Education News from Washington Post

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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 53 min ago

Options to remain open next year

Tue, 04/29/2014 - 12:43pm

The D.C. Public Charter School Board voted unanimously Tuesday to allow Options Public Charter School, a school for at-risk youths that had faced closure for allegations of fiscal mismanagement, to remain open through the 2014-2015 school year.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: The scary way Common Core test ‘cut scores’ are selected

Tue, 04/29/2014 - 9:32am

You may have given no thought to the “cut scores” that are set for various tests, but they make all the difference in who passes and who fails. What exactly are cut scores?  The Educational Testing Service describes them this way:

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Categories: Education News

Computer-adaptive tests in Va. may be quicker

Tue, 04/29/2014 - 5:00am

One thing that Virginia students can look forward to when new on-line Standards of Learning tests are implemented in the coming years is shorter testing times.

The traditional seventh-grade math test took about 40 minutes longer to complete for the majority of test takers statewide last spring than a new version that was tried out by a small number of students this year, education officials reported.

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Categories: Education News

Philanthropists award $100,000 grants to encourage blended learning in D.C.

Tue, 04/29/2014 - 12:01am

A coalition of local and national philanthropists has awarded grants to six groups that hope to lift the achievement of the District’s low-income children with schools that emphasize individualized learning, including programs that will use a combination of online and face-to-face instruction.

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Categories: Education News

Henderson faces questions on at-risk funds, renovations

Mon, 04/28/2014 - 7:54pm

D.C. Schools Chancellor Kaya Henderson defended her proposed budget Monday during a four-hour D.C. Council hearing that repeatedly circled back to questions about how the school system plans to spend tens of millions of dollars meant to serve at-risk youth.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: Computer troubles mar standardized testing in multiple states

Mon, 04/28/2014 - 4:08pm

If you are wondering how the high-stakes standardized testing season is going around the country -- including field testing of new Common Core-aligned standardized exams -- here’s the answer: Not so great.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: Louis C.K.: Common Core makes my kids cry

Mon, 04/28/2014 - 1:24pm

(Update: More tweets)

Here’s a series of tweets that Louis C.K. wrote on standardized testing and the Common Core.

(If you don’t know who Louis C.K. is, I can’t help you. Google him.)

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Categories: Education News

High school graduation rates at historic high

Mon, 04/28/2014 - 11:47am

Calling it “a profound milestone,” Education Secretary Arne Duncan said Monday that the country has reached its highest graduation rate in history, with 80 percent of students receiving a diploma in 2012, the most recent year for which statistics are available.

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Categories: Education News

Mental health experts join Woodson High School faculty

Mon, 04/28/2014 - 10:34am

A team of mental health experts will join the faculty at Woodson High School to support students and identify struggling teens, the Fairfax County school system announced Friday.

In a letter to parents, assistant superintendent Douglas Tyson, the administrator who oversees Woodson, wrote that the “school response team” will work on student outreach and suicide prevention programs.

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Categories: Education News

Montgomery Schools: A snapshot of the achievement gap

Mon, 04/28/2014 - 9:57am

The achievement gap that separates black and Hispanic students from white and Asian students remains in sharp focus a day after students in Montgomery County marched in downtown Rockville to urge action on the long-standing problem.

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Categories: Education News

Hundreds of students march in Montgomery, calling attention to academic achievement gap

Sun, 04/27/2014 - 7:45pm

Hundreds of Montgomery County students marched more than a mile through Rockville on Sunday in a call to close the achievement gap that has left black and Hispanic students in the high-performing district trailing their white and Asian peers on measures of academic success.

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Categories: Education News

Fairfax student wins Gates scholarship

Sun, 04/27/2014 - 5:01pm

A Fairfax County senior is among a select group of students to receive a scholarship from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation that will fully cover college tuition.

Maryam Mustafa, a Falls Church High School senior, is one of 1,000 U.S. recipients of a Gates Millennium scholarship. The program, created in 1999 with a $1 billion grant from Gates, provides students with tuition through college graduation and beyond. Students can use the scholarship toward a master’s degree and even a doctorate in such fields as computer science, education, engineering, mathematics and public health.

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Categories: Education News

Va. test reform law includes no money for improved exams

Sun, 04/27/2014 - 4:35pm

Thousands of Virginia public school students are trying out a new kind of online Standards of Learning test this year that education officials say is proving to be a more efficient exam, offering more precise and valuable information about each student.

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Categories: Education News

Two moms of preschoolers push for Spanish immersion program in Prince George’s County

Sun, 04/27/2014 - 3:06pm

Delores Millhouse and Gina Bowler don’t have children in the Prince George’s County school system.

But they would like to.

That was the message they shared with members of the county Board of Education, the new schools chief, the county executive and anyone else who would take a few minutes to listen during the past several months as they lobbied the district to add a Spanish immersion program to its academic offerings.

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Categories: Education News

Does high school stress have to be a bad thing?

Sun, 04/27/2014 - 3:00pm

I am both impressed and annoyed by the work of Denise Clark Pope, a senior lecturer at the Stanford University School of Education who has become a leading national expert on the causes of stress for high school students.

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Categories: Education News

Catania seeks to harness connections with parents for mayoral bid

Sat, 04/26/2014 - 7:00pm

D.C. Council member David A. Catania (I-At Large) pledged to visit each of the city’s more than 200 traditional and charter schools when he took the helm of the council’s education committee in January 2013.

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Categories: Education News

Truancy, absenteeism a chronic problem in D.C. schools

Sat, 04/26/2014 - 6:51pm

When students at the District’s Simon Elementary show up for school on time, they reach for a numbered index card. It’s their ticket for that day’s attendance raffle.

The prizes are small — a ruler, a calculator, a bag of candy — but they are enough to trigger shrieks of celebration each morning in the cafeteria, and administrators hope they also are enough to help nudge more children through the front door of the schoolhouse. The reward program is one of the more visible parts of a much broader effort to tackle rampant truancy at Simon and other schools across the city.

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Categories: Education News

Students to march in Montgomery County, urging school action on achievement gap

Sat, 04/26/2014 - 4:41pm

Montgomery County students and their supporters plan to march in Rockville on Sunday to bring attention to the school system’s achievement gap, which has left black and Hispanic students lagging behind their white and Asian peers on multiple measures of academic success.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: Kindergarten show canceled so kids can keep studying to become ‘college and career ready.’ Really.

Sat, 04/26/2014 - 11:59am

An annual year-end kindergarten show has been canceled at a New York school because the kids have to keep working so they will be “college and career” ready. Really.

That’s what it says in a letter (see below) sent to parents by Ellen Best-Laimit, the interim principal of Harley Avenue Primary School in Elwood, N.Y., and four kindergarten teachers. The play was to be staged over two days, May 14 and 15, according to the school’s calendar.

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Categories: Education News

D.C. students explore Mars from Earth at science festival

Fri, 04/25/2014 - 9:15pm

Students from around the world explored the surface of Mars on Friday, examining the craggy outcrops of the Martian horizon and rocks smoothed by waters that once flowed on the Red Planet’s surface.

No, they weren’t actually on the surface of Mars, but it was the next-best thing. Students from the District, Houston, New Jersey, Buenos Aires and Managua, Nicaragua, joined in on a virtual field trip with NASA experts, looking at images beamed back from the rover Curiosity as part of an event that helped open this weekend’s USA Science and Engineering Festival at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center.

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Categories: Education News
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