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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.
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Glenn Beck takes to the theaters to attack Common Core

Wed, 07/23/2014 - 11:56am

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.

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Categories: Education News

Report: D.C. youth more likely to attend preschool, have health insurance

Wed, 07/23/2014 - 9:30am

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.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: Studying Jon Snow: U-Va. offering ‘Game of Thrones’ summer course

Wed, 07/23/2014 - 9:26am

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.

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Categories: Education News

McAuliffe will not appeal Virginia ruling that struck down school-takeover board

Tue, 07/22/2014 - 6:25pm

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.

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Categories: Education News

Louisiana parents, teachers, charters sue to get the Common Core back on track

Tue, 07/22/2014 - 5:19pm

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.

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Categories: Education News

Two Prince George’s County students take home awards at NAACP convention

Tue, 07/22/2014 - 3:52pm

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.

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Categories: Education News

Montgomery County panel proposes cutting schools-issued credit cards for board

Tue, 07/22/2014 - 3:39pm

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.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: ‘Say this, not that’: A slick PR guide to selling charter schools by key charter group

Tue, 07/22/2014 - 2:12pm

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).

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: New state rankings on how America’s children are faring

Tue, 07/22/2014 - 1:12pm

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.

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Categories: Education News

Wayne A.I. Frederick named 17th president of Howard University

Tue, 07/22/2014 - 12:01pm

Howard University’s Board of Trustees has named interim leader Wayne A.I. Frederick, a cancer surgeon who holds three Howard degrees, as the school’s 17th president.

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.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: Educator: The many reasons ‘I am ashamed to be part of the system’

Tue, 07/22/2014 - 4:03am

Back in May I published a post by a veteran elementary school teacher named Ralph Ratto with this headline: ‘Today was the first day I was ever ashamed to be a teacher.’ What prompted him to write it was his experience administering controversial new Common Core-aligned standardized tests to his students in New York. I just received an e-mail that takes off from where Ratto’s piece ends, written by  from someone who has worked in two public school systems in Maryland and in private schools for some 25 years as a teacher, counselor, administrator at the school and district levels and in other positions. This person, who is still working, wishes to remain anonymous out of fear of reprisal.

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Categories: Education News

Hundreds of 2nd-graders in Prince George’s County attend new summer school program

Mon, 07/21/2014 - 9:37pm

Traniessa Wright slowly pronounces the word “road” and anxiously waits for a student in Room 2 of Pointer Ridge Elementary School to say whether the vowel sound is long or short.

With only one eager student raising his hand, Wright figures that the others might be a little sleepy. After all, it is the middle of summer break. She instructs them all to stand up and, on the spot, creates a game to keep them engaged.

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Categories: Education News

Judge throws out lawsuit challenging D.C. school closures; plaintiffs plan appeal

Mon, 07/21/2014 - 6:53pm

A federal judge has dismissed the few remaining claims in a lawsuit that sought to stop the closure of 15 D.C public schools, rejecting plaintiffs’ arguments that the closures violated the civil rights of city children.

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Categories: Education News

Community colleges expanding disclosure on graduation rates and other outcomes

Mon, 07/21/2014 - 5:34pm

Dozens of community college leaders, dissatisfied with how the federal government measures graduation rates at their schools, have signed up for an alternative reporting system that provides more information about student outcomes.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: What Consumer Reports said about a kids’ tablet that it didn’t mean

Mon, 07/21/2014 - 3:15pm

The August edition of the valuable Consumer Reports magazine includes a piece titled “Back-to-school bests: Our top picks for tablets and laptops — for all ages.”

The piece starts by noting that students today “need a lot more than pencils and notebooks” and then provides short write-ups of five different tablets:

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: Why college remediation needs to be overhauled

Mon, 07/21/2014 - 9:33am

Award-winning Principal Carol Burris of South Side High School in New York has written here and here about how college remediation rates are often hyped. In in the following post she expands her examination by looking at the purpose and efficacy of the remedial model. Burris has been exposing the problems with New York’s disastrous school reform effort for a long time on this blog. (You can read some of her work here, herehere,  here, and here.) She previously wrote about remediation rates here. She 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.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: This is educational ‘innovation’?

Mon, 07/21/2014 - 4:01am

The Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development, which brings the world the international testing program of 15-year old students known as PISA, just issued a new report called “Measuring Innovation in Education: A New Perspective, Educational Research and Innovation.”

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Categories: Education News

A plethora of P’s on report cards confound parents in Montgomery County

Sun, 07/20/2014 - 6:38pm

He was wide-eyed at first. Ten-year-old Max Krauze opened his report card on a recent summer day in his North Chevy Chase living room to find an array of grades that reflected his fifth-grade work in Montgomery County’s public schools.

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Categories: Education News

Shining Stars Montessori scrambling to find new home after charter’s building deal fails

Sat, 07/19/2014 - 4:57pm

When his daughters’ school announced plans to move to a new building a few blocks from his Petworth home, Wayan Vota thought he had achieved an elusive dream in his search for a charter school: a great one in a convenient location.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: Mom: My kindergartner was ‘work-sheeted to death’

Sat, 07/19/2014 - 10:17am

This year I have posted a number of pieces  (here, here, here and here, for example) about the travesty that is now kindergarten in many public schools. Today, under this school reform in which standardized-test scores are the chief metric for “accountability” of students, schools, teachers, etc., kindergarten has in many classrooms become an academic workshop rather than a place where kids learn through structured play, which is how experts say young children learn best. Young children are often asked to sit for hours at a time, sometimes with little or no recess, to make sure enough reading, writing and math are covered. In this post, I detailed some kindergarten classroom schedules, and this post about “sweat shop kindergarten” drew reaction from readers reporting their children’s experiences.

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Categories: Education News
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