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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: 11 hours 39 min ago

Strauss: The concept Education Secretary Duncan has entirely missed

Tue, 12/02/2014 - 12:00pm

The U.S. Education Department recently released a draft set of regulations for colleges of education that would link some federal funding in part to how well the students of their graduates do on standardized test scores. It was no surprise that the department did this; it has been enamored with using standardized test scores as a chief “accountability” metric for years — despite warnings from assessment experts that it isn’t a valid or reliable method. Just how questionable this notion is is the topic of the following post by Sarah Blaine, a mother, former teacher and full-time practicing attorney in New Jersey who authors the parentingthecore blog. Blaine has written several popular posts that have been published on The Answer Sheet, including “Pearson’s wrong answer—and why it matters in the high-stakes testing era” and “You think you know what teachers do. Right? Wrong.”

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Categories: Education News

Mother of a prospective U-Va. student voices concerns about safety

Tue, 12/02/2014 - 11:55am

A Northern Virginia mother confessed Tuesday morning that she and her college-bound daughter are shocked and torn over the tumult this fall at the University of Virginia.

Her daughter, a graduating senior at the Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology in Fairfax County, plans to apply to U-Va. “She really wants to go there,” the mother said.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: Why the Obamas should consider teaching in an urban public school after 2016

Tue, 12/02/2014 - 5:00am

President Obama opened himself up to the suggestion in the following post by Howard Gardner and Jim Reese when he told Jeffrey Toobin in an interview published in The New Yorker that he loves teaching and misses the classroom. While Obama taught law at the University of Chicago Law School before he entered politics and was referring to “wrestling” with legal arguments in the classroom, he also said in the same interview that he believes helping poor black young people get a good K-12 education is of the utmost importance. That all leads to this piece, which makes the case for why the president and Michelle Obama should consider teaching in an urban public school when they leave the White House.

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Categories: Education News

Local-state muddle threatens Middleburg charter school

Mon, 12/01/2014 - 7:50pm

Middleburg Community Charter School is a trailblazer. It is the first and only charter school in Northern Virginia, and it is the first to be approved under the state’s new charter law, which doesn’t require a sign-off from the state’s board of education.

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Categories: Education News

Amid turmoil and safety concerns, some thinking twice about applying to U-Va.

Mon, 12/01/2014 - 7:27pm

No school sends more students to the University of Virginia than the one in Fairfax County named after the university’s founder. Sixty-five freshmen in Charlottesville this fall come from the Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, one of the top magnet schools in the country.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: Bill Cosby quits Temple University’s trustees board but other ties with school remain

Mon, 12/01/2014 - 6:25pm

Besieged entertainer Bill Cosby has stepped down from the Temple University Board of Trustees, on which he has sat for decades, and the governing body is expected to meet soon to decide what to do about his other connections to the school.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: Arizona court: Charters can’t demand same funding as traditional public schools

Mon, 12/01/2014 - 4:23pm

An appellate court in Arizona has ruled that there is a “rational basis” for funding charter schools and public charter schools differently and that it is not against the state constitution to do so.

The decision late last month is the latest in a number of court rulings across the country that have rejected equal protection challenges advanced by charter school students and their parents, and that have said that charter school parents have every right to return their children to traditional schools that they believe are better funded.

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Categories: Education News

Committee recommends changes to Virginia’s standardized testing

Mon, 12/01/2014 - 3:12pm

A committee examining Virginia’s state standardized testing has released its first report, recommending changes to the state’s testing system, which has long been criticized as being too onerous and carrying too much weight.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: The passing of a giant in education

Mon, 12/01/2014 - 12:20pm

John Goodlad, a giant in the world of education for more than half a century, died last Saturday in Seattle. A highly influential researcher and educator, Goodlad was the author of more than three dozen books. His 1984 book “A Place Called School,” is often credited with launching research efforts on school improvement, and he was known for articulating the position that teaching is an ethical act. He had served as president of the Institute for Educational Inquiry in Seattle and had held professorships at Emory University, the University of Chicago, the University of Washington and UCLA, where he was dean of the Graduate School of Education from 1967-1983.

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Categories: Education News

Language immersion programs growing in D.C., but only west of the river

Mon, 12/01/2014 - 11:00am

Jimell Sanders and Antawan Holmes started looking at schools before their daughter, now 15 months old, was born. They wanted to find a school that emphasized foreign languages.

“We think bilingualism and biliteracy are a gift,” said Sanders, who grew up in a military family and lived abroad. “By speaking another language, it will open her up and allow her to engage the world in a different way.”

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Categories: Education News

Language immersion programs growing in D.C., but only west of the river

Mon, 12/01/2014 - 11:00am

Jimell Sanders and Antawan Holmes started looking at schools before their daughter, now 15 months old, was born. They wanted to find a school that emphasized foreign languages.

“We think bilingualism and biliteracy are a gift,” said Sanders, who grew up in a military family and lived abroad. “By speaking another language, it will open her up and allow her to engage the world in a different way.”

