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Updated: 4 hours 58 min ago

Strauss: Jeb Bush bashes traditional public schools (again)

Mon, 05/19/2014 - 3:40pm

You can say this about Jeb Bush: When it comes to promoting charter schools and vouchers at the expense of traditional public schools, the former Florida governor and possible 2016 presidential candidate has long been consistent. He just did it again. Let’s look at what he said — and didn’t say.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: Jill Abramson tells graduates: ‘I’m in exactly the same boat as many of you’

Mon, 05/19/2014 - 11:16am

Of all the commencement speeches being given this year at high schools, colleges and universities across the country, this was the one that got all the attention.

Jill Abramson, the ousted executive editor of the New York Times, delivered the commencement speech today at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, N.C., her first public appearance since she lost her job last week. And she didn’t ignore what has become a big controversy for the newspaper.

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Categories: Education News

Montgomery schools: Chief operating officer Larry Bowers plans to retire

Mon, 05/19/2014 - 10:30am

One of Montgomery County’s top school leaders will retire next year, after more than 35 years with the school system.

Larry A. Bowers, 65, chief operating officer for Montgomery County schools, is set to step down in June 2015. He will be replaced by Andrew Zuckerman, 37, who has been chief of staff to Superintendent Joshua P. Starr for the past year, officials said.

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Categories: Education News

Muslim leaders ask for equal billing with Jewish holiday on Montgomery calendar

Sun, 05/18/2014 - 9:52pm

Muslim community leaders in Montgomery County this week asked that the Islamic holy day of Eid al-Adha be given equal billing as the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur on Montgomery’s 2015-2016 school calendar.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: Haverford commencement speaker calls some students ‘immature’ and arrogant’

Sun, 05/18/2014 - 7:32pm

The commencement address at Haverford College in Pennsylvania wasn’t your typical commencement address on Sunday.

One of the speeches at the event was delivered by William G. Bowen, the former president of Princeton University, who was chosen after the first choice for speaker, Robert J. Birgeneau, became the target of protesters and withdrew. Bowen, speaking before some 2,800 people, said that the students and faculty who had protested Birgeneau had been “immature” and “arrogant.” He also said that Birgeneau, the former chancellor of the University of California at Berkeley, had reacted “ intemperately,” the Philadelphia Inquirer reported.

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Categories: Education News

Virginia Tech’s Steger among top-paid public university leaders in the nation

Sun, 05/18/2014 - 6:00pm

Retiring Virginia Tech President Charles W. Steger remains the highest-paid public university leader in the state in a new national survey that showed his total annual compensation topped $830,000.

Steger’s total pay of $836,886 ranked him 12th in the Chronicle of Higher Education’s survey of compensation for 256 leaders of public higher education institutions in fiscal 2013. In the previous year, he ranked seventh.

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Categories: Education News

DCPS reaches tentative agreement with principals union

Sun, 05/18/2014 - 4:47pm

D.C. Public Schools has reached a tentative collective-bargaining agreement with the Council of School Officers, the union that represents principals, assistant principals, business managers, master educators and other non-teachers who work in schools.

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Categories: Education News

Montgomery schools ending the era of the foam lunch tray

Sun, 05/18/2014 - 4:31pm

Luis Pozo’s lunch tray was the size of a notebook, a thin cardboard rectangle he used to carry his noon meal through the cafeteria of Francis Scott Key Middle School in Silver Spring.

The eighth-grader loaded it with chocolate milk, potato rounds, a burger and a fruit cup. When he was done, he stacked the tray onto a growing pile.

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Categories: Education News

‘Dream City’ connects D.C. students to city history

Sun, 05/18/2014 - 1:20pm

Two decades ago, after then-D.C. Mayor Marion Barry’s infamous arrest for smoking crack cocaine at the Vista Hotel, local journalists Tom Sherwood and Harry Jaffe published a book that chronicled Barry’s life and the history of the District of Columbia.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: Peyton Manning tosses footballs to U-Va. graduates at commencement

Sun, 05/18/2014 - 1:02pm

Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning gave the commencement speech at the University of Virginia this weekend, and not only did he dispense advice to the graduating seniors, but he also threw a few footballs to them. You can see him throw passes starting at 2:54 into the video.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: Arne Duncan’s reaction to new research slamming teacher evaluation method he favors

Sun, 05/18/2014 - 12:58pm

Education Secretary Arne Duncan has been a proponent of using students’ scores on standardized tests to evaluate teachers, even as a growing mountain of evidence has shown that the method now used in most states, known as “value-added measures,” is not reliable. With two recent reports released on VAM adding to warnings long given by assessment experts, I asked the Education Department whether Duncan’s position had changed.

