Education News from Washington Post
The Alexandria School Board is seeking input on what qualities city residents hope to see in the new superintendent.
Parents and community members can offer feedback through an online survey or through a series of forums scheduled for next week.Read full article >>
On the Saturday before Thanksgiving each year, the Rhodes Trust announces its next class of Rhodes Scholars, the elite academic club that counts prominent politicians, academics, journalists and one president among its alumni.Read full article >>
It was inevitable.
First we got the Common Core State Standards, adopted by 45 states and the District of Columbia and intended to raise the academic achievement of students everywhere. To assess whether that was happening, we got high-stakes standardized tests aligned with the Core, because, in today’s school reform world, standardized tests are the key evaluation metric. A new market of Core-aligned products, apps and websites popped up, and now, to make sure that students can handle all things Core, we have Common Core tutors.Read full article >>
When new Fairfax County Schools Superintendent Karen Garza recently warned that a $140.7 million budget shortfall might lead to layoffs and devastating program cuts, several veteran county officials couldn’t help but think of a classic children’s fable: “The Boy Who Cried Wolf.”Read full article >>
The D.C. Council’s education committee on Monday unanimously approved a bill that aims to provide the city’s public schools with additional money to help low-income students and others at risk of academic failure.Read full article >>
One way or another, the Fairfax County School Board wants to levy new taxes.
As talks open Tuesday between county supervisors and school board members at a joint meeting about next year’s budget, the discussion almost certainly will include ways to increase revenue in Fairfax, including a meals tax in restaurants.Read full article >>
Some elected officials in Northern Virginia, frustrated by steep competition for admission to Virginia’s premier universities, are advocating for a new law that would enforce a 25 percent cap on out-of-state students.Read full article >>
A school superintendent has been indicted on charges of obstructing justice and tampering with evidence by a grand jury investigating the rape of a 16-year-old girl in Steubenville, Ohio, by two football players. Several other adults were indicted on lesser charges.Read full article >>
As Maryland moves ahead with school reform and the implementation of the Common Core State Standards, state officials are facing growing resistance among teachers, lawmakers and others who are concerned that too much change is being forced onto schools too soon.Read full article >>
Earlier this year, a D.C. government agency paid a Chicago consulting firm $89,995 to participate in a one-day parent-engagement conference. The agency used D.C. tax dollars to pay the fee — which included a half-hour keynote speech, three 45-minute parent workshops and hundreds of copies of parenting books to be given to conference attendees — though other speakers that day volunteered.Read full article >>
Every year colleges and universities ask applicants to write essays to explain who they are and to show how they think and write (assuming that the students actually write the essays themselves). Even many of the hundreds of schools that accept the online Common Application still require supplemental writing samples. Most of the essay prompts are predictable -- but not all. Here are some of the more unusual ones for the 2013-14 college application season.Read full article >>
Pearson, the largest education company in the world, has “a new global education strategy.” What exactly is it? Cognitive scientist Daniel Willingham explains in this post. Willingham is a professor and director of graduate studies in psychology at the University of Virginia and author of “Why Don’t Students Like School?” His latest book is “When Can You Trust The Experts? How to tell good science from bad in education.” This appeared on his Science and Education blog.Read full article >>
When Maryland officials recently trumpeted the performance of their students on national reading tests, they failed to mention one thing: The state blocked more than half its English language learners and students with learning disabilities from taking the test, students whose scores would have dragged down the results.Read full article >>
When Anne Arundel County parent Julie Hummer first encountered AVID, the nation’s largest college-readiness program, she could not understand why the program accepted only one of her twin sons, Eric, since both were top students. Even more puzzling, given that the program is geared toward average students, was that the one who was rejected, Ben, had some learning disabilities and might have been considered closer to the mean.Read full article >>
Latino students from across Arlington County got to glimpse potential future careers at a leadership conference Friday at George Mason University.
About 200 students spent the day on the college campus and met with Latino professionals to hear how they pursued their educations and jobs.Read full article >>
Massachusetts and Louisiana, both seen as important in the world of school reform, have decided to delay the implementation of high-stakes standardized tests aligned to the Common Core State Standards in the face of growing concern about the initiative. The two states follow nearly 10 others -- including Florida, the pioneer of corporate-influenced school reform -- to slow or rethink Core implementation, actions coming amid a growing movement led by educators and parents who have become skeptical of the standards and the new related standardized tests.Read full article >>
In this post, award-winning Principal Carol Burris of South Side High School in New York raises some new questions about the Common Core State Standards and curriculum being developed around them.
Burris has for more than a year chronicled on this blog the many problems with the test-driven reform in New York (here, and here and here and here, for example). She 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. She is the co-author of the New York Principals letter of concern regarding the evaluation of teachers by student test scores. It has been signed by more than 1,535 New York principals and more than 6,500 teachers, parents, professors, administrators and citizens. You can read the letter by clicking here. And she is a co-author of a new open letter to parents from superintendents concerned with Common Core testing, which you can read about here.Read full article >>
The Bee Gees were big and Laura Gill was just 14 the year a teacher at the Potomac School pinned her to the floor of his basement and molested her. Nearly 40 years on, the question she says he asked her is still seared on her mind: Did she like it?Read full article >>
Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell has now pushed through a new evaluation system that will assign A-through-F grades to each public school, based largely on students’ standardized test scores. The state Board of Education just approved criteria (see below) for the new scheme, which was part of the governor’s 2013 school reform efforts. What Virginians don’t know, because McDonnell hasn’t mentioned it, is that the system he used as a model for his plans is in tatters.Read full article >>
The emphasis on using standardized tests are the chief metric of student progress (not to mention teacher effectiveness) is leaving behind one of the key purposes of education: to stimulate the imagination. Here’s a post on the subject from Marion Brady, a veteran classroom teacher, who has written history and world culture textbooks (Prentice-Hall), professional books, numerous nationally distributed columns (many are available here), and courses of study. His 2011 book, “What’s Worth Learning,” asks and answers this question: What knowledge is absolutely essential for every learner? His course of study for secondary-level students, called “Connections: Investigating Reality,” is free for downloading here. Brady’s website is www.marionbrady.com.Read full article >>