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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: 11 hours 11 min ago

High school career academies prepare students for jobs

Sun, 04/20/2014 - 6:35pm

Jasmine Loftland held her hand over her left eye and squinted with her right.

“It just looks like a big, white board,” said Loftland, 16, her contact lenses sitting in a green-and-white case nearby. She covered the other eye. “It’s worse,” she said, shaking her head as she giggled. “Honestly, I don’t see the arrows.”

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: Who is mucking up science education?

Sun, 04/20/2014 - 1:16pm

Who is mucking up science education? Scientists or politicians?

Wyoming Gov. Matt Mead’s education policy adviser, Mary Kay Hill, has sent a letter to John Friedrich, senior campaigner for Climate Parents, a group dedicated to preserving the Earth’s changing climate, saying that Mead has been concerned that scientists are mucking around with science education. The scientists, it seems to Mead (R), are making political conclusions -- not observations based on overwhelming research -- when they say that human activity is changing Earth’s climate.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: Blowing up Peeps: An experiment in thermodynamics

Sun, 04/20/2014 - 1:08pm

Here’s a video showing a lesson in thermodynamics with Peeps. Yes, Peeps.

(If you don’t know what Peeps are, they are marshmallow candies in animal shapes. They used to appear in stores at Easter time but now are found year-round.)

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: A defense of public education against ‘the wolves of Wall Street’

Sun, 04/20/2014 - 10:00am

Sara Stevenson is the librarian at O. Henry Middle School in Austin, Texas, who is sick and tired of assaults on the very notion of public education. Here are her reflections on the value of public education and what is being done to it in the name of ”‘reform.”

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: Clergy warn Christie: Your Newark school reform is a mess

Sat, 04/19/2014 - 1:25pm

Dozens of members of the clergy in Newark have warned Gov. Chris Christie (R) that school reform efforts by his appointed superintendent are causing so much controversy and “unnecessary instability” in the city that they are “concerned about the level of public anger we see growing in the community” over the issue.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: Why community schools are part of the answer

Sat, 04/19/2014 - 11:00am

Brock Cohen taught in the Los Angeles Unified School District for 12 years and is now pursuing a doctorate at the University of Southern California while working at the nonprofit Los Angeles Education Partnership as a schools transformation coach. He helps develop community schools, which build strategic partnerships with both public and private organizations to provide essential supports and resources that low-income and high-needs students often go without. Cohen says these schools share a moral imperative to remove barriers to learning so that disadvantaged children can thrive academically, socially, and emotionally. Here’s a new piece by Cohen on what a 17-year-old boy taught him and the value of community schools.

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Categories: Education News

Loudoun considers cutting Thomas Jefferson bus service

Fri, 04/18/2014 - 6:49pm

The Loudoun County School Board might cut bus service for county students who attend Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology in Fairfax County, a move that could jeopardize county students’ ability to go to the elite magnet school.

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Categories: Education News

Letter from Woodson High School to parents following series of suicides

Fri, 04/18/2014 - 2:33pm

The following e-mail message was sent from the principal of Fairfax County’s W.T. Woodson High School to parents on April 11, discussing the school’s actions following a series of suicides at the school. The message came ahead of the school’s spring break and a day before The Washington Post published a story about the suicides of six Woodson students in the past three years and the effects the suicides have had on their families and the school community.

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Categories: Education News

Parents seek action at Fairfax County’s Woodson High after suicides

Fri, 04/18/2014 - 2:23pm

In the aftermath of a series of student suicides at W.T. Woodson High School, parents are urging Fairfax County schools administrators to help the teens cope with stress at the high-performing school.

Six teens at the school have died by suicide during the past three years, including two students who died within a day of each other in February. The deaths have shocked the school community and have left parents, teachers and students searching for answers.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: Arne Duncan dismisses critics: ‘Lots of drama, lots of noise’

Fri, 04/18/2014 - 8:38am

There he goes again.

Education Secretary Arne Duncan went to New York recently and introduced state Education Commissioner John King at a function at New York University, calling him “a remarkable leader” and “as smart and as thoughtful as anyone working in this space.” As for the growing number of critics of King’s education reforms, Duncan dismissed the movement as “lots of drama, lots of noise” on which the media likes to focus. He could have been referring to the tens of thousands of parents opting their children out of Common Core-aligned standardized tests, or the nearly 3,000-delegate body of the New York State United Teachers, which earlier this month overwhelming approved a resolution calling for King to resign, or anybody else who doesn’t agree with him and King.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: The real meaning of diversity (beyond the Benetton ads)

Fri, 04/18/2014 - 4:00am

When colleges say they believe in diversity, what do they really mean? It talk of diversity nothing more than a gimmick to get college websites and brochures to look like politically correct Benetton ad? Alejandra Dubcovsky, an assistant professor of history at Yale University, addresses this issue in the following post. Dubcovsky’s research and teaching focus on colonial America. She is a Public Voices Fellow with The OpEd Project, an Echoing Green project aimed at increasing the range of voices and quality of ideas heard in the public space.

