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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: 55 min 16 sec ago

Strauss: Six rules for teaching World War II

Fri, 06/06/2014 - 10:28am

The 70th anniversary of the D-Day invasion of Nazi-occupied France during World War II seems like a good time to look at how that war (and all wars) should be taught to young people who know may know close to nothing about these historical events and may not see why what happened decades ago is relevant to their lives. Polls and surveys of Americans have shown over the years that a majority don’t know a great deal about important details of World War II although they do view it as a “just war.”

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: What happened when George failed his state standardized test

Fri, 06/06/2014 - 6:02am

What happens to a young student who fails a mandated standardized test that decides whether he/she can move to the next grade, or to an older student who fails a test that determines if he/she graduates?  Here is a 20-step description of what happened to a boy named George. It was written by educator Kathleen Jasper, founder of ConversationED, a website that offers a platform for conversations about education and courses for schools, districts and companies on action research, leadership and technology. This appeared on the Web site’s blog.

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Categories: Education News

ACT college admission test to report new scores in 2015

Fri, 06/06/2014 - 12:01am

Starting next year, students who take the ACT college admission test will face a more complex task if they choose to write an essay and will receive new scores for English language arts and the combined fields of science and mathematics.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: Two more states pull out of Common Core

Thu, 06/05/2014 - 11:16pm

Two Republican governors, Mary Fallin of Oklahoma and Nikki Haley of South Carolina, have just signed laws pulling their states out of the Common Core State Standards initiative amid growing anti-Core sentiment around the country.

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Categories: Education News

Georgetown Day School buying Tenleytown properties

Thu, 06/05/2014 - 7:34pm

Georgetown Day School, one of the region’s top private schools, announced a massive campus consolidation plan Thursday with the purchase of the Tenleytown Safeway and the former Martens Volvo/Volkswagen car dealership properties.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: U-Va. law school mistakenly sends out e-mail with private student data (update)

Thu, 06/05/2014 - 3:15pm

(Update: Statement for University of Virginia)

A University of Virginia law school official mistakenly sent an e-mail to lots of people containing private information about all of its clerkship applicants, with very detailed data about each one, including grade-point average and where friends live.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: Judge puts hold on Common Core contract to Pearson

Thu, 06/05/2014 - 12:36pm

Last month I wrote about how the huge education company Pearson won a huge contract with one of the two multi-state consortia designing new Common Core-aligned tests. Pearson was the only bidder for the contract — to develop test items and forms, deliver paper and online versions, etc. — but as it turns out, an education corporation is contesting the contract, contending that the bidding was biased and that it would have tried to win the contract if it had been fair. A judge has ordered that the contract be put on hold while this is investigated.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: The education question we should be asking

Thu, 06/05/2014 - 5:01am

One area of education that doesn’t get enough attention in the loud education reform debate is exactly what is worth learning. In the following post Alfie Kohn explores this problem. Kohn (www.alfiekohn.org) is the author of 13 books about education, parenting, and human behavior, including “The Myth of the Spoiled Child: Challenging the Conventional Wisdom about Children and Parenting,” just published this spring. He lectures widely across the United States and abroad.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: A clever way to get rid of teachers

Thu, 06/05/2014 - 4:02am

When the North Carolina Senate late last month rolled out a new step salary schedule for teachers, it was reported in the state media as offering a big raise to educators while taking away job protections. But the new plan isn’t exactly what it seems. It  ”incentivizes”  teachers at specific experience levels to leave the classroom and find another profession. Educator James Hogan explains what lawmakers did in the following post.  The final version may look different when the House and Senate compromise, but this is a look at senators are thinking. Hogan taught high school English for years and runs Teach Kids Productions, which makes mostly short films for schools on literary subjects that are intended to spark discussion in classrooms.

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Categories: Education News

Wilson High principal comes out as gay at school’s Pride Day

Wed, 06/04/2014 - 9:37pm

The principal of one of the District’s largest and most sought-after public high schools came out as gay to the school at a Pride Day event Wednesday, his hands shaking as he said that he had “hid in the shadows for the last 50 years” but was inspired by his students to declare his sexual orientation openly.

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Categories: Education News

Montgomery schools officials to close some meetings on credit card practices

Wed, 06/04/2014 - 8:05pm

A Montgomery County school board committee that is examining board members’ credit card practices plans to close some of its meetings to the public as it reviews elected officials’ expenses.

