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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: 2 hours 40 sec ago

ACLU challenges vote requiring transgender students to use ‘private’ bathroom facilities

Sat, 12/20/2014 - 4:07pm
Gavin Grimm just wants to be able to use the high school boys’ room without being called a “freak.”A 15-year-old sophomore at Gloucester High School in Virginia’s Tidewater region, he was barred from using the boys’ restrooms at school after the local School Board voted to limit boys’ and girls’ restrooms and locker rooms “to the corresponding biological genders,” a policy that requires transgender students to use “alternative private facilities.” Public commenters at the board meeting hurled insults at those like Gavin, saying that transgender students should not be allowed to use the bathroom that boys do because it would infringe on their privacy.Read full article >>

Categories: Education News

Education Department releases framework for rating U.S. colleges and universities

Sat, 12/20/2014 - 12:01am
By the start of next school year, the federal government plans to rate colleges on access, affordability and student outcomes — possibly relying on graduates’ employment and earnings data.Schools could be rated as high performers, low performers, or “in the middle,” according to a “draft framework” of the ratings plan that the Obama administration is releasing Friday. The document, essentially a status report on an initiative President Obama announced in August 2013, leaves many questions unanswered. But it makes clear that the Education Department still intends to assume a new role as an arbiter of the performance of thousands of colleges and universities.Read full article >>

Categories: Education News

Arlington School Board votes to move H-B Woodlawn program for new middle school

Fri, 12/19/2014 - 10:04pm
Arlington’s H-B Woodlawn Secondary Program will move from the building it has occupied since its inception to make room for a new middle school as part of a plan the Arlington School Board approved Thursday night. The plan, which calls for the middle school to open in 2019, is designed to help the district keep up with rapidly growing enrollment.Read full article >>
Categories: Education News

U-Va. board leader denounces ‘drive-by journalism’ of Rolling Stone’s rape article

Fri, 12/19/2014 - 7:06pm
The leader of the University of Virginia’s governing board on Friday denounced Rolling Stone magazine for an article on an alleged gang rape at U-Va. that he likened to a drive-by assault.“Like a neighborhood thrown into chaos by drive-by violence, our tightly knit community has experienced the full fury of drive-by journalism in the 21st century,” U-Va. Rector George Keith Martin said at a meeting of the Board of Visitors in Charlottesville.Read full article >>
Categories: Education News

Plan for English language learner schools causes conflict in Pr. George’s County

Fri, 12/19/2014 - 7:05pm
A plan to open two new high school programs for immigrants and English-language learners in Prince George’s County has created a rift between members of the African American and Hispanic communities, with opponents of the proposal questioning the school district’s decision to use its limited resources to benefit one group of students over the other.Read full article >>
Categories: Education News

Employment and earnings weighed in Obama’s college-rating plan

Fri, 12/19/2014 - 1:17pm
The Obama administration said Friday it is considering a college-rating system that would measure whether graduates earn enough money after leaving school to be substantially above the poverty level.In response to those who worry ratings could be skewed in favor of colleges with lots of graduates who strike it rich, the Education Department is weighing a proposal to set an earnings benchmark for recent graduates and former students that it calls “substantial employment.” That could be 200 percent of the poverty level, the department said, or a multiple of the full-time minimum wage projected over a year.Read full article >>
Categories: Education News

Strauss: Should the federal government rate colleges based on graduates’ earnings? It just may do it.

Fri, 12/19/2014 - 12:31pm
(Update: Response from Republican leaders in Congress)President Obama’s Education Department just released a “draft framework” of its plan to rate  colleges and universities on access, affordability and student outcomes — possibly including on how much a school’s graduates earn — and then to attempt to link some federal aid to the results.Read full article >>
Categories: Education News

Strauss: Congressional probe of Wisconsin school voucher program sought

Fri, 12/19/2014 - 10:31am
Some congressional legislators from Wisconsin are asking the Government Accountability Office — an independent federal agency that provides investigations and evaluations to Congress — to probe Wisconsin’s school voucher program, raising questions about “alarming allegations of potentially discriminatory practices” against students with disabilities, as well as other issues.Read full article >>
Categories: Education News

Strauss: Are you a truly bad teacher? Here’s how to tell.