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Categories: Education News

Mathews: How an unhappy parent beat school resistance without a lawyer

Sun, 05/18/2014 - 11:48am

When I first wrote about Stacie Jones’s case last year, she felt the teachers and administrators at Potomac Landing Elementary School in Prince George’s County were treating her as if she weren’t there.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: The famous Steve Jobs commencement speech: ‘Stay hungry. Stay foolish.’

Sun, 05/18/2014 - 11:42am

During commencement season, it’s fun to look back at some of the great speeches. If you are interested in reading what I have declared to be the greatest commencement speech ever, click here. And below is one of the most famous, the address delivered by Steve Jobs at Stanford University on June 12, 2005.

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Categories: Education News

Tablets proliferate in nation’s classrooms, and take a swipe at the status quo

Sat, 05/17/2014 - 8:02pm

Social studies students in a District middle school use a touch screen to swipe through the articles of the Constitution. A fifth-grade teacher in Arlington County sends video lessons to students as homework so she can spend more time helping them in class.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: Eric Holder to graduates on race: ‘This struggle is far from over’

Sat, 05/17/2014 - 12:32pm

On the 60th anniversary of the historic Brown v. Board of Education decision by the U.S. Supreme Court, which declared the “separate but equal doctrine” in public education to be unconstitutional, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, the first African-American to hold that position, delivered the following speech at commencement on the campus of Morgan State University, a historically black college in Baltimore. Here’s the text of remarks as prepared for delivery by Holder, ceremony in Baltimore on Saturday, May 17, 2014. The transcript was provided by the Justice Department’s Office of Public Affairs.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: The greatest commencement speech ever

Sat, 05/17/2014 - 11:58am

I know that the headline of this post is open to debate. What I like in a commencement speech may not be what you like in a commencement speech.

But for the sake of non-school reform argument, I’m going to declare for the moment that the greatest commencement speech ever was not the famous Steve Jobs speech of 2005 at Stanford (“Stay hungry, stay foolish”) … and it was not the 1941 Winston Churchill speech at Harrow School (in which, incidentally, he did not, as famously reported, stand up, say “Never give up, never give up, never give up,” and then sit down)  … and it was not the one Dolly Parton gave at the University of Tennessee in 2009 (“What has worked for me may not work for you… wigs, tight clothes, push-up bras”) … and it was not the one Jon Stewart gave at the College of William and Mary in 2004 (“Thank you Mr. President, I had forgotten how crushingly dull these ceremonies are”) … and it was not the one Kermit the Frog gave in 1996 at Southampton College (“As we say in the wetlands, ‘Ribbit-ribbit-kneedeep-ribbit,’ which means ‘May success and a smile always be yours … even when you’re knee-deep in the sticky muck of life.’”) And it wasn’t any of these other hilarious speeches.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: How to help students of color, 60 years after historic Brown v. Board ruling

Sat, 05/17/2014 - 10:32am

On May 17, 1954, the U.S. Supreme Court  ruled that state laws establishing separate schools for black and white students were unconstitutional in the historic case Brown vs. Board of Education. I’ve published a few pieces on the legacy of the decision, here and here. Following is a new piece on where the United States should go from here to realize the promise of Brown. It was written by U.S. Rep. Frederica S. Wilson, a Democrat who represents parts of Miami-Dade and Broward Counties, and Dennis Van Roekel, president of the National Education Association, the country’s largest teachers union.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: Protest at Harvard over commencement speaker at education school

Sat, 05/17/2014 - 9:57am

Dozens of student and alumni at the Harvard Graduate School of Education issued a statement (see below) protesting the selection of Colorado state Sen. Michael Johnston (D) as the school’s 2014 commencement speaker because, they say, he “embraces a vision of education reform that relies heavily on test-based accountability while weakening the due process protections of teachers.”

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Categories: Education News

Fairfax school system to see administrative reorganization

Fri, 05/16/2014 - 12:25pm

Fairfax County Schools Superintendent Karen Garza plans to implement sweeping changes to the system’s organization, a shake-up that will create new executive leadership positions and will regroup schools to pair high-achieving high schools with those that are struggling.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: Are we abandoning public education 60 years after historic Brown ruling?

Fri, 05/16/2014 - 11:07am

May 17 is the 60th anniversary of the famous U.S. Supreme Court  Brown v. Board of Education ruling, the 1954 decision that banned the “separate but equal” doctrine that allowed states and school districts to designate some schools “whites-only” and others “Negroes-only” and helped launch an era of civil rights activism. I recently published a report by Economic Policy Institute researcher and author Richard Rothstein about the legacy of Brown, which you can read here, and here is a new piece about how the “school choice” movement has failed to honor the Brown decision. Written by Barbara Miner, a Milwaukee-based reporter and the author of “Lessons from the Heartland: A Turbulent Half-Century of Public Education in an Iconic American City,” this piece talks in part about Milwaukee, where, she writes, “more students receive vouchers than in any U.S. city” but where “we are abandoning the very institution of public education.”

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Categories: Education News
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