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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: 7 hours 9 min ago

Strauss: Principal: Time to hold NY education leaders accountable for Core mess

Wed, 02/12/2014 - 8:00am

New York Principal Carol Burris has chronicled the flawed implementation of school reform and the Common Core State Standards across the state for some time (here, and here and here and here, for example), and, in the following post, she tells us more. Burris, who leads South Side High School, was named New York’s 2013 High School Principal of the Year by the School Administrators Association of New York and the National Association of Secondary School Principals, and in 2010, tapped as the 2010 New York State Outstanding Educator by the School Administrators Association of New York State. She is the co-author of the New York Principals letter of concern regarding the evaluation of teachers by student test scores. It has been signed by thousands of principals teachers, parents, professors, administrators and citizens. You can read the letter by clicking here.

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Strauss: The new push for school vouchers at state, federal levels

Wed, 02/12/2014 - 5:00am

Liberals, Jeff Bryant notes in this post, “tend to laugh off” voucher programs “as aberrations from fly-over country.” They shouldn’t. Bryant is director of the Education Opportunity Network, a partnership effort of the Institute for America’s Future and the Opportunity to Learn Campaign. Jeff owns a marketing and communications consultancy in Chapel Hill, N.C., and has written extensively about public education policy. A version of this first appeared on Salon.

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Categories: Education News

Howard U. makes Peace Corps top college list

Wed, 02/12/2014 - 1:01am

Howard University, a school that prides itself on a history of social engagement, on Tuesday landed on a national list of colleges that send the most volunteers to the Peace Corps.

The university in Northwest Washington ranked 16th among medium-size schools in the number of undergraduate alumni volunteers serving in the corps.

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Categories: Education News

School districts making up for lost snow days

Tue, 02/11/2014 - 9:28pm

As Washington braces for another predicted snowfall Wednesday night, area school systems are counting the days and hours they need to make up if their students spend yet another day home from school.

Some districts are considering shrinking spring break or extending the school year. Others are adding minutes to the school day. For thousands of students, previously scheduled teacher work days will turn into regular school days.

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Categories: Education News

New federal health care rules define workload of part-time college instructors

Tue, 02/11/2014 - 9:03pm

New rules for the Affordable Care Act spell out for the first time a federal method to define the workload of part-time college instructors, but the formula will not necessarily require schools to provide the instructors with health-care coverage.

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Categories: Education News

Maryland high school seniors top the nation on AP exams

Tue, 02/11/2014 - 2:35pm

For the eighth consecutive year, Maryland had the highest percentage of high school seniors in the country pass Advanced Placement tests in 2013.

Nearly 30 percent of Maryland’s seniors earned a college-ready score of 3 or better on the tests, according to a report released by the College Board on Tuesday. The tests — which range from the arts to world languages across more than 30 subjects — aim to give students a taste of work at the college level, and those who pass them can earn college credit while still in high school.

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Categories: Education News

Fairfax students win writing awards

Tue, 02/11/2014 - 1:14pm

More than 50 Fairfax County students from 16 high schools received honors in the 2014 Scholastic Writing awards regional competition.

The 57 students include 21 teens who qualified for the national awards sponsored by the Alliance for Young Artists and Writers to be held later this year.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: Kids don’t learn better in single-sex classes -- meta analysis

Tue, 02/11/2014 - 12:01pm

My Post colleague Ovetta Wiggins wrote in this new story about students in the Washington region and beyond learning in single-gender classrooms. The story raises the question: Do in fact students learn better in single-sex classes? In this post, cognitive scientist Daniel Willingham looks at a new analysis that provides one answer. Willingham is a professor and director of graduate studies in psychology at the University of Virginia and author of “Why Don’t Students Like School?” His latest book is “When Can You Trust The Experts? How to tell good science from bad in education.” This appeared on his Science and Education blog.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: Snow days don’t hurt student achievement, study says

Tue, 02/11/2014 - 5:00am

The messy winter weather in many parts of the country have forced schools to close over and over, forcing school districts around the country to alter their schedule for the year to find time to make up for lost instructional time. But is that really necessary? How much do kids lose when school is closed because of bad weather?

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: NY Gov. Cuomo blasts state’s top education officials over Common Core

Mon, 02/10/2014 - 10:52pm

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo blasted the state’s top education officials on Monday, saying that efforts they plan to take to correct the state’s botched implementation of the Common Core State Standards was “too little, too late.”

