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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: 3 hours 53 min ago

Strauss: It’s innovative, but is it really better?

Mon, 08/04/2014 - 4:01am

The word “innovative” is invoked a lot to describe school reform policies that are alleged to be improvements over what existed before. But is innovative inherently better? Arthur H. Camins answers the question in the following post. 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.

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Categories: Education News

D.C. charter school educates parents alongside children

Sun, 08/03/2014 - 8:18pm

The images in the book were bright and the words simple, but many of the women in the classroom hesitated as they sounded out each sentence.

“If you can’t read the words, can you talk about the pictures?” teacher Elizabeth Bergner coached. The goal for the women enrolled in Bergner’s adult-education class in the District is to learn English, but an equally important target is to help their children learn to read.

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Categories: Education News

Why college kids aren’t timid or lost

Sun, 08/03/2014 - 5:23pm

Author and former Yale faculty member William Deresiewicz has created a sensation with his attack on the Ivy League, published in the New Republic.

He is right to question our misplaced respect for elite colleges. He also wisely wonders why such institutions can’t welcome more students from low-income homes.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: Fact-checking Campbell Brown: What she said, what research really shows

Sun, 08/03/2014 - 10:31am

Former CNN correspondent Campbell Brown appeared on The Colbert Report last week in her role as head of the new Partnership for Educational Justice, an advocacy organization that is supporting seven parents in a lawsuit against New York State’s teacher tenure laws. (Supporting may be underestimating what the group is doing, given that she called the parents “our plaintiffs.”)  Colbert asked her some good questions but her answers were, well, questionable. In the following post, Alyssa Hadley Dunn,  a former high school English teacher who is now an assistant professor of teacher education at Michigan State University, fact-checks Brown’s answers. Dunn researches urban schools, educational policy, and social justice.

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Categories: Education News

Legislatures taking state education into their own hands

Sat, 08/02/2014 - 9:52pm

The backlash against the Common Core has prompted lawmakers in at least 12 states to get more involved in setting their own K-12 academic standards, injecting politics into a process usually conducted in obscurity by bureaucrats.

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Categories: Education News

Maryland schools moving away from suspensions for disrespect

Fri, 08/01/2014 - 10:08pm

Maryland is urging its 1,450 public schools to move away from student suspensions for incidents of disrespect and insubordination as part of newly approved code-of-conduct guidelines.

The guidelines reflect the sweeping changes that the Maryland State Board of Education made six months ago as it sought to take a more rehabilitative approach toward student misconduct and reduce racial disparities in punishment.

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Categories: Education News

Neighbors concerned about adding lights at T.C. Williams High School’s stadium

Fri, 08/01/2014 - 7:59pm

Calvin Terrell was born in a six-bedroom house on King Street that been passed down from his grandparents in one of Alexandria’s oldest communities of African American homeowners. In the early 1960s, that house was demolished to make way for T.C. Williams High School.

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Categories: Education News

Neighbors concerned about adding lights at T.C. Williams High School’s stadium

Fri, 08/01/2014 - 7:59pm

Calvin Terrell was born in a six-bedroom house on King Street that had been passed down from his grandparents in one of Alexandria’s oldest communities of African American homeowners. In the early 1960s, that house was demolished to make way for T.C. Williams High School.

Read full article >>
Categories: Education News

Strauss: Stephen Colbert to Campbell Brown: ‘Why are we blaming the teachers? Maybe it’s the dumb kids.’

Fri, 08/01/2014 - 12:07pm

Stephen Colbert welcomed Campbell Brown to “The Colbert Report” (see video below) on Thursday night to talk about her support for a lawsuit just filed in New York that seeks to eliminate tenure and other job protections for teachers. The Comedy Central host didn’t give the former CNN anchor turned anti-union activist a free pass, asking her some questions that Brown critics had tweeted to Colbert to ask. Such as where her new anti-teachers union advocacy group gets its funding (she refused to answer) and why she is blaming teachers for poor student performance (“maybe it’s the dumb kids”).

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: What do standardized tests actually test?

