Education News from Washington Post
The Fairfax County School Board has approved a $2.5 billion budget for 2015 that eliminates 720 employee positions, increases class sizes and provides raises for most teachers and staff.
The board voted 9 to 3 Friday morning to pass the budget, which is $39.9 million larger than last year’s approved budget, an increase of 1.6 percent.Read full article >>
An angry e-mail written by a teacher to North Carolina legislators with a subject line that said, “I am embarrassed to confess: I am a teacher,” might have been seen only by recipients if it were not for state Sen. David Curtis. The Republican legislator fired back an inflammatory e-mail, giving her advice on what to tell her “potential new private sector employer” and complaining about the teachers union, even though there isn’t a teachers union in North Carolina. A “firestorm” of protest ensued after the e-mail exchange was made public (see below).Read full article >>
A 17-year-old Egyptian science prodigy attending the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair in Los Angeles this month decided to use the opportunity to defect and seek asylum in the United States out of fear that he would be arrested by authorities back home.Read full article >>
Alexandria’s technology director has recommended that the school board approve purchasing tablets for every student at the city’s high school.
Chief Technology Officer Elizabeth Hoover told the board Thursday night that tablets are less expensive and easier for teachers to manage than the laptops that students would otherwise be given.Read full article >>
With a piercing gaze into the camera, the Virginia Military Institute graduate urges viewers to comb through a federal report on a sex discrimination probe at the college in Lexington until they find a sex assault case called “Complaint 2.”Read full article >>
A ”trigger warning” is a short statement on a written piece of work or even a television show ( think Law and Order: Special Victims Unit) noting that the material may be sexually graphic, violent or in some other way upsetting. This month The New York Times ran a story by Jennifer Medina about the warnings that has sparked a stream of articles in magazines, newspapers and blogs about the subject, many of them ridiculing the idea.Read full article >>
Prince George’s County schools chief Kevin M. Maxwell is the first to admit that when he pledged to visit all 205 schools in Maryland’s second-largest school district during his first year on the job, he wasn’t so sure it was a realistic goal.Read full article >>
Several small schools in western Loudoun County have been added to an annual list of the state’s most endangered historic sites by a preservation advocacy group.
The schools were included among about 800 historic schools statewide that Richmond-based Preservation Virginia is hoping to protect as districts increasingly replace smaller school buildings with larger, centrally located facilities.Read full article >>
Strauss: Texas superintendent tells parents: Your children’s standardized test scores don’t mean much
Paul Jones, superintendent of the Paris Independent School District in Texas, posted a rather unusual letter to parents on the district’s website.
Jones informed parents that they would soon receive their children’s scores on state-mandated standardized tests and that they shouldn’t put very much stock into them. In fact, he told them they were part of a “punitive” system in which assessments “do not reflect the quality of teaching or learning.”Read full article >>
It isn’t easy for a girl to get an education in Nigeria.
The world’s attention has been focused for over a month on the kidnappings of a schoolful of girls in Nigeria by an Islamic extremist group called Boko Haram that doesn’t believe in Western education and or in education for girls. The fate of the girls is still unknown, and the United States is helping in the effort to find them. At least 173 teachers have been killed in recent years during the Boko Haram insurgency in several northeastern Nigerian states, prompting a protest by educators and others in Lagos on Thursday.Read full article >>
At least eight veteran D.C. Public Schools principals have announced that they are leaving their jobs, reviving what has become an annual debate about turnover among the system’s school leaders.
The departing principals include two key figures in arts education: Patrick Pope, who used a heavy emphasis on dance, music, theater and visual arts to spur a turnaround at high-poverty Savoy Elementary in Anacostia; and Rory Pullens, the highly regarded principal of Duke Ellington School of the Arts since 2006.Read full article >>
Federally funded school lunches have been in the news because Republicans in the U.S. House just voted to allow some schools to get a waiver from a law that requires lunches served to students to meet new health standards. Why? Apparently some schools can’t make enough money serving healthy foods because kids don’t want to eat them and are throwing away healthy foods.What a surprise.Read full article >>
The Fairfax County School Board on Thursday will vote to approve the 2015 budget, bringing to a close a months-long process to address a projected multimillion-dollar shortfall.
Early this school year, new Superintendent Karen Garza made efforts to highlight what she described as a budget “crisis” facing the school system. In light of the dire fiscal outlook, Garza proposed a series of cuts including eliminating 720 staff positions and having bigger class sizes.Read full article >>
More than 75 percent of teachers in Fairfax County high schools find their school’s leadership to be effective and more than 85 percent find their school to be a good place to work and learn, according to a recent 2014 working conditions survey.Read full article >>
Cameron Hamilton, the mayor of Porterville, California, has stirred up a ruckus by saying at a City Council meeting that the word “bullying” has become a “mantra” for “the ills of the world” and that “all most people just have to grow a pair.”Read full article >>
After publicly accepting an invitation to go to the James Madison High School prom with a 17-year-old student who asked him to the dance via Twitter, a popular Fairfax County School Board member has scaled back his plans for the event.Read full article >>
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?Read full article >>
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.Read full article >>
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.Read full article >>
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.Read full article >>