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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 16 min ago

Tech-savvy Loudoun superintendent pushes innovative teaching to excite students

Sun, 10/26/2014 - 6:58pm

Loudoun County Schools Superintendent Eric Williams started his day when the sky was just half-lit and the air brisk. His first task was to accompany Hillside Elementary School students for a walk-to-school event with physical education teacher Jenny Aubel.

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Categories: Education News

Poor John Deasy. Like us, he liked new toys too much.

Sun, 10/26/2014 - 2:26pm

John Deasy was an impressive superintendent of the Prince George’s County schools when I knew him six years ago. He cared about kids. He had good ideas. He worked very hard. That got him one of the biggest jobs in education, superintendent of the Los Angeles schools in 2011. He made some improvements, including a rise in the level of challenge and achievement in those schools, but he lost touch with his school board — a common occurrence — and had to quit this month.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: Does Arne Duncan think ‘suburban moms’ are a gullible bunch?

Sun, 10/26/2014 - 10:00am

As pushback around the country grows against the standardized testing agenda of school reformers, the Council of Chief State School Officers and the Council of Great City Schools  recently put out a statement saying that it was time to rethink the amount of standardized testing kids are forced to take in public schools. Then Education Secretary Arne Duncan and even the White House issued statements in support. In this post award-winning Principal Carol Burris of South Side High School in New York looks at the statements and what she believes they really show.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: A Time magazine cover enrages teachers — again

Sat, 10/25/2014 - 2:41pm

(Update: Petition gets more than 50,000 signatures and Time invites critics to write responses on its website)

Time magazine has done it again: It published a cover that has enraged teachers around the country, triggering protesting e-mails and tweets, a petition demanding an apology, and a call for a boycott.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: Teach For America and protesting Harvard students open dialogue

Sat, 10/25/2014 - 4:00am

Earlier this month I wrote about some Harvard University students in a group called United Students Against Sweatshops who wrote a letter to Harvard President Drew Faust asking her to sever ties with Teach For America unless TFA made big changes. It didn’t, and the ties remain, but the students and TFA have been talking and may sit down and meet face to face. Here’s the exchange of letters between TFA and USAS.

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Categories: Education News

Later school start times in Fairfax could set a trend as experts call for more teen sleep

Fri, 10/24/2014 - 11:44pm

Fairfax County’s plan to give more than 55,000 teens extra sleep next fall by delaying the first class of the day until 8 a.m. could set a trend for large school districts across the country as experts and educators seek to improve the health and well-being of high school students.

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Categories: Education News

Authorities confirm body is U-Va. student Hannah Graham

Fri, 10/24/2014 - 8:27pm

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — The body found on an abandoned property outside of this college town has been confirmed as the remains of University of Virginia sophomore Hannah Graham, a grim result that came nearly six weeks after the 18-year-old from Fairfax County went missing.

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Categories: Education News

Pr. William redraws new high school’s boundaries after DOJ inquiry

Fri, 10/24/2014 - 6:16pm

Prince William County officials have redrawn proposed attendance boundaries for its new high school after the initial plan prompted concerns and an inquiry from the U.S. Department of Justice because of the number of minority students slated to be sent to the high school.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: IS MIT researcher being censored by Educational Testing Service?

Fri, 10/24/2014 - 11:45am

Les Perelman is a research affiliate in the Comparative Media Studies/Writing program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he spent years as a director of undergraduate writing. He researches ways to improve student writing and has been a vocal critic of the automated grading of essays. Perelman, along with MIT and Harvard students, designed the Basic Automatic B.S. Essay Language Generator, or Babel, a machine built to prove that essay-grading software is very limited in its ability to find meaning or check the accuracy of a piece of writing.  In this post, Perelman says that the Educational Testing Service, the world’s largest private nonprofit educational testing and assessment organization, is censoring him in his effort to test a product ETS is selling to schools. ETS denies it in a response following Perelman’s piece.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: Teacher spends two days as a student and is shocked at what she learns

Fri, 10/24/2014 - 5:00am

Do teachers really know what students go through? To find out, one teacher followed two students for two days  and was amazed at what she found. Her report is in  following post, which appeared on the blog of Grant Wiggins, the co-author of “Understanding by Design” and the author of “Educative Assessment” and numerous articles on education. A high school teacher for 14 years, he is now the president of Authentic Education,  in Hopewell, New Jersey, which provides professional development and other services to schools aimed at improving student learning.  You can read more about him and his work at the AE site.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: Why is bilingual education ‘good’ for rich kids but ‘bad’ for poor, immigrant students?

