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: 4 hours 22 min ago

Maryland offers 45-day extension for student immunizations

Mon, 09/15/2014 - 6:34pm

Maryland has agreed to provide local school systems more time for students to get required vaccinations after school superintendents raised concerns about children missing school because they could not meet the deadline.

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Categories: Education News

David Boies, eyeing education through a civil rights lens

Mon, 09/15/2014 - 6:12pm

David Boies, the superlawyer who chairs a group that is trying to overturn teacher tenure laws in New York and elsewhere, said Monday that his organization is not looking to take the issue to the U.S. Supreme Court — at least not in the short run.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: Florida drops test after kindergarten teacher took public stand against it

Mon, 09/15/2014 - 6:01pm

(Update: Adding Education Department comment)

Last week I published a highly popular post that included a letter that kindergarten teacher Susan Bowles of Lawton Chiles Elementary School in Gainesville, Fla., posted on Facebook telling parents that she was refusing to administer the Florida Assessments for Instruction in Reading, or FAIR. She explained what she said were serious problems with administering the test to young students, and said that taking this stance was worth risking her job.  The post was titled, “Kindergarten teacher: ‘There is a good possibility I will get fired, but …’ ”

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Categories: Education News

U-Va. student from Fairfax County missing in Charlottesville

Mon, 09/15/2014 - 5:58pm

A University of Virginia student who graduated from Fairfax County’s West Potomac High School has gone missing in Charlottesville, and university leaders have expressed “deep concern” about her.

Hannah Graham, 18, has been missing since just after midnight Saturday, according to the university and Charlottesville police. Graham last made contact with friends by text message at 1:20 a.m. Saturday. Graham’s friends called police on Sunday afternoon, and police used bloodhounds to search for her Sunday evening, but that did not produce any leads, police said.

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Categories: Education News

Prince George’s ed board seeks public input on school building construction, renovation

Mon, 09/15/2014 - 5:29pm

The Prince George’s Board of Education wants residents to share their thoughts about the conditions of their school buildings during a public hearing on Tuesday night.

The board will receive testimony from the public during the Capital Improvement Program public hearing, which is set to begin at 6 p.m. The hearing was originally scheduled for last week, but was rescheduled after no one signed up to testify.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: A warning to U.S. about ‘educational authoritarianism’ — from a Chinese scholar

Mon, 09/15/2014 - 2:01pm

Yong Zhao is a respected education scholar who has been a fierce critic of high-stakes standardized testing, both in China and the United States. Zhao, the presidential chair and director of the Institute for Global and Online Education in the University of Oregon’s College of Education,  has written a new book entited “Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Dragon: Why China Has the Best (and Worst) Education System in the World” that my colleague, Post education writer (and former China correspondent) Jay Mathews, said in a column was “the best I have ever read on Chinese schools.

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Categories: Education News

D.C. principals: When is there too much choice?

Mon, 09/15/2014 - 1:47pm

What happens to students who attend five schools in six years? How can schools attract enough students to balance their budgets and stay competitive when new schools are opening all the time? How does school choice benefit families who are the least prepared to make informed decisions?

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: How one middle school handled 136 unruly students

Mon, 09/15/2014 - 1:03pm

Normandy Middle School in north St. Louis — a few miles away from Ferguson, where the August killing of a black teenager by a white police officer sparked civil unrest — has been the worst-performing district in Missouri for several years. As a result, the state took over the Normandy School District, replaced 45 percent of the staff and ordered mandatory training for teachers. When school started in mid-August, educators hoped that it was the dawn of a new era. It wasn’t.

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Categories: Education News

Northeastern U. talks up professional connections, not its U.S. News ranking

Mon, 09/15/2014 - 1:01pm

Several weeks ago, Northeastern University’s president dropped by The Washington Post to talk up the private institution in Boston.

