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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: 6 hours 21 min ago

Strauss: Real learning doesn’t ‘look like 6-year-olds slumped in chairs … staring at iPads’ — parent tells school board

Thu, 06/12/2014 - 12:16pm

Massachusetts parent Tassia Thomas gave the following testimony to the Cambridge School Committee — a panel of seven members that sets policy and oversees Cambridge Public Schools — earlier this month. It appeared in Cambridge Day , which said it had lightly edited her comments for publication.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: New York Gov. Cuomo may face primary challenge from progressive Democrat

Thu, 06/12/2014 - 6:02am

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, seeking re-election this year, recently secured the endorsement of the progressive Working Families Party, which had been expected to back a challenger but sided with the governor after he made a series of promises about meeting their political agenda. But a good number of party members are unhappy with the choice, especially education activists who oppose Cuomo’s support of corporate school reform and he must face a challenger in the Democratic primary in September. Writing about the possibility and what a challenger could hope to accomplish is Carol Burris, principal of South Side High School, who has been chronicling the flawed implementation of school reform and the Common Core State Standards across the state for some time (here, and here and here and here, for example).

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: California PTA urges sane homework loads

Thu, 06/12/2014 - 4:01am

 Race to Nowhere is a film produced and co-directed by Vicki Abeles about the consequences young people face today as a result of being over-scheduled, over-tested and pressured to achieve. Since the film came out in 2010, Abeles, an attorney and mother of three has been advocating for sane homework policies. In this post she writes about how some parents California finally took steps to stop the enormous homework load their children were dealing with every night and where they hope to take their campaign.

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Categories: Education News

Montgomery’s records reveal school board’s credit card use as policy discussion looms

Wed, 06/11/2014 - 6:40pm

A review of nearly 1,500 pages of records shows that Montgomery County school board members took sharply different approaches to using their district-paid credit cards, with some charging restaurant meals with constituents or elected officials while others barely used the cards at all.

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Categories: Education News

Virginia’s top education officials visit Arlington schools

Wed, 06/11/2014 - 5:50pm

Virginia’s top education officials visited Arlington schools Wednesday during their first visit to a Northern Virginia district since they were appointed earlier this year.

Secretary of Education Anne Holton started in her post in February and State Superintendent Steve Staples’s first day was May 1. The education officials said they want to understand the needs of local school districts and to learn about what is working so they can share with other districts across the state.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: A silver lining in the Vergara decision?

Wed, 06/11/2014 - 12:32pm

A decision by a California judge on Tuesday to strike down — pending appeal — five state statutes that provide job protections to teachers has deeply troubled many teachers and teacher activists concerned about the effect on the profession should the ruling stand. Here is a detailed look on what might be a silver lining in the ruling for those concerned about equity in public education. It was written by Kevin Welner, the director of the National Education Policy Center, is an attorney and a professor education policy at the University of Colorado Boulder.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: Assessing learning without tests

Wed, 06/11/2014 - 4:01am

In this era in which standardized tests are the be-all and end-all of accountability, it may seem impossible to imagine a teacher evaluating how well students are learning without giving them a test. Joanne Yatvin actually did it and she explains it in this post. Yatvin is a past president of the National Council of Teachers of English who now supervises student teachers for Portland State University. She also writes books for teachers.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: Is this the beginning of the end of teacher tenure?

Wed, 06/11/2014 - 2:45am

Teachers’ unions just got whacked by a California judge who bought the specious argument offered in the “Vergara trial” that state laws giving tenure, seniority and other job protections to public school teachers deprive students of their constitutional right to an adequate education.  Though he stayed his Tuesday decision striking down five state statutes on teacher employment until an appeal could be made, more such lawsuits will now be filed in other states.

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Categories: Education News
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