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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: 8 hours 7 min ago

Report finds wide disparities in local per-pupil spending; D.C. charters spend most

Wed, 10/15/2014 - 12:01am

Charter schools in the District spent $18,150 per student during the 2011-2012 school year, while Prince George’s County Public Schools spent $10,408 on each child it served, a significant difference between the highest and lowest spenders in the Washington region, according to a study released Wednesday by the Thomas B. Fordham Institute.

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Categories: Education News

School bus cameras spot hundreds of drivers illegally passing stopped buses

Tue, 10/14/2014 - 6:21pm

Drivers in Montgomery County have received 825 citations this year for illegally passing school buses that were stopped to drop off and pick up children, according to data from buses equipped with enforcement cameras.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: How a national moratorium on standardized testing could work

Tue, 10/14/2014 - 5:00am

In early 2012, Robert Scott, then the commissioner of education in Texas, rocked the world of education reform when he declared that school accountability systems based on high-stakes standardized tests  had led to a “perversion” of what a quality education should be and he called “the assessment and accountability regime” not only “a cottage industry but a military-industrial complex.”  Different kinds of protests by parents and educators, school boards and students began in Texas, California, New York and other states, and the year ended with a public call by  Joshua Starr, superintendent of Montgomery County Public Schools in Maryland, for a three-year moratorium on standardized testing. Since then the “test reform movement” has grown around the country, with tens of thousands of parents opting their children out of mandated standardized tests, teachers are starting to raise their voices and refusing to administer them, students are leading protests for sanity in school accountability.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: The trouble with parenting the college applicant

Tue, 10/14/2014 - 4:00am

With the 2014-15 school year  in full swing, many high school seniors are finding that they have two jobs: keeping up with classes and filling out college applications. This post is the second in a continuing series about one senior as she navigates the college search and application process. She is Samantha Fogel, a student at The Derryfield School, a private college preparatory day school for grades six through twelve in Manchester, New Hampshire. Samantha and her college counselor, Brennan Barnard, will document her experience applying to college in occasional posts that will include the voices of her parents, teachers, friends and others. Her story may help debunk some myths surrounding selective college admission while providing a window into a time of transition for one young woman growing up in rural New Hampshire.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: Ailing Karen Lewis won’t run against Chicago mayor

Tue, 10/14/2014 - 3:14am

Karen Lewis, the fiery Chicago Teachers Union president who was expected to challenge Mayor Rahm Emanuel in the February 2015 election and who had been leading him in the polls, will not wage a campaign against him. A statement released by her exploratory committee Monday said that Lewis, who was hospitalized last week with an illness described only as “serious,” will not run and confirmed what many had already suspected.

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Categories: Education News

‘Men Make a Difference’ in Prince George’s County schools

Mon, 10/13/2014 - 3:14pm

Malik Shakur said he was so inspired by the participation at the Prince George’s County School System’s annual “Men Make a Difference Day” on Monday that he is seriously considering joining the PTSA at his son’s school, John Hanson Montessori School in Oxon Hill.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: James McPherson defends new AP U.S. History framework

Mon, 10/13/2014 - 1:39pm

With the new framework for the Advanced Placement U.S. History course under attack by critics who have claimed that it isn’t patriotic enough and even, perhaps, un-American, I decided to ask historian James McPherson for a considered opinion.

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Categories: Education News

Three schools open in Loudoun County

Mon, 10/13/2014 - 1:09pm

Three schools have opened this year in Loudoun County to accommodate the explosive growth of the student population, which has more than doubled since 2000.

Students, teachers and public officials dedicated two schools late last week: Cardinal Ridge Elementary School in Centreville on Thursday and Rock Ridge High School in Ashburn on Friday. A third, Trailside Middle School in Ashburn, had its dedication at the end of September.

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Categories: Education News

Report: D.C. homeless students need more support

Mon, 10/13/2014 - 1:05pm

As the number of homeless children in the District is increasing, public schools need to redouble efforts to help them, according to a new report by the D.C. Fiscal Policy Institute.

More than 4,000 children in D.C. public schools qualified as homeless in the past school year, a 37 percent increase from the 2011-2012 school year, the report found. That includes nearly a quarter of students in some schools. And one in eight schools had a homeless rate of more than 10 percent. The figures include families living with friends or relatives, as well as those living in shelters or motels.

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Categories: Education News

Hannah Graham’s parents plead for information about missing U-Va. student

Mon, 10/13/2014 - 12:59pm

The parents of Hannah Graham, an 18-year-old University of Virginia sophomore, released a statement Monday pleading for information about her whereabouts, 30 days after she disappeared in downtown Charlottesville.