Joseph E. Aoun wanted to get the word out about “experiential learning” programs that combine professional work with academic scholarship in an attempt to position students for high-powered careers.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: How to get girls more interested in STEM subjects

Mon, 09/15/2014 - 9:30am

Why are girls underrepresented in STEM classes and careers? What can be done about it? Author Annie Murphy Paul   discusses that in this post. She is a contributing writer  for Time magazine, writes a weekly column about learning for Time.com, blogs about learning for a number of websites and contributes to various publications.  She is the author of “The Cult of Personality,” a cultural history and scientific critique of personality tests, and of “Origins,” a book about the science of prenatal influences. Her latest book is “Brilliant: The New Science of Smart.” This post appeared on Paul’s Brilliant Blog and was produced by The Hechinger Report, a nonprofit, nonpartisan education-news outlet affiliated with Teachers College, Columbia University.

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Categories: Education News

Schools move toward ‘Bring Your Own Device’ policies to boost student tech use

Sun, 09/14/2014 - 6:05pm

His iPhone is on his desk, out in the open, and Joshua Perez’s teacher does not take it away. Instead, she asks the eighth-grader and his classmates in honors geometry at Argyle Magnet Middle School to Google the words “vertex form parabola.”

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Categories: Education News

Mathews: Why admiring Chinese test scores might hurt U.S. schools

Sun, 09/14/2014 - 1:13pm

I have spent much of my life studying China and the countries near it. Just ask and I’ll show you my master’s degree in East Asian regional studies, and my five years of Washington Post articles from Hong Kong and Beijing. So it’s depressing to realize what I learned about the cultural advantage Asians have over us Americans — particularly in the classroom — might be wrong.

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Categories: Education News

Ohio State accord on sexual assault ends federal investigation

Sun, 09/14/2014 - 12:51pm

Ohio State University has agreed to several steps to strengthen its policies on sexual assault and harassment, the federal government said, concluding a four-year civil rights investigation at one of the nation’s largest public universities.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: Chicago schools filthy with rodents, roaches, garbage — principals say

Sun, 09/14/2014 - 10:59am

School reformers today, operating under the illusion that the private sector can do just about everything better and cheaper than government institutions, have been working to privatize public education by contracting out to private entities key operations of schools — and often entire schools. Such a move with the custodial force in Chicago Public Schools has, principals say, led to a mess.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: Common Core: yes or no? A debate.

Sun, 09/14/2014 - 4:00am

Embrace the Common Core State Standards? Do not embrace the Common Core? That was the question in New York when four people — two for embracing and two against — participated in a recent debate about the controversial initiative.

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Categories: Education News

Algebra failures in Montgomery did not lead to summer session for most students

Sat, 09/13/2014 - 7:56pm

Roughly 1 in 7 students who failed the most recent Algebra 1 final exam in Montgomery County — a test that produced high failure rates and led to a mass grade recalculation — attended special summer reteaching sessions, according to newly released schools data. Another group retook the course.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: Former education secretary Bill Bennett paid to praise Common Core to conservatives

Sat, 09/13/2014 - 10:33am

Bill Bennett, who was education secretary under President Ronald Reagan, just published an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal: “The Conservative Case for Common Core,”  with the subhead: Federal intrusion and misleading rumors do a disservice to an effort that started in the states.

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Categories: Education News

Maryland principal accused of bullying members of her staff

Fri, 09/12/2014 - 7:43pm

When a Prince George’s County high school launched an anti-bullying campaign four years ago, students pledged to support anyone being harassed, to report instances of bullying and to treat others with respect.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: Proposed Texas textbooks are inaccurate, biased and politicized, new report finds

Fri, 09/12/2014 - 4:44pm

When it comes to controversies about curriculum, textbook content and academic standards, Texas is the state that keeps on giving.

Back in 2010, we had an uproar over proposed changes to social studies standards by religious conservatives on the State Board of Education, which included a bid to calling the United States’ hideous slave trade history as the “Atlantic triangular trade.” There were other doozies, too, such as one proposal to remove Thomas Jefferson from the Enlightenment curriculum and replace him with John Calvin. Some were changed but the board’s approved standards were roundly criticized as distorted history.

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Categories: Education News
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