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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: 6 hours 26 min ago

Prince George’s County to host Back to School fair

Wed, 08/06/2014 - 2:31pm

The Prince George’s County Public School System is expecting thousands of families on Saturday to attend its annual Back to School fair at the Showplace Arena, an opportunity for students to register for classes, purchase uniforms and even get required immunizations.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: A lesson from South Korea: Student resistance to high-stakes testing

Wed, 08/06/2014 - 4:02am

Education Secretary Arne Duncan has said repeatedly that the United States isn’t as serious about educating its young people as the South Koreans. It’s just one of the many things he has said in comparing the U.S. public education system with that of other countries. But is South Korea really the country we should be emulating when it comes to schools? Kathy Schultz, a professor and dean of the School of Education at Mills College in Oakland,  is the author of  “Rethinking Classroom Participation: Listening to Silent Voices.” Young Whan Choi and Kathy Schultz answer that question in the following post. Young Whan Choi has taught in public schools in New York City, Providence, RI, and Oakland, CA, and has consulted on work-based learning and advisory models with schools in the United States and South Korea.  He has led the development of a national online Ethnic Studies curriculum.   Currently, as the Civic Engagement Coordinator in Oakland Unified School District, he is directing an initiative to ensure that all high schools students graduate with the knowledge, skills, and habits to be active members of their community.

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Categories: Education News

Shining Stars finds new home in time for school year

Tue, 08/05/2014 - 5:57pm

An earlier version of this story said that the Shining Stars Montessori Academy would be the first charter school to open in Ward 3. Washington Latin Public Charter School opened in Ward 3 and later moved. This version has been corrected.

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Categories: Education News

Virginia college presidents skeptical of Obama plan to rate colleges

Tue, 08/05/2014 - 5:45pm

Fifty higher-education leaders from Virginia are voicing skepticism about an Obama administration plan to rate colleges on measures of access and value and link those ratings to federal aid.

Presidents of schools ranging from the public University of Virginia to the private Liberty University put their names on an unusual joint letter sent July 22 to the state’s congressional delegation as well as to Education Secretary Arne Duncan and Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D).

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Categories: Education News

Bowie student selected to serve on national board promoting healthy habits among kids

Tue, 08/05/2014 - 1:23pm

Jodi Evans is a national advocate for children.

And she’s just a child herself.

Jodi, 11, a sixth-grader at Robert Goddard French Immersion School in Prince George’s County, was recently selected to serve as a youth ambassador on the Alliance for a Healthier Generation’s youth advisory board. It will be her third year serving on the board.

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Categories: Education News

Montgomery task force on cyber civility extends its work into the fall

Tue, 08/05/2014 - 11:53am

A Montgomery County schools task force looking into how to boost online civility will extend its work into the fall, continuing to meet through late October, the group decided.

The task force was announced last December after Superintendent Joshua P. Starr was zinged with offensive tweets as he and other district officials weighed whether to close schools for snow and icy weather. Some tweets included cursing or racial epithets.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: Michelle Rhee has a new position

Tue, 08/05/2014 - 10:02am

Michelle Rhee just got a new position.

According to the Sacramento Bee she was just named interim board chairwoman of St. Hope Schools, a small group of Sacramento charter schools. The new position gives “Rhee a powerful new role in the charter school system founded by her husband, Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson.” But she isn’t giving up her day job, which is running the advocacy group StudentsFirst.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: School reforms that actually work

Tue, 08/05/2014 - 6:01am

For years now education leaders have been pushing onto school districts school reforms that don’t show any sign of working while giving short shrift to those that have a track record of working. Gary Ravani, a 35-year public school teacher and president of the California Federation of Teachers’ Early Childhood/K-12 Council, explains in this post.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: If this isn’t school reform failure, what is?

Tue, 08/05/2014 - 4:02am

School reformers have made student standardized test scores the most important measure of how public schools are doing, so it seems only fair to measure their performance by their own definition of success. The newly released 2014 high-stakes test scores tells us that D.C. Public Schools doesn’t have a great deal to show for its reforms since Michelle Rhee became chancellor in 2007 and her deputy, Kaya Henderson, succeeded her in 2010.

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Categories: Education News

College application cycle for 2015 begins

Mon, 08/04/2014 - 1:50pm

In these lazy days of early August, many rising high school seniors no doubt relish a few more carefree weeks before classes resume. But some are now plunging deep into their college applications.

Indeed, a few have already filed.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: It’s innovative, but is it really better?

