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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.
Updated: 3 hours 14 min ago

Strauss: The false markets of market-based school reform

Wed, 03/05/2014 - 5:00am

One of the central tenets of modern school reform is that the public education system would be more efficient if it were run like a for-profit business. Here to discuss the problems with this thinking is Bruce D. Baker, a professor in the Graduate School of Education at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. A version of this appeared on his blog School Finance 101.

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Categories: Education News

Two new studies underscore hopes, frustrations of revamped school lunches

Tue, 03/04/2014 - 9:45pm

A new government study indicates that school districts across the nation have struggled to implement the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s revamped nutrition standards for school meals, while a separate, privately funded study shows students are eating more fruits and vegetables because of those same new standards.

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Montgomery County leaders support keeping Walter Reed patients’ kids at Bethesda school

Tue, 03/04/2014 - 7:11pm

Military families who are part of a wounded warrior program in Bethesda have for years sent their children to nearby Bethesda Elementary School while their injured service members are treated at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.

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Categories: Education News

D.C. Council approves D.C. Promise college scholarship

Tue, 03/04/2014 - 7:07pm

The D.C. Council gave final approval Tuesday to a new taxpayer-funded college scholarship program known as D.C. Promise, which will offer high school graduates up to $7,500 per year to help pay for higher education.

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Categories: Education News

Obama announces budget at D.C.’s Powell Elementary

Tue, 03/04/2014 - 6:07pm

President Obama announced his fiscal 2015 budget on Tuesday morning at Powell Elementary in the District’s Petworth neighborhood, highlighting the school’s early childhood education program as a model for the nation.

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Categories: Education News

Education gets budget love

Tue, 03/04/2014 - 5:52pm

President Obama wants to increase discretionary spending for the Department of Education in 2015 by about 2 percent, from $67.3 billion to $68.6 billion, the largest increase of any agency besides the Department of Defense.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: Ravitch calls for congressional hearings on standardized testing, gets unexpected support

Tue, 03/04/2014 - 5:03pm

Education historian and activist Diane Ravitch just called for congressional hearings on the misuse and abuse of standardized tests used for high-stakes purposes -- and she got some unexpected support.

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Categories: Education News

Prince George’s candidates vie for school board seats

Tue, 03/04/2014 - 1:49pm

Twelve candidates, including two new appointees in the Baker administration, are vying for four district seats on the Prince George’s County Board of Education, according to recent election filings.

The two top vote-getters in each June primary race will face off against each other in the November general election.

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Categories: Education News

Finland working to expand early education

Tue, 03/04/2014 - 1:07pm

Finland often ranks among the highest-performing countries on international math and reading tests. The Nordic nation gets results despite one surprising fact — compulsory schooling does not start until age 7.

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Michelle Obama notes Fairfax student effort to promote healthier food choices

Tue, 03/04/2014 - 1:02pm

In remarks at the White House last week, first lady Michelle Obama cited an effort by Fairfax County high school students to promote healthier eating habits.

While announcing a new initiative last Tuesday to curtail junk food marketing in public schools, Obama noted that students from Marshall High School in Fairfax had helped write a song about more nutritious meal choices. Obama said the song, called “wRap,” shows how much students care about what they eat.

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Categories: Education News

Fairfax students groove in ‘Happy’ video

Tue, 03/04/2014 - 12:28pm

Students, teachers and administrators at Mount Vernon High School jam, dance and groove in a new video set to the music of Pharrell’s hit single “Happy,” which was nominated for an Academy Award.

The short clip, posted on YouTube, shows teenagers and adults — including Mount Vernon’s principal Nardos King — showing their “Major Pride” through dance moves.

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Categories: Education News

Montgomery plans rally in Annapolis for school construction funding

Tue, 03/04/2014 - 11:50am

Delayed by snow last month, Montgomery County parents, students and elected officials are regrouping for a rally in Annapolis on Thursday to call for more state construction funding for Maryland’s fastest-growing school system.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: A bizarre letter from Florida’s Education Department

Tue, 03/04/2014 - 5:00am

What is the Florida Education Department thinking?

State Education Commissioner Pam Stewart just issued an open letter to teachers (see below) that makes the ridiculous mistake of accusing people who want a change in standardized testing requirements for severely disabled students of launching a political attack on the department. It said in part:

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Categories: Education News

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
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