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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.
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Strauss: A video that shows why teachers are going out of their minds

Fri, 02/28/2014 - 9:53am

The video below is not a parody. It shows Chicago Public School teachers in a professional development session that will make you understand why teachers are going out of their minds and to what extent administrators have infantilized teachers.

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Strauss: Winning videos from first White House Student Film Festival

Fri, 02/28/2014 - 7:01am

President Obama is hosting the White House’s first ever Student Film Festival, an event aimed to showcase technology in learning, and below are some of the 16 short films selected to be screened, all of them made by students from elementary through high school.

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Strauss: Why preschool critics are wrong

Fri, 02/28/2014 - 6:00am

W. Steven Barnett is the director of the National Institute for Early Education Research at Rutgers University and he is annoyed. At what? People who keep arguing that preschool has not lasting benefits -- despite evidence to the contrary. In this post he takes on the critics and their interpretation of the research.

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Strauss: Why NAEP isn’t really ‘the nation’s report card’

Fri, 02/28/2014 - 5:00am

The National Assessment of Educational Progress is known across the country as “the nation’s report card” because it is the largest nationally representative and continuing assessment of what America’s students know in different subjects. The body that oversees NAEP, the National Assessment Governing Board, this week marked its 25th anniversary with a conference in Washington, at which Richard Rothstein and Rebecca Jacobsen made a presentation about the beginnings of NAEP and how its original intentions have become skewed. This post by Rothstein is a shortened version of the presentation. Rothstein is a research associate at the Economic Policy Institute, a non-profit organization created to broaden the discussion about economic policy to include the interests of low- and middle-income workers, and also a senior fellow at the Chief Justice Earl Warren Institute on Law and Social Policy, University of California (Berkeley) School of Law. Jacobsen is an associate professor of education at Michigan State University. This appeared on the institute’s website.

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Ex-Montgomery music teacher indicted on 39 counts of sexual abuse of girls, including rape

Thu, 02/27/2014 - 9:32pm

A former Montgomery County music teacher was indicted Thursday on 39 criminal counts related to his alleged sexual abuse of 14 elementary school girls and rape of a middle school student during his lengthy career in the county’s public school system.

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Henderson faces D.C. Council questions about achievement gap, middle schools

Thu, 02/27/2014 - 8:16pm

D.C. Council member David A. Catania recited a litany of data Thursday to illustrate the city’s large and persistent student achievement gaps, using an annual oversight hearing for the school system to ask whether officials are moving quickly enough to improve outcomes for poor and minority children.

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Liberty U. officer who shot student during hammer attack won’t be charged

Thu, 02/27/2014 - 7:58pm

A Liberty University security officer will not be charged in the fatal shooting of a student who attacked him with a hammer in November, according to prosecutors in Lynchburg, Va.

Deputy Commonwealth’s Attorney Jeffrey Bennett ruled that the officer, A.S. Mulberry, acted in self-defense when he fired two shots at Liberty freshman Joshua Hathaway on Nov. 19 at an off-campus dormitory known as Residential Annex II. Hathaway, 19, swung at Mulberry with a short-handled metal sledgehammer, making Mulberry fear for his safety, according to Bennett’s report.

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Arlington schools chief proposes raising pay and cutting 75 jobs

Thu, 02/27/2014 - 6:17pm

Arlington County Schools Superintendent Patrick K. Murphy unveiled a $539.4 million budget plan Thursday that would increase salaries and consolidate services for students pursuing alternative paths to high school graduation.

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Strauss: Gates Foundation opposes release of teachers’ VAM scores in Florida

Thu, 02/27/2014 - 5:16pm

Readers of this blog know that I am not a fan of the “value-added method” of evaluating educators. VAM uses student test scores and adds them into complicated formulas that can supposedly figure out the “value” teachers add to student learning. (Can a complicated formula really factor out the post traumatic stress that affects a student’s ability to take a standardized test or the effects of persistent hunger?) Assessment experts have cautioned that the use of VAM for high-stakes evaluation decisions is a bad idea because the results are generally not valid or reliable, but policymakers have gone ahead and required school districts to use them anyway.

