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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: 11 hours 22 min ago

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

Strauss: Jill Abramson tells graduates: ‘I’m in exactly the same boat as many of you’

Mon, 05/19/2014 - 11:16am

Of all the commencement speeches being given this year at high schools, colleges and universities across the country, this was the one that got all the attention.

Jill Abramson, the ousted executive editor of the New York Times, delivered the commencement speech today at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, N.C., her first public appearance since she lost her job last week. And she didn’t ignore what has become a big controversy for the newspaper.

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Categories: Education News

Montgomery schools: Chief operating officer Larry Bowers plans to retire

Mon, 05/19/2014 - 10:30am

One of Montgomery County’s top school leaders will retire next year, after more than 35 years with the school system.

Larry A. Bowers, 65, chief operating officer for Montgomery County schools, is set to step down in June 2015. He will be replaced by Andrew Zuckerman, 37, who has been chief of staff to Superintendent Joshua P. Starr for the past year, officials said.

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Categories: Education News

Muslim leaders ask for equal billing with Jewish holiday on Montgomery calendar

Sun, 05/18/2014 - 9:52pm

Muslim community leaders in Montgomery County this week asked that the Islamic holy day of Eid al-Adha be given equal billing as the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur on Montgomery’s 2015-2016 school calendar.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: Haverford commencement speaker calls some students ‘immature’ and arrogant’

Sun, 05/18/2014 - 7:32pm

The commencement address at Haverford College in Pennsylvania wasn’t your typical commencement address on Sunday.

One of the speeches at the event was delivered by William G. Bowen, the former president of Princeton University, who was chosen after the first choice for speaker, Robert J. Birgeneau, became the target of protesters and withdrew. Bowen, speaking before some 2,800 people, said that the students and faculty who had protested Birgeneau had been “immature” and “arrogant.” He also said that Birgeneau, the former chancellor of the University of California at Berkeley, had reacted “ intemperately,” the Philadelphia Inquirer reported.

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Categories: Education News

Virginia Tech’s Steger among top-paid public university leaders in the nation

Sun, 05/18/2014 - 6:00pm

Retiring Virginia Tech President Charles W. Steger remains the highest-paid public university leader in the state in a new national survey that showed his total annual compensation topped $830,000.

Steger’s total pay of $836,886 ranked him 12th in the Chronicle of Higher Education’s survey of compensation for 256 leaders of public higher education institutions in fiscal 2013. In the previous year, he ranked seventh.

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Categories: Education News
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