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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: 7 hours 37 min ago

D.C. State Board of Education member elected to lead national association

Wed, 11/12/2014 - 11:42am

Mary Lord, vice president of the D.C. State Board of Education, was elected president of the National Association of State Boards of Education for 2015.

Lord, a journalist and Dupont Circle resident, has served on the D.C. state board since its inception in 2007.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: Are education groups really listening to their members?

Wed, 11/12/2014 - 11:30am

“It is a recurring narrative about how the leadership in so many education organizations is more responsive to those in power than to those whom they represent.” That comes from the following post about how one particular organization, the New York State PTA, dealt with the requests of some local members over the issue of high-stakes testing. It was written by award-winning Principal Carol Burris of South Side High School in New York, who 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. (You can read some of her work on the botched implementation of the Common Core in New York state here, here, here and here.)

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: What it really means to be a public school educator today

Wed, 11/12/2014 - 4:00am

There was a big furor among educators around the country recently when Time magazine ran a cover that said, “Rotten Apples:  It is nearly impossible to fire a bad teacher.” The cover, accompanied by a story that was somewhat more nuanced, sparked a mountain of response, including a post by Nancy F. Chewning, assistant principal of William Byrd High School in Roanoke, Va. on her blog, Leading by Example.  You can read her entire letter to Time magazine here. Following (which I am publishing with her permission) is the part of Chewning’s letter to Time that talks about what life as a public school educator is like today in the era of high-stakes testing and “no-excuse” reformers who ignore or give short shrift to how much a student’s life outside school affects their academic achievement and puts all of the blame/credit on teachers:

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Categories: Education News

Holidays’ names stricken from next year’s Montgomery schools calendar

Tue, 11/11/2014 - 6:34pm

(Related: Backlash over Montgomery decision to strip Christmas from school calendar)

Christmas and Easter have been stricken from next year’s school calendar in Montgomery County. So have Yom Kippur and Rosh Hashanah.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: The education of Jon Landau, Bruce Springsteen’s legendary manager

Tue, 11/11/2014 - 3:56pm

President Obama famously said in 2008: “The reason I’m running for president is because I can’t be Bruce Springsteen.” Jon Landau could have told him there were better back-up jobs. Like his.

Landau, 67, has been Springsteen’s manager, producer and friend since shortly after penning his famous May 22, 1974, article in a publication called “The Real Paper” in which he wrote:

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Categories: Education News

Hispanic students are making steady math progress

Tue, 11/11/2014 - 12:01am

Hispanic students have made significant gains on federal math tests during the past decade, and Hispanic public school students in major cities including Boston, Charlotte, Houston and the District have made some of the most consistent progress, according to a report released Monday.

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Categories: Education News

Trying to get better teachers into nation’s poor classrooms

Mon, 11/10/2014 - 8:01pm

The Obama administration on Monday ordered states to devise plans to get stronger teachers into high-poverty classrooms, correcting a national imbalance in which students who need the most help are often taught by the weakest educators.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: Why Veterans Day is often confused with Memorial Day

Mon, 11/10/2014 - 7:00pm

(I ran a version of this post in 2013 and a number of people told me they thought it was helpful, so here it is again:)

Veterans Day is often confused with Memorial Day. Why? According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs:

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Categories: Education News

Web site Niche ranks Arlington public schools 38th in the country

Mon, 11/10/2014 - 5:39pm

The website Niche ranked Arlington Public Schools the 38th best school district in the country in its list of top school districts released last week.

Niche, which runs the better-known ranking site College Prowler, included 8,738 school districts in its rankings and graded school systems in eight categories, including academics, teachers, health and safety, student culture and diversity and responses to surveys given to Niche users. Academics were given the most weight in the rankings.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: New concerns about cheating on SAT in Asia

Mon, 11/10/2014 - 2:52pm

Nothing has been confirmed but new allegations of cheating on the SAT are being made by school counselors in Asia after the November administration of the exam, ones similar to those made in October when scores in two countries were withheld.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: How Princeton violated federal law

Mon, 11/10/2014 - 10:50am

The U.S. Department of Education has found Princeton University to be in violation of  Title IX, a federal law that broadly prohibits discrimination on the basis of gender at schools that receive federal funding. In this case, the department found the Ivy League school to be in violation of the law as it applies to sexual harassment and violence.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: ‘You can’t even buy groceries for $160, let alone run a school for 400 kids for a year’

Mon, 11/10/2014 - 10:10am

To understand just how much budget cuts have ravaged Philadelphia’s public schools, consider the discretionary budget — used to buy things like books, paper and other supplies — that the new principal of an elementary school discovered  he had for 400 students this year: $160. That’s 40 cents per child.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: The education of a best-selling teenage author

Mon, 11/10/2014 - 4:00am

When Christopher Paolini was 15 years old, he started writing a novel that eventually was titled “Eragon,” the first in a four-book series that became known as the “Inheritance Cycle.” He spent two years writing and then rewriting the story and a third year traveling around the country promoting the self-published book before an established author, Carl Hiaasen, read it and had it published by Alfred A. Knopf.  How did he manage to do all this and get an education too? In the following post, his mother, Talita Paolini, explains. Talita Paolini trained and worked as a Montessori preschool teacher. She and her husband, Kenneth, homeschooled their two children. Many parents asked Talita for advice, so she recorded the Paolini Method in a series of articles and books. You can read about it here. She currently resides with her husband and children in Paradise Valley, Montana. On her website, the 30-year-old Christopher Paaolini is quoted as saying:

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Categories: Education News

Students encouraged to apply to college, while in class

Sun, 11/09/2014 - 7:54pm

On an ordinary day, Lourdes Hernandez and her D.C. classmates in Advanced Placement English literature would have devoted these 85 minutes to analyzing “Wuthering Heights.”

But they set aside Emily Bronte’s 19th-century novel one morning last week at the Columbia Heights Educational Campus, instead spending precious class time on an urgent task: applying to college.

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Categories: Education News

Potomac High School’s culinary arts program gives lessons in math, chemistry

Sun, 11/09/2014 - 6:39pm

Jonathan Ferreira is frantic. The 16-year-old Potomac High School junior has just two hours to finish a batch of cupcakes in a Veterans Day theme and was hoping to top them with marshmallow fondant. The problem? The marshmallows are red, white and blue.

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Categories: Education News

Did money keep student out of top school?

Sun, 11/09/2014 - 6:36pm

The Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology in Fairfax County, the nation’s most selective public school, is a wonderful place to learn, but its admissions system has problems. Just ask Reston resident Benjamin Moore and his son Robbie.

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Categories: Education News

Fairfax approves policy protecting gay employees

Sun, 11/09/2014 - 3:41pm

The Fairfax County School Board approved a new nondiscrimination policy Thursday that includes for the first time protections for sexual orientation.

The measure, approved 11 to 1, means that Fairfax officially joins the majority of school districts in the Washington region that have policies to protect the rights of gay students and staff.

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Categories: Education News
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