D.C. Council members fear schools near tipping point as students flee system (Washington Post)
DCPS Chancellor faces lawsuit, angry City Council (Washington Examiner)
Teaching History With Film: ‘Lincoln,’ ‘Argo’ and ‘Zero Dark Thirty’ (New York Times)
Henderson outlines boundary change process (Washington Post)
Texas House eliminates funding for standardized testing (Washington Post)
The District’s traditional public school system is in danger of shrinking significantly unless officials make changes that persuade parents to stop fleeing to public charter schools, D.C. Council members said Wednesday.
“I believe we are within a year or two of hitting an irreversible tipping point,” said David Catania (I-At Large), who chairs the council’s Education Committee, during a hearing on Chancellor Kaya Henderson’s plan to close 15 under-enrolled city schools.
Shortly before embattled DC Public Schools (DCPS) Chancellor Kaya Henderson met with the DC City Council’s new Education Committee inside the John A. Wilson Building today, Empower DC and attorney Johnny Barnes announced a legal injunction to block her plan to close 15 city public schools from the freezing steps of the same building.
Protesters brought many of their colorful and provocative signs inside and filled seats at the City Council committee hearing. The proceedings indoors aired live on City Cable TV 13 and DC Council member David A. Catania kept other citizens apprised of developments by tweeting live on Twitter.
Three of this year’s Oscar contenders — “Lincoln,”“Argo” and “Zero Dark Thirty” — invite viewers to look at history, either through the lens of the distant past (as in the case of “Lincoln”) or through recent events (like “Zero Dark Thirty”), and to question the degree of truth and fiction at work in the retelling of these events.
Below, we offer ways you can approach each film in the classroom, with critical thinking questions and related Times resources. While they are intended as jumping-off points for further discussion and reflection, you can also have students address these themes by writing their own movie reviewsor scene analyses.
A citywide task force will lead the effort to determine new school boundaries and feeder patterns in the District, Chancellor Kaya Henderson said Wednesday.
DCPS will convene the task force next month, Henderson told the D.C. Council’s Education Committee in a hearing Wednesday. The task force will gather input from parents and community members before making final recommendations in June.
The revolt against standardized testing in Texas has taken a new twist: The Texas House has put forth a draft 2014-15 budget that zeroes out all funding for statewide standardized assessment. By way of explanation, Speaker Joe Straus said, “To parents and educators concerned about excessive testing, the Texas House has heard you.”
The Dallas Morning News said that the draft budget is not likely to stand, given that the Senate’s preliminary budget has about $94 million allocated for the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness, the standardized test known as STAAR. The two budgets will have to be reconciled and it is hard to believe the state will get rid of the testing altogether.