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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 10 min ago

Rocketship to build charter school on Anacostia hilltop

Sun, 08/10/2014 - 5:59pm

The next outpost of one of the country’s best-known high-tech charter school chains will be on a wooded hilltop across the street from an aging public housing development in Anacostia.

School officials recently announced plans for Rocketship’s first D.C. school: A 54,000-square-foot, two-story building with a glass entrance, outdoor terrace, multiple play areas and nature trails. It is scheduled to open in the 2015-2016 school year.

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Categories: Education News

Prince George’s County Public Schools: ‘Great by Choice’

Sun, 08/10/2014 - 4:57pm

“Great by Choice,” a book that examines why some companies thrive during chaotic times while others do not, has become a staple for business leaders across the country as they look for ways to boost profits.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: Arne Duncan’s new ‘top advisers’

Sun, 08/10/2014 - 2:13pm

Throughout the first Obama administration and well into the second, many teachers and principals said they could not get a word in edgewise to Education Secretary Arne Duncan and his advisers, who plowed ahead with education reforms that many educators said blamed teachers for things that weren’t their fault and set up standardized test-based “accountability” systems that were unfair. If Duncan was listening to anyone, it appeared to many educators that it was Bill Gates, who was pumping many millions into the reforms Duncan was promoting. Tensions between Duncan and many teachers were so high that in May 2011, he wrote an open letter during Teacher Appreciation Week in which he felt compelled to declare his respect for teachers:

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Categories: Education News

Thousands attend Prince George’s County Back to School fair

Sat, 08/09/2014 - 4:27pm

See old friends from class. Talk to some former teachers. Maybe even pick up a free backpack.

Those were some of the things on Paige Blake’s agenda as she spent a couple of hours with her dad, Randolph, at the Prince George’s County Back to School Fair on Saturday at the Showplace Arena.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: A strange definition of a ‘bad’ teacher

Sat, 08/09/2014 - 2:25pm

Keoni Wright is the lead plaintiff  in a lawsuit organized by Campbell Brown’s education advocacy group that is seeking to overturn New York laws that provide tenure and other job  protections to K-12 teachers. Brown has appeared on a number of television shows explaining her new endeavor, which will involve filing lawsuits in other states, as well, in an attempt to have national impact on tenure laws.  (Here’s a write-up about her appearance on “The Colbert Report,” and here’s a fact-check of what she said on the show).

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: Why Princeton students who deserve A’s can’t get them — report

Sat, 08/09/2014 - 10:33am

Here’s an interesting case of unintended consequences in education reform — in this case, grading policy at an Ivy League school.

A decade ago the faculty at Princeton University adopted a grading policy that was intended to distinguish between good and great work but that wound up restricting the number of top grades professors handed out. The policy recommended that each department award no more than 35 percent of grades in the “A” range, resulting in strange grading curves that rob students of A’s they rightly deserve. Last October, new Princeton President Christopher Ludwig Eisgruber formed a committee to review the policy, noting that there had been some unfortunate unintended consequences of the policy (and even “poor behavior” by some professors). The committee’s report was just released (see below) and it exposes an unfair system.  The key recommendation:

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Categories: Education News

Arlington buys safer helmets for high school football players

Fri, 08/08/2014 - 5:33pm

Arlington County's high school football players will have new helmets this year, purchased to mitigate the risk of head injuries and concussions.

Officials announced the new helmets in a letter to parents this week, and said they are part of a “comprehensive concussion management plan” the district has adopted.

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Categories: Education News

White teacher wins $350,000 in Prince George’s schools bias lawsuit

Fri, 08/08/2014 - 4:33pm

A former Prince George’s County teacher won a $350,000 jury award after accusing the school system of discriminating against him because he is white.

Jon Everhart alleged in his lawsuit against the Prince George’s County school board that a black principal forced him out of his job because of his race.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: The difference between ‘complex’ and ‘complicated’ — and why it matters in school reform

Fri, 08/08/2014 - 2:31pm

“Complex” isn’t the same thing as “complicated” — and the difference matters.  In this post, Stanford University’s Larry Cuban explains why in the context of school reform. 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 appeared on Cuban’s on School Reform and Classroom Practice blog, which just turned 5 years old.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: ‘Nothing But Tears’ baby shampoo (because ‘it’s never too early’ to toughen up kids for school)

Fri, 08/08/2014 - 2:25am

From the hilarious (and satirical) newspaper The Onion, a story with this headline: Johnson & Johnson Introduces ‘Nothing But Tears’ Shampoo to Toughen up Newborns.

