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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: 9 hours 15 min ago

Strauss: 2014 World University Rankings: ‘Worrying evidence’ of U.S. decline?

Wed, 10/01/2014 - 4:00pm

The 2014 “World University Rankings” were released Wednesday (yes, there is such a thing as World University Rankings),  and the outlook for the United States is described as not good. In fact, “worrying evidence” is cited for decline in the United States (which holds 74 of the top 200 spots, down from 77 last year) and Canada as Asian schools rise in the rankings.

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Categories: Education News

Audit begins of Prince George’s County school system

Wed, 10/01/2014 - 3:53pm

Prince George’s County Schools Chief Executive Kevin M. Maxwell said recently that auditors from CliftonLarsonAllen have started collecting information to ensure that no county school system funds were compromised during Colby White’s tenure as chief financial officer.

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Categories: Education News

U.S. Education Department issues guidance on racial disparity in nation’s schools

Wed, 10/01/2014 - 2:44pm

The Obama administration issued new guidance Wednesday to states and school districts aimed at reducing inequities in educational opportunity between students of color and their white peers.

“Even with all the good work that we see around the country, we also continue to see opportunity gaps that need correction,” said Catherine E. Lhamon, assistant secretary for civil rights at the U.S. Department of Education. She said the country needs to end “the tired practice of offering students of color less than we offer other students.”

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: College Board says it ‘revised’ controversial AP U.S. history framework (update)

Wed, 10/01/2014 - 2:41pm

(Update: More explanation of what changed on updated framework)

For weeks, the Advanced Placement U.S. history course based on a newly revised “framework” for teachers has been the target of intense criticism around the country from conservatives who charge that it is anti-American. While the Republican National Committee is attacking the resolution, saying the framework “emphasizes negative aspects of our nation’s history while omitting or minimizing positive aspects,” students and teachers in Jefferson County, Colo., are protesting a suggestion that the course be reviewed to ensure that it promotes patriotism.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: Howard Gardner, creator of ‘multiple intelligences’ theory, launches new project on ‘good’ education

Wed, 10/01/2014 - 1:45pm

World-renowned developmental psychologist Howard Gardner revolutionized the fields of psychology and education when he published his 1983 book  “Frames of Mind: The Theory of Multiple Intelligences,” which detailed a new model of human intelligence that went beyond the traditional view that there was a single kind that could be measured by standardized tests. (You can read his account of how he came up with the theory here.) Gardner’s theory initially listed seven intelligences which  work together: linguistic, logical-mathematical,  musical,  bodily-kinesthetic, spatial, interpersonal and intrapersonal; he later added an eighth, naturalist intelligence and says there may be a few more.  The theory became highly popular with K-12 educators around the world seeking ways to reach students who did not respond to traditional approaches, but over time, “multiple intelligences” wrongly became synonymous with the concept of “learning styles.” (You can read a piece here by Gardner explaining the difference.)

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Categories: Education News

D.C. coalition pushes city leaders to commit to strong neighborhood schools citywide

Wed, 10/01/2014 - 12:58pm

The most salient criticism throughout the 10-month public process of redrawing school boundaries in the District was that the city should be investing in improving neighborhood schools everywhere rather than reshuffling school assignments.

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Categories: Education News

D.C. charter schools come in first in new quality ranking

Wed, 10/01/2014 - 11:21am

The District’s charter schools ranked first in the nation in a report released Wednesday that for the first time looks at the quality of the charter school movement.

The National Alliance for Public Charter Schools, which released the report, has historically ranked states by the friendliness of their charter school laws. This is its first attempt at evaluating how charter schools are actually performing.

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Categories: Education News

UMUC cybersecurity team wins an international competition

Wed, 10/01/2014 - 7:15am

The University of Maryland University College, a largely online institution that targets the adult education market, has no football or basketball team to stir school spirit. But it does have the Cyber Padawans.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: How teachers sometimes fool themselves

Wed, 10/01/2014 - 4:00am

Here is a post about what goes on in classrooms and how teachers sometimes fool themselves into thinking that they are allowing students to direct their own learning when, in fact, they aren’t. This was written by Alfie Kohn (www.alfiekohn.org), who is the author of 13 books, including, most recently, “The Myth of the Spoiled Child: Challenging the Conventional Wisdom About Children and Parenting.”

