Education News from Washington Post
The first week in May is Teacher Appreciation Week, so declared back in 1984 by the Parent Teachers Association, and the 2014 observation of this is upon us. It couldn’t have come at a better time, given that teachers aren’t feeling especially appreciated these days, what with school reform policies targeted right at them. In this post Julie Hiltz, a media specialist at Lutz Elementary in Hillsborough County, Florida, and a National Board Certified Teacher with 12 years of experience, writes about her profession. She is also a 2013-14 Center for Teaching Quality Teacherpreneur, who is spending half of her workweek this school year engaging colleagues across the state in teacher evaluation and Common Core reforms.Read full article >>
Fairfax County Schools Superintendent Karen Garza was a key figure in the implementation of a controversial teacher evaluation and merit pay system that is now the focus of a federal lawsuit filed in Houston last week.Read full article >>
Sam Chaltain is a former teacher who spent a year following two D.C. schools — one charter, one traditional — in an effort to understand how the city’s high-profile school-improvement efforts are working for teachers, students and parents.Read full article >>
My high school U.S. history teacher, Al Ladendorff, turned his classroom into a laboratory for critical thinking. He even asked us to tell him where the textbook was wrong. My wife Linda’s English and history teacher, Bill Goodfellow, required each student to write a research paper every year, some of them thousands of words long.Read full article >>
Last month the U.S. Education Department for the first time rescinded one of the waivers it gave to states that exempts them the most onerous parts of the flawed No Child Left Behind law. It was Washington’s, and as a result, the state will have to comply with all parts of No Child Left Behind — even though it is a law that Education Secretary Arne Duncan himself has said is fatally flawed. In fact, because of the peculiarities of the way the law was written, nearly all of Washington’s public schools will now be seen as failing even though nothing actually changed in the schools. If it makes no sense to you, it doesn’t to a lot of other people either, especially in Washington state.Read full article >>
Students around the country are taking high-stakes Common Core-aligned standardized tests now and some teachers are expressing unhappiness about having to administer them. Some are refusing to administer them and others are going public with their concerns about the nature of the tests and the emphasis being placed on them by policymakers. Numerous problems have been reported with these tests in New York, including badly worded questions, unfair cut scores that determine who does well and who doesn’t, and booklets with blank pages. Entertainer Louis C.K. complained about the tests on Twitter and the David Letterman show.Read full article >>
What has become a national uprising against the scourge of sexual assault on college campuses started three years ago with a 19-page letter from an obscure agency in Washington.
Sexual violence was not only a crime that could land a perpetrator in jail, the Office for Civil Rights in the Education Department told schools in April 2011. It was also a form of harassment prohibited by federal anti-discrimination law, a declaration that required colleges to take vigorous steps to prevent sexual violence and provide a “prompt and equitable” response whenever cases arose.Read full article >>
As the District works to confront rampant truancy in city schools, national standardized test data show that D.C. students are absent from school more than the national average and more than almost all other large U.S. cities.Read full article >>
Louis C.K., the multi-talented entertainer, has suddenly found himself in the news for an unlikely reason. It has nothing to do with any of his projects but, rather, his comments on Twitter and the “Late Show With David Letterman” about how standardized testing and the Common Core State Standards are affecting his daughters, who attend public school in New York City. Not at all well, he has made repeatedly clear.Read full article >>
After spending 25 years in high-tech — primarily in the wireless and Global Positioning System (GPS) industries — Dave Reid became a high school mathematics teacher and is now in his third year of teaching. It didn’t take him long to realize just how hard teaching really is — and how much harder it is than his previous jobs. Reid writes about it in this post, which appeared on the blog of Larry Cuban, professor emeritus of education at Stanford University and a former teacher and superintendent.Read full article >>
Many high school students in Maryland have been able to lighten their academic load during senior year by taking a break from tough math courses.
But that’s about to end.
Starting with the Class of 2015, 12th-grade math is required for seniors who are seeking admission to Maryland’s system of public universities. Separately, all students in Maryland will soon be required to take math every year of high school in order to graduate, a change that will start with next fall’s ninth-graders.reRead full article >>
Health and school officials alerted families at Winston Churchill High School in Potomac on Friday that a student had been diagnosed with a form of meningitis, saying there was little risk to students but that parents should be aware of the presence of the contagious disease.Read full article >>
The new focus on sexual violence on campus has prompted many people to wonder why local police don’t investigate all such assault allegations, given that such behavior is criminal.
The White House this week released a list of 55 colleges and universities with open “sexual violence investigations” as the Obama administration puts a new focus on the issue of sexual violence at school and in the military. A White House task force also released a report on how colleges can work toward preventing sex assaults, saying that colleges must be more proactive in curbing violence against women.Read full article >>
Thousands of Montgomery County high school students cast ballots for school board candidates this week, electing a teenager from Clarksburg High School as next year’s student board member.
Dahlia Huh, a junior who lives in Germantown, pulled in 69 percent of the vote, overwhelming opponent Calvin Yeh, a junior at Poolesville High School, who had 31 percent. In all, 77 percent of secondary students cast ballots.Read full article >>
The Common Core State Standards for students in kindergarten through Grade 3 have come under severe criticism by early childhood education experts who say that they are not developmentally appropriate. Even some supporters of the Core initiative, including American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten, have called for a revamping of these early education standards. Weingarten made her call in conjunction with early childhood expert Nancy Carlsson-Paige of Lesley University in Cambridge, a senior advisor to Defending the Early Years, a non-profit project of the Survival Education Fund, Inc. — a 501(c) 3 educational organization — that is dedicated to rally educators to take action on policies that affect the education of young children.Read full article >>
The release Thursday of a federal list of 55 colleges with open “sexual violence investigations” underscores that the twin problem of how to prevent and respond to sex assaults on campus has become a national question, touching schools from elite privates to large publics to small regional schools.Read full article >>
The U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights on Thursday released a list of 55 colleges and universities under investigation for possible Title IX violations over the handling of sexual violence and harassment complaints.Read full article >>
Arthur H. Camins writes about the unintended consequences of many education reform policies. Camins is the director of the Center for Innovation in Engineering and Science Education at the Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, N.J. The ideas expressed in this article are his alone and do not represent Stevens Institute. His other writing can be found at www.arthurcamins.com. A version of this article was originally published February 2010, in the Gheens Institute for Innovation, Institute Insights.Read full article >>
There are still more than 2,000 spots open at D.C. charter schools for the 2014-2015 school year, but most of the available seats are in low-and mid-performing schools, according to data that the D.C. Public Charter School Board released Thursday.Read full article >>
When you read about the more than $1 trillion student loan debt in the United States, the word “crisis” invariably appears. But is it? Donald E. Heller, dean of the College of Education at Michigan State University, offers a different view of the common media portrayal of the issue.Read full article >>