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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: 6 hours 14 min ago

Strauss: Why we celebrate Thanksgiving every year. It isn’t what you think.

Wed, 11/26/2014 - 3:14pm

There is  an enormous amount of misinformation about the origins of the Thanksgiving holiday as we celebrate it today — including when, how and why it became a tradition in the United States. Here’s the real story, which I originally published last year.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: Fraternities at California school suspended after waving of dildos during march against sexual assault

Wed, 11/26/2014 - 3:02pm

Leaders of the Greek community at San Diego State University have suspended all activities at the school’s fraternities indefinitely following reports that some frat members waved dildos and cursed at students who were protesting sexual assaults. This comes days after the University of Virginia suspended all campus fraternities — but only until Jan. 9 — after a Rolling Stone magazine report about a girl being gang-raped at a fraternity house in 2012.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: 22-year-old wins approval to open N.Y. charter school — but he quits when credentials questioned (update)

Wed, 11/26/2014 - 3:00pm

(Update: 22-year-old resigns as founder of charter school; a university says he did not attend as the young man claimed.)

A 22-year-old who says he graduated from high school at age 16, earned a bachelor’s degree at 18,  and just earned a doctorate was given permission by the New York Board of Regents to open a charter high school in Rochester.

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Categories: Education News

How much do blended learning programs cost?

Wed, 11/26/2014 - 1:42pm

Many advocates of blended learning hope the move to computerized instruction will reduce costs in today’s classrooms.

The idea is that computers can take over much of the work of personalizing lessons, drilling students in basic skills and assessing them, thereby reducing teacher workloads, and potentially teachers.

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Categories: Education News

Education Department moves to regulate teacher preparation programs

Tue, 11/25/2014 - 8:49pm

The Obama administration unveiled a proposal Thursday to regulate how the country prepares teachers, saying that too many new K-12 educators are not ready for the classroom and that training programs must improve.

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Categories: Education News

U-Va.’s governing board votes for zero tolerance of sexual assault

Tue, 11/25/2014 - 4:31pm

The University of Virginia’s governing board unanimously approved a statement of “zero tolerance” of sexual assault Tuesday, less than a week after a magazine story detailed an alleged gang rape in 2012 at a university fraternity.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: A damning account of one state’s Common Core testing initiative

Tue, 11/25/2014 - 3:11pm

In September, the school board of Evanston Township in Illinois held a meeting at which there was a disturbing discussion about the PARCC exam, the new Common Core test that will be administered to students for the first time this year there and in about a dozen states as well as the District of Columbia.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: A dozen questions for school reformers who say one thing and do another

Tue, 11/25/2014 - 10:00am

 A few days ago I published a powerful post by award-winning Principal Carol Burris which revealed that the New York State Department of Education used seriously flawed data in its official reports about college enrollment. This, she wrote, raises questions about how accurate some of the claims about college readiness of U.S. high school graduates really are.  If you haven’t read her piece, you can find it here. The post sparked the following reaction from Anthony Cody, Cody taught in high-poverty schools in Oakland, Calif., for 24 years, 18 of them as a middle school science teacher. He is the treasurer and a founding member of the nonprofit Network for Public Education. For years Cody blogged at Education Week but now maintains an independent Website called Living in Dialogue. He is the author of “The Educator and the Oligarch: A Teacher Challenges Bill Gates,” in which he explores the foundation’s influence on education issues and whether that has been good or bad for the public school system. Cody gave me permission to publish this piece, which appeared on his blog.

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Categories: Education News

U-Va. student leaders hoping to foster culture change regarding sexual assault

Mon, 11/24/2014 - 6:54pm

CHARLOTTESVILLE — Student leaders at the University of Virginia said they are seeking to foster cultural and institutional changes to combat sexual assault at the state’s flagship campus after allegations of a gang rape at a fraternity surfaced last week.

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Categories: Education News

Towson University brings in goats to tackle ivy problem

Mon, 11/24/2014 - 6:48pm

Towson University has recruited a herd of new groundskeepers to put the bite on a pesky weed problem on the suburban campus.