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‘Flappy birthday’ to Code.org

Thu, 02/27/2014 - 2:13pm

To mark its one-year anniversary, Code.org, the nonprofit that has created free lessons to get kids from K-12 to write computer code, has released a new drag-and-drop tutorial that lets anyone build a version of the Flappy Bird game.

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Virginia preschool funding formula change could cause Arlington to lose slots

Thu, 02/27/2014 - 11:14am

A proposed change in Virginia’s preschool funding formula could leave Arlington County with about 50 fewer state-funded slots, if the House of Delegates and Senate don’t agree on a fix in the coming days.

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Montgomery County candidates jump into race for school board

Thu, 02/27/2014 - 11:04am

As the June primary nears in Maryland, Montgomery County’s school board election has come into sharper focus, with a collection of new candidates jumping into the race just ahead of this week’s filing deadline.

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Strauss: Gov. Christie’s new crisis: Protests grow over state control of Newark schools

Thu, 02/27/2014 - 5:00am

There’s a new crisis in New Jersey, and it isn’t about traffic jams.

Public protests in Newark are growing over an effort by Superintendent Cami Anderson, who was appointed to run the state-operated district by Gov. Chris Christie, to reshape the city’s school system. She plans to close some traditional schools, lay off more than 1,000 teachers and hire Teach For America recruits to fill some open spots, and create a single enrollment system for the 21 charters and 71 traditional public schools under an initiative called One Newark.

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Strauss: What D.C. schools are doing right and how to make it better

Thu, 02/27/2014 - 4:00am

There is a lot to celebrate about the pre-kindergarten program in the D.C. public schools. In fact, some aspects of the program are so strong that school officials would be smart to borrow them for application in later grades. This is all explained in the following post by Elaine Weiss, the national coordinator for the Broader Bolder Approach to Education, a project of the nonprofit Economic Policy Institute that recognizes the impact of social and economic disadvantage on many schools and students, and works to better the conditions that limit many children’s readiness to learn.

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Maryland audit of Prince George’s school system identifies weak financial controls

Wed, 02/26/2014 - 9:11pm

A state audit of the Prince George’s County school system found that weak financial controls and insufficient oversight have resulted in $1 million in overpayments to employees and have left the district’s computer network vulnerable to attack.

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Leadership shuffle at Common App

Wed, 02/26/2014 - 7:22pm

The nonprofit organization that oversees the online Common Application for hundreds of colleges announced an abrupt leadership shuffle Wednesday, months after the rocky rollout of a redesigned application system.

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George Mason University seeks more foreign students

Wed, 02/26/2014 - 6:01pm

George Mason University, the largest public university in Virginia, aims to grow its international student enrollment by 50 percent in five years through a joint venture with an overseas recruiting firm announced Wednesday.

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D.C. International charter school may lose $6 million in expected city funds

Wed, 02/26/2014 - 4:47pm

The D.C. Council set aside $6 million last spring to help D.C International — a new language immersion charter school for students in grades six through 12 — renovate its home-to-be, a building on the site of the old Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Northwest Washington.

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Advocates for Loudoun musical theater magnet sing their pitch

Wed, 02/26/2014 - 3:59pm

The biggest advocates for the new musical theater arts magnet school that the Loudoun County School Board approved Tuesday night were some of its future applicants.

Before the board voted 7 to 2 to approve the pilot program, which will serve up to 32 students starting in the fall, a ninth-grader from Loudoun County High School approached the dais.

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Strauss: Chicago charter schools expel many more kids than district schools — new data

Wed, 02/26/2014 - 2:41pm

New data released by the Chicago Public School system reveals that the city’s public charter schools — whose expansion has been pushed by Mayor Rahm Emanuel for several years — expelled about 12 times the number of students last year than did traditional public schools.

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