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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: 5 hours 15 min ago

The ethics of Hacking 101

Tue, 10/07/2014 - 9:37pm

At the University of Tulsa, professor Sujeet Shenoi is teaching students how to hack into oil pipelines and electric power plants.

At Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, professor David Brumley is instructing students on how to write software to break into computer networks.

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Categories: Education News

D.C. Council approves special-education bills, aims to speed delivery of services

Tue, 10/07/2014 - 5:43pm

The D.C. Council has unanimously approved a trio of bills designed to overhaul special-education services in the city, aiming to speed delivery of services to students with special needs and give parents better information and resources they can use to advocate for their children.

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Categories: Education News

Why SAT scores were packaged with results from other College Board tests

Tue, 10/07/2014 - 4:21pm

The SAT enjoyed such dominance in college admissions testing for so long that it is worth lingering over a significant change Tuesday in how the College Board reported annual scores: They were packaged with results from other programs.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: The ugly facts of life in Philadelphia public schools

Tue, 10/07/2014 - 2:32pm

For years now the state-run Philadelphia public school system has been under a kind of siege. The Republican administration of Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett has decimated spending for public education in the state, and Philadelphia has been hit especially hard, with thousands of layoffs, massive program cuts and dozens of closed school buildings. Many teachers buy basic supplies for their classrooms with their own funds.

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Categories: Education News

SAT scores edge up in Montgomery, with gains by Hispanics, African Americans

Tue, 10/07/2014 - 10:24am

The average score on the SAT exam edged up two points for Montgomery County’s class of 2014, compared with results for graduates a year earlier, as performance was stagnant nationally and slipped in Maryland, according to figures released Tuesday.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: The right — and surprisingly wrong — ways to get kids to sit still in class

Tue, 10/07/2014 - 10:00am

A post I published in July titled “Why so many kids can’t sit still in school today” seems to have struck a nerve with readers, who continue to read it in big numbers.  The piece was by Angela Hanscom, a pediatric occupational therapist, who said that kids are being forced to sit for too long while they are in school and are being deprived of enough time for real physical activity. This, she said, is affecting their ability to learn and in some cases leading to improper ADHD diagnoses.

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Categories: Education News

SAT scores for Class of 2014 show no improvement from previous marks

Tue, 10/07/2014 - 3:01am

High school graduates this year fared no better on the SAT college admission test than their predecessors in 2013, a stagnant result that exam overseers said should sound an alarm for the nation to get more students on track for college.

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Categories: Education News

A new principal takes over at Woodson High

Mon, 10/06/2014 - 7:51pm

A new interim principal has taken the helm at W.T. Woodson High School in Fairfax County after Jeff Yost retired unexpectedly following a turbulent time at the high-performing school.

Dan Meier will replace Yost, who led the school for seven years. In a farewell note to parents, Yost said that he stayed late on Sept. 30, his last day, to watch buses depart.

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Categories: Education News

See the AP U.S. History course changes and take a sample exam

Mon, 10/06/2014 - 6:14pm

In response to The Washington Post’s story about Jefferson County, Colo., becoming ground zero for a new culture fight over how to teach U.S. history to high-achieving 10th-graders, readers asked what specifically the College Board has changed in its Advanced Placement U.S. history course and what the questions on the exam are like.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: How to start cleaning up the Common Core

Mon, 10/06/2014 - 5:30pm

Even the strongest supporters of the Common Core State Standards would likely admit if asked that the initiative has not so far turned out as well as hoped. Implementation of the standards has been severely troubled, the testing regime that is supposed to be aligned with the Core is falling apart and increasingly people from different parts of the political spectrum have distanced themselves from the enterprise.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: Philadelphia school district cancels contract with teachers union

Mon, 10/06/2014 - 5:12pm

The five-member reform commission that controls the cash-starved Philadelphia public schools announced on Monday that it was canceling its contract with the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers, and while it would continue to honor most contract provisions, it would change the package of health-care benefits and require all teachers to contribute to the health fund. The union said the commission’s action “has amped up a war on teachers.”

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Categories: Education News

Long trend of Hispanic enrollment increases in Montgomery

Mon, 10/06/2014 - 4:30pm

Montgomery County’s new school enrollment figures show that Hispanic students make up the largest racial or ethnic group in kindergarten classes for a third year in a row. But the longer trend is a steady increase in Hispanic students for three decades, district numbers show.

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Categories: Education News

Authors visit D.C. schools to inspire young readers and writers

Mon, 10/06/2014 - 4:15pm

Isabel Wilkerson, a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist, said she has traveled as far as Singapore, Alaska and the British Parliament to discuss her book about the migration of African Americans from the South. But she was especially excited to be talking to students at Cardozo Education Campus Monday morning, she said.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: Unions say they will back teachers who refuse to administer mandated standardized tests to students

Mon, 10/06/2014 - 4:00am

Late last month the nonprofit United Opt Out National — an organization dedicated to eliminating high-stakes testing in public schools — issued a call for the big teachers union to support teachers who decide that they can no longer administer standardized tests that they feel are harming children. I asked the unions whether they would agree, and here’s what they said.

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Categories: Education News

New principal brings ‘fresh hope’ to struggling Alexandria school

Sun, 10/05/2014 - 8:28pm

In the early 1990s, Chris Phillips was working at the Biotechnology Institute at Penn State University, synthesizing DNA and growing bacteria cultures for pharmaceutical companies while attending school full time.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: Was the ‘original bargain’ with charter schools a raw deal?

Sun, 10/05/2014 - 1:48pm

Charter school advocates didn’t like it recently when Brown University’s Annenberg Institute for School Reform issued a report calling for the strengthening of charter oversight and authorization. While noting that many charters work hard to “meet the needs of their students,” the report said that “the lack of effective oversight means too many cases of fraud and abuse, too little attention to equity, and no guarantee of academic innovation or excellence.” It provided some common-sense recommendations, including an innocuous call for the establishment of minimum qualifications for charter school treasurers. The National Alliance for Public Charter Schools, not surprisingly, bashed the report.

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Categories: Education News

Mathews: Parent says no mush for his first-grader

Sun, 10/05/2014 - 12:10pm

Mike Petrilli is the new president of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, one of the most energetic and influential education policy think tanks. He also is the father of a child in the Montgomery County school system. Education leaders are often put off by parents who know a lot about schools and won’t shut up. Petrilli is definitely in that category.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: Anthropologists — including from Harvard, Georgetown — join academic boycott of Israel

Sun, 10/05/2014 - 11:51am

(Correction: Earlier version said American Anthropological Association will debate a boycott resolution late this year. An AAA official says there is no  resolution but some debate is expected.)

In February, members of the American Studies Association voted to endorse a boycott of Israeli academic institutions to protest the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories. Now more than 500 anthropologists — including at Harvard, Yale and Columbia universities — have joined the boycott.

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Categories: Education News
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