Education News from Washington Post
Education reform policy around the country is increasingly being made in secret or without public input -- and with a lot of private philanthropic money.
A number of recent stories reveal the extent to which policy makers and school reformers are going to push their reform agenda to expand charter schools and vouchers in an effort to step up the privatization of public education. These stories include:Read full article >>
The College Board just tried to have a little fun with high schools but some college admissions counselors are less than amused.
The organization sent out to thousands of high schools around the country stickers with pictures of a cartoon-like cow and the words, “Gee Whiz” -- a reference to a critical reading question on the recent PSAT which noted that some kids have never seen a cow. After the October administration of the PSAT, formally known as the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test and co-sponsored by the College Board and National Merit Scholarship Corporation, students who took the exam took to Twitter to make fun of the cow question, with tweets like this one:Read full article >>
The District’s Anacostia High School saw an enormous fluctuation in its student population in the 2012-13 school year, losing more than one in five students after the first month of school while gaining nearly twice as many during the school year. The enrollment swings left the school with a net student increase of 16 percent.Read full article >>
New York State Education Commissioner John King was on a “listening tour” this fall to ostensibly talk with the public about the Common Core State Standards and school reform but it got cut short when people in the crowd challenged him. Some forums were cancelled, but he is back on the circuit -- and on Tuesday, he had a very friendly crowd, courtesy of StudentsFirstNY, the New York branch of Michelle Rhee’s StudentsFirst advocacy organization. Here’s a description of that forum. It was written by Steven Mazie, who blogs at Big Think and The Economist and teaches at Bard High School Early College in New York City. Follow him on Twitter.Read full article >>
Last month, I asked whether parents and grandparents were worried about threats to annual testing caused by the national switch to the Common Core standards.
U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan had warned that California would be shortchanging students and their families if it held to its plan not to report school test averages next year. Almost everyone who responded to me said Duncan was wrong.Read full article >>
The first day of school in Fairfax will be Tuesday, Sept. 2 next fall, and the academic year will end on Friday, June 19 after the school board voted to approve the 2014-2015 calendar late last week.
The calendar will be similar to this year’s, with no major changes to the academic schedule.Read full article >>
The Maryland State Department of Education on Wednesday recognized two Washington-area schools with 2014 Blue Ribbon school awards for exemplary performance.
Cashell Elementary School in Montgomery County and Robert Goddard French Immersion School in Prince George’s County were among six schools statewide that were selected for high achievement and significant improvement.Read full article >>
Among public colleges in Virginia and Maryland, three consistently rank in the top 10 in a Kiplinger’s analysis of “best values” in the country: the University of Virginia, the College of William and Mary, and the University of Maryland at College Park.Read full article >>
The Arlington County School Board is considering a policy on gifts that would limit the amount parents can spend on teachers to $100 over the course of a school year.
The new policy would establish a financial cap for the first time and clarify previous guidance.Read full article >>
A new report on charter schools says that charter school enrollment around the country has grown 80 percent over the past five years -- but represents only 5 percent of total public school enrollment (a statistic that may seem surprising given all of the attention that school reformers give to charters).Read full article >>
The Fairfax County School Board may consider creating new internal audit positions as the administration seeks to operate more efficiently and address a projected $132 million shortfall next year.
In a work session Monday, the board’s Audit Committee recommended immediately hiring at least two people to serve in capacities similar to an inspector general or an independent auditor. Those in the possible new positions, one senior and one junior, would report to the School Board and be responsible for improving the administration’s efficiency and effectiveness. “This issue has been festering for years,” said the board’s budget chair, Ted Velkoff (At Large). “I’m glad we’re going to be addressing this.”Read full article >>
The main point of the whole raucous evening was spelled out on the blue-and-white sign given center stage at Eastern High School on Monday night: ‘Our voices matter,’ it said. Teachers’ voices, it meant.Read full article >>
The University of Virginia’s accrediting body on Tuesday lifted the warning it placed on the elite public institution last year amid concerns that governing board members improperly acted when trying to oust U-Va. President Teresa Sullivan in June 2012.Read full article >>
Psychologists from Emory University recorded family dinner conversations to learn more about how (or how much) families shared their stories. Then they developed a “Do You Know” scale to assess how much teens knew about their family history.Read full article >>
New Orleans led the nation last year as the city with the greatest percentage of students enrolled in public charter schools, followed by Detroit and the District of Columbia, according to a new survey released Tuesday by the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools.Read full article >>
The District’s fast-growing charter schools now have the third-highest market share in the nation, enrolling a larger proportion of students than in every city except New Orleans and Detroit, according to a report released Tuesday.Read full article >>
As rumors continue to swirl around the question of who will become the next schools chancellor in New York City, a new Web report features a day in the life of Montgomery County Schools Superintendent Joshua P. Starr, who is said to be one of several contenders.Read full article >>
I recently posted a piece on the future of high school math education and the Common Core State Standards on math, which was the work of a coalition of mathematicians, statisticians, teachers and curriculum developers, that elicited a lot of interest. The following response takes a critical look at that piece and the Common Core math standards. It was written by Michael Goldenberg, who holds a master’s degree in mathematics education from the University of Michigan, as well as master’s degrees in English and psychological foundations of education from the University of Florida. He writes the “Rational Mathematics Education” blog and was a co-founder of the group Mathematically Sane. He coaches high school mathematics teachers in Detroit. You can read the piece that prompted his reaction here.Read full article >>
There’s an interesting connection between early childhood education and the results released last week from the 2012 Program for International Student Assessment, on which American 15-year-old students performed about average in reading, math and science among some 65 countries and school systems. Here to explain is Kris Perry , executive director of the First Five Years Fund, a nonprofit organization that advocates for comprehensive, high-quality early childhood education systems, programs and supports.Read full article >>
It cost money to implement and promote the Common Core State Standards. Here’s a post about where some of the funding is coming from, written by award-winning Principal Carol Burris of South Side High School in New York. Burris has chronicled on this blog the many problems with the test-driven reform in New York (here, and here and here and here, for example). 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. 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 >>