fairfax county
How a family car ride led to a school’s name

A Washington Post story about Prince George’s County revising its school-naming policy led to the recounting of how a Fairfax County school got its name seven years ago: It all started during a car trip for the Syed family.

Mahmud Syed said he, his wife and three children were traveling to the District along Interstate 66 and talking about a new school in their neighborhood.

Syed said he had received a letter asking for community input on a new name. To pass the time, Syed asked: “Do you have any ideas?’”

He suggested that a name should be “something thoughtful . . . maybe national or international.”

Ghalib, then a fifth-grader, suggested Coretta Scott King, in honor of the widow of the civil rights leader.

Aaqib, then a fourth-grader, offered Eagle View. His father said his son liked eagles.

Syed put forth Albert Einstein.

All of the Syed family’s suggestions were offered on the night of the committee meeting.

The winner, chosen by parents and teachers, was Eagle View Elementary.

“It’s the king of birds,” Syed said. “It’s the national bird. Everyone has their own reference when it comes to the eagle.”

— Ovetta Wiggins

Discipline policy to be published Dec. 10

Maryland officials expect to republish on Dec. 10 proposed student discipline regulations designed to shift approaches to student punishment and reduce out-of-school suspensions.

Education officials decided this month to revise the regulations to make slight changes for clarity.

A public comment period of 30 days will begin once the new version of the regulations is published, with the Maryland State Board of Education tentatively scheduled to vote on the matter later in January.

The proposed regulations are designed to lead to less punitive discipline practices and to keep students on track to graduation.

— Donna St. George

$5.1 billion

The amount of funding the Obama administration has given to states to improve academic performance at about 1,500 failing schools since 2009, known as School Improvement Grants. Government data shows mixed results at those schools, with education officials saying progress is “incremental.”