Education News from Washington Post

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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: 11 hours 31 min ago

Strauss: How to start cleaning up the Common Core

Mon, 10/06/2014 - 5:30pm

Even the strongest supporters of the Common Core State Standards would likely admit if asked that the initiative has not so far turned out as well as hoped. Implementation of the standards has been severely troubled, the testing regime that is supposed to be aligned with the Core is falling apart and increasingly people from different parts of the political spectrum have distanced themselves from the enterprise.

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Strauss: Philadelphia school district cancels contract with teachers union

Mon, 10/06/2014 - 5:12pm

The five-member reform commission that controls the cash-starved Philadelphia public schools announced on Monday that it was canceling its contract with the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers, and while it would continue to honor most contract provisions, it would change the package of health-care benefits and require all teachers to contribute to the health fund. The union said the commission’s action “has amped up a war on teachers.”

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Long trend of Hispanic enrollment increases in Montgomery

Mon, 10/06/2014 - 4:30pm

Montgomery County’s new school enrollment figures show that Hispanic students make up the largest racial or ethnic group in kindergarten classes for a third year in a row. But the longer trend is a steady increase in Hispanic students for three decades, district numbers show.

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Categories: Education News

Authors visit D.C. schools to inspire young readers and writers

Mon, 10/06/2014 - 4:15pm

Isabel Wilkerson, a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist, said she has traveled as far as Singapore, Alaska and the British Parliament to discuss her book about the migration of African Americans from the South. But she was especially excited to be talking to students at Cardozo Education Campus Monday morning, she said.

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Strauss: Unions say they will back teachers who refuse to administer mandated standardized tests to students

Mon, 10/06/2014 - 4:00am

Late last month the nonprofit United Opt Out National — an organization dedicated to eliminating high-stakes testing in public schools — issued a call for the big teachers union to support teachers who decide that they can no longer administer standardized tests that they feel are harming children. I asked the unions whether they would agree, and here’s what they said.

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Categories: Education News

New principal brings ‘fresh hope’ to struggling Alexandria school

Sun, 10/05/2014 - 8:28pm

In the early 1990s, Chris Phillips was working at the Biotechnology Institute at Penn State University, synthesizing DNA and growing bacteria cultures for pharmaceutical companies while attending school full time.

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Strauss: Was the ‘original bargain’ with charter schools a raw deal?

Sun, 10/05/2014 - 1:48pm

Charter school advocates didn’t like it recently when Brown University’s Annenberg Institute for School Reform issued a report calling for the strengthening of charter oversight and authorization. While noting that many charters work hard to “meet the needs of their students,” the report said that “the lack of effective oversight means too many cases of fraud and abuse, too little attention to equity, and no guarantee of academic innovation or excellence.” It provided some common-sense recommendations, including an innocuous call for the establishment of minimum qualifications for charter school treasurers. The National Alliance for Public Charter Schools, not surprisingly, bashed the report.

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Categories: Education News

Mathews: Parent says no mush for his first-grader

Sun, 10/05/2014 - 12:10pm

Mike Petrilli is the new president of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, one of the most energetic and influential education policy think tanks. He also is the father of a child in the Montgomery County school system. Education leaders are often put off by parents who know a lot about schools and won’t shut up. Petrilli is definitely in that category.

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Strauss: Anthropologists — including from Harvard, Georgetown — join academic boycott of Israel

Sun, 10/05/2014 - 11:51am

(Correction: Earlier version said American Anthropological Association will debate a boycott resolution late this year. An AAA official says there is no  resolution but some debate is expected.)

In February, members of the American Studies Association voted to endorse a boycott of Israeli academic institutions to protest the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories. Now more than 500 anthropologists — including at Harvard, Yale and Columbia universities — have joined the boycott.

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U-Va. seeks to cope with trauma after sophomore Hannah Graham vanished

Sat, 10/04/2014 - 7:25pm

CHARLOTTESVILLE — Orange ribbons adorn lapels and backpacks throughout the campus here known as the Grounds, a reminder that the University of Virginia yearns for the return of sophomore Hannah Graham three weeks after she vanished in the night.

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Categories: Education News

Teachers take on controversial subjects: Ferguson, same-sex marriage, immigration

Sat, 10/04/2014 - 5:39pm

Just days after a teenager unfurled a Confederate flag at a high school football game in Howard County, Md., teachers began reworking lesson plans to discuss the student’s display and the school’s decision to discipline him.

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Categories: Education News

The parents of missing U-Va. student plead for her return

Sat, 10/04/2014 - 1:15pm

The parents of missing University of Virginia student Hannah Graham issued a statement Saturday pleading for anyone with information about their daughter’s whereabouts to come forward.

John and Sue Graham spoke in a video released Saturday asking for help to find their 18-year-old daughter, who vanished three weeks ago.

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Categories: Education News

For another year, Hispanic enrollment grows in Montgomery County schools

Fri, 10/03/2014 - 7:35pm

Montgomery County’s kindergarten class is made up of more Hispanic students than children of any other racial or ethnic group for the third year in a row, a trend that school planners say is likely to continue in Maryland’s fastest-growing school district.

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Strauss: Sidwell Friends School had both a lockdown and an evacuation this week

Fri, 10/03/2014 - 5:45pm

The private Sidwell Friends School, where President Obama’s two daughters attend, went into emergency security mode twice this week with both a lockdown and an evacuation, according to an e-mail sent to parents.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: Students ask Harvard University to cut ties with Teach For America

Fri, 10/03/2014 - 2:04pm

Teach For America has a deep association with Harvard University. The Graduate School of Education has a page on its Web site called “Stories by Teach For America,” which features, not surprisingly, heartwarming stories about students who joined TFA.

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Categories: Education News

T.C. Williams football field lights move closer to fruition

Fri, 10/03/2014 - 12:23pm

The Alexandria School Board on Thursday night inched closer to installing lights at the T.C. Williams High School football field, a process that could take years but already has raised the ire of neighbors.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: Author Nicholas Sparks accused of being racist, homophobe by ex-head of Sparks-founded school

Fri, 10/03/2014 - 9:08am

The  former headmaster of the North Carolina private school founded by best-selling author Nicholas Sparks filed a lawsuit saying that “The Notebook” writer responded to his efforts to recruit black students and faculty and support gays with racist and homophobic comments. He also alleged that Sparks locked him in a room until he agreed to a resignation letter.

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Categories: Education News

Principals named for two new high schools focusing on immigrants in Prince George’s

Thu, 10/02/2014 - 11:17pm

Prince George’s County schools chief Kevin Maxwell has named two administrators with experience addressing the needs of immigrants to head two new schools designed specifically to help recent immigrants and second-
generation students adapt and succeed in school.

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Categories: Education News

Catholic U. tells group to delay screening of film on gay-rights pioneer Harvey Milk

Thu, 10/02/2014 - 10:31pm

Catholic University told a student group this week to postpone a screening of the movie “Milk,” about gay rights pioneer Harvey Milk, after officials raised questions about a flier linking the event to LGBT awareness month.

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Categories: Education News

Dunbar celebrates largest high school test scores gains in the city

Thu, 10/02/2014 - 7:54pm

Mayor Vincent C. Gray (D), flanked by cheerleaders and a marching band, congratulated the students at Dunbar High School on Thursday for achieving some of the biggest gains on the city’s standardized tests last year.

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