Fri, 08/01/2014 - 4:01am

What exactly do standardized tests test? In this post veteran educator Marion Brady  answers that question and its consequences for teaching and learning. Brady has written history and world culture textbooks (Prentice-Hall),  professional books, numerous  nationally distributed columns (many are available here), and courses of study. His 2011 book, “What’s Worth Learning,” asks and answers this question: What knowledge is absolutely essential for every learner? His course of study for secondary-level students, called “Connections: Investigating Reality,” is free for downloading here. Brady’s website is www.marionbrady.com.

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Categories: Education News

D.C. students’ proficiency rates inch upward on annual city tests

Thu, 07/31/2014 - 6:42pm

Average student proficiency rates on the District’s annual standardized tests inched up in 2014, increasing 1.4 percentage points in math and less than one percentage point in reading, results that city leaders called steady-if-slow progress in improving academic prospects for the District’s children.

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Categories: Education News

High school suspensions plummet in Montgomery, falling nearly 37 percent

Thu, 07/31/2014 - 5:54pm

High school suspensions in Montgomery County plummeted nearly 37 percent in the past school year as the district made concerted efforts to use alternatives to out-of-school punishment and reduce racial disparities in discipline.

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Categories: Education News

White House symposium focuses on family engagement

Thu, 07/31/2014 - 5:06pm

A symposium at the White House Thursday explored how increasing family engagement can drive school improvement.

The meeting brought together administration officials, philanthropists, and researchers to discuss ways that parents and schools can work together more closely.

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Categories: Education News

District releases school-by-school DC CAS results

Thu, 07/31/2014 - 4:12pm

D.C. officials released summary results of annual standardized tests Thursday morning, but just as interesting to many parents and policymakers are the results of individual schools.

School-by-school results, posted here, show a wide variation in performance among both traditional and charter schools.

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Categories: Education News

Potomac turf field vote postponed following legal action by Montgomery soccer group

Thu, 07/31/2014 - 11:52am

Montgomery school leaders have asked county officials to postpone action on a project that would use $1.3 million in private funds for construction of a synthetic turf field at Winston Churchill High School in Potomac.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: A teacher asks Arne Duncan a gutsy question. Here’s the answer.

Thu, 07/31/2014 - 5:01am

(Update: Video added; wasn’t visible in earlier version)

What question would you ask to Education Secretary Arne Duncan if you had the chance?

Patrick Hayes, a fifth-grade teacher in Charleston, S.C., and director of EdFirstSC, a nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy group working to empower people who care about public schools, got that opportunity recently when Duncan had a video chat with hundreds of Charleston educators and administrators. The discussion hit on a number of topics in educational policy, including the Common Core State Standards, which South Carolina legislators recently voted to abandon and replace with new standards in the 2015-16 school year.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: How many colleges mishandle sexual assault cases — and what to do about it

Thu, 07/31/2014 - 4:02am

A bipartisan group of senators just introduced legislation in Congress that is aimed at curbing sexual assaults on college campuses. The legislation would force school officials to be more transparent and accountable in dealing with sexual assaults, including requiring better training for on-campus personnel who investigate cases and participate in disciplinary procedures. Schools that fail to comply could face steep fines.

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Categories: Education News

U-Va. Board of Visitors considers limiting public dissent

Wed, 07/30/2014 - 8:45pm

Members of the University of Virginia’s Board of Visitors are considering a policy that would limit their own ability to speak freely about decisions the board makes, including when members disagree with those decisions.

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Categories: Education News

D.C. charter schools sue city, alleging unequal funding

Wed, 07/30/2014 - 6:45pm

An organization that represents more than three dozen D.C. charter schools filed a federal lawsuit against the District on Wednesday, alleging that the city has failed to provide uniform operating funds for charter and traditional schools as the law requires.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: Campbell Brown’s anti-union group uses union slogan (update)

Wed, 07/30/2014 - 4:58pm

(Update: Adding comment from Brown’s group)

Campbell Brown doesn’t hide her disdain for teachers unions. She has frequently railed against them, and formed an anti-union advocacy group that filed a lawsuit in New York this week seeking to eliminate job protections for teachers in the state.

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Categories: Education News
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