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Categories: Education News

Black students at Washington and Lee urge administrators to confront school’s past

Thu, 04/17/2014 - 8:11pm

A group of black law students at Washington and Lee University is urging administrators to atone for its Confederate heritage and what they call the “dishonorable conduct” of namesake Robert E. Lee.

The movement has struck a racial divide on the bucolic campus in Lexington, Va., where black students make up about 3.5 percent of the total student population.

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Categories: Education News

U-Va.’s in-state price likely to rise 4.3 percent

Thu, 04/17/2014 - 7:46pm

Undergraduate tuition and fees at the University of Virginia would rise 4.3 percent for Virginians in the coming year under a proposal the governing board will consider next week.

The basic in-state price of the public flagship university, not counting room and board, would be $12,998 if the Board of Visitors approves the increase at its meeting Wednesday in the southwest Virginia town of Abingdon. The current price is $12,458.

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Categories: Education News

D.C. parents raise questions about funds for at-risk students, school renovations

Thu, 04/17/2014 - 6:54pm

D.C. parents and education activists on Thursday praised Mayor Vincent C. Gray’s proposal to invest tens of millions of extra dollars to help at-risk students in the city’s traditional schools next year, but they criticized Gray’s administration for failing to explain how and where those dollars would be spent.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: The ‘new’ Graze to the Top program

Thu, 04/17/2014 - 3:55pm

If you need a laugh, this is for you. It’s by Matt Farmer, a Chicago trial lawyer who is a member of the Local School Council at Philip Rogers Elementary School. Farmer wrote this satirical piece about Race to the Top, the competitive funding program run by Arne Duncan’s Education Department to dispense federal grants to states and school districts that promised to implement specific school reforms.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: Seven things kids need to read better (and raising standards isn’t one of them)

Thu, 04/17/2014 - 7:00am

For two decades, Ellie Herman was a writer/producer for television shows including “The Riches,” “Desperate Housewives,” “Chicago Hope” and “Newhart.” Her fiction has appeared in literary journals, among them The Massachusetts Review, The Missouri Review and the O.Henry Awards Collection. In 2007, she decided, “on an impulse,” she wrote, to become an English teacher and got a job at a South Los Angeles charter school that was 97 percent Latino and where 96 percent of the students lived below the poverty line. She taught drama, creative writing, English 11 and 9th grade Composition at a charter high school in South Los Angeles until 2013, when she decided to stop teaching and spend a year visiting classrooms and learning from other teachers. She is chronicling the lessons she is learning on her blog, Gatsby in L.A., where the following post appeared. I’ll be posting more work from her soon.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: Even the strongest relationships sour

Thu, 04/17/2014 - 4:00am

Bobby Jindal, governor of Louisiana, and John White, Louisiana’s education commissioner, were once a great school reform pair -- seemingly inseparable. Times have changed.

In early 2011, Jindal tapped White, then the superintendent of the Recovery School District in New Orleans, to become education chief in Louisiana and the state Board of Education approved the choice. At the time, Jindal said in a statement:

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Categories: Education News

Dartmouth president calls for end to ‘extreme behavior’ that mars image of elite college

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 10:00pm

Dartmouth College’s president lamented Wednesday that the Ivy League school’s promising future “is being hijacked by extreme behavior,” including sex assaults, parties with “racist and sexist undertones,” and a campus culture in which “dangerous drinking has become the rule and not the exception.”

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Categories: Education News

Virginia Tech pays fine for failure to warn campus during 2007 mass shooting

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 6:57pm

Virginia Tech has paid $32,500 to satisfy federal fines lodged by the U.S. Department of Education, which charged that the university did not adequately warn its campus community at the beginning of a 2007 rampage that became one of the deadliest mass shootings in U.S. history.

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Categories: Education News

SAT quiz results: Can you do better than other readers?

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 3:27pm

The early results of The Washington Post’s SAT quiz -- including sample questions from the College Board’s revamped SAT -- are in, and it’s clear from the numbers that those who took the test are more astute at reading than they are at math.

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Categories: Education News
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