Education News from Washington Post
Prince George’s County Schools Chief Executive Officer Kevin M. Maxwell proposed a $1.75 billion budget that increases full-day pre-kindergarten in a few high poverty communities, expands art, foreign language and secondary school reform programs and restores some parent liaison positions to improve interaction between school administrators and parents.Read full article >>
The U.S. Education Department announced Friday that the federal government will now recognize all legal same-sex marriages for the purposes of applying for and receiving federal financial aid.
Here’s the statement from the department:Read full article >>
A Washington state judge just ruled that part of the state’s new charter school law is constitutional and part of it isn’t. The most interesting part of the decision isn’t which is which, but why there is a distinction in the first place.Read full article >>
Pearson Charitable Foundation, the nonprofit arm of educational publishing giant Pearson Inc., has agreed to pay a $7.7 million settlement to New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman after he determined that the foundation had created Common Core products to generate “tens of millions of dollars” for its corporate sister.Read full article >>
Former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee has now put himself on the list of potential Republican candidates for president in 2016, which explains, perhaps, why he is backing off his once outspoken support of the Common Core State Standards initiative — even while insisting that his original backing made sense.Read full article >>
Education Secretary Arne Duncan on Friday defended a federal initiative to begin rating colleges on value and performance, one week after a former peer in President Obama’s Cabinet, who now heads a major university system, expressed skepticism.Read full article >>
Here’s an important post by Richard Rothstein about how the United States fails to face up to its racial history -- in and out of schools -- an issue underscored by the late Nelson Mandela’s insistence that reconciliation in South Africa be underpinned by truth-telling about the nation’s past. Rothstein is a research associate at the Economic Policy Institute, a non-profit organization that seeks to broaden the discussion about economic policy to include the interests of low- and middle-income workers. Rothstein is the author of several books on education issues and a former education columnist for The New York Times. This appeared on the EPI blog.Read full article >>
For some time now “grit” has become one of the new mantras of education reform and schools are somehow supposed to teach students how to have more. Here’s a piece on why this is nonsense, from Joe Bower, a teacher in Red Deer, Alberta, Canada, who seeks to explore progressive forms of education. This appeared on his blog,” for the love of learning.”Read full article >>
A contractor analyzing results of a federal program that pumped a record $5 billion into failing schools inadvertently excluded data from some of the schools, forcing the Department of Education to scrap the analysis.Read full article >>
Millions of students from kindergarten through 12th grade are learning computer code this week as part of “Hour of Code,” a nationwide campaign embraced by President Obama and featuring free tutorials by Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and Microsoft titan Bill Gates that are designed to get U.S. students interested in computer science.Read full article >>
The American University community in the nation’s capital was on lockdown for some time on Wednesday night after a man with a gun was spotted on campus. Here is a post about how one faculty member and her class handled the situation -- and the larger issue of whether and how teachers are prepared to deal with such situations. It was written by Sarah Irvine Belson, dean of American University’s School of Education, Teaching & Health, and executive director of the Institute for Innovation in Education.Read full article >>
Montgomery County’s school board named a new president Thursday, giving the leadership role to Phil Kauffman, previously vice president.
Kauffman, a resident of Olney, is a second-term board member who retired this year as deputy assistant general counsel with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. He was elected Thursday to a one-year term in a 7 to 1 vote.Read full article >>
Montgomery County’s schools chief proposed a $2.28 billion budget for next fiscal year, adding 340 positions and boosting spending in Maryland’s largest school district by $56.4 million.
Superintendent Joshua P. Starr released his recommendations Thursday at a Board of Education meeting. He said his planned 2.5 percent budget increase would address a major surge in student enrollment, help narrow the achievement gap and prepare students for “the new” at a time of changes in curriculum and modern workplace expectations.Read full article >>
D.C. Public Schools announced Thursday that it has purchased 85,000 new books for school libraries around the city, an investment that comes after years of pressure from parents and activists.
Schools also have received 4,000 new musical instruments, 2,000 desktop computers and more than 1,300 laptops and tablets, as well as art supplies and science lab equipment.Read full article >>
Are MOOCs already over?
It may seem like an odd question given that the Massive Open Online Courses have been touted as the future of higher education, and that it seems like just yesterday that the country’s major universities were rushing to create courses to grab their share of the expected global market.Read full article >>
There are a couple of footnotes to this week’s story about the purported sign language interpreter at the Nelson Mandela memorial in South Africa, who by all accounts was rendering speeches from VIPs into something that was not any recognized sign language.Read full article >>
Education reform policy around the country is increasingly being made in secret or without public input -- and with a lot of private philanthropic money.
A number of recent stories reveal the extent to which policy makers and school reformers are going to push their reform agenda to expand charter schools and vouchers in an effort to step up the privatization of public education. These stories include:Read full article >>
The College Board just tried to have a little fun with high schools but some college admissions counselors are less than amused.
The organization sent out to thousands of high schools around the country stickers with pictures of a cartoon-like cow and the words, “Gee Whiz” -- a reference to a critical reading question on the recent PSAT which noted that some kids have never seen a cow. After the October administration of the PSAT, formally known as the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test and co-sponsored by the College Board and National Merit Scholarship Corporation, students who took the exam took to Twitter to make fun of the cow question, with tweets like this one:Read full article >>
The District’s Anacostia High School saw an enormous fluctuation in its student population in the 2012-13 school year, losing more than one in five students after the first month of school while gaining nearly twice as many during the school year. The enrollment swings left the school with a net student increase of 16 percent.Read full article >>
New York State Education Commissioner John King was on a “listening tour” this fall to ostensibly talk with the public about the Common Core State Standards and school reform but it got cut short when people in the crowd challenged him. Some forums were cancelled, but he is back on the circuit -- and on Tuesday, he had a very friendly crowd, courtesy of StudentsFirstNY, the New York branch of Michelle Rhee’s StudentsFirst advocacy organization. Here’s a description of that forum. It was written by Steven Mazie, who blogs at Big Think and The Economist and teaches at Bard High School Early College in New York City. Follow him on Twitter.Read full article >>