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Updated: 10 hours 52 sec ago

Strauss: Why getting kids ‘college and career ready’ isn’t enough

Mon, 10/20/2014 - 2:30pm

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.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: Another very scary headline about kindergartners

Mon, 10/20/2014 - 12:25pm

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.

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Categories: Education News

Tally of federal probes of colleges on sexual violence grows 50 percent since May

Sun, 10/19/2014 - 9:21pm

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.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: The glue that really holds a school together — and that reformers ignore

Sun, 10/19/2014 - 4:56pm

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.

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Categories: Education News

Mathews: Why increasing content is tough in Montgomery County public schools

Sun, 10/19/2014 - 4:17pm

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.

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Categories: Education News

Montgomery County school board, critics at odds over $140,000 legal bill

Sat, 10/18/2014 - 11:23pm

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.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: #WhyIrefuse

Sat, 10/18/2014 - 2:26pm

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.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: Leadership mess in L.A. schools could be a movie — but you wouldn’t believe the plot

Sat, 10/18/2014 - 11:01am

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.

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Categories: Education News

Md. public school teacher denies he told students all Muslims are terrorists

Fri, 10/17/2014 - 8:08pm

Prince George’s County school administrators are investigating allegations that an English teacher told students at Parkdale High School that all Muslims are terrorists who “will kill you.”

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.”

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Categories: Education News

Elementary students lobby D.C. Council for an official city rock: the Potomac bluestone

Fri, 10/17/2014 - 7:08pm

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.

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Categories: Education News

Deasy resigns as school superintendent in Los Angeles

Fri, 10/17/2014 - 6:28pm

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.

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Categories: Education News

Montgomery proposal would change enrollment and classroom capacity guidelines

Fri, 10/17/2014 - 4:44pm

This story has been updated.

As Montgomery County’s enrollment surges for another year, school leaders have proposed changing guidelines to increase the preferred maximum enrollment of high schools and establish classroom capacity at 18 students in the early grades at high-needs schools.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: ‘E’ stands for Ebola. What does ‘S’ stand for? Scaring students.

Fri, 10/17/2014 - 11:31am

This isn’t part of the standard school curriculum, but some schools in the United States are teaching kids how to be scared. How?

Let’s review:

From WKYC.com:

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: What the Common Core standards can’t do

Fri, 10/17/2014 - 11:00am

A lot has been written about the Common Core State Standards, but here’s a different way of looking at the standards and what they can and can’t do. It was written by veteran educator Marion Brady, who has written history and world culture textbooks,  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

Strauss: A professor’s encounter with two Teach For America recruiters

Fri, 10/17/2014 - 4:00am

Teach For America is an organization that recruits new college graduates, gives them five weeks of training in a summer institute and then places them in some of America’s neediest schools. Popular with the Obama administration, TFA has increasingly generated criticism about its limited training program and its requirement that corps members stay only two years in a school. I’ve published some pieces critical of TFA (see here, here and here), including this one by  Fordham Professor Mark Naison, who explained why he does not welcome Teach For America in his classroom to recruit. Here is a post by another academic, Mitchell Robinson, an associate professor and chair of music education at Michigan State University, about his recent experience with two TFA recruiters who met him to discuss why he, like Naison, didn’t want them in his classroom.  Before moving to Michigan State, Robinson taught music for 10 years in the Fulton (NY) City School District, and held collegiate appointments at the University of Connecticut and the Eastman School of Music.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: Why the ‘coding for all’ movement is more than a boutique reform

Fri, 10/17/2014 - 4:00am

Earlier this year I published a post about coding by education historian Larry Cuban that took issue with current calls for all students to learn how to code computers as a way to learn problem solving and computational thinking. Cuban is professor emeritus of education at Stanford University, and a former high school teacher and district superintendent. Here is a response to Cuban from two academics who explain why they think all students should learn to code. This was  written by  Jane Margolis, a senior researcher at the UCLA Graduate School of Education and Information Studies and author of  “Stuck in the Shallow End: Education, Race, and Computing,” and  Yasmin Kafai, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education and author of  “Connected Code: Why Children Need to Learn Programming.”

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Categories: Education News

Group calls for increased investment in after-school programming

Thu, 10/16/2014 - 7:43pm

It’s 3 p.m. Do you know where your children are?

An Afterschool Alliance survey sought to find out the answer to this question across the country, and the results led the organization to call for more funding for quality activities for school-age children after the last bell of the day rings.

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Categories: Education News

D.C. teachers share tips for implementing Common Core standards

Thu, 10/16/2014 - 5:20pm

More than 100 educators in the District met for a day-long training Thursday on implementing the new Common Core academic standards.

The “Ahead of the Curve” conference, organized by the D.C. Public Charter School Board and nonprofit organization Fight for Children, offered an unusual opportunity for teachers and school leaders from charter and traditional schools to work together.

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Categories: Education News

Prince George’s residents ask for resources to increase parental engagement in schools

Thu, 10/16/2014 - 1:43pm

Fewer than 10 people attended a recent community forum to get input from residents about the 2016 budget that will be crafted in coming months.

But many of those who testified advocated for money to help parents become engaged.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: The link between housing policy and student achievement

Thu, 10/16/2014 - 12:51pm

It may seem intuitive that school reform should be focused on what goes on inside schools — but, in fact, such a singular focus isn’t enough, as current reform efforts have sadly shown. It is impossible to divorce a student’s life outside of school with how well he or she does in class. Most children who are sick, tired, anxious, depressed, hungry, distracted or homeless aren’t likely to be high academic achievers.

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Categories: Education News
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