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: 6 hours 3 min ago

Arlington school board member Noah Simon resigns

Tue, 07/01/2014 - 1:53pm

Arlington County school board member Noah Simon resigned Tuesday morning, effective Aug. 1, in order to spend more time with his young children.

Simon, a former Capitol Hill staffer and American Red Cross employee, joined the board in January 2013 and served as its liaison to the student advisory board.

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Categories: Education News

Garza oversaw major changes in first year as Fairfax County school superintendent

Tue, 07/01/2014 - 1:23pm

In her first year as superintendent of Fairfax County public schools, Karen Garza has overseen sweeping changes of the school system she inherited from Jack D. Dale, who served nine years as schools chief.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: How to increase socioeconomic diversity in college

Tue, 07/01/2014 - 11:01am

Leaders in higher education have known for many years that low-income students are underrepresented at top institutions. How to change that? Catharine B. Hill, the president of Vassar College in New York, writes in this post about the only way that colleges and universities can expand socioeconomic diversity.

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Categories: Education News

Hearing examiner rules against boy who chewed his pastry into a gun shape

Mon, 06/30/2014 - 6:47pm

A hearing examiner affirmed the suspension of an Anne Arundel County boy who chewed his breakfast pastry into the shape of a gun in what many have come to know as “the Pop-Tart case.”

In a 30-page opinion, hearing examiner Andrew W. Nussbaum supported a principal’s assertion that the suspension was based on a history of problems, not the pastry episode. “The evidence is clear that suspension is used as a last resort,” Nussbaum wrote.

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Categories: Education News

Barack Obama Elementary School principal in Prince George’s County is transferred

Mon, 06/30/2014 - 1:13pm

After four years at the helm at Barack Obama Elementary School in Prince George’s County, Pearl Harmon is being replaced as principal.

Harmon sent a June 13 letter to the school community notifying them that she was “asked to assume another position as Senior Human Resources Partner” with the school system.

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Supreme Court ruling on unions reverberates

Mon, 06/30/2014 - 1:10pm

The Supreme Court ruling Monday against an Illinois requirement regarding union dues for home health aides could ease the way for another, broader legal challenge aimed at teachers unions.

In a 5 to 4 decision Monday, the Supreme Court found that home health-care workers in Illinois cannot be compelled to pay union dues — a practice that the majority said violated the free speech rights of health workers who disagree with the union’s political activity.

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Categories: Education News

Fairfax School Board approves softer discipline rules, shorter suspensions

Mon, 06/30/2014 - 12:38pm

The Fairfax County School Board voted unanimously late Thursday to reduce punishments and shorten most suspensions by half for students who commit certain offenses, beginning next fall.

The comprehensive revision of the school system’s discipline policies will likely lead to fewer suspensions overall, cutting the number of infractions that require time out of school.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: The segregation of kindergartners — by the numbers

Mon, 06/30/2014 - 8:31am

Here, from the non-profit Economic Policy Institute, is a snapshot of how segregated public schools are, starting in kindergarten. It was written by Elaine Weiss and Emma García. Weiss  has served as the national coordinator for the Broader, Bolder Approach to Education since 2011. García,  who joined the Economic Policy Institute in 2013, specializes in the economics of education and education policy.  EPI was created in 1986 to broaden the discussion about economic policy to include the interests of low- and middle-income workers.

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Catholic U. student recounts her struggles after reporting a sex assault

Sun, 06/29/2014 - 10:45pm

Erin Cavalier downed a couple of glasses of wine and a­ few shots of tequila, grabbed a water bottle filled with vodka and Sprite, and headed out from her dormitory to celebrate the end of her first semester at the Catholic University of America.

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Categories: Education News

How colleges vary in reports of sex assault and other sex offenses

Sun, 06/29/2014 - 10:38pm

The sex abuse scandal that shook Penn State University in 2011, sinking its president and legendary football coach, yielded another effect that still lingers. It is the university with the highest number of reports of forcible sex offenses on any campus in the nation.