Fri, 10/24/2014 - 4:00am

 If you follow the public debate about bilingual education, you know that there are two basic opposing views. As Claire Bowern, the author of the following post, writes,

To put it bluntly, bilingualism is often seen as “good” when it’s rich English speakers adding a language as a hobby or another international language, but “bad when it involves poor, minority, or indigenous groups adding English to their first language, even when the same two languages are involved. Read full article >>






Categories: Education News

Fairfax County high schools to push back start times next fall

Fri, 10/24/2014 - 12:42am

Fairfax County teens will get extra sleep next fall under a new initiative approved late Thursday that will push back the first class of the day in high schools to 8 a.m. or after.

The school board voted 11 to 1, with board member Kathy Smith (Sully) opposed, to delay start times to between 8 a.m. and 8:10 a.m. in the county’s 22 high schools and three secondary schools.

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Categories: Education News

Graham abduction suspect Jesse Matthew Jr. charged in Fairfax sexual assault case

Thu, 10/23/2014 - 8:21pm

CHARLOTTESVILLE — The suspect in the disappearance of University of Virginia student Hannah Graham might soon be moved to Northern Virginia to face new charges related to a vicious sexual assault in 2005 in Fairfax City.

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Categories: Education News

UNC scandal not just about athletes; many who took ‘paper classes’ were not in sports

Thu, 10/23/2014 - 5:28pm

Much has been made of irregular “paper classes” at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, which helped numerous student-athletes score high grades for little, if any, academic work.

But one aspect of the latest report on the scandal, this one from investigator Kenneth L. Wainstein, is worth a closer look: It wasn’t just about special favors for student-athletes.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: Just when things were looking bad for PARCC, they got worse

Thu, 10/23/2014 - 4:35pm

Just when things were already looking bad for PARCC, one of the two multi-state Common Core testing consortia, they just got worse.

The chief executive of the Chicago Public School system said that she wants to delay the use of the Common Core test being developed by PARCC (the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers) — even though she knows state education officials don’t want to take that action. That’s how concerned she is about the test.

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Categories: Education News

Multiple cases of meningitis reported at U-Md.

Thu, 10/23/2014 - 3:26pm

Multiple cases of meningitis have been reported at the University of Maryland, College Park.

Katie Lawson, a university spokeswoman, said that she did not know the number of cases, but knew that more than one student was sick. She did not know when the illness was first reported on campus.

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Categories: Education News

D.C. mayoral candidates sound off on future of charter and traditional schools

Thu, 10/23/2014 - 3:13pm

D.C. mayoral candidates faced a math problem of sorts Wednesday night at the campaign’s only major forum devoted to education: In 1966, the District had about 147,000 students in 196 schools. Now, there are 86,000 students in 213 neighborhood and charter school buildings, yet the city continues to open charter schools.

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Categories: Education News

Average Prince George’s SAT score declines

Thu, 10/23/2014 - 11:15am

The average SAT score for the Class of 2014 in Prince George’s County was 1197, down 10 points from the year before, according to figures released by county school system officials.

This year’s students in Prince George’s County also fared worse on the SAT test than students nationally, who scored an average of 1497 on the college admission test that has a perfect score of 2400 for critical reading, math and writing.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: Read the report: 18 years of academic fraud at UNC for athletes, other students

Thu, 10/23/2014 - 10:28am

For nearly 20 years, employees at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill perpetrated an academic fraud involving fake classes and grades that permitted at least 3,100 students — many of them athletes — to graduate, according to a newly released report (which you can read in full below). While a number of employees have been fired or under disciplinary review, there are still big questions about who knew what and when that the report doesn’t directly answer.

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Categories: Education News

Strauss: Texas textbook review: ‘I’d like a Biblical check on that’

Thu, 10/23/2014 - 8:39am

The Texas Education Agency held a special meeting this week at which members asked  publishers to respond to criticisms of proposed textbooks in social studies, fine arts and mathematics in advance of next month’s vote on approval of next texts. Earlier this year after publishers submitted textbooks for adoption next month, critics pored over them and found what they said were numerous inaccurate, distorted and biased material in history, geography, government, religion and other subjects.

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Categories: Education News
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