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Categories: Education News

U-Va. president cancels D.C. news event

Mon, 12/01/2014 - 10:20am

University of Virginia President Teresa A. Sullivan abruptly canceled a luncheon with the news media planned for Monday in Washington, choosing to stay in Charlottesville to speak with students and others in the aftermath of a magazine report on an alleged gang rape at a school fraternity.

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Categories: Education News

Marion Barry’s Washington: Snapshots of the city the former mayor left behind

Sun, 11/30/2014 - 10:19pm

The city Marion Barry inspired, infuriated and disappointed is gone, replaced by the city he always said he wanted to build — solvent, solid, sizzling with life. And the city Barry commanded for longer than any other mayor remains saddled with the same woes he sought to eradicate — poverty, racial division, hopelessness.

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Categories: Education News

High school aerospace engineering program taking flight

Sun, 11/30/2014 - 7:16pm

Students quietly worked in pairs, folding, cutting and gluing the colorful strips of tissue paper strewn across the half-dozen tables in the room.

What looked at first glance like an art class was actually Aerospace Engineering and Aviation Technology, part of a new Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics offering at DuVal High School in Prince George’s County.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: A dissection of Common Core math test questions leaves educator ‘appalled’

Sun, 11/30/2014 - 3:31pm

Many of the guest writers on this blog are opposed to the Common Core State Standards, not because they object to standards per se but they find fault with this particular set for one reason or another. This post was written by someone who supports the Core, but takes a critical look at New York State’s Common Core-aligned tests, specifically the eighth-grade math exam that was designed by Pearson. Grant Wiggins is the co-author of “Understanding by Design” and the author of “Educative Assessment” as well as numerous articles on education. A high school teacher for 14 years, he is the president of Authentic Education,  in Hopewell, New Jersey, which provides professional development and other services to schools aimed at improving student learning.  Wiggins gave me permission to republish this post, which first appeared on his blog, Granted, and…. It should be noted that these tests are different from the Common Core exams that are being developed by two multi-state consortia, known as PARCC and SBAC, and being given to students for the first time this school year, but educators have already raised concerns that those two assessments will not represent the “groundbreaking” next-generation exams that Education Secretary Arne Duncan had once said they would be.

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Categories: Education News

Common Core might be a hot topic on television now, but just wait

Sun, 11/30/2014 - 2:02pm

The Common Core Standards, a story I have long considered just for education wonks and education writers, has been appropriated by politicians and political writers. Is that fair? Journalists who cover presidential campaigns have a much higher profile and appear on television much more than we do. Should they be stealing our hottest topics?

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Categories: Education News

U-Va.’s entrenched fraternity culture at tipping point

Sat, 11/29/2014 - 5:40pm

It’s hard to imagine a bigger fraternity booster than Paul Wright.

The 54-year-old Charlottesville real estate investor pledged a fraternity within weeks of arriving at the University of Virginia in 1978, and he has been a devoted Chi Psi man ever since. He serves on the group’s national board and was head of U-Va.’s fraternity alumni association. He’s even working to open a new fraternity chapter on campus next spring.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: Bill Cosby’s alma mater cuts ties with besieged entertainer

Fri, 11/28/2014 - 12:56am

The University of Massachusetts at Amherst, where Bill Cosby was awarded a doctorate  more than 35 years ago, has asked him to resign as an honorary co-chair of  the school’s capital campaign. Cosby agreed to step down. The action comes after at least two other universities took action to sever ties with Cosby, who has been accused by numerous women of drugging and sexually assaulting them years ago. Berklee College of Music in Boston, where Cosby was awarded an honorary degree a decade ago, announced that it would no longer award a scholarship in Cosby’s name, and High Point University in North Carolina has removed him from its national board of advisers, the Boston Globe reported. Cosby was awarded a Ph.D. in education in 1977 at the the University of Massachusetts at Amherst school after completing his thesis titled “An Integration of the Visual Media Via Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids (1972) into the Elementary School Curriculum as a Teaching Aid and Vehicle to Achieve Increased Learning.” The awarding of the doctorate  — through an unconventional  program for successful professionals who could earn credit through work — became controversial after a former member of his doctoral thesis committee wrote that Cosby did little course work toward his doctorate and was awarded credit for doing things such as appearing on Sesame Street. The besieged Cosby had been serving as an honorary co-chair of the university’s current $300 million fundraising campaign, but that relationship has now been severed.  Ed Blaguszewski, executive director of news and media relations for the university, sent the following statement in an e-mail late Thursday:

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Categories: Education News

Prince George’s Board of Education member wants external audit of special ed

Thu, 11/27/2014 - 10:35pm

Prince George’s County school board member Edward Burroughs III (District 8) wants to overhaul the school district’s Special Education Department and has proposed that the school system conduct an external audit to identify areas in need of improvement.

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Categories: Education News

Prince George’s school system investigating leak of workers’ personal data

Thu, 11/27/2014 - 5:44pm

The Prince George’s County school system is investigating how the personal information of thousands of its employees ended up in a report that was forwarded to personal e-mail addresses outside the system this month.

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Categories: Education News
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