The Answer Sheet: Montgomery County Public Schools


Posted at 06:01 AM ET, 06/11/2013

Teachers: Why so many kids are flunking final exams in Montgomery County

"These problems are not primarily caused by the students, the families or the teachers. The failure rates are the result of policies that have been in place for many years."

By Valerie Strauss  |  06:01 AM ET, 06/11/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  Final Exams, Montgomery County Public Schools, Systemic Problems Cited

Posted at 11:39 AM ET, 01/07/2013

Moco schools chief on new teacher/principal evaluation systems

Here is a new message from Montgomery County Public Schools Superintendent Joshua Starr about changes to its nationally known educator evaluation systems that the district is being forced to make by the state of Maryland.

By Valerie Strauss  |  11:39 AM ET, 01/07/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  Changes Forced By State, Montgomery County Public Schools, Nationally Known Process Forced to Change By State, Teacher Evaluation

Posted at 05:00 PM ET, 11/05/2010

Montgomery County admits kids were pushed too hard in math

The highly regarded Montgomery County Public Schools now admits that it has been pushing too many kids into accelerated math when they weren't ready and will stop it. A lot of parents are going to lose bragging rights at cocktail parties.

By Valerie Strauss  |  05:00 PM ET, 11/05/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Montgomery County Public Schools, Montgomery County Public Schools, Montgomery County Public Schools | Tags:  accelerated math, common core standards, math, math programs, moco, moco schools, montgomery county public schools, montgomery county schools

Posted at 11:30 AM ET, 10/22/2010

Economic school integration: A response to Valerie Strauss and Jerry Weast

Richard D. Kahlenberg makes strong arguments as he responds to separate criticism that Montgomery County Public Schools Supt. Jerry Weast and I raised about a Century Foundation report about economic school integration in Montgomery County.

By Valerie Strauss  |  11:30 AM ET, 10/22/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Guest Bloggers, Guest Bloggers | Tags:  century foundation, economic integration, economic school integration, jerry weast, mcps, montgomery county, montgomery county public schools, richard kahlenberg, school choice, socioeconomic integregation, the answer sheet, valerie strauss

Posted at 04:30 AM ET, 06/09/2010

MCPS selling its reputation to Pearson

Some may call Project North Star a pretty smart deal. I would use less flattering words to describe the deal into which Montgomery County Public Schools just entered with the world’s largest for-profit educational publishing company to nationally “brand” a newly created K-5 curriculum.

By Valerie Strauss  |  04:30 AM ET, 06/09/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Montgomery County Public Schools | Tags:  mcps, mcps curriculum, montgomery county public schools, pearson and montgomery county schools, pearson education, pearson education and curriculum, project north star

Posted at 03:45 PM ET, 04/15/2010

Sexting scandal at Montgomery County schools

Some female students at Pyle Middle School and Whitman High School in Montgomery County willingly posed for inappropriate pictures and some students sold and bought access to the pictures and videos, resulting in a police investigation, according to a letter sent home to students today.

By Valerie Strauss  |  03:45 PM ET, 04/15/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Montgomery County Public Schools | Tags:  Montgomery County public schools, Pyle Middle School, Whitman High school, police and pyle, police investigate sexting, sexting, sexting and Pyle, sexting and schools, whitman and sexting

Posted at 04:44 PM ET, 03/17/2010

Moco schools won't make up snow days

Montgomery County public schools will not have to make up the five days that the schools were closed because of snow, a school official said today.

By Valerie Strauss  |  04:44 PM ET, 03/17/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Montgomery County Public Schools | Tags:  Montgomery County Public Schools

Posted at 06:30 AM ET, 03/16/2010

Principal scolds parents

The principal of Whitman High School scolds a group of parents and community residents for over-the-top opposition to a student-supported proposal to erect a cell tower on the school premises--and then pulls the plug on the project.

