Education News from Washington Post
An experienced budget administrator for Fairfax County schools has been promoted to become the new assistant superintendent of financial services.
Kristen Michael, the former director of budget services, will succeed Susan Quinn, who became chief operating officer in July. Michael will assume her new position on Aug. 1.Read full article >>
(No, the headline is not from The Onion.)
Brenda Scott Academy of Theater Arts is a high-poverty preK-8th school in east Detroit that is part of the Education Achievement Authority, a district run by Michigan authorities for schools identified as being the lowest-performing. Brenda Scott has an extended calendar and won’t end its current school year until Aug. 7.Read full article >>
An advocacy group headed by former television journalist Campbell Brown filed a lawsuit in New York on Monday that seeks to overturn the state’s tenure laws and other job protections for teachers.
The legal challenge in New York comes a month after a Los Angeles judge struck down teacher tenure and other related California laws that offer job security to educators, a decision that is triggering similar actions around the country.Read full article >>
A Montgomery County Council committee on Monday sidestepped a battle between the school system and the county’s major recreational youth soccer organization, giving its go-ahead for bidding on a synthetic turf playing field at Winston Churchill High School in Potomac but saying it would not weigh in on what has become a legal clash.Read full article >>
(Update: Adding statement from Education Department)
Fifty presidents of public and private nonprofit colleges and universities in Virginia have signed a letter (see text below) to Education Secretary Arne Duncan expressing “serious reservations” about the Obama administration’s “misguided” development of a school rating system that could include data such as how much students earn after graduation. What will be called the Postsecondary Institution Ratings System is intended to be used in the process of determining which institutions deserve federal student aid (though congressional approval will be needed for this step).Read full article >>
For two decades Ellie Herman was a writer/producer for television shows including “The Riches,” “Desperate Housewives,” “Chicago Hope” and “Newhart.” Her fiction has appeared in literary journals, among them The Massachusetts Review, The Missouri Review and the O.Henry Awards Collection. In 2007, she decided, “on an impulse,” she wrote, to become an English teacher and got a job at a South Los Angeles charter school that was 97 percent Latino and where 96 percent of the students lived below the poverty line. She taught drama, creative writing, English 11 and 9th grade Composition at a charter high school in south Los Angeles until 2013, when she decided to stop teaching and spend a year visiting classrooms and learning from other teachers. She is chronicling the lessons she is learning on her blog, Gatsby in L.A., where a version of the following post appeared. The names of the students have been changed.Read full article >>
Earlier this year I published a post about how the Democratic Party has been split for years over the issue of corporate school reform. President Obama and Education Secretary Arne Duncan have been Democratic leaders of the dominant reform movement which seeks to transform public schools through standardized-test-based “accountability” and the expansion of charter schools. (There are Republican leaders as well, including former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush).Read full article >>
When Johnathon Carrington makes a trip home to visit his mother or get what he considers a decent haircut, the Georgetown University student takes a G2 Metrobus that carries him four miles east across a divide that separates the city where he goes to school from the city where he grew up.Read full article >>
Students and alumni from a Richmond-area high school are seeking to revive the school’s historic mascot, a Confederate soldier known as the “Rebel Man,” spurring debate about the appropriateness of public school connections to the Civil War and its icons.Read full article >>
(Update: Adding statement from school panel that fined superintendent)
The usual pattern for the detection of plagiarism is for an adult to catch a student copying from someone else’s work. But in Newton, Mass., it was two new high school graduates who discovered that the school district superintendent who spoke at their graduation had “borrowed” phrases from a commencement speech that Massachusetts Gov. Deval L. Patrick had just given.Read full article >>
It didn’t look like much, just a crumpled scrap of metal that had been tossed aside, forgotten in a pile of old rubble. But a conservator at the University of Virginia was pretty sure they had found something historically significant: a shingle from Thomas Jefferson’s iconic Rotunda.Read full article >>
(Correction: In an earlier version the first name of Newark Superintendent Cami Anderson was missing. It is now restored.)
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) is consistent — at least when it comes to espousing total indifference to what Newark residents want for their state-operated public school system. Christie just bragged (see video below) that he told new Newark Mayor Ras Baraka that Baraka’s views on education reform don’t matter a whit — and the governor declared himself “the decider.”Read full article >>
How many times have you heard that “practice makes perfect?” Well, a new meta-analysis of dozens of previous studies shows that it is not always true. In this post, Alfie Kohn explains and talks about the consequences of this when it comes to education. Kohn is the author of 13 books about education and human behavior, including “The Schools Our Children Deserve,” “The Homework Myth,” and “The Myth of the Spoiled Child: Challenging the Conventional Wisdom About Children and Parenting.” He lives (actually) in the Boston area and (virtually) at www.alfiekohn.org.Read full article >>
Montgomery County’s Board of Education has given the go-ahead for the purchase of 40,000 laptops and tablets for students in Maryland’s largest school system as part of a major technology initiative.
The effort, announced July 10, would bring 100,000 devices into Montgomery’s public schools by 2017-2018. In unanimous votes last week, the school board approved the technology plan and authorized a $15.03 million contract for the first 40,000 devices.Read full article >>
Ending a 40-year practice of half-day Mondays, the Fairfax County School Board voted Thursday to fund an effort to extend Monday classes for elementary schools, adding an extra 75 hours of instruction for students in kindergarten through sixth grade.Read full article >>
Strauss: Five U.S. innovations that helped Finland’s schools improve but that American reformers now ignore
Finnish educator and scholar Pasi Sahlberg is one of the world’s leading experts on school reform and educational practices. The author of the best-selling “Finnish Lessons: What Can the World Learn About Educational Change in Finland?”and a former director general of Finland’s Center for International Mobility and Cooperation, Sahlberg is now a visiting professor of practice at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. He has written a number of important posts for this blog, including “What if Finland’s great teachers taught in U.S. schools,” and “What the U.S. can’t learn from Finland about ed reform.”Read full article >>
Strauss: Pay for veteran teachers ‘painfully low’ in states like Colorado, where truckers earn more — new report
A new report on teacher pay finds that base salaries in some states are so “painfully low” for mid- and late-career teachers that truckers and sheet-metal workers earn more.
The report by the nonprofit Center for American Progress, titled “Mid- and Late-Career Teachers Struggle With Paltry Incomes,” says that many veteran teachers must work a second job to earn enough money to meet their basic needs.Read full article >>
A Fairfax County teenager finished fifth in the world and was the top U.S. finisher in an international biology competition for high school students earlier this month in Bali, Indonesia.
William Long, a rising senior at the Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, bested 233 other competitors at the 25th annual International Biology Olympiad, which ran from July 5 to July 13.Read full article >>
This story has been updated.
D.C. government lawyers have filed court documents naming Dorothy I. Height Community Academy Public Charter School as a defendant in an ongoing civil case, citing the school’s failure to stop making allegedly improper payments to its management company.Read full article >>