Education News from Washington Post
If you somehow missed the news, the unrivaled newspaper editor Benjamin Bradlee, who turned The Washington Post into a world-class newspaper and supported reporting that led to the only resignation of a U.S. president, died Oct. 21. You can read a lot about this force of nature here on washingtonpost.com, but this is the spirit that I will remember him for — always pushing to do your best, and then better. From Ben Bradlee’s memoir, “A Good Life“:Read full article >>
There were more than 140 comments on my last Local Living column, where I said gifted education programs were too selective and did not appear to educate bright children any better than challenging courses we offer everyone in this region.Read full article >>
Rep. George Miller, a highly influential Democratic player on education issues for 40 years, is about to leave Congress and start a new work life. And to help ensure he gets what he wants, he has hired Robert Barnett, super-lawyer to stars both in politics and in entertainment, to help him navigate his way through various offers and negotiations.Read full article >>
George Washington University has a huge recruiting pipeline to China: Preliminary counts show 113 of its freshmen this year come from the world’s most populous country.
That’s seven times more than the 16 Chinese in Georgetown University’s class of 2018.Read full article >>
Strauss: Actually, we do know if high-quality preschool benefits kids. What the research really says.
As the idea of universal preschool is gaining political momentum around the country, those who oppose it are on the attack, arguing that there is little or no lasting benefits — despite evidence to the contrary. In the following post, W. Steven Barnett, director of the National Institute for Early Education Research at Rutgers University, deconstructs a new Cato Institute policy brief by David J. Armor, professor emeritus of public policy at George Mason University, who also has a piece on washingtonpost.com arguing his position under the headline “We have no idea if universal preschool actually helps kids.” Actually, we do. Here’s what the research really says.Read full article >>
Strauss: Teachers as ‘conscientious objectors?’ Status sought for those who oppose high-stakes tests
Conscientious objectors are people who refuse to serve in the armed forces on moral or religious grounds. But in New York, a teacher is looking to broaden the definition. Diane Ravitch writes on her blog about Rick Bobrick, a veteran teacher in New York who is tired of being forced to administer to students high-stakes tests that he thinks are punitive and antithetical to real learning. He wants teachers to have the right to opt out of administering standardized tests they think are harmful to students. As it is now, teachers can be fired for refusing to administer a mandated test. Why, he asks, shouldn’t there be a law protecting the rights of teachers to refuse to do what they know is wrong? Why not give teachers the right to be conscientious objectors?”
Here is an open letter to teachers by Rick Bobrick as published on Ravitch’s blog:I teach 8th grade science in a small city school district located in the Mid-Hudson Valley. I am in my 35th year in the classroom, the last 13 of which I have been required to administer punitive, high-stakes tests in math, ELA, and science. Last spring I hit the wall and I have decided that, in all good conscience, I no longer want to participate in this detrimental practice. However, like most teachers, I am unwilling to risk losing my income, or my pension, or my even my reputation, in order to take a principled stand against this new wave of failed reform. On the other hand, why should I have to risk anything in order to stand against what I know is wrong? Read full article >>
Ebola hysteria in the United States just keeps growing, with the latest evidence the case of a Maine teacher who flew to Dallas to attend an educational conference — miles away from the hospital where three cases have been diagnosed — and was told to stay away from the elementary school where she works for 21 days.Read full article >>
Rice University launched a free Advanced Placement biology course Monday on a Web site overseen by two other elite schools, a potentially significant milestone for a movement that aims to bring college-level courses to high school students.Read full article >>
District officials announced Monday the opening of a new centralized office dedicated to helping young high school dropouts get back on track to earn a diploma or GED.
The Youth Reengagement Center in Northeast Washington represents the latest effort to overhaul the city’s public education system by bringing back young adults who had given up on school.Read full article >>
Conventional wisdom holds that young people aren’t political or even civic-minded. The following post takes issue with this notion. It was written by Joseph Kahne, a professor of education at Mills College and a visiting scholar at the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. He chairs the MacArthur Foundation Research Network on Youth and Participatory Politics. His work concerns the ways educational initiatives and participation with digital media can influence the quality, quantity, and equality of youth civic and political participation.Read full article >>
Early this year, I published a post with the headline, “A very scary headline about kindergarteners,” about an op-ed in the Oregonian with this headline: “Kindergarten test results a ‘sobering snapshot.’ ” The op-ed lamented the low literacy skills entering kindergarteners in Oregon had displayed on a test. I wondered just how 5- and 6-year-olds could be so disappointing to adults.Read full article >>
The number of federal investigations into how colleges handle sexual violence reports has jumped 50 percent in the past six months, reflecting a surge of recent discrimination claims and the difficulty of resolving high-profile cases that often drag on for years.Read full article >>
In the era of “big data,” it can be easy to forget the importance of the human connection in certain enterprises, including the education of children. School reformers have set up funding programs that are competitive rather than collaborative, and evaluation systems don’t pay attention to collaboration and school culture. In the face of all of this, here is a post that talks about the importance of relationships between teachers and between teachers and administrators. After all, these connections are really what hold a school together.Read full article >>
When Mike Petrilli, a national expert on education policy, complained in a Web site post about the thin content of social studies and science lessons in his son’s Montgomery County first-grade class, he received a friendly e-mail from Marty Creel, director of curriculum and instruction for the Montgomery County public schools.Read full article >>
First there was public uproar about how members of Montgomery County’s Board of Education used their district-issued credit cards. Now comes fallout regarding the $140,000 in legal bills that piled up as the records for those credit cards went under review and investigation.Read full article >>
The “testing reform” is growing around the country. Even the Obama administration has acknowledged there is too much standardized testing in public schools today. Here, on Twitter at #whyIrefuse, are tweets from parents, teachers and others about why they don’t want their children or students to take high-stakes standardized tests. This gives you an idea of why people are turning against these assessments.Read full article >>
Los Angeles is all about movie-making, so how ridiculous would you find a flick with the following plot?
It opens with the hard-charging superintendent of the Los Angeles school system, the nation’s second largest, abruptly resigning after 3½ years. (That is longer than he spent as superintendent in Prince George’s County, Md., years earlier before he abruptly resigned from that post). We see the U.S. education secretary expressing “disappointment” in the departure, but the teachers in the 640,000-student system are throwing a party. Conflict established. Tension builds.Read full article >>
The teacher — Anthony Fonebi, who has been with the school system since 2003 — denied that he said anything derogatory, saying in an interview Friday that the situation was a misunderstanding and a classroom discussion was “blown out of proportion.”Read full article >>
The fifth-grade students filled two rows of seats in the D.C. Council hearing room Friday, fidgeting as they prepared to testify.
Their objective: Persuade the council members to adopt the Potomac bluestone as the city’s official rock.Read full article >>
Los Angeles Unified School District Superintendent John E. Deasy — a former school superintendent in Prince George’s County — resigned last week as head of the nation’s second-largest school district, ending a tumultuous tenure that included battles with the teachers union and rifts with the school board.Read full article >>