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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: 2 hours 3 min ago

Strauss: Does holding kids back a year help them academically? No. But schools still do it.

Sun, 09/07/2014 - 10:00am

It may seem to make sense to hold back for a year a student who can’t read well but a mountain of research shows that it doesn’t actually help. Unfortunately, school reformers don’t seem to care what the research says. Here to discuss this is Paul Thomas, an associate professor of education at Furman University in South Carolina. This appeared on The Conversation.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: Testing revolt brews in Florida as Miami schools chief urges delay in new exams

Sat, 09/06/2014 - 4:01pm

In Florida, the state where former governor Jeb Bush (R) pioneered the use of high-stakes standardized tests for school “accountability” purposes, a testing revolt is unfolding.

Late last month, the Lee County school board voted to drop all state-mandated tests as an act of “civil disobedience,” though the vote was rescinded because of fear that students would suffer the consequences.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: Texas school district arms teachers and posts warning signs

Sat, 09/06/2014 - 11:59am

The Argyle Independent School District in north Texas has started the 2014-15 school year, as KDAF-TV noted, “with guns blazing” — or, rather, with newly armed teachers who have been given the right to use them “to protect our students.”

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: The huge problem with professional development for teachers

Sat, 09/06/2014 - 10:08am

One of the things that teachers have long said they need is quality professional development but most of them don’t get it. In this post, Alvin Crawford, CEO of Knowledge Delivery Systems, the largest provider of online teacher professional development programs, writes about the problem and what to do about it. Crawford has been in the teacher training space for close to 20 years and writes about these issues.

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Categories: Education News

D.C. gets one-year extension on its waiver from key rules of No Child Left Behind law

Fri, 09/05/2014 - 8:41pm

The Obama administration on Friday approved the District’s request for a one-year extension of its waiver from key parts of the federal education law known as No Child Left Behind.

The extension, which will run through the end of this academic year, includes provisions that expand support for schools that are struggling the most and push back the use of science tests in determining a school’s performance.

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Categories: Education News

Westfield High bomb threats in Fairfax County found to be ‘swatting’ hoaxes

Fri, 09/05/2014 - 7:24pm

Two bomb threats called in to Westfield High School during the first week of school were hoaxes known as “swatting,” in which a caller makes a false report to police to draw an overwhelming response, according to Fairfax County police and schools officials.

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Categories: Education News

From eighth grade to where? More D.C. schools help students map out transitions

Fri, 09/05/2014 - 6:56pm

Most public school students across the country know where they probably will go to high school the day they enter kindergarten. But in the District, where charter schools are proliferating and just 25 percent of students go to neighborhood schools, many eighth-graders have no idea where they will attend classes the following year.

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Categories: Education News

New York Times reportedly entering the college-rating field

Fri, 09/05/2014 - 5:23pm

The New York Times is reportedly about to wade into the college-rating field, as higher education leaders await the latest version of the closely watched annual rankings from U.S. News and World Report.

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Categories: Education News

Maryland seeks help to reduce chronic absenteeism in schools

Fri, 09/05/2014 - 2:14pm

The Maryland State Department of Education has teamed up with a national nonprofit to address chronic absenteeism in the state’s public schools.

State officials said Maryland is partnering with Attendance Works to lower the number of days students miss school during the school year. This week, they launched a campaign in which the state will work with local school systems to provide them with tools and strategies to get students to come to school and then keep them there.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: America’s suburban schools facing new pressures

Fri, 09/05/2014 - 2:00pm

One of the problems with many school reforms being implemented in schools today is that they are being done in isolation — from one another and from other policies that are necessary to actually allow the education changes to work. In the following post, two professors explain how housing policy affects America’s suburban schools in a profound way.  Amy Stuart Wells is a professor of sociology at Teachers College, Columbia University, and Douglas Ready is an associate professor of education policy at Teachers College. Wells leads the Center for Understanding Race and Education at Teachers College, founded in 2008 for research and outreach activities related to issues of race in educational institutions.

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Categories: Education News

Princeton moves toward revising sex assault policies amid federal probe

Fri, 09/05/2014 - 11:46am

Princeton University is moving toward adoption of a new standard for judging sexual misconduct cases, which would make it the latest high-profile school to revise its disciplinary policies amid a national movement to combat sex assault on campus.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: The best way to get your college kid to call home

Fri, 09/05/2014 - 11:36am

Some kids love to call or text or video chat with their parents when they start college. Some kids seem to forget they have a home and pretty much never get in touch with their parents. So how can a parent actually get their child to call home?

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: Teacher: No longer can I throw my students to the ‘testing wolves’

Fri, 09/05/2014 - 4:00am

Dawn Neely-Randall, who just started her 25th year of teaching, is sick and tired of the effects that obsessive standardized testing is having on her students. She is a member of the Badass Teachers Association,  a national group of more than 51,000 educators who came together to organize resistance to school reform that focuses on using standardized test scores for high-stakes accountability purposes and that ignores the role that poverty plays in student achievement.

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Categories: Education News

Suspensions and expulsions down in D.C. charter schools

Thu, 09/04/2014 - 8:50pm

The expulsion rate for D.C. public charter schools in the past school year was about half of what it was two years before, and the rate of out-of-school suspensions decreased by about 20 percent in one year, according to a report released Thursday.

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Categories: Education News

Two new cases of whooping cough in Montgomery schools, health officials say

Thu, 09/04/2014 - 6:46pm

Montgomery County health officials said Thursday that they have confirmed two new cases of whooping cough among Montgomery County students, bringing the total number to 14 since an outbreak was first reported last week.

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Categories: Education News

Fairfax schools chief proposes later high school start times to improve teen health

Thu, 09/04/2014 - 5:41pm

Schools Superintendent Karen Garza plans to push for later start times at Fairfax County high schools next year, aiming to begin their day no earlier than 8 a.m. in an effort to give teenagers more time to sleep.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: Principal cancels dance to stop students from twerking and blames Miley Cyrus

Thu, 09/04/2014 - 4:50pm

The principal and dean of students at a high school in Vermont cancelled the fall homecoming dance in an effort to stop students from “twerking” and blamed Miley Cyrus for starting the dance trend with her provocative appearance at the 2103 MTV Video Music Awards.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: Will Common Core double the high school dropout rate?

Thu, 09/04/2014 - 3:34pm

The nonprofit Carnegie Corporation of New York, which has supported the Common Core State Standards, published a report in 2013 with some startling information that was little noticed in the education world until recently: that the high school dropout rate could double as a result of the Core initiative.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: No, helicopter parents aren’t ruining kids after all

Thu, 09/04/2014 - 4:00am

There is no end to the articles and blog posts about overprotective helicopter parents who won’t let their children do anything for themselves and are raising children who can’t operate independently. There probably are some of these parents — but does the helicopter hysteria match the reality. No, says Alfie Kohn, in the following post. Kohn (www.alfiekohn.org) is the author of 13 books, including, most recently, The Myth of the Spoiled Child: Challenging the Conventional Wisdom About Children and Parenting , from which this article is adapted. Citations to research cited here can be found in the book.

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Categories: Education News

Goucher College allows video applications, without transcripts or test scores

Wed, 09/03/2014 - 10:00pm

Goucher College is offering a novel way for cellphone-savvy teenagers to seek admission if the regular application process seems too confusing or if they fear that their grades and test scores aren’t good enough.

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Categories: Education News
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