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Updated: 3 hours 5 min ago

Strauss: Will the FCC ignore educators in modernizing key U.S. technology program?

Wed, 07/09/2014 - 12:31pm

This post is a rebuttal to one that I published a few days ago about the federal “E-Rate” program — which offers discounts for schools and libraries to get Internet access and telecommunications — under the headline “A watershed moment for technology in education.” The earlier piece was co-written by Julius Genachowski, managing director of The Carlyle Group and former chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, and Jim Coulter, a commissioner of the bi-partisan Leading Education by Advancing Digital Commission, and co-founder and chief executive officer of TPG Holdings. Genachowski and Coulter urged the Federal Communications Commission to approve at its meeting this Friday a plan to start to modernize the E-Rate program. Genachowski and Coulter wrote that the proposal “is a first step in this modernization, which redirects over $2 billion in existing E-Rate funds out of unnecessary reserves and into classroom Wi-Fi installations and upgrades” and that this “first step would positively impact six million students in the coming year.”

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Categories: Education News

Connecting school spending and student achievement

Wed, 07/09/2014 - 6:00am

In the roiling national debate about the best ways to improve public education, one aspect gets scant attention: the relationship between the tax dollars school systems spend and academic results.

In a report released Wednesday, the left-leaning Center for American Progress looks at how much “bang for the buck” taxpayers are getting from public schools.

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Categories: Education News

Growing number of kindergarteners are Hispanic

Tue, 07/08/2014 - 9:28pm

At least one in five kindergarten students were Hispanic in 17 states, according to an analysis of 2012 census data by the Pew Research Center. That’s up significantly from 2000, when just eight states reached the same threshold for kindergarten enrollments.

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Categories: Education News

U.S. colleges have worked to address ties to slavery, Confederacy

Tue, 07/08/2014 - 7:47pm

With Washington and Lee University’s announcement Tuesday that it will remove historic Confederate battle flags from the main chamber of Lee Chapel and its acknowledgement of regret for the school’s ties to slavery, the college in Lexington, Va., joined numerous other U.S. colleges that have worked to address their ties to slavery and the Confederacy. Here is a list of prominent schools that are among those that have publicly addressed the issue during the past decade, in chronological order.

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Categories: Education News

Md. educators object to recommendation that public schools open after Labor Day

Tue, 07/08/2014 - 3:08pm

Three groups representing Maryland educators have expressed opposition to a legislative task force’s recommendation to delay the opening of the state’s public schools until after Labor Day.

A letter sent Tuesday to Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) and leaders of the General Assembly contends that a delay in the start of school would not be in the best interest of students. The letter was signed by leaders of the Maryland State Education Association, the Public Schools Superintendents Association of Maryland and the Maryland Association of Boards of Education

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Categories: Education News

Washington and Lee University to remove Confederate flags following protests

Tue, 07/08/2014 - 3:01pm

Washington and Lee University expressed regret Tuesday for the school’s past ownership of slaves and promised to remove Confederate flags from the main chamber of its Lee Chapel after a group of black students protested that the historic Virginia school was unwelcoming to minorities.

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Categories: Education News

Prince George’s schools offer breakfast and lunch to students during summer

Tue, 07/08/2014 - 12:30pm

With students running a higher risk of obesity and hunger during their summer break, Prince George’s County schools have joined an effort to provide the youngsters with free breakfast and lunch.

More than 60 schools throughout the county will serve the meals until Aug. 1.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: Why so many kids can’t sit still in school today

Tue, 07/08/2014 - 11:01am

The Centers for Disease Control tells us that in recent years there has been a jump in the percentage of young people diagnosed with Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder, commonly known as ADHD: 7.8 percent in 2003 to 9.5 percent in 2007 and to 11 percent in 2011. The reasons for the rise are multiple, and include changes in diagnostic criteria, medication treatment and more awareness of the condition. In the following post, Angela Hanscom, a pediatric occupational therapist and the founder of TimberNook, a nature-based development program designed to foster creativity and independent play outdoors in New England, suggests yet another reason more children are being diagnosed with ADHD, whether or not they really have it: the amount of time kids are forced to sit while they are in school. This appeared on the TimberNook blog.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: Largest U.S. teachers union calls for Education Secretary Duncan to resign

Tue, 07/08/2014 - 7:03am

Education Secretary Arne Duncan’s relations with teachers unions just got more difficult.