Hauled in from a Harford County farm, 18 goats began munching Sunday on a patch of English ivy covering the forest floor in the school’s Glen Arboretum. They didn’t stop there, though, grazing on almost everything in reach, including fallen leaves, dead vines and even tree bark.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: Cheating confirmed on SAT given in Asia

Mon, 11/24/2014 - 5:23pm

The Educational Testing Service has determined that some students in Asia cheated on the SAT given in October, and it is opening a new probe into whether some cheated on the November college admissions exam. Meanwhile, concerns continue to rise about plans being made for cheating on the SAT being given in Asia next month.

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Categories: Education News

Oklahoma wins back its No Child Left Behind waiver

Mon, 11/24/2014 - 3:39pm

The Obama administration decided Monday to restore a waiver from the federal No Child Left Behind law to Oklahoma, three months after it had pulled the waiver because Oklahoma had dumped the Common Core State Standards and reverted to its old K-12 reading and math standards.

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Categories: Education News

Public charters respond to column about school diversity

Mon, 11/24/2014 - 2:18pm

As I wrote in my most recent column, I am gathering information from D.C. school admission officials and the city’s public charter school leaders best able to respond to Erich Martel’s concerns about the number of white students in some schools.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: Bill Cosby’s doctoral thesis was about using ‘Fat Albert’ as a teaching tool

Mon, 11/24/2014 - 1:42pm

Bill Cosby is sometimes referred to as Dr. Cosby because he has a doctorate in education from the University of Massachusetts of Amherst. He earned the degree in the mid 1970s — with a thesis titled “An Integration of the Visual Media Via Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids (1972) into the Elementary School Curriculum as a Teaching Aid and Vehicle to Achieve Increased Learning” — but how he got the degree has been controversial ever since.

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Categories: Education News

Arlington students recognized for school video

Mon, 11/24/2014 - 12:58pm

A group of students from an Arlington Career Center video class won first prize in a Virginia School Board Association contest for a short video they produced about the district.

The students were asked to create a video with the theme “Virginia, we are one!” They were recognized at the VSBA’s conference last week in Williamsburg. Their entry beat out approximately 60 other videos produced by students across the state.

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Categories: Education News

Pr. George’s school board approves its legislative agenda

Mon, 11/24/2014 - 11:13am

Charter schools, school construction and school safety are among more than a dozen topics that are a part of the legislative agenda for the Prince George’s County Board of Education that was recently approved.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: High schools drop midterms, finals — to prep for Common Core standardized tests

Mon, 11/24/2014 - 9:57am

Here’s a new twist on test prep: Get rid of midterms and finals (tests presumably made by teachers). Say that you are doing it to find more “instructional time.” Then use that “instructional time” to “instruct” students in how to take a new Common Core standardized test.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: Tiny hamsters eating Thanksgiving dinner — a video you won’t believe someone really made

Mon, 11/24/2014 - 8:30am

There’s not much else to say about this  except to watch this video. You will either find it amusing or repulsive, or, possibly, both. Your kids or students will find it hilarious.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: How principals can avoid ‘administrator-itis’

Mon, 11/24/2014 - 4:00am

How many times have you heard that an amazing teacher has been promoted to be an administrator and wondered if that was the best use of that educator’s time? Here’s a way around this, from Lauren Hill, a National Board Certified Teacher, who teaches English at Western Hills High School in Frankfort, Kentucky, and serves as teacherpreneur for the Kentucky Network to Transform Teaching to help create teacher leadership opportunities for Kentucky teachers and to support teachers as they pursue National Board Certification. She is also a Virtual Community Organizer, trainer, and blogger for theCenter for Teaching Quality.

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Categories: Education News

‘Blended-learning’ programs grow in D.C., with students relying more on computers

Sun, 11/23/2014 - 9:40pm

When Ketcham Elementary School was selected to roll out a schoolwide computer-based learning initiative, Principal Maisha Riddlesprigger was skeptical about “putting kids in front of computers.”

Less than two years later, the effort has brought her school a kind of celebrity status. Superintendents and state lawmakers from across the country have begun stopping by this well-wired school in a poor pocket of Southeast Washington — where nearly a third of the students are homeless — to see how they are learning.

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Categories: Education News
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