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: 1 hour 11 min ago

Mathews: Why Falls Church High leads in college prep

Wed, 04/23/2014 - 10:33am

Despite its growing national importance in preparing students for college, the Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) program is not well-known here. Yet its local growth is unusually rapid.

Only about 2 percent of the more than 4,800 U.S. schools in the program are designated by AVID as Demonstration Schools, a label of excellence that means they are models for other AVID schools in helping students learn to think, manage their time and apply to college.

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Categories: Education News

How the Supreme Court’s ruling on Michigan affirmative action affects colleges

Wed, 04/23/2014 - 9:36am

The new Supreme Court ruling on affirmative action leaves in place, for now, a system that allows public universities in Maryland, Virginia and many other states to consider race and ethnicity in admissions.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: Live online chat at 1 p.m. today

Wed, 04/23/2014 - 9:01am

I’ll be doing a live chat on washingtonpost.com at 1 p.m. today, so if you have any questions or comments about anything in education (or even marginally related), send them in here:

http://live.washingtonpost.com/the-answer-sheet-20230416.html

Here are transcripts of my first chat, the second , and last week’s.

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Categories: Education News

Offensive e-mails at American University spark probe of potential student misconduct

Tue, 04/22/2014 - 9:44pm

American University is investigating potential student misconduct after the disclosure of a string of e-mails and other documents laced with expletives and slurs and referring to assault, raucous parties and rape.

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Categories: Education News

Fairfax spending plan includes tax increases, pay raises

Tue, 04/22/2014 - 8:23pm

The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors approved a spending plan Tuesday that includes tax increases, raises for county employees, more money for schools, and higher sewer fees and fees for adopting pets.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: Here’s the very first SAT, from 1926. Can you pass it?

Tue, 04/22/2014 - 4:24pm

Below is the original SAT, from 1926, which you can read about in the post below this.

If you want to see it in a document form on which you can enlargen the test, click here.

Alas, the College Board couldn’t find the answer code.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: What does the SAT measure? Aptitude? Achievement? Anything?

Tue, 04/22/2014 - 4:24pm

Back in the day, the day being June 23, 1926, the very first Scholastic Aptitude Test was given to some 8,000 young people, most of them male, who labored for three hours and 45 minutes on problems in nine areas: definitions, math problems, classification, artificial language, antonyms, number series, analogies, logical inference, and paragraph reading. (The post above this will have the test for you to try.) A week before they took the test, they were each given a packet filled with practice questions to familiarize themselves with the format and content of the exam. Even then, 88 years ago, folks knew the benefits of test prep!

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: A new setback for racial justice in college admissions

Tue, 04/22/2014 - 1:17pm

By upholding Michigan’s ban on the use of racial preferences in college and university admissions, the U.S. Supreme Court Tuesday dealt a new blow to racial justice.

Technically the court ruled that Michigan’s Proposal 2, a 2006 ballot initiative that led to a state constitutional ban on race-conscious college admissions, is constitutional (a decision that overruled a lower court). The ballot initiative, challenged by a coalition of organizations supporting affirmative action barred students from lobbying schools to consider race as a factor in admissions. Of course athletes, donors and alumni are not banned from lobbying for special admissions access. That’s why Mark Rosenbaum, the American Civil Liberties Union attorney who argued the case, said in a statement:

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Categories: Education News

Montgomery leader named superintendent of schools in Hartford, Conn.

Tue, 04/22/2014 - 12:41pm

One of Montgomery County’s top school leaders has been named superintendent of schools in Hartford, Conn.

The Hartford board of education voted 8 to 1 Monday night to select Beth Schiavino-Narvaez, one of three deputy superintendents in Montgomery County, for the top job in Hartford, according to Hartford schools spokesman David Medina.

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Categories: Education News

Sex education faces budget cuts in Loudoun County

Tue, 04/22/2014 - 12:10pm

Budget cuts being considered by the Loudoun County School Board this week are far-reaching. They could affect class size, foreign language offerings and the availability of full-day kindergarten.

