Education News from Washington Post
Average student proficiency rates on the District’s annual standardized tests inched up in 2014, increasing 1.4 percentage points in math and less than one percentage point in reading, results that city leaders called steady-if-slow progress in improving academic prospects for the District’s children.Read full article >>
High school suspensions in Montgomery County plummeted nearly 37 percent in the past school year as the district made concerted efforts to use alternatives to out-of-school punishment and reduce racial disparities in discipline.Read full article >>
A symposium at the White House Thursday explored how increasing family engagement can drive school improvement.
The meeting brought together administration officials, philanthropists, and researchers to discuss ways that parents and schools can work together more closely.Read full article >>
D.C. officials released summary results of annual standardized tests Thursday morning, but just as interesting to many parents and policymakers are the results of individual schools.
School-by-school results, posted here, show a wide variation in performance among both traditional and charter schools.Read full article >>
Montgomery school leaders have asked county officials to postpone action on a project that would use $1.3 million in private funds for construction of a synthetic turf field at Winston Churchill High School in Potomac.Read full article >>
(Update: Video added; wasn’t visible in earlier version)
What question would you ask to Education Secretary Arne Duncan if you had the chance?
Patrick Hayes, a fifth-grade teacher in Charleston, S.C., and director of EdFirstSC, a nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy group working to empower people who care about public schools, got that opportunity recently when Duncan had a video chat with hundreds of Charleston educators and administrators. The discussion hit on a number of topics in educational policy, including the Common Core State Standards, which South Carolina legislators recently voted to abandon and replace with new standards in the 2015-16 school year.Read full article >>
A bipartisan group of senators just introduced legislation in Congress that is aimed at curbing sexual assaults on college campuses. The legislation would force school officials to be more transparent and accountable in dealing with sexual assaults, including requiring better training for on-campus personnel who investigate cases and participate in disciplinary procedures. Schools that fail to comply could face steep fines.Read full article >>
Members of the University of Virginia’s Board of Visitors are considering a policy that would limit their own ability to speak freely about decisions the board makes, including when members disagree with those decisions.Read full article >>
An organization that represents more than three dozen D.C. charter schools filed a federal lawsuit against the District on Wednesday, alleging that the city has failed to provide uniform operating funds for charter and traditional schools as the law requires.Read full article >>
(Update: Adding comment from Brown’s group)
Campbell Brown doesn’t hide her disdain for teachers unions. She has frequently railed against them, and formed an anti-union advocacy group that filed a lawsuit in New York this week seeking to eliminate job protections for teachers in the state.Read full article >>
Boston College professor Karen Arnold encountered a mystery in her investigation of graduates of an innovative high school program in Providence, R.I. Many of the disadvantaged students had lied to their former counselors about starting college, making the program look better than it was.Read full article >>
A Richmond-area public high school will keep “Rebels” as its team name after a student-led protest called attention to plans by the administration to field a new mascot without ties to the Confederacy.Read full article >>
It’s one thing for an Iranian news agency to mistakenly cite as fact a piece in The Onion, a satirical humor publication, as actually happened in 2012 when the Fars News Agency referred in all seriousness to an Onion story about a Gallup poll that supposedly showed more rural white voters in America would rather spend time with then Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad than with President Obama.Read full article >>
Montgomery County’s school board members unanimously voted to give up their district-paid credit cards, adopting a sweeping set of new spending rules after public disclosure of improper charges, unclear guidelines and poor oversight.Read full article >>
An experienced budget administrator for Fairfax County schools has been promoted to become the new assistant superintendent of financial services.
Kristen Michael, the former director of budget services, will succeed Susan Quinn, who became chief operating officer in July. Michael will assume her new position on Aug. 1.Read full article >>
(No, the headline is not from The Onion.)
Brenda Scott Academy of Theater Arts is a high-poverty preK-8th school in east Detroit that is part of the Education Achievement Authority, a district run by Michigan authorities for schools identified as being the lowest-performing. Brenda Scott has an extended calendar and won’t end its current school year until Aug. 7.Read full article >>
An advocacy group headed by former television journalist Campbell Brown filed a lawsuit in New York on Monday that seeks to overturn the state’s tenure laws and other job protections for teachers.
The legal challenge in New York comes a month after a Los Angeles judge struck down teacher tenure and other related California laws that offer job security to educators, a decision that is triggering similar actions around the country.Read full article >>
A Montgomery County Council committee on Monday sidestepped a battle between the school system and the county’s major recreational youth soccer organization, giving its go-ahead for bidding on a synthetic turf playing field at Winston Churchill High School in Potomac but saying it would not weigh in on what has become a legal clash.Read full article >>
(Update: Adding statement from Education Department)
Fifty presidents of public and private nonprofit colleges and universities in Virginia have signed a letter (see text below) to Education Secretary Arne Duncan expressing “serious reservations” about the Obama administration’s “misguided” development of a school rating system that could include data such as how much students earn after graduation. What will be called the Postsecondary Institution Ratings System is intended to be used in the process of determining which institutions deserve federal student aid (though congressional approval will be needed for this step).Read full article >>
For two decades Ellie Herman was a writer/producer for television shows including “The Riches,” “Desperate Housewives,” “Chicago Hope” and “Newhart.” Her fiction has appeared in literary journals, among them The Massachusetts Review, The Missouri Review and the O.Henry Awards Collection. In 2007, she decided, “on an impulse,” she wrote, to become an English teacher and got a job at a South Los Angeles charter school that was 97 percent Latino and where 96 percent of the students lived below the poverty line. She taught drama, creative writing, English 11 and 9th grade Composition at a charter high school in south Los Angeles until 2013, when she decided to stop teaching and spend a year visiting classrooms and learning from other teachers. She is chronicling the lessons she is learning on her blog, Gatsby in L.A., where a version of the following post appeared. The names of the students have been changed.Read full article >>