Delegates of the National Education Association, the nation’s largest teachers union, voted at their annual convention to call on Duncan to resign after similar efforts had failed in previous years. And the NEA is about to get a new president, Lily Eskelsen García, who is known for her tough talk and determination to fight back against corporate school reformers. She told the delegates:

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Categories: Education News

Corinthian Colleges details plan to sell 85 campuses, close 12 others

Mon, 07/07/2014 - 7:49pm

The for-profit company Corinthian Colleges detailed plans Monday to sell 85 of its career-education campuses nationwide and shutter a dozen others, including two outposts operating under the Everest brand in the Washington region.

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Categories: Education News

One in four students in Prince George’s County fails to graduate in four years

Mon, 07/07/2014 - 6:46pm

As most school districts across the Washington region and the nation experienced rising high school graduation rates during the past decade — including the highest national graduation rate in history — Prince George’s County continued to lag behind in its effort to get students a diploma, moving against the national trend.

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Categories: Education News

Obama administration wants better teachers for nation’s poor schools

Mon, 07/07/2014 - 4:31pm

The Obama administration is ordering states to devise strategies to get better teachers into high-poverty classrooms, correcting a national imbalance in which students who need the most help are often taught by the weakest educators.

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Categories: Education News

Prince George’s the latest school system to face debate over planned cellphone towers

Mon, 07/07/2014 - 4:00pm

Prince George’s County has become the latest school system in the Washington region to become locked in a debate over building cellphone towers on school property.

Montgomery County officials recently abandoned plans to have a cellphone tower built at Wootton High School in Rockville after an uproar from parents. And this year, a company withdrew its plans to build a tower at Piney Orchard Elementary School in Anne Arundel County after community opposition and issues with zoning.

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Categories: Education News

Monica Warren-Jones to step down from D.C. education board

Mon, 07/07/2014 - 1:46pm

Monica Warren-Jones, who represents Ward 6 on the D.C. State Board of Education, announced this weekend that she will not seek reelection in November.

Warren-Jones said she is leaving the board to focus on improving social services and housing for the city’s disadvantaged children and families.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: How college remediation rates are distorted — and why

Mon, 07/07/2014 - 6:01am

Are a large percentage of high school graduates so unprepared for college when they get there that they have to take remedial courses to catch up? School reformers like to say so, and throw out big percentages of students who are said to need remediation. But where do these figures come from, and are they accurate? Award-winning Prinicipal Carol Burris of South Side High School in New York  looks at this issue in the following post.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: A watershed moment for technology in education

Mon, 07/07/2014 - 4:01am

It is more than likely that many of you don’t know much, if anything, about the “E-Rate,” which is formally the Schools and Libraries Program of the Universal Service Fund administered  under the auspices of the Federal Communications Commission.  The E-Rate offers discounts for schools and libraries to get Internet access and telecommunications. This week, the FCC will vote on modernizing the E-Rate in a move that would first redirect a few billion dollars in E-Rate funds to the benefit of millions of students this year alone. In this post, Julius Genachowski and Jim Coulter explain why they think the FCC should approve the modernization. Genachowski is managing director of The Carlyle Group and former chairman of the Federal Communications Commission. Jim Coulter is a commissioner of the bi-partisan Leading Education by Advancing Digital (LEAD) Commission, and co-founder and chief executive officer of TPG Holdings.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: Departing NEA president blasts ‘incredible onslaught of corporate reformers’ — including Michelle Rhee

Sun, 07/06/2014 - 10:16am

National Education Association President Dennis Van Roekel delivered his final keynote speech at the 2014 Representative Assembly of the nation’s largest teachers union, blasting Michelle Rhee and other corporate school reformers, and urging the organization’s more than 3 million members to work to change the course of education. “Proceed until apprehended!” he urged.

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Categories: Education News

New D.C. charter school highlights debate over planning

Sat, 07/05/2014 - 3:46pm

A new science-themed D.C. charter school plans to open its doors this fall across the street from a traditional school that serves the same grade levels and has the same academic focus, highlighting a lack of coordination that has drawn increasing scrutiny in recent months.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: Why many Democrats have turned against teachers unions

Sat, 07/05/2014 - 4:01am

For years now it’s been clear that Democrats have splintered over the issue of corporate school reform. President Obama and Education Secretary Arne Duncan have been leaders of the movement to transform public schools through standardized-test-based “accountability” and the expansion of charter schools, with other Democrats arguing that these reform measures are not effective ways of closing the achievement gap and improving student performance.

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Categories: Education News

Fairfax County still trying to get high schoolers more sleep

Fri, 07/04/2014 - 8:01pm

Although the Fairfax County School Board last week approved more instructional time for elementary students and added more than 11 days to the academic calendar to account for inclement weather, a long-standing county plan to help teenagers get more sleep could call for cutting high school classes.

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Categories: Education News
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