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Categories: Education News

D.C. Chancellor Kaya Henderson’s effort to lengthen school day faces union resistance

Sun, 06/29/2014 - 4:52pm

D.C. Chancellor Kaya Henderson has championed lengthening school days as one of her top priorities for improving schools and lifting student achievement, but her effort to expand the number of schools with longer days has been met with stiff resistance from the teachers union.

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Categories: Education News

Longtime Loudoun superintendent reflects on public education as he retires

Sun, 06/29/2014 - 4:49pm

Outgoing Loudoun County Schools Superintendent Edgar B. Hatrick III left all of this year’s high school graduates with a request that they become life-long advocates for public education.

“If you believe that the education you had will make a difference in your life, I want you to promise me that wherever you wind up living . . . you will look at the public schools and you will ask, ‘How can I help, so that the children have the same opportunities that I had?’ ” Hatrick said at graduation ceremonies across the county.

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Categories: Education News

Mathews: How to end homework for moms

Sun, 06/29/2014 - 2:25pm

My worst memory of homework was the Tootsie Roll log cabin project our daughter did for what otherwise seemed a well-run elementary school in Scarsdale, N.Y. All parents have had such moments. They reappear in nightmares long after the kid has gotten a job and a health plan and doesn’t need our help with anything anymore.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: Common Core’s testing framework is crumbling

Sun, 06/29/2014 - 10:24am

In 2010, Education Secretary Arne Duncan gave a major speech praising the Common Core State Standards and new Core-aligned standardized tests that the Obama administration was funding and that would be developed by two multi-state consortia. He said:

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Categories: Education News

Steep failure rate on Algebra I exams in Montgomery leads to mass recalculation

Sat, 06/28/2014 - 6:37pm

Montgomery County’s failure rate for the June final exam in Algebra 1 was so steep — 82 percent for high school students — that district officials say they decided to add 15 percentage points to all test grades, recalculate scores and reprint thousands of report cards.

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Categories: Education News

In Fairfax County kindergarten classes, school system’s future comes into focus

Sat, 06/28/2014 - 6:12pm

The kindergartners of the Class of 2026, who finished their first year in Fairfax County schools Wednesday, constitute the largest and one of the most ethnically, culturally and socioeconomically diverse groups of students the county has seen, a fact that school system administrators say could pose significant challenges in the decade to come. 

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: ‘I teach because…’

Sat, 06/28/2014 - 12:01pm

Maribeth Whitehouse has been a special education teacher in the Bronx for nearly a decade. In 2012, she scored in the 99th percentile — better than nearly all other teachers in New York City — on  teacher data reports created through “value added measures”, which supposedly can determine the “value” of a teacher by plugging student standardized test scores into a complicated formula. Yet she told the New York Times’ Michael Winerip that such data is “nonsense” — and she helped organize a protest by other teachers who had top scores because, as she wrote at the time in this piece:

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Categories: Education News

Md. groups to collaborate on evaluation process for teachers, principals

Fri, 06/27/2014 - 8:05pm

Maryland education officials, teachers unions and other education organizations signed a written agreement Friday to collaborate on methods for assessing classroom effectiveness, a central element of the state’s evaluation system for teachers and principals.

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Categories: Education News

Report cards delayed in Montgomery after recalculation of final exam grades

Fri, 06/27/2014 - 7:11pm

Report cards for Montgomery County’s 151,000 students were mailed Friday after a three-day delay that followed a mass recalculation of final exam grades for Algebra 1, according to the school system.

Schools officials said late Friday that they added 15 percentage points to all Algebra 1 exam scores after they became aware that already-high rates of failure had risen markedly.

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Categories: Education News

Prince George's school board approves $1.8 billion budget for school system

Fri, 06/27/2014 - 2:37pm

The Prince George’s County Board of Education reconciled changes made by the County Council in the school system’s 2015 budget Thursday night and approved the $1.8 billion spending plan just days before it goes into effect.

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Categories: Education News
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