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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: 7 hours 51 min ago

Strauss: Poll: Common Core support among teachers plummets, with fewer than half supporting it

Tue, 08/19/2014 - 12:03am

Anybody watching the escalating battle across the country over the Common Core State Standards and aligned standardized testing will hardly be surprised by a new national poll which reveals a significant loss of support over the last year — especially among teachers, whose approval rating dropped from 76 percent  in 2013 to only  46 percent in 2014. Overall support for the Core dropped from 65 percent last year to 53 percent in 2014, with most of the defection among Republicans.

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Categories: Education News

Woodson principal announces retirement

Mon, 08/18/2014 - 5:33pm

The principal of Fairfax County’s W.T. Woodson High School announced Monday that he will retire at the end of September.

Jeff Yost, who has served as principal at Woodson for the past seven years, wrote a message to parents Monday that “with mixed emotions,” he would leave the school less than a month after students return in the fall.

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Categories: Education News

Montgomery school system backpack campaign is short of its goal

Mon, 08/18/2014 - 1:12pm

The backpack campaign goes on. With a new school year about to begin, Montgomery County is making a final push in its quest to fund 17,000 backpacks for students at high-poverty county schools.

So far, school system leaders have raised $153,000 in community, PTA, business and individual donations, enough for more than 15,000 of the $10-apiece backpacks.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: Teacher: ‘Don’t tell me that I don’t want accountability’

Mon, 08/18/2014 - 12:39pm

I published a post last week titled “Seven things teachers are sick of hearing from school reformers” that was very popular with readers. There has been a lively debate in the comments section of that post, with some people critical of the teacher who wrote the piece and others supportive. I am publishing a response from a reader identified as “teechur” because it sums up the way a great many teachers feel about the issue of “accountability.” In this school reform era, “accountability” has largely come in the form of student standardized test scores.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: What’s the real purpose of educational benchmarking?

Mon, 08/18/2014 - 11:07am

“Benchmarking” is a word that is now everywhere in the world of education. There’s even a Center on International Education Benchmarking, a program of the National Center on Education and the Economy, which over 20 years has benchmarked the education systems of more than 20 countries in what is said to be an effort to find out what works and what doesn’t in educational practice. Could there be another purpose of benchmarking? Andy Hargreaves, the Brennan Chair in Education at Boston College, asks and attempts to answer this question in the following post. His just-published book is “Uplifting Leadership,” coauthored with Alan Boyle and Alma Harris.

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Categories: Education News

Montgomery issues new code of conduct for students

Sun, 08/17/2014 - 8:32pm

With the opening of school a week away, Montgomery County has issued a new Code of Conduct that views out-of-school suspensions as a last resort and emphasizes disciplinary consequences that allow students to learn from mistakes and repair harm.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: Common Core tests fail kids in New York again. Here’s how.

Sun, 08/17/2014 - 11:46am

Results of the 2014 New York State Common Core-aligned exams were recently released along with new information about the 2013 tests and the news was not good. Here’s an analysis, by educators Bianca Tanis  and Carol Burris, explaining what the results actually mean to students and educators.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: ‘Dear (white) teachers…’

Sun, 08/17/2014 - 11:01am

Michael Doyle teaches biology at Bloomfield High School, an urban district in northern New Jersey, with the aim of turning young cynical hearts into skeptical ones. He worked previously as a longshoreman, a lab tech in an alcohol plant, and, more recently, a pediatrician in the projects who decided he would rather teach than practice medicine. When he is not in school, you can find him on a back bay mud flat.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: Overheard at the Lincoln Memorial on a Saturday night

Sun, 08/17/2014 - 10:05am

Even if you aren’t trying to eavesdrop, it is impossible not to overhear other people talking at the Lincoln Memorial when it is late on a Saturday night and the site is packed with people — mostly tourists — who are visiting the magnificent marble monument for the first time and are visibly astounded by its majesty. Here are some snippets of conversation overheard in a five-minute period during a visit Saturday, Aug. 16, at 10:30 p.m.:

