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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: 5 hours 42 min ago

Strauss: Why the kids who most need arts education aren’t getting it

Mon, 09/29/2014 - 5:00am

Though the benefits of art education are very real (see here for a list of 10), it is one of the big, unfortunate casualties of the high-stakes testing era, with its laser focus on math and English Language Arts — especially in schools with big populations of students who live in poverty. Just how effective a good arts program can be was shown by Michael Sokolove, a contributing writer for the New York Times Magazine, in his book titled “Drama High: The Incredible True Story of a Brilliant Teacher, a Struggling Town and the Magic of Theater,” about an elite high school theater program in a blue-collar Pennsylvania town. The book will be issued in paperback on Oct. 7. Here’s a piece by Sokolove on saving arts education.

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Categories: Education News

Mathews: Parents saying no to too much homework

Sun, 09/28/2014 - 5:40pm

A Prince George’s County reader who identifies herself on my Web page as JenPam2003 did not like my suggestion that parents enforce a reasonable amount of time for their children’s homework. I said their kids should do something else when that time expired, even if the assignments are not finished.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: How much time will new Common Core tests take kids to finish? Quite a lot.

Sun, 09/28/2014 - 1:21pm

(Correction: Fixing the number of states believed to be using PARCC exam this school year.)

Q) How much time will it take for students to complete some of the new Common Core standardized math and English Language Arts tests?

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: Why college freshmen need to take Emotions 101

Sun, 09/28/2014 - 11:00am

Too many college students face challenges for which they are emotionally ill-equipped to handle. In fact, suicide is the second leading cause of death for college students. In this piece, from OpEd Project’s Yale Public Voices Fellowship program, two mental health experts and program fellows explain how colleges and universities can better deal with the problem of student anxiety and depression. It was written by Diana Divecha, a developmental psychologist and research affiliate of the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence, and Robin Stern, a psychoanalyst and associate director of the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: Colorado school district votes to opt most students out of Common Core testing

Sat, 09/27/2014 - 10:23am

The board of education in Colorado’s second largest city has voted to opt out most of its 30,000 students from new Common Core standardized testing and will ask the state government for flexibility to carry out its plan. It is the first district in the state and one of the first in the country to do so.

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Categories: Education News

‘Fight club’ tweets, gun rumor apparently keep many Fauquier students home Friday

Fri, 09/26/2014 - 8:27pm

Hundreds of students did not come to classes at Fauquier High School on Friday after numerous fights broke out during the week and rumors swirled that a student might bring a gun to the school on Friday.

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Categories: Education News

JMU president versed in civil rights law

Fri, 09/26/2014 - 7:34pm

HARRISONBURG, Va. — College presidents nationwide are racing this year to school themselves on what federal civil rights laws require when sexual violence flares on campus.

Jonathan R. Alger, president of James Madison University, might have an edge over his peers. A graduate of Harvard Law School, Alger worked as an attorney in the Office for Civil Rights at the U.S. Education Department from 1992 to 1996.

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Categories: Education News

Campus discussions increasingly focus on sex assault

Fri, 09/26/2014 - 7:34pm

HARRISONBURG, Va. — Parents have always sent their kids off to college with lots of advice: Study hard, do your laundry, don’t spend all your money in the first week.

This year, with rising urgency, many are adding serious words of caution. To their daughters: Don’t walk alone at night. To their sons: No means no. To both: Beware of sexual hookups after heavy drinking.

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Categories: Education News

Suspect returned to Va. to face charges in U-Va. case

Fri, 09/26/2014 - 7:14pm

CHARLOTTESVILLE — The suspect in the disappearance of University of Virginia student Hannah Graham was moved from a Texas holding facility and arrived Friday in Virginia, authorities said.

Jesse L. “LJ” Matthew Jr., 32, who has been charged with one count of abduction with intent to sexually assault Graham, arrived at Charlottesville-Albemarle Airport at about 5:45 p.m., Charlottesville police said. They said Matthew was being held without bond at the Albe­marle-Charlottesville Regional Jail. He is expected to have a bond hearing on Thursday. The courthouse is closed for a statewide judicial conference that runs Monday through Wednesday.

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Categories: Education News

Two N.Y. cities and a promise: A full ride to college for high school graduates

Fri, 09/26/2014 - 5:44pm

What if every student who graduated from a city’s public high schools were guaranteed the money needed to go to college?

