Education News from Washington Post
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 >>
D.C. Schools Chancellor Kaya Henderson announced Wednesday that she plans to transform Roosevelt High into an “international relations focused school” when it reopens, fully renovated, in fall 2015.
Roosevelt is one of several neighborhood high schools with poor test scores and high truancy rates that has struggled to attract students in recent years. Its relaunch is part of the school system’s broader effort to redesign secondary schools across the city.Read full article >>
Sixteen years ago, Laura Nedd Shelton was a correctional officer in a men’s prison in Virginia wondering how she could help affect people’s lives — especially young men’s lives — before they made bad choices that had an impact on their futures.Read full article >>
William Peter Blatty, the famous author of “The Exorcist,” a graduate of Georgetown University, and a doctrinaire Catholic, submitted a petition to the Vatican last year asking church officials to strip his alma mater of the labels Catholic and Jesuit because, it says, neither the faculty nor the student body are, in fact, Catholic enough.Read full article >>
A top official at Howard University was named president of the University of Baltimore on Wednesday.
Kurt L. Schmoke, interim provost and general counsel at Howard, is no stranger to Baltimore. He was a three-term mayor of the city from 1987 to 1999. In the past decade Schmoke has held a variety of positions at the historically black university in Northwest Washington, including law school dean.Read full article >>
The Youth Court of the District of Columbia, one of the only organizations dealing with juvenile delinquency in Washington, is currently on life support, writes Michael Shank, associate director of legislative affairs for the Friends Committee on National Legislation. Here’s his post about why the D.C. mayor should keep it.Read full article >>
Strauss: Holder, Duncan asked to investigate ‘racially discriminatory’ school closings in New Orleans
This week marks the 60th anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education, the 1954 Supreme Court ruling that was intended to strike down the “separate but equal” doctrine that codified racism in America’s public schools. You can read a report here about what it has and has not accomplished. Following is an open letter (see full text below) to Attorney General Eric Holder and Education Secretary Arne Duncan from a national organization called Journey for Justice Alliance requesting that they investigate “racially discriminatory school closings” in New Orleans.Read full article >>
Montgomery’s school board gave the go-ahead Tuesday to an update of lessons on sexual orientation, clearing the way for a plan to introduce the topic a year earlier in middle school and put an end to tightly scripted methods of teaching.Read full article >>
Students facing disciplinary action in Fairfax County schools could receive lighter punishments and shorter suspensions next year if the school board approves newly proposed discipline procedures.
The proposals would mark a significant change in the county’s discipline policies and could cut most suspensions in half. Under the proposed guidelines, most serious student infractions would result in a suspension of not more than five days.Read full article >>
I’ll be doing a live education chat on washingtonpost.com at 1 p.m. Wednesday. You can submit questions, comments, suggestions, jokes or whatever here, and tune in then or read the transcript later.Read full article >>
They just keep on coming. Last month, a report was released by the American Statistical Association, the largest organization in the United States representing statisticians and related professionals, that smacked the “value-added method” (VAM) of evaluating teachers that has been embraced by school “reformers” in most states. And now, there’s new research that does the same thing.Read full article >>
Arguing that school closures in cities across the country disproportionately affect African American students, community activists filed three federal civil rights complaints Tuesday challenging closures in Newark, New Orleans and Chicago and called on the Obama administration to halt similar efforts elsewhere.Read full article >>
The District offers broader access to public preschool than any state in the nation, according to a survey released Tuesday, which showed that the city continues to expand its early childhood education programs even as enrollment in pre-kindergarten declined nationally for the first time in a decade.Read full article >>