By Valerie Strauss  |  06:30 AM ET, 03/16/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Montgomery County Public Schools | Tags:  Montgomery County Public Schools

Posted at 06:30 AM ET, 02/08/2010

Up to Montgomery County principals to challenge fliers

I asked Montgomery County schools officials to explain who is responsible for challenging fliers that non-profit groups are permitted to send home with students four times a year. The issue arose when my colleague Michael Birnbaum reported that were passed out to some Montgomery County high school students from an organization that insists that therapy can turn gays into heterosexuals. It turns out that it is up to school principals to raise any concerns about the material. The fliers in question, from the group Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays and Gays, were distributed at Churchill High School and other schools last week under a district rule that allows non-profit groups from distributing information that is not deemed to be hate speech.

By Valerie Strauss  |  06:30 AM ET, 02/08/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  High School, High School | Tags:  montgomery county public schools

Posted at 06:30 AM ET, 02/05/2010

Another tale of school bathrooms

It wasn’t too long ago that I wrote about how some bathrooms at Montgomery Blair High School--one of the premier institutions in Montgomery County Public Schools, itself a leading school district--had to be closed during lunch because there wasn’t enough staff to keep it from being vandalized. Now we find that the bathrooms at the county’s Whitman High School--as good as a high schools gets--are also, in the words of a young journalist at the school’s student newspaper, black&white, “downright disgraceful.”

By Valerie Strauss  |  06:30 AM ET, 02/05/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Montgomery County Public Schools, Montgomery County Public Schools, Montgomery County Public Schools | Tags:  Montgomery County Public Schools, school bathrooms

Posted at 12:30 PM ET, 02/04/2010

MCPS orders teachers to change passwords

Montgomery County schools officials have ordered all employees to create new computer passwords after students hacked into the computers at Churchill High School to change grades. But it wasn’t the first time kids have hacked into school computers in the county, however; at Whitman High School, the student newspaper black&white reported on Sept. 30, 2009, that a student had broken through the security barriers on Whitman’s Pinnacle grading system and changed some grades.

By Valerie Strauss  |  12:30 PM ET, 02/04/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Montgomery County Public Schools | Tags:  computer hacking, montgomery county public schools

Posted at 09:51 AM ET, 12/02/2009

School closes bathrooms because of security shortage

In the category of “it makes you wonder,” the student newspaper at Montgomery-Blair High School reports that bathrooms on the second and third floors are now being locked during lunch. Why? The school has a security shortage and couldn’t figure out a better way to deal with it.

By Valerie Strauss  |  09:51 AM ET, 12/02/2009 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  High School, High School | Tags:  Montgomery Blair High School, Montgomery County Public Schools, high school

Posted at 11:51 AM ET, 11/05/2009

Should Montgomery schools pay millions in penalties?

I had only one response to the story about the state of Maryland considering fining Montgomery County tens of millions of millions as punishment for not spending enough money on schools: You’ve gotta be kidding.

By Valerie Strauss  |  11:51 AM ET, 11/05/2009 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Montgomery County Public Schools | Tags:  montgomery county public schools

Posted at 11:49 AM ET, 10/27/2009

Who is responsible for kids after school?

A recent story on The Sheet about a 5-year-old boy who was mistakenly put on a school bus in Arlington and then let off in a strange neighborhood sparked a number of responses. One reader, Melanie Klein, shared a letter she had just sent to the school system’s director of transportation, Todd Watkins. Here is it. Do you agree with her, or the school system?

By Valerie Strauss  |  11:49 AM ET, 10/27/2009 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Montgomery County Public Schools, Montgomery County Public Schools | Tags:  Montgomery County Public Schools, bus policy

Posted at 06:30 AM ET, 09/21/2009

The Problem That Is Kindergarten

Art. Mathematics. Music. Physical Education. Reading/Language Arts. Science. Social Studies. Guess the school year in which kids first tackle that lineup. Third grade? Second grade? First? Wrong, wrong and wrong. That’s what 5-year-olds in kindergarten are doing in Montgomery County public schools--and in many other districts around the country too.

By Valerie Strauss  |  06:30 AM ET, 09/21/2009 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  kindergarten, montgomery county public schools, standardized tests