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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: 3 hours 46 min ago

Strauss: Is there anything all educated people should know anymore?

Tue, 05/13/2014 - 11:47am

What should all educated people know and be able to do (if anything)? Is there an immutable list? Veteran teacher Peter Greene ponders this in the following post, a version of which appeared on his Curmudgucation blog,

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: Academics call for pause in PISA tests

Tue, 05/13/2014 - 10:29am

Here’s an open letter written by academics and school activists from around the world to Andreas Schleicher, director of the Program of International Student Assessment, known as PISA, which tests 15-year-olds in dozens of countries and individual education systems in math, reading and science every three years.   The letter expresses concerns about the impact PISA is having on education systems around the world and asks him “to consider skipping” the next exams and come up with an improved assessment.

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Categories: Education News

Report: Preschool enrollments decline

Tue, 05/13/2014 - 12:07am

Enrollment in state-funded preschool programs nationally declined for the first time in more than a decade, reflecting lingering effects of the economic downturn, according to a national survey released Tuesday.

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Categories: Education News

Good teaching, poor test scores: Doubt cast on grading teachers by student performance

Tue, 05/13/2014 - 12:01am

In the first large-scale analysis of new systems that evaluate teachers based partly on student test scores, two researchers found little or no correlation between quality teaching and the appraisals teachers received.

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Categories: Education News

Sexual orientation lessons could change in Montgomery

Mon, 05/12/2014 - 7:45pm

Montgomery County school officials could take a major step Tuesday toward updating the district’s teaching of sexual orientation, with proposals calling for introduction of the topic a year earlier in middle school and an end to scripted lessons with required phrasing.

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Categories: Education News

Absences in Montgomery schools were high Easter Monday

Mon, 05/12/2014 - 7:31pm

On Easter Monday, when Montgomery County opened schools to make up for a snow day closing, many students didn’t make it to classes.

Nearly 20 percent of students were absent that day, schools officials said. In Maryland’s largest district, with 151,000 students, that means more than 30,000 seats were empty.

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Categories: Education News

One of the most powerful women in the world won’t speak at Smith College after protests

Mon, 05/12/2014 - 5:35pm

The commencement speaker purity bug has hit Smith College.

The Northampton, Mass., women’s college announced Monday that International Monetary Fund managing director Christine Lagarde has withdrawn as the school’s 2014 commencement speaker due to faculty and student protests over the IMF’s policies.

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Categories: Education News

High-school students are now trading Twitter RTs for points on final exams

Mon, 05/12/2014 - 3:59pm
If we get 15,000 retweets we don’t have to take the chemistry final. pic.twitter.com/ofzNhIBkDy

Teenagers are forever gracing (cursing?) the Internet with their social media antics. But this time — welp! — their teachers are encouraging them.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: 7 charts: Why you shouldn’t confuse correlation with causation

Mon, 05/12/2014 - 2:50pm

One of the problems with research of any kind, including and especially in education, is the problem of confusing correlation with causation. This sounds technical, but it really goes to the heart of the problem with research that confuses the first for the second. For example, a study may report that test scores rose after implementation of a specific academic program, and the conclusion could be made that the program helped. But the test scores could have risen for any other number of reasons, including kids eating better breakfasts or being tutored outside of school.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: 5 things you (probably) don’t know about the Washington Monument

Mon, 05/12/2014 - 1:03pm

The Washington Monument is reopening Monday for the first time in nearly three years, during which more than 150 cracks were fixed after being sustained during a rare earthquake. Everybody knows that the monument was built to honor George Washington, but probably not a lot more about the history of the obelisk. Here are five things you probably don’t know about it:

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: There’s no such thing as the ‘best’ teacher

Mon, 05/12/2014 - 12:02pm

How often do you hear people talk about wanting or having the “best” this or the “best” that and you have to try to stop yourself from rolling your eyes? Here’s a look at why the notion of “best” doesn’t make sense when it comes to teachers. This was written by Sarah Blaine, who wrote a post earlier this year by  about teachers that went viral under the headline, “You think you know what teachers do. Right? Wrong.” Blaine is  a mom, former teacher and full-time practicing attorney in New Jersey who writes at her parentingthecore blog, where a version of this post appeared. She tweets at @parentingcore.

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Categories: Education News

Victim advocate: VMI wants to do ‘the right thing’ on sex assault prevention and response

Mon, 05/12/2014 - 11:42am

As an advocate for victims of sexual violence, Judy Casteele deals often with Virginia Military Institute and other colleges in the Lexington area.

Her nonprofit organization, Project Horizon, operates a crisis hotline and provides counseling and other services to people in need. Sometimes that includes VMI cadets. Sometimes, too, the public military college asks Casteele for help.

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Categories: Education News

DCPS task force to promote use of D.C. museums, other sites as classrooms

Mon, 05/12/2014 - 11:26am

A D.C. Public Schools task force is working on a new guide that aims to help promote hands-on and experiential learning throughout the city, Schools Chancellor Kaya Henderson announced Monday.

The curriculum — titled “The City as Our Classroom” — will compile a set of field-trip ideas and sample lesson plans to help teachers identify opportunities to connect academic skills and themes with the District’s museums, parks and historical sites.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: 4 high school senior pranks that went wild

Mon, 05/12/2014 - 4:01am

You’d think that after more than a dozen years in school, high school seniors would know what will get them into trouble and what won’t, but apparently some don’t.  It’s senior prank season, and while some have been innocuous, others have led to arrests and suspensions, with one school seeing nearly 20 percent of the senior class picked up by police.

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Categories: Education News
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