Education News from Washington Post
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.Read full article >>
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.Read full article >>
Fairfax County elementary school students will receive an extra 75 hours of instruction next year after the school board voted late Thursday to eliminate half-days on Mondays.
The school board voted 10 to 1, with one board member absent, to end the 40-year practice in elementary schools.Read full article >>
Cellphones will no longer be prohibited in classrooms or on school buses in Prince George’s County under a new policy approved unanimously by the school board Thursday night.
School Board Member Verjeana M. Jacobs (District 5) said the district received international attention when it approved its cellphone policy, considered one of the strictest in the Washington region, four years ago. The policy not only banned the use of cellphones but also included a penalty of confiscation.Read full article >>
As Congress explores proposals to combat sexual assault at colleges, a familiar lawmaker is in the thick of it: Sen. Claire McCaskill of Missouri.
McCaskill (D), a former prosecutor with much experience in handling sex crime cases, is in her second term in the Senate. She helped broker legislation last year and this year to overhaul how the military responds to sexual assault.Read full article >>
A new elementary school in Prince George’s County was given a name Thursday night.
The Prince George’s County Board of Education agreed to follow Schools Chief Kevin M. Maxwell’s recommendation and name the school in honor of a former superintendent who served during the early 1990s, a period marked by financial crisis, low student test scores and tensions over court-ordered busing.Read full article >>
The promise of new standardized tests aligned to the Common Core State Standards was that they would show which students were ready for college and career and which weren’t. But in New York, a look at the tests shows how the state is failing to meet that promise. This was written by Carol Burris and John Murphy. Murphy, a former English teacher, is the assistant principal of South Side High School in New York, and he coordinates the school’s IB program. Burris, principal of South Side High School, has been chronicling the flawed implementation of school reform and the Common Core State Standards across the state for some time (here, and here and here and here, for example). She was named New York’s 2013 High School Principal of the Year by the School Administrators Association of New York and the National Association of Secondary School Principals, and in 2010, tapped as the 2010 New York State Outstanding Educator by the School Administrators Association of New York State. Her new book is “On The Same Track: How Schools Can Join the Twenty-First-Century Struggle Against Resegregation.”Read full article >>
President Obama recently told graduates at the University of California, Irvine, that people who deny the science behind climate change are just as wrong as people who say the moon is “made of cheese.” Congress, he said, “is full of folks who stubbornly and automatically reject the scientific evidence” about climate change and call it a hoax.Read full article >>
Dozens of parents and several D.C. Council members called on city officials Thursday to slow their effort to overhaul public school boundaries, arguing that education leaders should focus on improving schools before redrawing maps.Read full article >>
Congress is exploring proposals to combat sex assault at colleges, months after taking action to overhaul how the military responds to sexual violence.
“This is an issue that has for far too long been swept under the rug,” Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), chairman of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, said Thursday at a hearing on campus sex assault.Read full article >>
School is out for the summer, but free meals for students from needy families will continue at more than 115 locations across Montgomery County.
The program delivered more than 200,000 meals last summer and expects to serve as many or more this year, said Marla Caplon, director of food and nutrition services for Montgomery schools.Read full article >>
Standard & Poor’s has issued a new report that extends its “negative” outlook for the charter school sector. Of 214 public charter school ratings done by the agency, 41, or 19 percent, are negative while only 4 — or 2 percent — are positive. Furthermore, it says, funding has not generally “returned to pre-recessionary levels, and some schools are struggling to operate in this “new normal.’”Read full article >>
If you’ve heard the song with the lyrics “go you chicken fat go” in ads for iPhones, you may have stopped and wondered what the heck a song about chicken fat has to do with Apple and its telecommunications products. I can’t answer that question, but here’s why you are reading about it on an education blog.Read full article >>
Strauss: Arizona schools chief won’t resign after calling welfare recipients ‘lazy pigs’ and other incendiary comments
(Update: He won’t resign)
The schools superintendent of Arizona, John Huppenthal, has admitted to — and apologized for — writing anonymous blog posts over the last several years with some incendiary comments, including calling welfare recipients “lazy pigs.” But he says he won’t resign and is running for re-election this year.Read full article >>
Sophomore Brooke Smith was seated in Falls Church High School this week when she sent her mom a text message: “With all my best friends in class!”
The photo she sent along with the text showed rows of empty desks.Read full article >>
Two parent advocates from Silver Spring will face off in the November general election for an at-large seat on the Montgomery County Board of Education, following their primary victories Tuesday.
Jill Ortman-Fouse, 50, and Shebra Evans, 42, emerged as the top two vote-getters from a field of four candidates in the nonpartisan race. Both have held PTA leadership roles and other education-related posts. Both have children in Montgomery’s public schools.Read full article >>
Students in Prince George’s County each summer are sent home with homework packets to help them retain what they have learned during the school year.
“You have learned so much in math this year!” reads the information for students entering the fifth grade. “This packet is a compilation of important mathematical concepts and skills that you are expected to know prior to moving to the next level. These examples focus on both mathematical skills and problem solving. While you may use calculators and other tools as needed, be prepared to explain the reasoning behind your answers. Grids are included for the last weeks in June, all of July and the first weeks of August. Some problems require answers from previous days, but overall you may do the problems in any order or any day that you choose.”Read full article >>
Put this in the you-can’t-make-up-this-stuff category:
Someone at the U.S. Education Department tweeted out what was considered a funny reminder for students to fill out their federal financial aid forms, known as FAFSA. The tweet had a picture from the movie “Bridesmaids” depicting the drunken character played by Kristen Wiig’s character on a plane with the words, “Help me. I’m poor.” After the tweet got strong blowback from folks who found it offensive, the Education Department took down the tweet and apologized.Read full article >>
Last year I published a piece by Kenneth Zeichner, a professor who has done extensive research on teaching and teacher education, which discussed legislation in Congress about teacher and principal preparation programs. The legislation is officially called the “Growing Excellent Achievement Training Academies (GREAT) Teachers and Principals Act” and referred to as the GREAT Act. That post focused on the role of an organization called the NewSchools Venture Fund in promoting this federal legislation promoting alternative teacher preparation programs. Zeichner, a professor of teacher education at the University of Washington, Seattle, and professor emeritus in the School of Education at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, recently published with a co-author a paper in the Teachers College Record that elaborates on the original article.Read full article >>
The District’s latest proposal to overhaul school boundaries has generated plenty of pushback, but it also includes at least one far-reaching idea that appears to have strong support: guaranteeing access to pre-kindergarten for students who live in-bounds for high-poverty schools.Read full article >>