They could also affect sex education.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: 11 problems created by the standardized testing obsession

Tue, 04/22/2014 - 4:00am

Ron Maggiano is a veteran teacher who won the Disney Teacher Award for innovation and creativity in 2005 and the American Historical Association’s Beveridge Family Teaching Prize for outstanding K-12 teaching in 2006. After a 33-year teaching career, he resigned last year from West Springfield High School in Fairfax County, Va., where he taught social studies. In this post last year, he explained why he was leaving a job he had long loved:

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Categories: Education News

Fairfax teens could get extra hour of sleep on school days

Mon, 04/21/2014 - 7:33pm

Teens in Fairfax County would get an extra hour of sleep under new proposals to push back high school start times following a year-long study by researchers at Children’s National Medical Center.

The study, which began in April 2013, was commissioned by the Fairfax County School Board to determine options for delaying the first bell in high schools until after 8 a.m. Some teenagers across the county board buses at 5:45 a.m. to make it to their first high school classes of the day, which begin at 7:20 a.m.

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Categories: Education News

Enrollment in Prince George’s schools increases

Mon, 04/21/2014 - 6:01pm

The Prince George’s County school system has experienced a slight bump in enrollment for the first time in a decade, with nearly 2,000 more students attending the county’s schools this year than last.

County leaders have trumpeted the increase as a sign that the long-struggling school system, which has lost an average of 1,000 students a year during the past 10 years, is moving in the right direction. Increased enrollment means increased funding, and, they said, the additional resources will help as the district continues to turn itself around.

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Categories: Education News

The new SAT: Aptitude testing for college admissions falls out of favor

Mon, 04/21/2014 - 5:14pm

There’s a reason the College Board scrubbed “aptitude” from the name of its big admission test two decades ago. The idea of a Scholastic Aptitude Test left the organization open to criticism that it believed some people were born to go to college and some weren’t.

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Categories: Education News

Prince George’s County hosts teacher recruitment fair

Mon, 04/21/2014 - 3:23pm

The Prince George’s County Public School System, which routinely starts each school year with dozens of teacher vacancies, is holding a job fair on Saturday to recruit teachers.

The school district is encouraging candidates to pre-register for the fair, which will be held at Northwestern High School in Hyattsville.

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Categories: Education News

D.C. officials to consider eight proposals for new charter schools

Mon, 04/21/2014 - 2:50pm

The D.C. Public Charter School Board is slated to hear proposals Tuesday and Wednesday evening from eight applicants who are seeking permission to open new charter schools in the fall of 2015.

Two of the eight proposals would establish boarding high schools, including one that would aim to meet the particular needs of children in foster care and another that would connect students with internships on Capitol Hill.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: $100 million Gates-funded student data project ends in failure

Mon, 04/21/2014 - 2:00pm

A controversial $100 million student data collection project funded by the Gates Foundation and operated by a specially created nonprofit organization called inBloom is shutting down after failing to achieve its goals.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: How Bill Gates and fellow billionaires can actually help public education

Mon, 04/21/2014 - 1:21pm

Here’s a novel idea for how Bill Gates and his fellow billionaires can use their mountains of money to actually help public education instead of continuing to waste the cash on ineffective and damaging school reforms.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: Actually, online skimming probably hasn’t affected serious reading after all

Mon, 04/21/2014 - 11:22am

A popular Washington Post article by my colleague Michael S. Rosenwald said that researchers were finding that the habit of scanning and skinning material online was changing the human brain and hindering people’s” ability to read long, complex and dense material. Cognitive scientist Daniel Willingham, a professor at the University of Virginia, is highly skeptical.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: What teachers really want

Mon, 04/21/2014 - 4:00am

One of the striking things about modern school reform is that the people who you would think would be a big part of the discussion -- teachers -- have largely been ignored. So what do teachers want? Francie Alexander, chief academic officer for Scholastic Inc., writes about a nationally representative poll of teachers that answers the question. Alexander has taught at all levels and worked as a district reading consultant for Pre-K through high school. She has authored numerous professional articles for educators and dozens of books for children.

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Categories: Education News
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