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Categories: Education News

Former D.C. charter board CFO promoted private companies that allegedly paid him

Sat, 08/16/2014 - 6:05pm

As the D.C. Public Charter School Board’s chief financial officer, Jeremy L. Williams was responsible for monitoring charter schools’ business practices and ensuring their compliance with rules meant to prevent financial mismanagement.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: Exercise in math class? How one math teacher gets kids moving while studying

Sat, 08/16/2014 - 2:57pm

I recently published a post titled “Why so many students can’t sit still in school today” that was very popular with readers. The piece mentioned Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder but another factor, as well: the idea expressed by pediatric occupational therapist Angela Hanscom that academic pressures in school have reduced or eliminated the time that kids have for recess, physical education or other activities that allow them to get up and move.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: Superintendents forced to tell parents their schools are failing, even though they aren’t

Sat, 08/16/2014 - 11:31am

Many parents in Washington state are being told that their public schools are being considered as failing — even though it isn’t true. They are learning this from the superintendents of their school districts, who don’t want to do it but are being forced to. What’s going on?

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Categories: Education News

The new school year brings changes to the region’s schools

Fri, 08/15/2014 - 10:36pm

The 2014-2015 school year begins with a lot happening in the world of education, from the implementation of the Common Core State Standards tests in many states (including The District and Maryland) — and a backlash against them — to high-profile challenges against teacher tenure. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, more than 55 million students from pre-K to 12th-grade are expected to be in classes this fall, more than 18 percent of the U.S. population.

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Categories: Education News

Three local middle-schoolers are finalists for science ingenuity

Fri, 08/15/2014 - 6:15pm

Katherine Wu, 14, takes an annual road trip to Florida with her family, where they usually visit an amusement park, her favorite so far being Universal’s Wizarding World of Harry Potter. It’s at least a 14-hour drive from their home in Montgomery County.

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Categories: Education News

Looking for a Washington area college? See coverage of schools in D.C., Md., Va.

Fri, 08/15/2014 - 1:37pm

Washington is one of the nation’s top college towns. The capital and the surrounding region boast a variety of schools, public and private, that fill distinctive academic niches. Some have national or global reputations for excellence. For detailed Post coverage of selected colleges and universities, click an icon on the map below and then click on a school’s name to go to its individual page. Scroll out on the interactive map to see schools in Maryland and Virginia, or choose schools from the list below it. This is not a comprehensive list of schools in the Washington region, and we’ll be adding more throughout the coming school year.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: Campbell Brown put on notice by teachers union

Fri, 08/15/2014 - 1:10pm

I recently wrote a post about how Campbell Brown’s new advocacy group, the Partnership for Educational Justice, had used on its Web site the exact wording of the slogan of the current branding campaign of the American Federation of Teachers, the nation’s second-largest teachers union.

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Categories: Education News

Goddard Montessori parents concerned about sharing Pr. George’s school building

Fri, 08/15/2014 - 11:41am

A decision by Prince George’s County School Chief Kevin Maxwell to move Glenarden Woods Elementary School into part of the building where Robert Goddard Montessori students attend classes has drawn criticism from parents of the popular magnet program.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: Are teachers unions really the scourge of the nation?

Fri, 08/15/2014 - 11:02am

Are teachers unions really the scourge of the nation? You might think so if you listen to some reformers who link union-negotiated job protections for teachers to poor academic performance of students in high-poverty schools. But does the data actually support that contention? Bruce D. Baker, a professor of education and leadership in the Graduate School of Education at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, decided to look at what is true and what is not in the following post, initially published in 2012 on  his School Finance 101 blog. This is a long, technical post, filled with graphs, but worth your time.

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Categories: Education News

One-third of Virginia’s schools could lack full accreditation as standards toughen

Thu, 08/14/2014 - 7:47pm

Nearly one-third of Virginia’s public schools will not earn full accreditation this fall after reading and science scores dropped precipitously on state-mandated standardized tests, according to state education officials.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: Blame the Common Core for Miley Cyrus, phones in toilets, and … everything else?

Thu, 08/14/2014 - 3:31pm
Who knew?! #ThanksCommonCore #CommonCore pic.twitter.com/E6CfRYOR8X

If you thought that “bullies, playground predators, or school violence” were the most dangerous things school children face, you are, according to the Family Research Council, missing the “spreading, hidden nightmare facing” millions of students as they start a new school year.

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Categories: Education News
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