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 25 min ago

Strauss: Guess how many memos USDA sent to schools about healthy school lunches?

Thu, 05/22/2014 - 12:34pm

Federally funded school lunches have been in the news because Republicans in the U.S. House just voted to allow some schools to get a waiver from a law that requires lunches served to students to meet new health standards. Why? Apparently some schools can’t make enough money serving healthy foods because kids don’t want to eat them and are throwing away healthy foods.What a surprise.

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Categories: Education News

Fairfax school board to vote on budget changes for 2015

Thu, 05/22/2014 - 10:20am

The Fairfax County School Board on Thursday will vote to approve the 2015 budget, bringing to a close a months-long process to address a projected multimillion-dollar shortfall.

Early this school year, new Superintendent Karen Garza made efforts to highlight what she described as a budget “crisis” facing the school system. In light of the dire fiscal outlook, Garza proposed a series of cuts including eliminating 720 staff positions and having bigger class sizes.

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Categories: Education News

Fairfax County’s Stuart High struggles on teacher survey

Wed, 05/21/2014 - 11:49pm

More than 75 percent of teachers in Fairfax County high schools find their school’s leadership to be effective and more than 85 percent find their school to be a good place to work and learn, according to a recent 2014 working conditions survey.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: Mayor says ‘most people’ should ‘grow a pair’ to stop bullying

Wed, 05/21/2014 - 7:44pm

Cameron Hamilton, the mayor of Porterville, California, has stirred up a ruckus by saying at a City Council meeting that the word “bullying” has become a “mantra” for “the ills of the world” and that “all most people just have to grow a pair.”

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Categories: Education News

Fairfax School Board member scales back plans after accepting student’s prom invitation

Wed, 05/21/2014 - 7:11pm

After publicly accepting an invitation to go to the James Madison High School prom with a 17-year-old student who asked him to the dance via Twitter, a popular Fairfax County School Board member has scaled back his plans for the event.

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Categories: Education News

Loudoun eighth-grader Akhil Rekulapelli wins national geography bee

Wed, 05/21/2014 - 2:53pm

A Loudoun County eighth-grader won first place at the 26th annual National Geographic Bee Wednesday.

Akhil Rekulapelli, 13, claimed the top honor after he correctly answered this question:

The discovery of a major shale oil deposit in the Vaca Muerta formation in 2010 has led to an expansion of oil drilling in the Neuquén province in what country?

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Categories: Education News

Hundreds of colleges and universities have openings for freshmen

Wed, 05/21/2014 - 11:06am

So you didn’t get into the first, second or third college of your choice.

No worries, say a chorus of admissions officers. There are still plenty of slots in respected colleges and universities three weeks after the May 1 deadline for students to accept offers from selective schools.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: Portrait of an underfunded school district

Wed, 05/21/2014 - 11:02am

What does it really mean to kids when school districts are underfunded?

Here is a portrait of one such district, from the Education Law Center in New Jersey, which advocates for equal educational opportunity and education justice in the United States. Profiled is the Freehold Borough School District  in Monmouth County,  a preschool-8th grade district with a little more than 1,580 students.

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Categories: Education News

Making the most of longer school days

Wed, 05/21/2014 - 8:34am

Many school improvement ideas vie for attention these days — the Common Core standards, new online and in-class teaching combinations, more social services, better ways to rate teachers. The most promising reform, I think, is increasing the length of the school day and school year.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: Chicago principal publicly slams Mayor Emanuel and says he is ‘insulting’ educators

Wed, 05/21/2014 - 4:02am

A scathing letter (see below) by a Chicago school principal charging  Mayor Rahm Emanuel and his administration with ignoring and disrespecting teachers and principals has sparked a discussion in the city about school reform and how it is being implemented.

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Categories: Education News

Claggett Elementary in Prince George’s may close; low enrollment, poor performance cited

Tue, 05/20/2014 - 9:53pm

The Prince George’s County school system has applied for a state grant that would allow it to shut a low-performing elementary school in District Heights.

Thomas Claggett Elementary School would close at the start of the 2015-16 school year if the Maryland State Department of Education approves the application. The school would be the first in the county to close in more than five years. In 2009, when William R. Hite Jr. was superintendent, the board approved a major reorganization that closed eight schools and adjusted the boundaries of 62 others.

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Categories: Education News

Start school after Labor Day? Maryland task force says yes.

Tue, 05/20/2014 - 6:18pm

A Maryland task force has recommended that the state’s public schools delay opening until after Labor Day, a proposal that seeks to extend summer vacation for a week or more in many areas.

The state task force, which has been meeting since September, voted 11 to 4 to embrace a later start date statewide, officials said Tuesday.

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Categories: Education News

D.C. approves three new charter schools

Tue, 05/20/2014 - 5:20pm

The D.C. Public Charter School Board has approved three new charter schools: a residential school meant for children in foster care, a K-8 school targeted at students with special needs, and a middle school that emphasizes international education and foreign language.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: A dozen problems with charter schools

Tue, 05/20/2014 - 2:31pm

School reformers keep talking about charter schools as if they were the answer to public education’s problems, when there is a great deal of evidence that shows big problems with the charter sector.

For example, a report on Pennsylvania’s charter schools recently released by a state legislator found that only one in six of the state’s charter schools is”high-performing” and it notes that none of the online charters is “high-performing.”

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Categories: Education News

Longtime West Springfield High teacher dies

Tue, 05/20/2014 - 1:08pm

Ron Maggiano, a longtime history teacher at West Springfield High School in Fairfax County, died Monday, according to a schools statement.

Maggiano taught in the social studies department at West Springfield for 19 years of his 33-year career. He announced that he decided to retire in 2013 after growing frustrated with high-stakes testing that had proliferated in schools in recent years.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: A different way to implement Common Core

Tue, 05/20/2014 - 12:02pm

Critics of the critics of high-stakes standardized testing and the Common Core State Standards often say that the attackers don’t provide alternatives but just complain. That has never been true of many of the critics of these school reforms, and it still isn’t. Here is a piece about what a different accountability system could look like if school reformers would concede that their attachment to high-stakes testing as the chief accountability metric hasn’t been useful to students.

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Categories: Education News

St. Mary’s College of Maryland projects it will meet enrollment and budget goals

Tue, 05/20/2014 - 8:40am

A year ago at this time, St. Mary’s College of Maryland was in turmoil. A second straight disappointing recruiting cycle rocked the public liberal arts college, forcing budget cuts and contributing to the abrupt departure of its president.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: Florida legislator: Common Core advocates are trying to make ‘your children’ gay

Tue, 05/20/2014 - 4:02am

Whether you support the Common Core State Standards or don’t,  it’s important to recognize when critics are going off the rails in their dissent.

Here’s a newly publicized example: A Republican Florida state legislator, Charles Van Zant, told an audience at a conference in Orlando that the organization that has won a $220 million contract from Florida to design standardized tests aligned to Florida’s new standards are trying to get young people to become gay. Specifically, he said, Think Progress reported

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: Text of Jill Abramson’s commencement speech: ‘get on with your knitting’

Mon, 05/19/2014 - 6:38pm

Here is the text of the commencement speech that Jill Abramson, former executive editor of The New York Times, delivered on Monday at Wake Forest University in North Carolina, from the Wake Forest website.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: Jeb Bush bashes traditional public schools (again)

Mon, 05/19/2014 - 3:40pm

You can say this about Jeb Bush: When it comes to promoting charter schools and vouchers at the expense of traditional public schools, the former Florida governor and possible 2016 presidential candidate has long been consistent. He just did it again. Let’s look at what he said — and didn’t say.

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Categories: Education News
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