Fri, 12/19/2014 - 10:30am
Bad teacher. There was a movie with that title, and now a television series. Time magazine had a recent cover with the title “Rotten Apples” that was not a reference to rotten Honey Crisps. And many school reformers talk about teachers as if nearly all of them are lousy. Certainly some teachers who should be doing something else (and it shouldn’t take forever to remove them from a classroom), but there’s a legitimate reason why polls show that teachers are utterly demoralized.Read full article >>
Categories: Education News

Vote on more flexible D.C. high school graduation requirements delayed for input

Thu, 12/18/2014 - 10:01pm
The D.C. State Board of Education on Wednesday night voted unanimously to table a vote on proposed revisions to graduation requirements that would create more flexible routes to a high school diploma, citing the need to give the community more time to respond.Read full article >>

Categories: Education News

Four charter schools selected to lease former D.C. Public School buildings

Thu, 12/18/2014 - 4:28pm
Four charter school operators have been selected to lease space in two surplus D.C. public school buildings, according to an announcement this week by Mayor Vincent C. Gray and Deputy Mayor for Education Abigail Smith.Read full article >>

Categories: Education News

Pr. William to start school before Labor Day, using waiver from ‘Kings Dominion’ law

Thu, 12/18/2014 - 4:26pm
While many children in Northern Virginia are lazing away the last days of summer next year, students in Prince William County will head to school before Labor Day for the first time, officials said.The county School Board on Wednesday voted unanimously to approve a school calendar for the 2015-2016 academic year that has classes starting on Monday, Aug. 31. The decision will give students a two-week winter vacation, an earlier end to the academic year in June and more time for teachers to prepare students for standardized tests, according to a school system statement.Read full article >>

Categories: Education News

Arlington Public Schools chief named finalist for superintendent of the year

Thu, 12/18/2014 - 3:40pm
Patrick Murphy, who has overseen unprecedented growth at Arlington Public Schools, was named one of four finalists for national superintendent of the year by AASA, the School Superintendents Association.Read full article >>

Categories: Education News

Strauss: Why kindergarten teachers don’t want to give this test to their students

Thu, 12/18/2014 - 2:20pm
The state of Maryland has developed a new Common Core-aligned “kindergarten readiness assessment” for teachers to administer to young kids to see, rather obviously, if they are “ready” for kindergarten. Now hundreds of kindergarten teachers who used the computer-based test for the first time this fall are pushing back, saying the assessment is not appropriate and won’t help them teach.Read full article >>

Categories: Education News

Early admission rates for Class of 2019

Thu, 12/18/2014 - 12:02pm
The first wave of admission decisions is in for the Class of 2019.Here are admission rates for the early round at some highly selective schools. We’ll update as we get more data. These are culled from news releases.Read full article >>

Categories: Education News

U-Va.: Outside review of sex assaults will be public when the investigation ends

Wed, 12/17/2014 - 10:33pm
University of Virginia administrators said Wednesday that the findings of an outside review of sexual assaults on campus will be made public when the investigation is completed.A statement issued Wednesday by Board of Visitors Rector George K. Martin said that the Washington law firm O’Melveny & Myers will serve as an independent counsel to review the university’s sexual assault policies and procedures. Martin said that when the investigation is completed, the findings of the independent counsel will be publicly available.Read full article >>

Categories: Education News

Principal at Loudoun County charter school could get provisional license

Wed, 12/17/2014 - 7:26pm
A principal who has been running Northern Virginia’s first charter school without proper credentials has moved closer to obtaining a state license. Barbara Smith was hired in the spring to lead Middleburg Community Charter School in Loudoun County and applied for a principal’s license. But she faced challenges because she is not technically employed by Loudoun’s public school system and earned her education credentials in Canada.Read full article >>

Categories: Education News

Robert Caret, leader of U-Mass. system, is named chancellor of Md. university system

Wed, 12/17/2014 - 6:40pm
A higher education leader in Massachusetts and former president of Towson University will be the next chancellor of Maryland’s state university system, officials announced Wednesday.Robert L. Caret, 67, president of the five-campus University of Massachusetts system since 2011, will become chancellor of the University System of Maryland in July.Read full article >>

Categories: Education News

Largo High School students perform at Kennedy Center

Wed, 12/17/2014 - 4:08pm
When Zakaria Ugonoh stepped onto the Millennium Stage at the Kennedy Center on Sunday, there were no jitters. No stage fright. No butterflies.“I felt like I was supposed to be there,” said Ugonoh, 17, a senior at Largo High School in Prince George’s County who wants a career in the arts.Read full article >>

Categories: Education News

Strauss: Students deliver wish list to school board. There’s one item on it.

Wed, 12/17/2014 - 3:00pm
Some unusual speakers appeared at the final Pittsburgh school board meeting of the year — students, and they were asking for something. Arts education. In the following post,  Jessie B. Ramey,  a parent of two children in Pittsburgh public schools and a historian of working families, gender, race and U.S. social policy who teaches women’s studies and history at the University of Pittsburgh, describes the scene at the board meeting. In the original post,  which first appeared  on her Yinzercation blog, she  wrote that seniors William Grimm and Margaret Booth, co-chairs of their school’s chapter of the National Art Honor Society, approached Yinzercation, a collective of volunteer parents, students, teachers, and community members in Southwest Pennsylvania that advocates for public education, for help in learning how to make a presentation to the school board. Steering committee member Kathy Newman assisted. Here is a version of the original piece, which I am publishing with Ramey’s permission.Read full article >>

Categories: Education News
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