Education News from Washington Post
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.Read full article >>
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.Read full article >>
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.Read full article >>
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.Read full article >>
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.Read full article >>
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.Read full article >>
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.Read full article >>
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.Read full article >>
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.”Read full article >>
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.Read full article >>
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.”Read full article >>
Fairfax County school board members held a work session Thursday night on next year’s budget that ultimately left more questions unanswered about the school system’s finances only a week before they must make a final decision.Read full article >>
Where in the education world has Bill Gates been putting his foundation’s money this year?
A look at some of the biggest grants awarded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation — by far the largest philanthropy in the world — shows millions of dollars being spent to foster “cooperation” between traditional public schools and charter schools in Chicago. Significant money grants were also given to institutions seeking to improve higher-education access and success for underserved students. Half a million dollars was given to help improve communications around the Common Core State Standards, but this is less support for Common Core than the foundation has given in previous years.Read full article >>
The D.C. Council Education Committee unanimously approved a budget proposal that delays the renovation of the old Spingarn High School in Northeast Washington in order to modernize other schools around the city where parents have been clamoring for improvements.Read full article >>
Members of the Prince George’s County Board of Education are calling it “The Boardwalk.”
But students, parents and staff are invited to join them.
The school board is sponsoring a health and fitness walk on Saturday from 9 a.m. to noon at the Tucker Road Athletic Complex in Fort Washington.Read full article >>
With high school students across the country steeped in Advanced Placement exams this month, some may wonder exactly what they are being tested on.
In Montgomery County, the most popular AP exam appears to reflect a little of the Washington region itself: U.S. government and politics. For each of the last three years, it has been the only AP exam given in Montgomery with more than 4,000 takers, according to district figures.Read full article >>
The Obama administration has just released through the Education Department’s Office for Civil Rights what it says is “new guidance confirming that the same federal civil rights laws that apply to other public schools apply equally to public charter schools.”Read full article >>
To get an idea of what is going on around the country in regards to the growing anti-standardized testing movement, look at the following collection of stories that have come out in the last week or about the growing resistance around the country to high-stakes standardized testing. This list was issued by the National Center for Fair and Open Testing, a non-profit organization known as FairTest that is dedicated to ending the misuse and abuse of standardized testing. FairTest puts out an updated list every week.Read full article >>
Some Arlington County parents are protesting a proposed cut in the number of aides who help students with mild forms of autism function in mainstream classes.
Several years ago, the county began offering a program with more structured support to help high-functioning students in middle school and high school — those often diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome — with social skills that they need in the classroom. About 60 students are enrolled in the program.Read full article >>
D.C. Council Education Committee Chairman David A. Catania is proposing to delay reopening the old Spingarn High School for several years in order to pay for renovations at existing schools, where parents have been advocating for improvements.Read full article >>