Education News from Washington Post
When his daughters’ school announced plans to move to a new building a few blocks from his Petworth home, Wayan Vota thought he had achieved an elusive dream in his search for a charter school: a great one in a convenient location.Read full article >>
This year I have posted a number of pieces (here, here, here and here, for example) about the travesty that is now kindergarten in many public schools. Today, under this school reform in which standardized-test scores are the chief metric for “accountability” of students, schools, teachers, etc., kindergarten has in many classrooms become an academic workshop rather than a place where kids learn through structured play, which is how experts say young children learn best. Young children are often asked to sit for hours at a time, sometimes with little or no recess, to make sure enough reading, writing and math are covered. In this post, I detailed some kindergarten classroom schedules, and this post about “sweat shop kindergarten” drew reaction from readers reporting their children’s experiences.Read full article >>
A member of the D.C. Public Charter School Board is receiving $195,000 to do consulting work for a network of schools that the board is responsible for overseeing, according to a list of recent contracts the board published on its Web site.Read full article >>
Dozens of public universities across the country, including three in Maryland, report that fewer than half of their full-time freshmen in 2007 earned bachelor’s degrees after six years at those schools or after switching to other schools.Read full article >>
Vicki Abeles is a filmmaker, attorney and mother of three. She is also the co-director and producer of the education documentary “Race to Nowhere,” which revealed the damage to young people being done by the pressures of school, homework, tutoring and extracurricular activities. In the following letter Abeles tells her daughter Jamey, who will be a freshman at the University of Denver, to “stay true to the strong and talented self you’ve worked so hard to find, and show the world what college is really for.” Here’s her letter (which appeared on Huffington Post):Read full article >>
Fairfax County Schools Superintendent Karen Garza named South County High School principal Jane Lipp as the assistant superintendent for special services.
Lipp, who had served as South County principal since 2008, will succeed Kim Dockery, who was promoted to the new position of chief academic officer in July.Read full article >>
The D.C. Public Charter School Board released its annual review of charter school finances this week, and for the first time, the board offered a snapshot of schools that have contracts with outside management companies, expenditures of taxpayer dollars that are difficult to track.Read full article >>
The Fairfax County school system ended the past fiscal year with more than $38 million in extra cash, the result of budgeted funds officials did not spend.
Each year, the school system revisits the budget to identify leftover cash that can be used at the school board’s discretion for future projects. The administration plans to use approximately $20 million of this year’s funds to address a projected shortfall of more than $55 million for fiscal 2016.Read full article >>
A panel of judges from the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals just issued a ruling saying that the University of Texas can continue to use race as one factor in undergraduate admissions decisions in an effort to create a diverse student body.Read full article >>
Seven in 10 voters, including six in 10 Republicans, support a plan for the federal government to expand quality early childhood programs for low- and middle-income families, according to a national poll sponsored by the First Five Years Fund, an advocacy group.Read full article >>
D.C. Schools Chancellor Kaya Henderson has hired Robert Simmons, a professor of urban education whose work focuses on the experiences of African American boys, for a new senior-level position as the school system’s chief of innovation and research.Read full article >>
Lawmakers in North Carolina agreed Wednesday to come up with an alternative to the Common Core State Standards in math and reading.
The House and Senate agreed to a compromise that creates a commission to reexamine the Common Core standards and find ways to improve on them.Read full article >>
Preschool programs should be integral parts of elementary schools with comparable funding levels and school hours; child-care professionals should be trained as teachers, not babysitters; and state data systems should include information about early education, according to a blueprint for speeding up improvements in early education.Read full article >>
Several teachers and parents have been eviscerating me, rightfully, for my thoughtless dismissal of poster-board projects — those visual assignments we’ve all had to do — as homework. My column on that subject cited an expert — former national high school principal of the year, Mel Riddile — who thought poster boards were often misused. But I failed to emphasize something Riddile and I both know: These days poster boards can be vital for the presentation skills all children should learn.Read full article >>
Veteran Fairfax County administrator Deirdre Lavery has been named principal of Springfield’s Lee High School.
Lavery succeeds Abe Jeffers, who left Lee in May to serve as a top administrator in Richmond city schools. Lavery had most recently served as the director of the old Cluster 3.Read full article >>
Tierra Jolly defeated opponent Philip Pannell in a sleepy special election Tuesday to fill the Ward 8 seat on the D.C. State Board of Education, according to unofficial results from all 17 precincts posted online late Tuesday.Read full article >>
Here is the third in a series of pieces I have been publishing about a lunch meeting that President Obama and Education Secretary Arne Duncan had recently with four teachers from high-poverty schools that focused on education, the teaching profession and school reform.Read full article >>
Is it possible that some school reforms that hold promise are failing because educators are simply not given the time or resources to communicate and build meaningful relationships with each other in order to properly implement them? Or because the conditions in which they do their work do not support productive interactions? The authors of the following post, Kara S. Finnigan and Alan J. Daly, explain research they have done that underscores the importance of the relational element in reform, and they draw on social network research as a way to highlight the importance of relationships as conduits through which valued resources flow and can bring about systemwide change.Read full article >>
Nearly 1 million students in community colleges are unable to take out federal student loans because their schools don’t participate in the federal program, an advocacy group reported Tuesday.
The Institute for College Access and Success, which studied the issue nationally, said 8.5 percent of all students at the public two-year colleges are blocked from a source of financing usually cheaper than a private loan.Read full article >>
Mayor Vincent C. Gray and D.C. Council member Marion Barry on Tuesday joined hundreds of hard-hatted construction workers in celebrating the topping-out of Southeast Washington’s new Ballou High, expected to open to students in January 2015.Read full article >>