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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: 9 hours 53 min ago

Days after the snow, school delays continue

Thu, 01/23/2014 - 10:57pm

Several suburban public school systems will open two hours late on Friday because of icy roads and frigid weather.

“Since the temperatures will be about the same as [Thursday] morning, we wanted to err on the side of caution,” said Max Pugh, a spokesman for Prince George’s County schools.

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D.C. schools bus-contract dispute quashes student ski trip

Thu, 01/23/2014 - 8:28pm

Dozens of D.C. students arrived at their schools before dawn Thursday for a long-awaited ski trip to a Pennsylvania mountain. But the buses hired for the trip never showed because of a payment dispute between the school system and the bus company.

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D.C. school system forms task force to study student testing

Thu, 01/23/2014 - 8:17pm

After years of complaints from parents and teachers about too much testing in D.C. public schools, Chancellor Kaya Henderson on Thursday announced that a new task force will work to “help put testing in the proper perspective.”

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Strauss: Let’s stop whining about school snow closures

Thu, 01/23/2014 - 7:54pm

Some Washington area school districts are suddenly the target of criticism for keeping schools closed after Tuesday’s snowstorm.

A Post colleague over at the great Weather Gang blog, in fact, wrote about Fairfax County’s decision to stay closed Thursday after officials decided that some of the roads and walkways were still too dangerous for parents and kids to use. The blog post said in part:

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Strauss: Education stats, state by state

Thu, 01/23/2014 - 4:55pm

Here’s an infographic with 2013 state-by-state education statistics. Click on the tabs and the individual states to see information in different areas, including high school graduation rates, test scores and more.

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Fairfax Schools officials respond to criticism of snow cancellation decision

Thu, 01/23/2014 - 3:46pm

After deciding to close schools Thursday, Fairfax Schools officials responded to criticism of the decision, saying that their primary concern is student safety as roads in the county remain difficult to drive.

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Strauss: The polar vortex explained in two minutes

Thu, 01/23/2014 - 3:41pm

Here, from John Holdren, who is President Obama’s science and technology adviser, is an explanation — in just two minutes — of the polar vortex and why climate change makes it more likely that we will see more extreme weather in the future.

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Dukes, special education teacher in Prince George’s, being placed on leave

Thu, 01/23/2014 - 1:37pm

A special education teacher in Prince George’s County is being placed on administrative leave after school officials learned Wednesday that he pleaded guilty to overbilling the District for bus rides that his company never provided to students.

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Prince George’s County wants MGM Resorts to use vacant school property

Thu, 01/23/2014 - 12:36pm

The Prince George’s County government wants a vacant school near National Harbor to be used by the company that is building a Las Vegas-style casino in the county.

The county has asked the school system to declare Thomas Addison Elementary School as surplus property and to transfer the deed to the county government. The county would then make the property available to MGM Resorts, which plans to open a casino along the banks of the Potomac in 2015. The school property is valued at $2.8 million.

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Montgomery school board to begin debate over $56 million budget increase Thursday

Thu, 01/23/2014 - 12:32pm

Amid public concern about the number of guidance counselors and bilingual staff in Montgomery County’s schools, elected leaders will begin a discussion of budget priorities Thursday evening.

The session, delayed by two days because of the week’s severe weather conditions, is the first of two school board work sessions on the proposed operating budget for the next fiscal year. It will be followed by a session Jan. 28, with a Feb. 11 vote planned.

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Data on community college enrollment drop

Thu, 01/23/2014 - 12:07pm

Community colleges, the low-priced gateway to higher education for many Americans, are losing enrollment as the economy recovers from a steep recession.

On Wednesday, The Post reported on the declining number of students at public two-year colleges in Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia.

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In Fairfax, schools chief hires new nonprofit leader, seeking closer bonds to private sector

Thu, 01/23/2014 - 12:06pm

Seeking to make stronger connections with the private sector, Fairfax County public schools chief Karen Garza announced that the administration’s nonprofit foundation had hired its first full-time executive director.

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Strauss: A challenge: Teach 8th grade Common Core before endorsing it

Thu, 01/23/2014 - 9:30am

This post is a response to this piece by Gerald Graff, which was itself a response to this speech about the Common Core State Standards by Diane Ravitch. This was written by educator Mercedes Schneider, who holds degrees in secondary education (English and German), guidance and counseling, and applied statistics and research methods. She is in her nineteenth full-time year of teaching (fourteen in public school, and five, at the university level). Schneider blogs about education reform issues at deutsch29.wordpress.com.

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Is preschool access a national security issue?

Thu, 01/23/2014 - 6:00am

Is early education a national security concern?

A group of retired senior military officials says: Yes.

“Without enough skilled men and women available to serve in tomorrow’s armed services, we endanger the future strength of our military,” says a report by Mission: Readiness, an advocacy group representing hundreds of senior retired military leaders.

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Strauss: The coming Common Core meltdown

Thu, 01/23/2014 - 5:00am

In the following post, veteran educator Stan Karp explains why the problems surrounding the implementation of the Common Core are less about the substance of the standards and more about the context in which they were introduced. Karp taught English and journalism in Paterson, N.J., for 30 years and is an editor of Rethinking Schools magazine, where this appeared.

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Loudoun cancels rest of school week, midterms after snow

Wed, 01/22/2014 - 10:18pm

Loudoun County officials have closed the county’s school system through the end of the week and have canceled midterm exams, citing continuing traffic-safety issues after a snowstorm passed through the region.

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D.C. officials in talks to operate Options public charter

Wed, 01/22/2014 - 8:55pm

The District’s traditional public school system is in negotiations to run Options Public Charter, a school for at-risk youth that faces possible closure in the wake of allegations that its former managers diverted millions of tax dollars meant for students.

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Categories: Education News

District lawmakers poised to pass Title IX legislation

Wed, 01/22/2014 - 8:43pm

District lawmakers appear poised to pass legislation meant to address large and enduring discrepancies between boys’ and girls’ sports opportunities in the city’s public schools, disparities that triggered two recent civil rights complaints and years of frustration among parents, athletes and activists.

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Categories: Education News

Community college enrollment falls in Maryland and Virginia, echoing national trend

Wed, 01/22/2014 - 5:29pm

Student enrollment is falling at most of Maryland’s and Virginia’s community colleges, echoing a national trend in a sector of higher education closely tied to the economy.

There were 190,528 students in Virginia’s 24 public two-year colleges in fall 2013, according to new data from the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia. That represented a drop of 2 percent from the previous year and 3 percent from three years earlier.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: Shout-out to great ed reporter

Wed, 01/22/2014 - 4:00pm

Nick Anderson, a veteran education reporter and editor at The Post, wrote the following about a great young colleague of ours, Jenna Johnson, who spent four years covering American college life while breaking some important news stories. Her coverage was memorable. Here’s what he wrote:

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Categories: Education News
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