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: 3 hours 32 min ago

Strauss: Teachers union cites Common Core in decision to cut Gates funding

Tue, 03/11/2014 - 10:20am

The American Federation of Teachers, which has won millions of dollars in grants from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, will no longer accept foundation money for its Innovation Fund. Union members have expressed concern about the poor implementation in many states of the Common Core State Standards, one of the initiatives in which the fund invests.

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Strauss: This took Teach For America 24 years to figure out?

Tue, 03/11/2014 - 9:42am

This took Teach For America 24 years to figure out?

The nonprofit organization -- which was founded in 1990 and is famous for recruiting young people, giving them five weeks of summer training and then placing them in high-needs schools in low-income communities -- has decided that just maybe some of its recruits need more than five weeks to get ready to work in a classroom for a two-year commitment.

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Experience at Cornell U. key to choice of Skorton to head Smithsonian Institution

Tue, 03/11/2014 - 9:18am

To run a vast public enterprise such as the Smithsonian Institution, it helps to have run a vast academic enterprise such as Cornell University.

That is the thinking behind the announcement Monday that David J. Skorton, president of the Ivy League university in upstate New York since 2006, will become secretary of the Smithsonian in 2015.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: 13 ways high-stakes standardized tests hurt students

Tue, 03/11/2014 - 4:00am

It’s time for March Madness -- not the famous college basketball tournament but the start of high-stakes standardized testing season in many school districts around the country. I’ve published many posts on how standardized test scores are inappropriately used to evaluate students, educators and schools, but there are plenty of other costs to students as well. Here are 13 ways that high-stakes standardized testing harms students, from the Yinzercation blog by Jessie B. Ramey. She is the parent of two children in Pittsburgh public schools and a historian of working families, gender, race and U.S. social policy and teaches women’s studies and history at the University of Pittsburgh.

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Categories: Education News

GWU to receive $80 million for public health; donors are Milken and Redstone

Mon, 03/10/2014 - 11:00pm

George Washington University will receive $80 million to support public health scholarship through three gifts connected to philanthropists Michael Milken and Sumner M. Redstone, setting a donation record for the private university.

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Categories: Education News

Math exam failure persists in Montgomery, even as efforts are under way to help

Mon, 03/10/2014 - 6:12pm

Montgomery County high school students failed their January final exams in math at rates as high as 60 percent in key courses, according to newly released figures that point to a continuing test problem despite recent efforts to help struggling students.

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Categories: Education News

Teach for America tests out more training

Mon, 03/10/2014 - 4:37pm

Teach for America, which places thousands of freshly minted college graduates in teaching jobs in some of the toughest schools in the country, is rethinking its training program in light of complaints from its own members that they need more preparation for the classroom.

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Pr. George’s schools to hold sessions on dual enrollment program for college courses

Mon, 03/10/2014 - 2:47pm

Parents in Prince George’s County who are interested in enrolling their children in college-level courses are invited to attend two information sessions this week about the school system’s dual enrollment program.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: The myth of Common Core equity

Mon, 03/10/2014 - 2:30pm

The Common Core State Standards were originally promoted as a way of raising academic standards for all children around the country. But is the initiative really about equitable outcomes? Here’s a post that takes on that question, by award-winning New York Principal Carol Burris and Alan A. Aja, assistant professor and deputy chair in the Department of Puerto Rican & Latino Studies at Brooklyn College (City University of New York). In 2012, he was a recipient of a Whiting Fellowship Award for Excellence in Teaching. Burris has been writing about the flawed Core implementation in New York on this blog

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Strauss: Why the Obama administration should drop its college rating plan

Mon, 03/10/2014 - 10:05am

The Obama administration is developing a system to rate colleges and universities by 2015 that will be based on a yet-to-be-determined set of criteria that could include data points such as average tuition and how much graduates earn. Part of the system involves getting congressional approval (which isn’t likely) to direct more federal student aid toward schools that score highly in the ratings. Let’s look at all the reasons this is a bad idea.

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Categories: Education News

Peterson Family Foundation to donate $1 million to Teach For America

Mon, 03/10/2014 - 12:37am

The Fairfax-based Peterson Family Foundation plans to announce Monday that it will ­donate $1 million to a nonprofit group that recruits college students to teach in low-income communities.

The money from Milton V. Peterson, owner of National Harbor, a waterfront development of hotels, restaurants, stores and a proposed casino, will be used specifically for Teach for America-D.C. Region to attract, train and develop teachers to work in the public schools in Prince George’s County.

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Categories: Education News

SAT revision: The reaction

Sun, 03/09/2014 - 9:34pm

Should a college-bound student take the SAT or ACT? What difference will the SAT revisions announced last week make as students weigh that decision? These questions are being asked in the nation’s high schools, and they are likely to intensify in the two years before the new SAT debuts in 2016.

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Categories: Education News

Getting a blast from someone else’s past

Sun, 03/09/2014 - 7:12pm

It didn’t make sense, but there it was: A postcard was sticking out of the stack of mail Michele Leonardi had pulled from her mailbox on the first day of March. On it was a 1 cent stamp and a 1946 postmark.

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Categories: Education News

Montgomery Blair High School leads the nation in Intel science finalists

Sun, 03/09/2014 - 6:33pm

Some time ago, Neil Davey began pondering a question that might not consume the average teenager: How, he wondered, could he effectively detect and isolate circulating tumor cells in a cancer patient’s bloodstream?

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: A truly ugly standardized testing story

Sun, 03/09/2014 - 2:54pm

You’d think that being severely brain damaged, blind and bound to a wheelchair in 2013 would have been enough of a clue that Ethan Rediske was not able to take a required standardized test in 2014. Or the fact that he was in hospice care, dying.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: 11 key questions on standardized testing for Congress to answer

Sun, 03/09/2014 - 12:00pm

The nonprofit Network for Public Education, a coalition of education organizations fighting the privatization of public schools, has asked key congressional committees to hold formal hearings on the overuse of high-stakes standardized tests as a result of federal and state laws.

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Strauss: How to get kids from low-income families into the arts

Sun, 03/09/2014 - 11:00am

High-quality arts programs are known to provide myriad benefits to students who participate in them -- but getting kids to sign up isn’t easy. What attracts young students -- especially those from low-income families -- to specific arts programs?

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Categories: Education News

Surprising secrets of how much we test kids

Sat, 03/08/2014 - 7:09pm

We education wonks have been arguing for years about the amount of testing in schools, even though we usually don’t know what we are talking about. It’s too much! It’s not! I don’t recall anyone providing any information about how much time is actually devoted to testing each year.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: Why bother teaching a severely brain-damaged boy? His mom explains.

Sat, 03/08/2014 - 11:03am

Should government funds be spent trying to educate severely disabled children like the late Ethan Rediske, who was severely brain-damaged, blind and confined to a wheelchair? Andrea Rediske, his mom, explains in this powerful post why the answer is “yes” -- but why insisting on giving him and other severely disabled children standardized tests is ludicrous.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: The manipulation of Social Emotional Learning

Sat, 03/08/2014 - 10:30am

What is Social Emotional Learning? According to the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning, it involves

the processes through which children and adults acquire and effectively apply the knowledge, attitudes and skills necessary to understand and manage emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships, and make responsible decisions.

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Categories: Education News
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