Education News from Washington Post

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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.
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Strauss: The new school reform model: ‘dumping the losers’

Fri, 04/11/2014 - 12:00pm

Since 2011, the state-run Philadelphia public school district has adopted what is called the “portfolio model” of school reform as its “theory of change.” The model is a move away from the traditional school district, in which a centralized administration controls a set of public schools, to an arrangement in which a group of different kinds of schools, which could include traditional public as well as charter and privately run schools, are overseen by a central entity. Supporters think it gives parents more choice; opponents think that the choice most parents get is phony and that the portfolio model is a step toward the privatization of public education.

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Categories: Education News

Agnes Meyer Outstanding Teacher Awards

Fri, 04/11/2014 - 10:00am

The Washington Post has honored teaching excellence in the Washington region for three decades, with more than 500 teachers winning the Agnes Meyer Outstanding Teacher Award for their work in the classroom, creativity and contribution to the improvement of education.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: An infuriating admission

Fri, 04/11/2014 - 9:50am

What’s going on here?

Last September, Bill Gates admitted that he doesn’t know if the school reform initiatives that he is massively funding will work. To be precise, he said during an interview at Harvard University:

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: ‘We refuse’

Fri, 04/11/2014 - 6:00am

Liz Rosenberg and Takiema Bunche Smith, educators who have worked in New York City’s public and private schools for nearly twenty years, are also public school parents. Kemala Karmen formerly taught at the City University of New York. All three have children who attend PS 146 (Brooklyn New School), where a year-long, parent-led awareness campaign around high-stakes testing resulted in nearly 80 percent of families with students in testing grades refusing the New York State Common Core Assessments. In this piece they explain what sparked the campaign and why it continues.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: One unconventional factor to consider when choosing a college

Fri, 04/11/2014 - 4:00am

Anyone lucky enough to have choices for college has a list of things that are important to them: price, size, location, quality. But here’s an unconventional factor that students may want to start considering at a time when graduating from college with good grades may no longer be enough to get a job. It was written by Laura R. Hosid, who was the associate director of Georgetown University’s Office of Career Services and now works for Vinik Educational Placement Services, Inc. in Bethesda, which provides college and career counseling to young people.

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Categories: Education News

Ex-contractor says he hacked into U-Md. databases to show security flaws’ seriousness

Thu, 04/10/2014 - 9:54pm

A former contract worker for the University of Maryland said he hacked into scores of data­bases in the school’s computer system and posted the university president’s “private information” online to draw attention to security problems.

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Categories: Education News

D.C. Board of Education names ombudsman as liaison between families, schools

Thu, 04/10/2014 - 5:12pm

D.C. parents have a new place to take their questions and complaints about city education: Joyanna Smith, the independent ombudsman charged with helping families navigate the District’s traditional and charter schools.

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Categories: Education News

Counselors push high school students to apply for federal financial aid

Thu, 04/10/2014 - 4:22pm

“It’s too long.” “I don’t need it.” “Isn’t it too late?”

Seniors at Alexandria’s T.C. Williams High School offered such reasoning this week to explain why they had not filled out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, the main form prospective students use to gain federal financial help to attend college.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: What does Jeb Bush call public schools? (Hint: not ‘public schools’)

Thu, 04/10/2014 - 9:18am

Jeb Bush, as much as anybody, is the pioneer of corporate-influenced school reform. When he was governor of Florida from 1999-2007, he introduced many of the changes in education policy that have become common across the country -- including high-stakes standardized testing -- and since then he has been a leading voice in spreading his education gospel around the country.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: The problem with evidence-based education policy: the evidence

Thu, 04/10/2014 - 5:00am

Education policy-makers like to talk about “evidence-based” this and “evidence-based” that -- but there are big questions about just how good the “evidence” actually is -- and whether the people who are making big decisions in the world of education actually look at the research that we do know is solid. Looking at this issue is Larry Cuban, a former high school teacher and superintendent who now teaches at Stanford University. Cuban was a high school social studies teacher for 14 years, a district superintendent (seven years in Arlington, VA), and professor emeritus of education at Stanford University, where he has taught for more than 20 years. His latest book is “Inside the Black Box of Classroom Practice: Change without Reform in American Education.” This post appeared on his blog.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: How ‘colorblind’ education reform policies actually ignore racial inequality

Wed, 04/09/2014 - 5:06pm

A new critique of what are ostensibly “colorblind” education reform policies reveals that these initiatives are not, in fact, “colorblind,” and have the effect of perpetuating or replicating longtime patterns of race-based inequality. And it makes recommendations for policymakers that include promoting more diverse schools and encouraging inter-district transfers of students to promote diversity.