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Categories: Education News

Prince George’s school system schedules 2016 budget forum

Mon, 10/13/2014 - 11:52am

The Prince George’s County Public School System will hold a forum Tuesday night to get input from the community about priorities for the 2016 budget.

The meeting will be held from 7 to 8 p.m. at the school district’s administration building.

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Categories: Education News

Focus on ninth-grade promotion rate helps Maryland district see dramatic gains

Sun, 10/12/2014 - 5:47pm

Tiny slips of paper are stuck to a board in a small conference room next to Principal Gorman Brown’s office at Charles H. Flowers High School, each bearing the name of a ninth-grader.

If a student’s name appears on a green slip, the student has a high probability of passing the ninth grade. A yellow piece of paper means a student is likely to make it to the 10th grade on time. If a student’s name is on red, the child is at risk of failing.

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Categories: Education News

Mathews: AP U.S. history change is not unpatriotic; it makes the exam less stressful for students

Sun, 10/12/2014 - 3:55pm

During the 11 years Trevor Packer has run the College Board’s Advanced Placement program, teachers of AP U.S. history have bemoaned the wide-open nature of the AP final exam’s multiple-choice section. Questions could range across anything related to American history. It was hard to resist stuffing students with every stray fact for fear it would be on the test.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: ‘No, this is absolutely not good for kids’

Sun, 10/12/2014 - 9:55am

Amelia Larson has worked for a few years as an assistant superintendent for student achievement in the Pasco County School District in Florida. Now she is resigning, and going out with something of a blast. Larson wrote a formal resignation letter — apparently requested by Superintendent Kurt Browning — and in it she savages Florida’s “accountability system” for schools that relies on high-stakes standardized testing. (See text below.)

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: How to spot a fake ‘grassroots’ education reform group

Sun, 10/12/2014 - 9:30am

It can be bewildering to keep track of all the “grassroots” education reform groups that have popped up in recent years. Where, have you ever wondered, do they all come from? Daniel Katz, an assistant professor of educational studies at Seton Hall University, explains in the following post who is actually funding many of them — and how “grassroots” they actually aren’t.  This appeared on his blog.

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Categories: Education News

The legacy of a school transformed: Name changed to honor educator Jody Leleck

Sat, 10/11/2014 - 6:44pm

It’s been a decade since JoAnn “Jody” Leleck helped transform Montgomery County’s lowest-performing school into one of its high achievers — a decade since she was clocking so many hours at Broad Acres Elementary that her staff fondly dubbed her “Ms. 7-11.”

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: Pearson apologizes to mom for wrong answer

Sat, 10/11/2014 - 10:30am

Earlier this week I published a post titled “Pearson’s wrong answer — and why it matters in the high-stakes testing era” by Sarah Blaine, a mother, former teacher and full-time practicing attorney in New Jersey who writes at her own parentingthecore blog. The post (which has been very popular) detailed what happened when her fourth-grade child came home with some school work and she discovered an error by Pearson, the giant education company, which, she noted, matters a great deal in this high-stakes testing era. It turns out that a Pearson official, Brandon Pinette, senior public affairs manager, posted a comment on Friday to the post on The Answer Sheet apologizing for the mistake.

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Categories: Education News

<p>A third generation Virginia educator

Fri, 10/10/2014 - 11:02pm

A third generation Virginia educator whose lessons on farming explore the mysteries of plant life and the finer points of livestock care was named the state’s teacher of the year for 2015.

Jaclyn Marie Roller Ryan, a agriscience teacher at Signal Knob Middle School near Strasburg, was among eight finalists in the state for the honor. The surprise announcement was made Friday at a hotel in Richmond by Virginia Superintendent of Public Instruction Steven R. Staples and state board of education president Christian N. Braunlich.

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Categories: Education News

Maryland chooses Howard County educator as Teacher of the Year

Fri, 10/10/2014 - 10:10pm

A high school teacher from Howard County who helped boost minority enrollment in Advanced Placement courses and improve minority success rates on exams was named Friday as Maryland’s 2014-15 Teacher of the Year.

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Categories: Education News

Duke Ellington School of the Arts mourns death of principal John Payne

Fri, 10/10/2014 - 6:41pm

Students and staff at the Duke Ellington School of the Arts are mourning the loss of their principal, who died suddenly Thursday night.

John Payne collapsed at the school and was taken to the hospital. He died of an apparent heart attack.

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Categories: Education News
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