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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: 8 hours 53 min ago

Strauss: Arne Duncan issues new statement with the ‘right lessons’ from Vergara trial

Sun, 06/15/2014 - 8:27pm

In case you weren’t sure what to think about last week’s verdict in the “Vergara trial” — in which a Los Angeles judge tossed out state statutes giving job protections to teachers — Education Secretary Arne Duncan issued a new statement Sunday offering what he thinks are the “right lessons” from the case.

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D.C. officials seek stronger oversight of charter schools after recent fraud allegations

Sun, 06/15/2014 - 7:51pm

Recent fraud allegations against leaders at two D.C. public charter schools have illuminated what city officials are calling a gap in their ability to effectively oversee the financial dealings of the fast-growing charter school sector.

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High school valedictorian has a 4.0 GPA, is headed to Towson University and is autistic

Sat, 06/14/2014 - 10:05pm

Montel Medley’s valedictory speech covered many standard themes: the Class of 2014’s transition from middle school to high school, the impact the graduates’ teachers had on their lives, and the future as many head to college and the beginnings of careers.

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U.S. schools develop a nicer version of gym class

Sat, 06/14/2014 - 6:34pm

The cavernous gymnasium at Patriot High School can be intimidating for 15-year-old Kristin Ansah. When students break out the hockey sticks before gym class, she ducks for cover.

“I don’t work out,” she said. “I don’t play sports.”

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Four gifted writers share doubts about gifted education

Sat, 06/14/2014 - 4:16pm

I am among those people who think gifted education classes are usually a waste of time and money. It’s better to give super-bright kids a library card or a computer with a Web connection and get out of their way.

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Strauss: ‘If you truly cared’ — angry president of largest teachers union sends message to school reformers

Sat, 06/14/2014 - 12:30pm

It’s been a bad week for teachers unions — what with a California judge tossing out state statutes providing job protections for teachers and attendant publicity, including an article in Politico Pro with the headline, “The Fall of Teachers’ Unions‘. But let’s face it: Headlines have been screaming for years that teachers unions were “under siege.”

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Strauss: Superintendents on Common Core: ‘Slow down to get it right’

Sat, 06/14/2014 - 12:15pm

The American Association of School Administrators just released a new report calling for policymakers to slow down the implementation of the Common Core State Standards and aligned standardized tests because educators need more time to “get it right.”

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Strauss: ‘ I have very real concerns about the sustainability of public education’ — Virginia teacher’s ‘painful’ decision to quit

Sat, 06/14/2014 - 9:10am

Josh Waldron is an award-winning teacher in Waynesboro, Virginia — or rather, was an award-winning teacher in Waynesboro, Virginia. In the following sobering post, Waldron explains why he made the “tough decision” to leave the classroom after six years, during which he won four teaching awards. It isn’t that he didn’t love teaching. He did.

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In D.C. school boundary proposal, parents and activists see clear winners and losers

Fri, 06/13/2014 - 9:48pm

The District’s newest plan to overhaul public school boundariesprompted a broad range of reactions this week, as parents and activists began examining the proposed changes and what they would mean for the city.

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Categories: Education News

T.C. Williams mounts all-out effort to get kids to graduate

Fri, 06/13/2014 - 8:03pm

When Edy Morales was called to the office at T.C. Williams High School this spring, he thought he was about to be suspended.

But Principal Suzanne Maxey told him that he was in a different kind of trouble. The senior was three credits and two failed standardized tests shy of graduating. She said she wanted to help.

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Strauss: It’s Friday the 13th. Keep your paraskevidekatriaphobia in check.

Fri, 06/13/2014 - 10:06am

If you suffer from friggatriskaidekaphobia, otherwise known as  paraskevidekatriaphobia, today isn’t a great day for you.  It’s Friday the 13th, and the phobia is all about a blinding fear of this day — however irrational it may seem. (But you can take heart; it’s the last Friday on the 13th day of any month in 2014, although 2015, like 2012, will have three.)

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Categories: Education News

Survey results help Pr. George’s school officials formulate strategic plan

Fri, 06/13/2014 - 9:55am

Prince George’s County school chief Kevin Maxwell plans to make improving students’ reading and math skills — a top priority identified by parents, students and school employees — a key element to turning around the school system.

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Strauss: Mother of 7 in jail because her kids skipped school dies in cell

Fri, 06/13/2014 - 8:39am

A 55-year-old Pennsylvania mother of seven, sentenced to serve two days in jail because her children were absent too much from school and she couldn’t pay some $2,000 in truancy fines, was found dead in her cell.

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Strauss: One thing we can learn from Shanghai: How to develop teachers

Fri, 06/13/2014 - 6:02am

Shanghai has been No. 1 on the Program for International Student Assessment, or PISA, two straight times — in 2009 and 2012 — though it is now considering pulling out of the exercise in part, officials say, because they don’t want to place so much emphasis on standardized tests. That sounds refreshing. And here’s another lesson from Shanghai: how to professionalize teaching and develop teachers. Here to explain how Shanghai does it is Rachel Evans,  a National Board Certified Teacher in Seattle, Washington. Since 2010, she has been an active member of her district’s International Schools Leadership Team, working collaboratively with colleagues to develop a framework for international education for Seattle Public Schools. She is also a Virtual Community Organizer and Collaboratory member with the Center for Teaching Quality.

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Strauss: AFT’s Weingarten smacks Arne Duncan about his praise for Vergara decision

Thu, 06/12/2014 - 11:27pm

American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten just sent a letter (see below) to Education Secretary Arne Duncan blasting him for his statement praising a California judge’s decision to throw out five state statutes that provide job protections to teachers.

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D.C. releases new boundaries proposal with emphasis on neighborhood schools

Thu, 06/12/2014 - 8:01pm

D.C. officials on Thursday put forth a new proposal for public school boundaries that would maintain a system of neighborhood schools while providing a pathway for children, particularly those who are disadvantaged, to gain access to schools outside their immediate communities.

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Categories: Education News

With California tenure ruling, a Democratic divide

Thu, 06/12/2014 - 7:52pm

When a California judge struck down tenure and other job protections for teachers this week, Education Secretary Arne Duncan and Rep. George Miller (D-Calif.) both applauded, revealing fissures in the once-solid alliance between labor unions and the Democratic Party.

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Montgomery school board committee to recommend changes to spending rules

Thu, 06/12/2014 - 7:45pm

A Montgomery County school board committee tentatively agreed Thursday to recommend tightening the district’s expense-reporting practices in the wake of concerns about improper credit card charges and vague rules.

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Prince George’s school board approves charter school’s new campus location

Thu, 06/12/2014 - 6:00pm

The Prince George’s County Board of Education on Thursday approved a recommendation by schools chief Kevin M. Maxwell to allow a charter school to lease a vacant elementary school in Forestville, despite objections from some parents about safety concerns.

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Strauss: Real learning doesn’t ‘look like 6-year-olds slumped in chairs … staring at iPads’ — parent tells school board

Thu, 06/12/2014 - 12:16pm

Massachusetts parent Tassia Thomas gave the following testimony to the Cambridge School Committee — a panel of seven members that sets policy and oversees Cambridge Public Schools — earlier this month. It appeared in Cambridge Day , which said it had lightly edited her comments for publication.

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Categories: Education News
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