Education News from Washington Post

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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: 11 hours 23 min ago

How much time do D.C. Public Schools spend testing?

Thu, 02/06/2014 - 2:43pm

D.C. Public Schools do not spend as much time on testing as some other urban school districts, according to a new report from the national nonprofit Teach Plus.

Teach Plus examined school system assessment calendars in 12 large cities and found that kids spend an average of 1.7 percent of their time testing each year. But there is huge variation, with kids in high-testing districts spending five times as many hours on testing as kids in low-testing districts.

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Categories: Education News

Fairfax schools’ strategic plan diagram evokes another complex PowerPoint slide

Thu, 02/06/2014 - 2:39pm

Slide presentations largely aim to provide audiences with visual aids to help in understanding complex ideas. But sometimes, the images can just add to the complexity.

At a meeting scheduled for Monday, the Fairfax County School Board plans to discuss Superintendent Karen Garza’s top initiative for this year: A new strategic plan for the school system. Garza has said that a concrete strategy will help her administration work more efficiently and make decisions with a specific goal in mind.

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Categories: Education News

Paul VI’s planned move to Loudoun generates online opposition from those in Fairfax

Thu, 02/06/2014 - 12:35pm

A petition is circulating online calling for Fairfax’s Paul VI Catholic High School to refrain from a planned move to a new Loudoun County campus by 2020.

In December the Catholic Diocese of Arlington announced the plan to move Paul VI west to a property in South Riding. Established in 1983, Paul VI, with more than 1,000 students, has been situated on an 18-acre campus in Fairfax City that the diocese said it wants to sell. The site, occupying a stretch along Fairfax Boulevard near Route 123, is considered prime real estate.

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Categories: Education News

Montgomery teacher survey: more views from the classroom on exam failure

Thu, 02/06/2014 - 10:07am

Nearly half of Montgomery County teachers who were surveyed on the causes of widespread exam failure in the high-performing school system cited student studying as a problem, according to a 38-page summary of the results.

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Prince George’s Gray Elementary wins national distinction

Thu, 02/06/2014 - 10:04am

Robert R. Gray Elementary School in Prince George’s County, which has had success in narrowing the achievement gap between student groups, was named a National Title I Distinguished School for the 2013-2014 school year.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: A very scary headline about kindergarteners

Thu, 02/06/2014 - 9:00am

Rob Saxton is Oregon’s deputy superintendent of public instruction. Jada Rupley is the early learning system director within the state Department of Education. Together they wrote an op-ed in The Oregonian that was published online with this headline:

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: The misguided effort to teach ‘character’

Thu, 02/06/2014 - 5:00am

In 2009, Mike Rose, a research professor at the UCLA Graduate School of Education and Information Studies and an author, published “Why School? Reclaiming Education for All of Us,” a well-received book that asked big questions about what it means to be educated and the nature of learning. A significantly revised and expanded edition of the book, in which Rose draws on 40 years of research and teaching experience to present a humanistic view of education, was just published. Following is an excerpt, a version of which appeared in Kappan magazine.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: Virginia Senate votes to cut number of SOLs, delay A-F school grading

Wed, 02/05/2014 - 11:00pm

The Virginia legislature is on its way to delaying some school reforms pushed by the former governor, Bob McDonnell, and reducing the number of Standards of Learning tests students are required to take.

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Categories: Education News

Langley High School students in Fairfax County mourn two student deaths

Wed, 02/05/2014 - 8:31pm

Two students with connections to Langley High School died a day apart this week, shocking the Fairfax County school community and sending many of their peers into mourning.

Police released few details about the deaths, on Monday and Tuesday, saying only that both students were 17-year-old males and that one was found in a wooded area of a McLean public park and the other in a home in Great Falls. Police said that they do not suspect foul play and that drugs were not the cause of death in either case.

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Categories: Education News

Child-care delay in Montgomery tough on working parents

Wed, 02/05/2014 - 7:48pm

Wednesday was a doubly tough morning for many parents in Montgomery County: Not only was school unexpectedly closed because of the icy weather, but some school-based child-care operations did not open their doors as usual.