Board of Education President Phil Kauffman (At Large) said the ad hoc committee — which includes three of the board’s eight members — is exempt from open meetings law requirements because it does not include a board quorum and is not an official board body.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: What are babies doing in elementary school? Watch the video.

Wed, 06/04/2014 - 4:16pm

Empathy is one of the five main tenets of social-emotional learning (the others being self-awareness, self-management, relationship skills and responsible decision-making). While it isn’t possible to force someone to have empathy, it is possible to facilitate the development of empathy in young people and that’s what D.C. Public Schools has been doing in a rather unusual way.

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Categories: Education News

Principal Pete Cahall’s coming out speech at Wilson High

Wed, 06/04/2014 - 3:41pm

Wilson High School Principal Pete Cahall came out as gay at a Pride Day assembly on Wednesday, breaking decades of silence in an emotional address to the student body. Standing next to D.C. Mayor Vincent C. Gray (D) and David A. Catania (I) — the first openly gay D.C. councilmember — Cahall gave this speech, what he titled his “Introduction of Mayor Gray at the Capitol Gay Pride Day.” The following is Cahall’s speech, as it was prepared:

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Categories: Education News

Arlington public schools win performance excellence award

Wed, 06/04/2014 - 2:35pm

Arlington Public Schools on Wednesday received a prestigious regional award for excellent performance.

The Medallion of Excellence Award is presented by the U.S. Senate Productivity and Quality Awards for Virginia and the District of Columbia to a top-performing organization in the fields of business, nonprofit, education or health care. Arlington is only the ninth school district in Virginia to receive the award since it was founded in 1983 and the first school district in nearly a decade to be recognized.

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Categories: Education News

Wilson High principal comes out as gay at school’s Pride Day

Wed, 06/04/2014 - 11:57am

Wilson High School Principal Pete Cahall came out to his students as gay at a school-wide Pride Day event Tuesday, shaking as he said that he had “hid in the shadows for the last 50 years” but was inspired by his students to declare his sexual orientation openly.

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Categories: Education News

Prince George’s to discuss how to increase the number of fathers involved in education

Wed, 06/04/2014 - 10:50am

Prince George’s school board member Curtis Valentine, a former middle school teacher, hosted a forum in February to discuss ways to increase the number of male teachers in the school district.

On Thursday night at Dr. Henry A. Wise High School, Valentine will take the lead again, discussing another topic he is familiar with.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: Parent: Why I can’t ‘in good conscience’ leave my kids in public school

Wed, 06/04/2014 - 6:01am

Lynne Rigby and her husband Brad live outside of Orlando, Florida, with their five children who have attended a Seminole County public elementary school. Rigby, a former public school teacher and photographer, wrote a letter to state and local officials explaining why, with great sadness, she and her husband are pulling their children out of public schools. No longer, she says, can she accept the effect that high-stakes standardized testing and other school reform measures are having on her children. She posted the letter on her blog so that her friends could see it, and she has gotten a much bigger response than she expected.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: Why hedge funds love charter schools

Wed, 06/04/2014 - 5:02am

One of the features of corporate school reform is the interest that Wall Street has shown in supporting charter schools. Why?  No doubt hedge fund managers would say they want to support education and help young people have educational choices. But here’s another part of the answer, written by Alan Singer,  a social studies educator in the Department of Teaching, Literacy and Leadership at Hofstra University in Long Island, New York, and the editor of Social Science Docket (a joint publication of the New York and New Jersey Councils for Social Studies). He taught at a number of secondary schools in New York City, including Franklin K. Lane High School and Edward R. Murrow High School. He is also the author of several books.  This appeared on his Huffington Post blog.

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Categories: Education News

Alexandria looking to light up Friday night football games, but neighbors are cool to idea

Wed, 06/04/2014 - 12:01am

The Alexandria School Board is studying whether it can add permanent lights to the football stadium at T.C. Williams High School, renewing a long-standing and contentious debate that has riled those who live in residential neighborhoods near the school west of Old Town.

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Categories: Education News

More changes at the top in Montgomery County’s school system

Tue, 06/03/2014 - 5:03pm

Montgomery County made more changes to its top school leadership Tuesday, bringing in an educator from Baltimore as its chief academic officer.

Maria V. Navarro, acting chief academic officer of Baltimore City Public Schools, takes the job of chief academic officer in Montgomery County. With 151,000 students, Montgomery is Maryland’s largest and fastest-growing school system.

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Categories: Education News
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