Mon, 08/04/2014 - 4:01am

The word “innovative” is invoked a lot to describe school reform policies that are alleged to be improvements over what existed before. But is innovative inherently better? Arthur H. Camins answers the question in the following post. Camins is the director of the Center for Innovation in Engineering and Science Education at the Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, N.J. The ideas expressed in this article are his alone and do not represent Stevens Institute. His other writing can be found at www.arthurcamins.com.

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Categories: Education News

D.C. charter school educates parents alongside children

Sun, 08/03/2014 - 8:18pm

The images in the book were bright and the words simple, but many of the women in the classroom hesitated as they sounded out each sentence.

“If you can’t read the words, can you talk about the pictures?” teacher Elizabeth Bergner coached. The goal for the women enrolled in Bergner’s adult-education class in the District is to learn English, but an equally important target is to help their children learn to read.

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Categories: Education News

Why college kids aren’t timid or lost

Sun, 08/03/2014 - 5:23pm

Author and former Yale faculty member William Deresiewicz has created a sensation with his attack on the Ivy League, published in the New Republic.

He is right to question our misplaced respect for elite colleges. He also wisely wonders why such institutions can’t welcome more students from low-income homes.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: Fact-checking Campbell Brown: What she said, what research really shows

Sun, 08/03/2014 - 10:31am

Former CNN correspondent Campbell Brown appeared on The Colbert Report last week in her role as head of the new Partnership for Educational Justice, an advocacy organization that is supporting seven parents in a lawsuit against New York State’s teacher tenure laws. (Supporting may be underestimating what the group is doing, given that she called the parents “our plaintiffs.”)  Colbert asked her some good questions but her answers were, well, questionable. In the following post, Alyssa Hadley Dunn,  a former high school English teacher who is now an assistant professor of teacher education at Michigan State University, fact-checks Brown’s answers. Dunn researches urban schools, educational policy, and social justice.

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Categories: Education News

Legislatures taking state education into their own hands

Sat, 08/02/2014 - 9:52pm

The backlash against the Common Core has prompted lawmakers in at least 12 states to get more involved in setting their own K-12 academic standards, injecting politics into a process usually conducted in obscurity by bureaucrats.

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Categories: Education News

Maryland schools moving away from suspensions for disrespect

Fri, 08/01/2014 - 10:08pm

Maryland is urging its 1,450 public schools to move away from student suspensions for incidents of disrespect and insubordination as part of newly approved code-of-conduct guidelines.

The guidelines reflect the sweeping changes that the Maryland State Board of Education made six months ago as it sought to take a more rehabilitative approach toward student misconduct and reduce racial disparities in punishment.

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Categories: Education News

Neighbors concerned about adding lights at T.C. Williams High School’s stadium

Fri, 08/01/2014 - 7:59pm

Calvin Terrell was born in a six-bedroom house on King Street that been passed down from his grandparents in one of Alexandria’s oldest communities of African American homeowners. In the early 1960s, that house was demolished to make way for T.C. Williams High School.

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Categories: Education News

Neighbors concerned about adding lights at T.C. Williams High School’s stadium

Fri, 08/01/2014 - 7:59pm

Calvin Terrell was born in a six-bedroom house on King Street that had been passed down from his grandparents in one of Alexandria’s oldest communities of African American homeowners. In the early 1960s, that house was demolished to make way for T.C. Williams High School.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: Stephen Colbert to Campbell Brown: ‘Why are we blaming the teachers? Maybe it’s the dumb kids.’

Fri, 08/01/2014 - 12:07pm

Stephen Colbert welcomed Campbell Brown to “The Colbert Report” (see video below) on Thursday night to talk about her support for a lawsuit just filed in New York that seeks to eliminate tenure and other job protections for teachers. The Comedy Central host didn’t give the former CNN anchor turned anti-union activist a free pass, asking her some questions that Brown critics had tweeted to Colbert to ask. Such as where her new anti-teachers union advocacy group gets its funding (she refused to answer) and why she is blaming teachers for poor student performance (“maybe it’s the dumb kids”).

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: What do standardized tests actually test?

Fri, 08/01/2014 - 4:01am

What exactly do standardized tests test? In this post veteran educator Marion Brady  answers that question and its consequences for teaching and learning. Brady has written history and world culture textbooks (Prentice-Hall),  professional books, numerous  nationally distributed columns (many are available here), and courses of study. His 2011 book, “What’s Worth Learning,” asks and answers this question: What knowledge is absolutely essential for every learner? His course of study for secondary-level students, called “Connections: Investigating Reality,” is free for downloading here. Brady’s website is www.marionbrady.com.

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Categories: Education News
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