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Categories: Education News

Many teachers blame students’ study habits for Montgomery County math exam failures

Wed, 02/05/2014 - 6:09pm

Many Montgomery County teachers blame student study habits for the high failure rates on math exams, according to a survey that also revealed educators’ concerns about grading policies that make it possible to fail a final exam but still pass a course.

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Categories: Education News

DCPS seeks early input to improve budget process

Wed, 02/05/2014 - 6:01pm

D.C. Schools Chancellor Kaya Henderson and her top deputies are holding a series of earlier-than-usual budget meetings with principals, teachers and parents, the beginning of what Henderson says is an effort to improve what has often been a contentious and frustrating budget-planning process.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: America’s school funding problems, state by state

Wed, 02/05/2014 - 5:17pm

A new report on school funding reveals how uneven and unfair public school funding is in states across the country. The report, titled “Is School Funding Fair? A National Report Card,” looks at funding data from 2007 through 2011, analyzing the condition of state school finance systems with a focus on the fair distribution of resources to the neediest students. It covers the period before the big 2008 recession and through the start of the recovery. (See chart below)

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Categories: Education News

Va. bill calling for Fairfax schools auditor stalls in Richmond

Wed, 02/05/2014 - 2:53pm

A proposed bill in Richmond calling on the Fairfax County school board to establish an independent auditor’s office has stalled after delegates moved to push consideration of the bill into 2015.

The legislation, sponsored by Del. Mark Sickles (D) whose 43rd district includes southeastern Fairfax, would have required the school board to hire an independent auditor to oversee the administration's $2.5 billion budget.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: Ravitch: The ‘White House’s obsession with data is sick’

Wed, 02/05/2014 - 2:30pm

Education historian and activist Diane Ravitch has been blasting the Obama administration for a long time for education policies that have expanded the importance of standardized tests and promoted the privatization of public education. She was just in Washington to talk with U.S. legislators about the dangers of corporate-influenced school reform and she made some of her strongest statements yet, according to my colleague Lyndsey Layton.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: Text of report detailing $100 million-plus needed for Common Core tests in Maryland

Wed, 02/05/2014 - 12:37pm

I recently wrote about a Maryland Education Department report that said the vast majority of schools in many of the state’s counties are not technologically prepared to give new online Common Core-aligned standardized tests, and at least $100 million will have to be spent by 2015 to get ready.

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Categories: Education News

Ravitch unloads on school ‘deform’

Wed, 02/05/2014 - 12:36pm

Diane Ravitch, the education historian who has led a de facto national movement against current education policies — including standardized testing, charter schools, vouchers and teacher evaluations tied to student test scores — said Tuesday evening that “the White House’s obsession with data is sick.”

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: Yes, teacher morale really is low -- despite a report to the contrary

Wed, 02/05/2014 - 12:10pm

The Center for American Progress, a Washington D.C. think tank, released a report recently that declared that teachers really aren’t all that dissatisfied with their jobs, despite, apparently multiple polls that show morale has plummeted. In this post Barnett Berry looks at how much sense that report really makes. Berry is the founder, partner and chief executive officer at the Center for Teaching Quality, a national nonprofit organization that helps teachers transform their profession.

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Categories: Education News

Howard University to cut about 200 staff positions

Wed, 02/05/2014 - 11:30am

Howard University is cutting about 200 staff positions during the next several months, a university spokeswoman said, reducing its workforce by nearly 4 percent.

Howard spokeswoman Kerry-Ann Hamilton described the cuts, which began Thursday, as “enterprise-wide.” She said the university “worked carefully to ensure no changes in public safety” and to “preserve services in student-facing and clinical areas.”

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Categories: Education News

Prince George’s school board schedules two-day retreat

Wed, 02/05/2014 - 10:39am

The Prince George’s County Board of Education will hold a two-day retreat on Thursday and Friday at the Westin Hotel in National Harbor.

The sessions will be held from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Thursday and 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Friday.

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Categories: Education News
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