Education News from Washington Post
A sixth-grader in Calvert County was suspended for forming his hand into a gun on his bus ride to school, an incident that adds to a string of recent high-profile cases involving punishments for children who gesture with imaginary weapons.Read full article >>
Any parent who has fought a local school or school system, or thought about doing so, can learn from Bill Horkan and his battle with the transportation department of the Loudoun County Public Schools.
In June, schools notified the parents of 3,500 children that they were not eligible for bus service. They did not qualify under LCPS manual section 6-21: “Transportation shall be provided for all elementary students living more than eight-tenths (0.8) of a mile walking distance from their assigned elementary schools.”Read full article >>
For as long as he can remember, Celso Amaya-Ventura has looked forward to being in fifth grade so he could join the safety patrol. His reading buddy in kindergarten was a patroller, as were the older kids who sometimes played with him at recess. The students in the neon green belts seemed to be everywhere at his Arlington County school — in the hallways, on his bus, at the front door.Read full article >>
The first paychecks of the new school year for 349 D.C. Public Schools teachers were late or included insufficient funds, according to school system officials, who attributed the problem to timekeeping errors.Read full article >>
Principal Carol Burris of South Side High School in New York has for some time been chronicling the consequences of standardized test-driven reform in her state (here, and here and here, for example). Burris 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. She is the co-author of the New York Principals letter of concern regarding the evaluation of teachers by student test scores. It has been signed by more than 1,535 New York principals and more than 6,500 teachers, parents, professors, administrators and citizens. You can read the letter by clicking here.Read full article >>
Philadelphia public schools are opening for the new school year on Monday without many of the basics any reasonable person would expect. Paper, for example. Guidance counselors. Nurses.
Amid an agonizing financial and leadership crisis, the appointed School Reform Commission, which has run the district since the state took it over a dozen years ago, passed a “doomsday” budget this past summer that included cuts so drastic there was no money for schools to open this fall with funding for things such as paper, new books, athletics, arts, music, counselors, assistant principals and more. Teachers were laid off. This came after the closure of a few dozen schools.Read full article >>
School reformer extraordinaire Michelle Rhee has begun a three-city event where she is hosting town halls in what she says is an effort to have a “real talk” with teachers, who for years have viewed her as anything but a friend. (The same could be said of one of her traveling companions on this tour, Connecticut educator Steve Perry, who is famous for referring to teachers unions as “roaches.”)Read full article >>
Upset that there are no Latino members on the newly reconstituted Prince George’s County Board of Education, some Hispanic leaders have demanded that the county devise a plan to increase the number of Hispanics considered for board appointments and county jobs.Read full article >>
First Lady Michelle Obama traveled across the Anacostia River on Friday to Orr Elementary, where she urged educators in the District and across the country to keep pushing for healthy food and more physical activity in schools.Read full article >>
Earlier this week Education Secretary Arne Duncan was on a radio show panel and made some remarks on racial integration that the author of this post finds illustrative of the problems with the way Americans now look at the issue. This was written by Richard Rothstein, a research associate at the Economic Policy Institute, a non-profit organization created to broaden the discussion about economic policy to include the interests of low- and middle-income workers. From 1999 to 2002, he was the national education columnist of The New York Times, and he is the author of several books, including “Grading Education: Getting Accountability Right” and “Class and Schools: Using Social, Economic and Educational Reform to Close the Black-White Achievement Gap.” This appeared on the institute’s website.Read full article >>
If you’re talking about “college & career ready” & have nothing to say about schools laying off guidance counselors, that ain’t #RealEdTalk.
— Sabrina Stevens (@TeacherSabrina) September 6, 2013
Context: Budget troubles have led some school districts to either reduce the number of counselors or completely eliminate them, leaving schools without professionals who, at their best, help students in every part of their lives —academics, social/emotional development, college admissions, career planning, anti-bullying, etc.Read full article >>
Fairfax County School Board members are considering the use of eminent domain to acquire a foreclosed commercial office building in the Bailey’s Crossroads area that the board wants to covert into an elementary school.Read full article >>
Reformers and policymakers talk a lot about how to recruit teachers with higher GPAs, higher standards, better standardized tests, big data and more. In this post, Jack Schneider, an assistant professor of education at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Mass., writes about something critical that gets ignored in these conversations. Schneider is a former high school teacher and the founder of University Paideia, a pre-college program for under-served students in the San Francisco Bay Area. His research focuses on educational policymaking and school reform in the 20th century. Schneider is the author of “Excellence For All: How a New Breed of Reformers Is Transforming America’s Public Schools” and is working on a new book about scholarship in education. He tweets @Edu_Historian.Read full article >>
After parents recently learned that a Montgomery County music teacher was charged with sexually abusing 14 girls in kindergarten to second grade at a Silver Spring elementary school, some have asked about the educator’s previous work history.Read full article >>
Charter schools were designed to allow founders the freedom to design and run schools as they wish outside the traditional school system bureaucracy. Here’s a case for why some of that freedom needs to be reined in. This was written by Jeff Bryant, an associate fellow at the Campaign for America’s Future and the owner of a marketing and communications consultancy that serves numerous organizations including Human Rights Watch, Doctors Without Borders, PBS, and International Planned Parenthood Foundation. He writes extensively about public education policy at The Education Opportunity Network, where this appeared. Follow Jeff on Twitter: jeffbcdmRead full article >>
Prince George’s County Executive Rushern L. Baker III (D) is accepting applications for a seat on the Board of Education — again.
This is the third time this year that Baker has taken applications to fill a seat on the school board.Read full article >>
Fairfax County school administrators this week acknowledged “challenges” affecting the learning environment at Fort Hunt Elementary, a school that has experienced high teacher turnover amid parent and teacher complaints of low morale.Read full article >>
The District has allocated $2.8 million to help city high schools plan for nine new “career academies” meant to help students gain the skills they will need to enter the workforce after graduation, Mayor Vincent C. Gray announced Wednesday.Read full article >>
The Common Core State Standards now being implemented in most states and the District of Columbia will soon be accompanied by new standardized tests being developed by two multi-state consortia -- the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) and the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) -- with $360 million in federal funds. Education Secretary Arne Duncan has said repeatedly that he expects these exams, due to be rolled out in 2014-15, to go beyond the familiar multiple-choice standardized tests students have been forced to take for more than a decade and to be an “absolute game-changer in public education.”Read full article >>
Fairfax County school administrators acknowledged “challenges” affecting the learning environment at Fort Hunt Elementary, following a Washington Post story highlighting concerns raised by parents and staff at the school.Read full article >>