An experiment like this is under way in Syracuse and Buffalo through the efforts of a New York foundation called Say Yes to Education. The Syracuse promise dates to 2008, and the Buffalo version to 2011. In all, the foundation has helped more than 3,600 graduates from the two New York cities — many of them from low-income families — go to college.

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Categories: Education News

Muslim community raises concerns about equal treatment for school holidays

Fri, 09/26/2014 - 3:42pm

The Muslim community is concerned about “disparate treatment” toward religious groups from different Montgomery County agencies, a Muslim leader told school officials.

Saqib Ali, a former state delegate and a co-chair of the Equality for Eid Coalition, said the Muslim community took note of a recent decision by the county’s parks department to cancel a fall harvest festival that conflicted with the Jewish holy day of Yom Kippur.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: Why we can’t reform literacy and math all at once

Fri, 09/26/2014 - 3:30pm

School “reform” is hardly a new phenomenon in the public school system, with decades of efforts to improve reading and math scores. Why haven’t all these efforts met expectations? Here’s one explanation, from Andy Hargreaves, the Brennan Chair in Education in the Lynch School of Education at Boston College and an adviser to the  premier and minister of education of Ontario, Canada. His new book, with Alan Boyle and Alma Harris, is “Uplifting Leadership.” This first appeared on the blog of Lesley University’s Center for Reading Recovery and Literacy Collaborative.

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Categories: Education News

D.C. residents will pay less to get a GED starting next month

Fri, 09/26/2014 - 9:12am

District residents will get a discounted rate for the GED starting next month as part of an effort to increase access to the recently overhauled high school equivalency test.

The discount — which will reduce the cost for all four subject tests from $120 to $15 — was announced this week as part of a new partnership between the city’s Office of the State Superintendent of Education and GED Testing Service.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: Banned Books Week: the 10 most challenged books every year since 2000

Fri, 09/26/2014 - 4:00am

You might not think a best-selling book for kids called “Captain Underpants” would be terribly objectionable, but, as it turns out, it tops the 2013 list of books most challenged in schools and libraries in 2013. Why? Reasons cited by challengers: Offensive language, unsuited for age group, violence.

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Categories: Education News

District studies roots of dropout crisis and promises it will work to fix it

Fri, 09/26/2014 - 12:01am

For every course an eighth-grader in the District fails, that student becomes six percentage points less likely to graduate from high school on time. And for every 10 times a student is absent the same year, that student is four percentage points less likely to make it to the finish line.

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Categories: Education News

Charlottesville police ask property owners to search for signs of U-Va. student

Thu, 09/25/2014 - 3:22pm

CHARLOTTESVILLE — Police are asking property owners in this city and throughout nearby rural Albemarle County to look for any signs of missing University of Virginia student Hannah Graham, hoping that they can locate her after nearly two weeks of searching.

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Categories: Education News

D.C. asks court to end long-running special education litigation

Thu, 09/25/2014 - 7:41am

The District of Columbia is asking a U.S. District Court judge to dismiss an 18-year-old special education lawsuit and end judicial oversight of how it responds to families awaiting services.

The motion, filed Friday by Attorney General Irvin B. Nathan, says that the system has improved significantly and the city is ready to resume full control of the administration of its program.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: Chicago mayor admits naming elite new school after Obama, his former boss, was a mistake

Thu, 09/25/2014 - 6:00am

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who once served as chief of staff in the White House for President Obama, just acknowledged that his plans to name a new $60 million high school located in a wealthy mostly white area of the city were a mistake.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: Why a leading professor of new media just banned technology use in class

Thu, 09/25/2014 - 5:00am

Clay Shirky is, as he explains below, a “pretty unlikely candidate for Internet censor.”

Shirky is a professor of media studies at New York University, holding a joint appointment as an arts professor at NYU’s graduate Interactive Telecommunications Program in the Tisch School of the Arts, and as a Distinguished Writer in Residence in the journalism institute. He is a leading voice on the effect technology has had on society — and vice versa — and has been writing extensively about the Internet for nearly a decade.

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Categories: Education News

Jesse L. “LJ” Matthew Jr. arrested in case of missing U-Va. student Hannah Graham

Wed, 09/24/2014 - 9:17pm

CHARLOTTESVILLE — The man who allegedly abducted missing University of Virginia sophomore Hannah Graham was taken into custody Wednesday in Galveston, Tex., after a widespread manhunt, and police said he now will be taken to Charlottesville to face charges in her disappearance.

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Categories: Education News
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