This tweet from the satirical newspaper says it all:

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Categories: Education News

Loudoun Valley football parents fight for helmet sensors, but administrators decline

Thu, 08/07/2014 - 5:36pm

Amid widespread debate about head trauma and the safety of playing football, parents of the athletes at Loudoun Valley High School in Purcellville, Va., were thrilled when a Bethesda, Md., company offered to place impact sensors on team helmets. A light would turn on when a helmet took a big hit, an indicator that trainers should check for a concussion.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: Ten ways to fix the mess that is kindergarten

Thu, 08/07/2014 - 12:05pm

I’ve posted a number of pieces recently about how kindergarten has been changing over the last decade or so. (See here, here, here and here.) Once a time for socialization and learning through play, school reformers have turned it into an academic exercise that, in some classrooms, leaves little or no time for play, recess or even snack for children as young as 5-years-old. Here is a vision of what kindergarten actually should be. It was written by Laurie Levy, founder and executive director of Cherry Preschool in Evanson, Illinois, and a writer on early childhood education. This first appeared on AlterNet.org.

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Categories: Education News

Prince William schools restrain, seclude disabled kids frequently, inquiry finds

Wed, 08/06/2014 - 7:19pm

Federal civil rights officials have found that two Prince William County public schools for students with emotional disabilities frequently restrained, secluded and removed children from classrooms in a “one-size-fits-all” approach to behavior management that took away instructional time and did not account for individual student needs.

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Categories: Education News

Proposal to quash dissent on University of Virginia’s governing board is abandoned

Wed, 08/06/2014 - 4:46pm

A proposal meant to silence dissenters on the governing board of Virginia’s flagship public university was officially scuttled Wednesday, days after state lawmakers raised an outcry.

The initial version of a “statement of expectations” for the University of Virginia’s Board of Visitors had stated that board members should not speak out publicly on board decisions — “whether past, present or imminent” — without permission from the board’s leader. The proposal drew sharp criticism after it surfaced publicly last week.

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Categories: Education News

Prince George’s County to host Back to School fair

Wed, 08/06/2014 - 2:31pm

The Prince George’s County Public School System is expecting thousands of families on Saturday to attend its annual Back to School fair at the Showplace Arena, an opportunity for students to register for classes, purchase uniforms and even get required immunizations.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: A lesson from South Korea: Student resistance to high-stakes testing

Wed, 08/06/2014 - 4:02am

Education Secretary Arne Duncan has said repeatedly that the United States isn’t as serious about educating its young people as the South Koreans. It’s just one of the many things he has said in comparing the U.S. public education system with that of other countries. But is South Korea really the country we should be emulating when it comes to schools? Kathy Schultz, a professor and dean of the School of Education at Mills College in Oakland,  is the author of  “Rethinking Classroom Participation: Listening to Silent Voices.” Young Whan Choi and Kathy Schultz answer that question in the following post. Young Whan Choi has taught in public schools in New York City, Providence, RI, and Oakland, CA, and has consulted on work-based learning and advisory models with schools in the United States and South Korea.  He has led the development of a national online Ethnic Studies curriculum.   Currently, as the Civic Engagement Coordinator in Oakland Unified School District, he is directing an initiative to ensure that all high schools students graduate with the knowledge, skills, and habits to be active members of their community.

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Categories: Education News

Shining Stars finds new home in time for school year

Tue, 08/05/2014 - 5:57pm

An earlier version of this story said that the Shining Stars Montessori Academy would be the first charter school to open in Ward 3. Washington Latin Public Charter School opened in Ward 3 and later moved. This version has been corrected.

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Categories: Education News

Virginia college presidents skeptical of Obama plan to rate colleges

Tue, 08/05/2014 - 5:45pm

Fifty higher-education leaders from Virginia are voicing skepticism about an Obama administration plan to rate colleges on measures of access and value and link those ratings to federal aid.

Presidents of schools ranging from the public University of Virginia to the private Liberty University put their names on an unusual joint letter sent July 22 to the state’s congressional delegation as well as to Education Secretary Arne Duncan and Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D).

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Categories: Education News

Bowie student selected to serve on national board promoting healthy habits among kids

Tue, 08/05/2014 - 1:23pm

Jodi Evans is a national advocate for children.

And she’s just a child herself.

Jodi, 11, a sixth-grader at Robert Goddard French Immersion School in Prince George’s County, was recently selected to serve as a youth ambassador on the Alliance for a Healthier Generation’s youth advisory board. It will be her third year serving on the board.

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Categories: Education News

Montgomery task force on cyber civility extends its work into the fall

Tue, 08/05/2014 - 11:53am

A Montgomery County schools task force looking into how to boost online civility will extend its work into the fall, continuing to meet through late October, the group decided.

The task force was announced last December after Superintendent Joshua P. Starr was zinged with offensive tweets as he and other district officials weighed whether to close schools for snow and icy weather. Some tweets included cursing or racial epithets.

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Categories: Education News
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