Education News from Washington Post
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 >>
Ellie Herman has had a very interesting career. For two decades she 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 the following post appeared.Read full article >>
Many parents and educators in New York are awaiting the release of results of controversial Common Core-aligned standardized tests that were given to students this past spring. Here is a letter that a principal and some of his teachers wrote to their state legislator expressing concerns about the exams. These concerns are shared by other N.Y. educators who have raised questions about what they say are badly constructed questions and arbitrarily determined cut scores for what constitutes student proficiency on the tests.Read full article >>
The Fairfax County School Board is scheduled to vote Thursday on using $7.6 million to cover the estimated cost of extending Mondays from half a day of classes to a full day for elementary students in the coming school year.Read full article >>
A group of D.C. students got a close look at the construction of the National Museum of African American History and Culture this week, with the senior project manager giving an overview of the design and building phases of the three-tiered copper building and the artifacts it will house.Read full article >>
Eighteen years ago, Colby R. White was an accounting clerk for Maryland’s second-largest school system.
Today, he is the Prince George’s County school district’s chief financial officer, responsible for a staff of 175 employees and for helping craft the school system’s $1.8 billion budget. His office includes payroll, purchasing and worker’s compensation.Read full article >>
This story has been updated.
A D.C. slam poetry team won first prize at an international festival last weekend.
The 2014 Brave New Voices Festival, the largest youth slam poetry festival, attracted 50 teams from around the country and five international cities, and ended Saturday night with the “Grand Slam Finals.”Read full article >>
This story has been updated.
Conservative media commentator Glenn Beck led a national strategy session to kill the Common Core State Standards on Tuesday night, using a two-hour simulcast into movie theaters across the country as a way to embolden critics of the standards and recruit foot soldiers to the cause.Read full article >>
Children in the District are attending preschool at higher rates, performing better academically and are more likely to have health insurance, according to an annual report of child well-being indicators released this week.Read full article >>
If “The Simpsons” can be the subject of a college course (“Simpsons and Philosophy” at the University of California Berkeley), as well as “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” (at Portland State University), it was only a matter of time before “Game of Thrones” would make it onto some course catalog. And now it has.Read full article >>
Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe said Tuesday that he will not appeal a circuit court’s ruling that struck down a newly created state board specializing in school takeovers as being unconstitutional.
His decision effectively neutralizes state lawmakers’ efforts to hand control of the state’s worst-performing public schools to universities or private charter groups.Read full article >>
A group of parents, teachers and a foundation that runs charter schools filed a lawsuit Tuesday alleging that Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) lacks the authority to withdraw his state from the Common Core national academic standards.Read full article >>
As Alfred A. Dudley III, who recently graduated from Suitland High School, sat in the ballroom of the Mandalay Bay Resort in Las Vegas last weekend, he said he couldn’t help but be grateful to the African American heroes he depicted in his drawing and to his high school art teachers who helped him hone his craft.Read full article >>
Montgomery County Board of Education members should discontinue their use of school system credit cards for travel and other expenses, a board committee recommended Tuesday.
The panel proposed replacing the cards with a per-diem allowance for members attending professional conferences and establishing a list of preapproved public events members may attend at taxpayer expense. The group also recommended that board members receive supplies to maintain home offices but that the school system no longer reimburse home office Internet service.Read full article >>
It appears as if the charter school sector believes that it needs to better hone its public messaging. At its recent annual convention, the National Alliance for Public Charter School handed out an 18-page “Charter School Messaging Notebook” that actually has sections that include, “Say This, Not That,” and “Who Are ‘Our People?’ ” (See below for the entire notebook).Read full article >>
A new report on how America’s children are faring, just released by the nonprofit Annie E. Casey Foundation, found that Massachusetts is doing the best job and Mississippi the worst in four areas: economic well-being, education, health and family/community indicators.Read full article >>
His appointment comes at a tumultuous time for the historically black university, which in the past year has faced allegations of fiscal mismanagement, two credit downgrades amid concerns about the financial health of a university-owned hospital, and a drop in a major national ranking of higher-education institutions.Read full article >>