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Categories: Education News

D.C. chancellor says schools on track to speed up progress this year

Tue, 09/30/2014 - 10:31pm

In her second annual address on the state of D.C. Public Schools, Chancellor Kaya Henderson said Tuesday night that the District’s public schools are on track to accelerate progress that has been underway in recent years.

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Categories: Education News

Report: Large racial, ethnic gap between students, educators in Montgomery schools

Tue, 09/30/2014 - 7:10pm

Students of color make up two-thirds of Montgomery County’s public school enrollment, but most educators in the county’s schools are white, and the district does not track whether they speak Spanish or other languages, according to a county report released Tuesday.

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Categories: Education News

Five public and private schools in the Washington area receive top honor

Tue, 09/30/2014 - 5:01pm

Three public schools and two private schools in the Washington area have been selected as 2014 National Blue Ribbon Schools by the U.S. Department of Education.

Cashell Elementary School in Montgomery County, Haycock Elementary School in Fairfax County and Robert Goddard French Immersion Elementary/Middle School in Prince George’s County were among 287 public schools and 50 private schools across the country that received the honor for exemplary performance.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: What is a STEM occupation?

Tue, 09/30/2014 - 3:24pm

A recent report by the U.S. Census Bureau said that 74 percent of all people who hold bachelor’s degrees in the four STEM subjects — science, technology, engineering and math — don’t have jobs in what are considered to be STEM occupations. So with a big national push to get young people to move into STEMS jobs, the question is: What is a STEM occupation?

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: Professor: Why I tell students to become teachers — even though the profession is under assault

Tue, 09/30/2014 - 2:15pm

Why, given the continuing assault on the teaching profession, would anyone suggest to young people that they consider becoming teachers? Here’s why, from Mark Naison, a professor of African American Studies and History at Fordham University and director of Fordham’s Urban Studies Program. He is the author of three books and over 100 articles on African American History, urban history, and the history of sports. He is also a co-founder of the Badass Teachers Association, an organization formed to resist corporate school reform and school accountability” systems that rely on standardized test scores for high-stakes purposes. A version of this appeared on his With A Brooklyn Accent blog.

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Categories: Education News

D.C. teachers union makes no endorsement in mayor’s race

Tue, 09/30/2014 - 2:06pm

The Washington Teachers’ Union opted not to endorse a candidate for the mayor’s race, saying in a statement that the city’s teachers hope to work more closely with whomever wins.

Elizabeth Davis, president of the union which represents more than 4,500 teachers and other educators, said that during a lengthy process of interviewing candidates and polling members, no clear front-runner emerged.

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Categories: Education News

New group in Maryland forms to fight cellphone towers built on school property

Tue, 09/30/2014 - 8:43am

A new group, made up of residents and activists from across Maryland, has formed to help Prince George's County residents who are fighting the county school system’s plan to build cellphone towers on school property.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: Ben Carson: New AP U.S. history course will make kids want to ‘sign up for ISIS’

Mon, 09/29/2014 - 8:33pm

The new Advanced Placement U.S. history framework has become the target of intense criticism from conservatives who charge that it is anti-American, the latest attack coming on Monday from potential GOP presidential candidate Ben Carson, a famed pediatric neurosurgeon who said that “most people” who complete the course would then be “ready to sign up for ISIS.”

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Categories: Education News

Prince George’s schools cut costs by reducing printers, sparking complaints

Mon, 09/29/2014 - 8:29pm

Prince George’s County has significantly reduced the number of printers in its public schools this year, leading teachers to complain that they are losing instructional and planning time because they have to go to the main office to make copies. They also said they often end up waiting in long lines behind other teachers and have dealt with far more machine malfunctions.

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Categories: Education News

Suspect’s arrest in U-Va. case provides lead in 2009 death of Virginia Tech student

Mon, 09/29/2014 - 8:19pm

Virginia State Police investigators said Monday that the arrest of Jesse L. “LJ” Matthew Jr., who allegedly abducted missing U-Va. student Hannah Graham this month, has provided “a significant break” in the case of a young woman who similarly disappeared in Charlottesville five years ago and was later found dead.

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Categories: Education News

Takeovers of struggling charter schools offer families stability, and a culture clash

Mon, 09/29/2014 - 7:03pm

The line of parents waiting to attend back-to-school night stretched down the sidewalk, and many of them had no idea what to expect as they approached the historic school on Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue in Southeast Washington.

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Categories: Education News
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