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Updated: 11 hours 27 min ago

Strauss: What was on ’12 Years a Slave’ director Steve McQueen’s wrist on Oscar stage?

Mon, 03/03/2014 - 6:21pm

Director Steve McQueen was wearing a red wristband Sunday night when he ascended to the stage after his film, “12 Years a Slave,” won the Oscar for Best Picture. What was it?

McQueen was wearing a wristband that said ”Stand Up4Public Schools,” given to him by David A. Pickler, president of the National School Boards Association, on the Academy Awards red carpet.

What was the president of the NSBA doing at the Academy Awards and why would McQueen wear a wristband from the organization’s new public relations campaign in support of public education? The NSBA is partnering with McQueen and others to distribute edited copies of the powerful film to public high schools across the country along with the 1853 memoir of the same name from which it was adapted and a study guide for teachers.

A news release about the initiative quoted McQueen as saying:

“Since first reading 12 Years a Slave, it has been my dream that this book be taught in schools. I am immensely grateful to Montel Williams and the National School Boards Association for making this dream a reality and for sharing Solomon Northup’s story with today’s generation.”

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Categories: Education News

Chris Braunlich elected president of Virginia Board of Education

Mon, 03/03/2014 - 4:57pm

Christian N. Braunlich of Fairfax County has been elected president of the Virginia Board of Education.

The new leader of the board — which oversees academic standards, graduation requirements and teacher qualifications — was elected unanimously by fellow board members at their most recent meeting Thursday.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: Why school isn’t for children anymore -- teacher

Mon, 03/03/2014 - 5:00am

Dawn Neely-Randall, a 24-year veteran teacher in Ohio, has watched with alarm the rising influence of standardized testing on public education in recent years. In an e-mail, she said she is “weary” of the “testing abuse inflicted” on her students and profession. Neely-Randall wrote the following piece a few days ago about what she sees happening in education, and she hopes other teachers will stand up and tell their own stories.

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Categories: Education News

D.C. mulling Common Core test switch

Sun, 03/02/2014 - 9:54pm

The District is slated to begin administering new tests next year that aim to gauge students’ performance on the Common Core State Standards, new national academic guidelines that are designed to promote critical thinking instead of rote memorization.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: Getting serious about sex education

Sun, 03/02/2014 - 3:37pm

According to the Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States, the federal government has spent millions of dollars over several decades promoting abstinence-only sex education even though they “rarely provide information on even the most basic topics in human sexuality such as puberty, reproductive anatomy, and sexual health, and they have never been proven effective.” In this post, a nursing professor who had a child when she was a teenager discusses why it is time for a change in school-based sex ed. Imelda Reyes is a clinical assistant professor of nursing, specializing in pediatrics and a Public Voices Fellow of The OpEd Project at Emory University.

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Categories: Education News

Skipping a grade is rare, but it might just save the world

Sun, 03/02/2014 - 2:47pm

When Linda Mc­Veigh began second grade at Kit Carson Elementary School in Lawndale, Calif., her teacher saw she was far ahead. She had learned to read at age four from her 12-year-old aunt. The blonde 7-year-old from a rural Oklahoma family was funny and talkative. Her math scores were very high.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: Your kid is being bullied at school -- but not in the way you think

Sun, 03/02/2014 - 11:30am

How bad is the standardized testing obsession in public education? Really bad, says James Arnold, the former superintendent of Pelham City Schools in Pelham, Ga., in the following post. A version of this appeared on his blog.

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Categories: Education News

Fairfax County teachers propose cutting ‘extras’ in protest of lagging salaries

Sat, 03/01/2014 - 9:07pm

Some teachers in Fairfax County are planning to protest lagging salaries by cutting back on work that is outside of their contract, a move that could cause students to miss out on many extra after-school services that teachers provide.

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Categories: Education News

Prince George’s County schools hope to recruit more male teachers

Sat, 03/01/2014 - 7:39pm

When Albert Lewis attended middle school in Prince George’s County in the late 1990s, he was shocked to walk into his eighth-grade history class and find a black man sitting behind the teacher’s desk.

Nathaniel Laney’s presence was a first for Lewis, who is now a teacher himself. Until then, he had never seen a male teacher outside of gym class.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: Why most professional development for teachers is useless

Sat, 03/01/2014 - 12:30pm

There has been a strong reaction to my recent post titled ”A video that shows why teachers are going out of their minds,” which revealed Chicago teachers being led in a professional development session in which they sound like kindergarteners, repeating words in unison. Some commenters on the post defended the practice but most of the comments attacked it, revealing what is well known in the education world: Most professional development (PD) is lousy.

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Categories: Education News

Alvin Crawley to become next superintendent of Alexandria schools

Fri, 02/28/2014 - 10:06pm

Alvin L. Crawley will become the next superintendent of the Alexandria City Public Schools system, making permanent an interim post he has held since October.

The Alexandria School Board announced the decision Friday afternoon after slightly accelerating the search for a new schools chief in order to meet a state law that says the top position cannot go unfilled for more than 180 days.

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Categories: Education News

Arlington County schools plan to give every student a tablet in gradual technology rollout

Fri, 02/28/2014 - 9:59pm

Arlington County public schools are planning to introduce a technology initiative starting next school year that would give every student a tablet.

The rollout, included in Superintendent Patrick K. Murphy’s budget proposal, would begin by giving all second-graders iPads and all sixth-graders Chromebooks in the fall. Two new grades would be added each year.

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Categories: Education News

Sister of young victim of Birmingham church bombing tells students about segregation

Fri, 02/28/2014 - 8:28pm

The students at Kenmoor Middle School in Prince George’s County were about the same age as the young girl in the photo, taken more than 50 years ago.

The picture, along with books and other mementos, sat on a table near E. Dianne Braddock, 69, as she spoke about growing up in the segregated South. But the girl in the photo, dressed in her Sunday best with white-rimmed glasses, a yellow hat and long, white gloves, was not Braddock.

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Categories: Education News

U. of Richmond’s Ayers will step down in 2015

Fri, 02/28/2014 - 5:12pm

University of Richmond President Edward L. Ayers announced Friday he will step down in June 2015 after he finishes his eighth year as leader of the prestigious private institution in Virginia’s capital.

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Categories: Education News

Cantor accuses de Blasio of waging a ‘war’ against children in N.Y. charter school debate

Fri, 02/28/2014 - 5:06pm

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) accused New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio of waging a “war” against children after the mayor announced Thursday that he will rescind approvals for three public charter schools to be located inside traditional public schools.

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Categories: Education News

What cost $60 million and just shut down? This Texas high school football stadium.

Fri, 02/28/2014 - 4:20pm

Let’s take a walk down memory lane, back to the long-forgotten era known as 2012. A high school football stadium in suburban Dallas with an eye-popping price tag — $60 million — opened up that August, drawing quite a bit of attention.

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Categories: Education News

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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Categories: Education News

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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Categories: Education News

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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Categories: Education News

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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Categories: Education News
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