Education News from Washington Post
Several small schools in western Loudoun County have been added to an annual list of the state’s most endangered historic sites by a preservation advocacy group.
The schools were included among about 800 historic schools statewide that Richmond-based Preservation Virginia is hoping to protect as districts increasingly replace smaller school buildings with larger, centrally located facilities.Read full article >>
Strauss: Texas superintendent tells parents: Your children’s standardized test scores don’t mean much
Paul Jones, superintendent of the Paris Independent School District in Texas, posted a rather unusual letter to parents on the district’s website.
Jones informed parents that they would soon receive their children’s scores on state-mandated standardized tests and that they shouldn’t put very much stock into them. In fact, he told them they were part of a “punitive” system in which assessments “do not reflect the quality of teaching or learning.”Read full article >>
It isn’t easy for a girl to get an education in Nigeria.
The world’s attention has been focused for over a month on the kidnappings of a schoolful of girls in Nigeria by an Islamic extremist group called Boko Haram that doesn’t believe in Western education and or in education for girls. The fate of the girls is still unknown, and the United States is helping in the effort to find them. At least 173 teachers have been killed in recent years during the Boko Haram insurgency in several northeastern Nigerian states, prompting a protest by educators and others in Lagos on Thursday.Read full article >>
At least eight veteran D.C. Public Schools principals have announced that they are leaving their jobs, reviving what has become an annual debate about turnover among the system’s school leaders.
The departing principals include two key figures in arts education: Patrick Pope, who used a heavy emphasis on dance, music, theater and visual arts to spur a turnaround at high-poverty Savoy Elementary in Anacostia; and Rory Pullens, the highly regarded principal of Duke Ellington School of the Arts since 2006.Read full article >>
Federally funded school lunches have been in the news because Republicans in the U.S. House just voted to allow some schools to get a waiver from a law that requires lunches served to students to meet new health standards. Why? Apparently some schools can’t make enough money serving healthy foods because kids don’t want to eat them and are throwing away healthy foods.What a surprise.Read full article >>
The Fairfax County School Board on Thursday will vote to approve the 2015 budget, bringing to a close a months-long process to address a projected multimillion-dollar shortfall.
Early this school year, new Superintendent Karen Garza made efforts to highlight what she described as a budget “crisis” facing the school system. In light of the dire fiscal outlook, Garza proposed a series of cuts including eliminating 720 staff positions and having bigger class sizes.Read full article >>
More than 75 percent of teachers in Fairfax County high schools find their school’s leadership to be effective and more than 85 percent find their school to be a good place to work and learn, according to a recent 2014 working conditions survey.Read full article >>
Cameron Hamilton, the mayor of Porterville, California, has stirred up a ruckus by saying at a City Council meeting that the word “bullying” has become a “mantra” for “the ills of the world” and that “all most people just have to grow a pair.”Read full article >>
After publicly accepting an invitation to go to the James Madison High School prom with a 17-year-old student who asked him to the dance via Twitter, a popular Fairfax County School Board member has scaled back his plans for the event.Read full article >>
A Loudoun County eighth-grader won first place at the 26th annual National Geographic Bee Wednesday.
Akhil Rekulapelli, 13, claimed the top honor after he correctly answered this question:
The discovery of a major shale oil deposit in the Vaca Muerta formation in 2010 has led to an expansion of oil drilling in the Neuquén province in what country?Read full article >>
So you didn’t get into the first, second or third college of your choice.
No worries, say a chorus of admissions officers. There are still plenty of slots in respected colleges and universities three weeks after the May 1 deadline for students to accept offers from selective schools.Read full article >>
What does it really mean to kids when school districts are underfunded?
Here is a portrait of one such district, from the Education Law Center in New Jersey, which advocates for equal educational opportunity and education justice in the United States. Profiled is the Freehold Borough School District in Monmouth County, a preschool-8th grade district with a little more than 1,580 students.Read full article >>
Many school improvement ideas vie for attention these days — the Common Core standards, new online and in-class teaching combinations, more social services, better ways to rate teachers. The most promising reform, I think, is increasing the length of the school day and school year.Read full article >>
A scathing letter (see below) by a Chicago school principal charging Mayor Rahm Emanuel and his administration with ignoring and disrespecting teachers and principals has sparked a discussion in the city about school reform and how it is being implemented.Read full article >>
The Prince George’s County school system has applied for a state grant that would allow it to shut a low-performing elementary school in District Heights.
Thomas Claggett Elementary School would close at the start of the 2015-16 school year if the Maryland State Department of Education approves the application. The school would be the first in the county to close in more than five years. In 2009, when William R. Hite Jr. was superintendent, the board approved a major reorganization that closed eight schools and adjusted the boundaries of 62 others.Read full article >>
A Maryland task force has recommended that the state’s public schools delay opening until after Labor Day, a proposal that seeks to extend summer vacation for a week or more in many areas.
The state task force, which has been meeting since September, voted 11 to 4 to embrace a later start date statewide, officials said Tuesday.Read full article >>
The D.C. Public Charter School Board has approved three new charter schools: a residential school meant for children in foster care, a K-8 school targeted at students with special needs, and a middle school that emphasizes international education and foreign language.Read full article >>
School reformers keep talking about charter schools as if they were the answer to public education’s problems, when there is a great deal of evidence that shows big problems with the charter sector.
For example, a report on Pennsylvania’s charter schools recently released by a state legislator found that only one in six of the state’s charter schools is”high-performing” and it notes that none of the online charters is “high-performing.”Read full article >>
Ron Maggiano, a longtime history teacher at West Springfield High School in Fairfax County, died Monday, according to a schools statement.
Maggiano taught in the social studies department at West Springfield for 19 years of his 33-year career. He announced that he decided to retire in 2013 after growing frustrated with high-stakes testing that had proliferated in schools in recent years.Read full article >>
Critics of the critics of high-stakes standardized testing and the Common Core State Standards often say that the attackers don’t provide alternatives but just complain. That has never been true of many of the critics of these school reforms, and it still isn’t. Here is a piece about what a different accountability system could look like if school reformers would concede that their attachment to high-stakes testing as the chief accountability metric hasn’t been useful to students.Read full article >>