her students consistently  outperform state averages on math and English standardized tests, and  Thomas Dolan, the superintendent of Great Neck schools, signed an affidavit saying “her record is flawless” and that “she is highly regarded as an educator.”

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: The problem with tests that are not standardized

Fri, 10/31/2014 - 4:00am

We know all about the many problems with standardized tests. But what about non-standardized tests? Is there a problem with them, too? Alfie Kohn (www.alfiekohn.org), who is the author of 13 books, believes that there is in, as he explains in the following post. His most recent book is “The Myth of the Spoiled Child: Challenging the Conventional Wisdom About Children and Parenting.”

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: UC Berkeley won’t let students cancel Bill Maher commencement speech

Fri, 10/31/2014 - 3:37am

Last May, students and alumni from the Harvard Graduate School of Education sought to get Colorado state Sen. Michael Johnston disinvited as the school’s 2014 commencement speaker because they disagreed with his embrace of standardized test-based school reform. Johnston wound up speaking, but it was just one episode in what has been called “disinvitation season,” in which a speaker is lined up to appear on a college campus but then becomes the target of protesters. It happened this year to conservative George Will at Scripps College and Secretary of State Condaleezza Rice at Rutgers University, to name a few.

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Categories: Education News

Cheating concerns force delay in SAT scores for South Koreans and Chinese

Thu, 10/30/2014 - 8:15pm

Concerns about possible cheating on the SAT in Asia have led test overseers to withhold scores for students from China and South Korea who took the college admission exam nearly three weeks ago.

The nature and extent of the alleged security breach were unclear Thursday because the College Board and its contractor, the Educational Testing Service, revealed few details about the unfolding investigation. But the score-reporting delay could affect thousands of students seeking admission to U.S. colleges as November deadlines loom for early applications.

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Categories: Education News

George Mason Elementary in Alexandria to close Friday for sewage repairs

Thu, 10/30/2014 - 6:55pm

Alexandria City Schools announced that George Mason Elementary will close Friday while workers repair a sewage drainage issue.

Schools spokeswoman Helen Lloyd said officials “felt it was inappropriate to have students in the school while it was being resolved.”

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Categories: Education News

Prince George’s school board races could boost county executive’s influence

Thu, 10/30/2014 - 6:24pm

Nearly two years ago, Prince George’s County Executive Rushern L. Baker III tried to take over the school system and abolish the elected school board.

State lawmakers agreed to a compromise that gave Baker more influence over the schools, allowing him to hire a new schools chief, appoint three new board members and name the board’s chairman and vice chairman.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: An account of exactly how students cheated on SAT in Asia

Thu, 10/30/2014 - 2:41pm

Counselors at international schools in Asia are reporting allegations of cheating on the Oct. 11 administration of the SAT in more countries than the two  that were the original focus of an investigation — and one counselor said he was struck by the “ease at which one can cheat.”

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: Anger, support for teacher who spent two days as a student

Thu, 10/30/2014 - 11:54am

Last week I published a post titled “Teacher spends two days as a student and is shocked at what she learns” that went viral. The post, written by Alexis Wiggins, a 15-year teaching veteran now working in  a private American International School overseas, talked about how tough the school day can be for a competitive student, and she had three takeaways from her experience:

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Categories: Education News

Education advocates file amicus brief to dismiss D.C. charters’ funding lawsuit

Thu, 10/30/2014 - 5:00am

Fourteen public education advocates and two organizations filed an amicus brief in support of the attorney general’s motion to dismiss a lawsuit alleging that the District has failed to provide equal funding to charter and traditional schools in accordance with the law.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: The rise of the anti-standardized testing movement

Thu, 10/30/2014 - 4:00am

Anybody who has been paying attention to K-12 public education knows that there is a growing movement against high-stakes testing and corporate education reform. How did it start? Here’s an account, by Monty Neill, executive director of FairTest, formally known as the National Center for Fair & Open Testing, a nonprofit organization dedicated to eliminating the abuse and misuse of standardized tests.

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Categories: Education News

School districts uncertain about new tests

Thu, 10/30/2014 - 12:02am

Leaders of school districts that expect to administer one of two major new standardized tests next spring linked to the Common Core math and reading standards are worried they don’t have enough computers, bandwidth or personnel to administer the new online exams, according to a survey of educators released Thursday.

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Categories: Education News

U-Md. adopts new sexual misconduct policy after debate on many details

Wed, 10/29/2014 - 9:19pm

The University of Maryland at College Park adopted a new sexual misconduct policy this month — with special procedures for investigation and discipline — after lengthy deliberations on fine points such as how to define sexual assault and what role attorneys should play.

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Categories: Education News
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