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Categories: Education News

Arne Duncan visits D.C. school to cheer contributions of City Year volunteers

Mon, 02/10/2014 - 8:37pm

Education Secretary Arne Duncan paid a visit Monday to Southeast Washington’s D.C. Scholars Stanton Elementary to recognize the role that young City Year volunteers have played in helping spur the school’s transformation in recent years.

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Categories: Education News

Silver Spring International Middle School to remain on 8-period schedule

Mon, 02/10/2014 - 7:03pm

Silver Spring International Middle School will remain on an eight-period schedule next academic year, Montgomery County public schools announced Monday.

The decision came after a months-long reconsideration of the middle school’s plan to move to a seven-period schedule while keeping the same length of school day. Parents had claimed the scheduling change would limit student opportunities to seek academic help or take an additional elective, potentially reversing hard-fought progress toward narrowing the achievement gap at the middle school.

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Categories: Education News

Students at Prince George’s school learn in single-gender classrooms

Mon, 02/10/2014 - 6:09pm

The boys huddled in two teams at the front of Charlene Skinner’s class as they mulled over the math problem that flashed on the whiteboard.

“That’s not right,” one boy said.

“It says find the slope,” another boy said, instructing his classmates.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: How ‘field testing’ turns kids into guinea pigs — without parental permission

Mon, 02/10/2014 - 4:00pm

Testing companies like to “test” future questions for standardized tests on kids, sometimes as part of a regular standardized exam and sometimes as a stand-alone field test. Here’s a post making the case that this practice essentially turns kids in guinea pigs for corporations. It was written by Jessie B. Ramey, a visiting scholar in women’s studies at the University of Pittsburgh, and first appeared on her Yinzercation blog. This speaks to what is going on in Pennsylvania, but this is a common practice in states across the country.

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Categories: Education News

Prince George’s school board members respond to survey questions

Mon, 02/10/2014 - 3:14pm

Ever wonder what your colleagues think of you or the work you are doing?

Members of the Prince George’s County Board of Education had a chance to find out during their recent two-day retreat.

Barbara Anderson, a senior consultant with the Panasonic Foundation, which conducted the retreat, rattled off the answers board members gave to questions asked during individual interviews with the consultants. No names were divulged.

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Categories: Education News

Georgetown University gets $10 million gift for social impact and innovation center

Mon, 02/10/2014 - 1:53pm

Georgetown University said Monday it has received a $10 million gift to launch a center to test ideas from students who want to solve “some of the world’s most pressing problems.”

The gift from philanthropists Alberto and Olga Maria Beeck will fund the Center for Social Impact and Innovation at the nation’s oldest Catholic university. The Beecks, according to an Associated Press report, are parents of two current Georgetown students. Olga Maria Beeck is also a Georgetown alumna. The center, which will bear their name, will be a unit of the provost’s office.

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Categories: Education News

Buses ready: Montgomery parents, students and leaders head to Capitol to push for funding

Mon, 02/10/2014 - 1:44pm

Parents, students and elected leaders from Montgomery County plan to join forces in Annapolis Thursday night to press for more state construction funding for Maryland’s fastest-growing school system.

Montgomery’s PTA leaders have rented five buses to help get hundreds of people to the evening events, which include a briefing, reception, rally and other activities intended as a show of advocacy for Montgomery. It coincides with a Maryland PTA Night in Annapolis.

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Categories: Education News

U-Va. known for generous financial aid, but low share of students in economic need

Mon, 02/10/2014 - 12:27pm

The University of Virginia is known for having one of the most generous financial aid programs in public higher education. But it also has a relatively low share of students from low-income families.

That is crucial context for the debate over changes to the aid program known as AccessUVa. On Sunday, The Post reported on a $4 million gift to U-Va. connected to that debate.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: ‘The greatest line I never said’ -- from college admissions counselors

Mon, 02/10/2014 - 5:00am

Many college admissions counselors across the country communicate with each other through a listserv. Most often they share professional thoughts and advice, but every now and then, they have a little fun.

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Categories: Education News

Don’t go overboard praising China’s schools

Sun, 02/09/2014 - 9:54pm

Explanations for American schools lagging behind the rest of the world are many. One of the most prevalent themes for politicians, business executives and pundits scolding our kids, parents and teachers is fear of Asia — particularly China, Korea, Japan and Singapore — because of their world-leading test scores.

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Categories: Education News
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