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Categories: Education News

Letters sent to all Loudoun teachers warn of possible layoffs

Wed, 04/09/2014 - 4:15pm

Nearly 6,000 teachers and employees in Loudoun County received letters Wednesday notifying them that their positions could be eliminated.

As the school board tries to reconcile a $38 million gap between its proposed budget and what county supervisors appropriated this month, it is weighing scores of possible cuts, including eliminating many staff positions.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: An 8-year-old talks about test prep

Wed, 04/09/2014 - 3:40pm

Here is an online conversation that a Florida mom had with her 8-year-old daughter about school, standardized testing and test prep.

The mother is Sandy Stenoff, a public school advocate in central Florida who has opposed the standardized test-based education reforms imposed in the state for years. This appeared on the Web site of Opt Out Orlando, run by activists who are urging parents to opt their children out of the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test, or FCAT.

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Categories: Education News

Fairfax budget hearings heat up as schools ask for more funding

Wed, 04/09/2014 - 1:48pm

Fairfax school board chair Ilryong Moon forcefully urged the county’s supervisors to send additional local tax dollars to classrooms, declaring that the school system is “at a tipping point,” and without sufficient funding risks a decline in quality.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: Live online education chat today

Wed, 04/09/2014 - 12:09pm

I’ll be doing a live education chat on washingtonpost.com at 1 p.m. today, so if you have any questions or comments about anything in education (or even marginally related), tune in here:

http://live.washingtonpost.com/the-answer-sheet-20140409.html#submit-question

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Categories: Education News

D.C. mayoral hopefuls weigh in on proposals for school boundaries and access

Wed, 04/09/2014 - 10:46am

Days after Mayor Vincent C. Gray (D) released proposals to overhaul the District’s school boundaries and student-assignment policies, the two mayoral hopefuls in the November election said they would not support any plan that eliminates neighborhood high schools.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: Colbert’s ‘Common Core Confusion’

Wed, 04/09/2014 - 10:32am

Stephen Colbert took on the Common Core State Standards on his “Colbert Report” on Tuesday night, and it was hilarious. Here’s the video and below a partial transcript:

The Colbert Report
Get More: Daily Show Full Episodes,Indecision Political Humor,The Colbert Report on Facebook

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Categories: Education News

Are extracurriculars crowding out study?

Wed, 04/09/2014 - 10:18am

After nearly 40 years as an elementary school teacher and an additional seven years as a high school math tutor, Betsy Sanford of Kensington has heard many complaints about too much homework. She doesn’t think that’s right.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: It just keeps getting worse

Wed, 04/09/2014 - 5:00am

Just when you think this story can’t get any more awful, it does. Andrea Rediske’s effort to help families of children with severe disabilities has taken yet another frustrating turn.

I’ve written several posts about Rediske’s long struggle with the Florida Department of Education over a requirement that her blind and severely brain-damaged son, Ethan, take state-mandated standardized tests. Rediske won a waiver for her son in 2013, but earlier this year she was told she had to apply for another one or prove that he wasn’t able to do so. At the time, Ethan was dying in a hospital; he passed away Feb. 7, at home with his parents at his side.

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Categories: Education News

Achievement gaps between Montgomery’s high-poverty, low-poverty high schools grow

Tue, 04/08/2014 - 10:13pm

Montgomery County’s efforts to close the gap in achievement between its high-poverty and low-poverty high schools have not worked, with widening disparities on many measures of student success, according to a county report released Tuesday.

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Categories: Education News
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