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All Opinions Are Local: December 26, 2010 - January 1, 2011

School choice, but few real options

Every summer, an increasingly common event occurs across the nation — parents open a letter telling them that their child’s school failed to meet benchmarks set by the federal No Child Left Behind law. As a result, the letter explains, they...

By Naomi Rubin DeVeaux and Mark Schneider  | January 1, 2011; 12:30 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  D.C., HotTopic, education, schools  
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Three years after Banita Jacks, how much has changed?

As the volunteer executive director of the Little Blue House (LBH) in Ward 1 in the District, I am charged with the responsibility of making sure the children in our programs learn, grow and are safe. I am not sure...

By Carl Foster, Washington  | January 1, 2011; 10:41 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (15)
Categories:  D.C., HotTopic  
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School reform math in Baltimore:
Fewer suspensions equals better results

At a time when the underachievement of black boys in this country can only be described as a national crisis, there is finally some good news. This fall, Baltimore City Schools chief executive Andrés Alonso proudly reported that black male...

By Jane Sundius and Shawn Dove  | December 31, 2010; 5:17 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Baltimore, education, schools  
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An anniversary marred on the Mall

At 11 a.m. on Dec. 16, the sky was overcast on the Mall. The light snow and 20-degree temperature were appropriate, as 40 or so veterans of the Battle of the Bulge gathered at the National World War II Memorial...

By Robert Schneider, Hortonville, Wis.  | December 31, 2010; 4:25 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  D.C., HotTopic, National Mall  
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New Year’s resolution: Experience more of D.C.

I’m not typically one to make New Year’s resolutions, but this year I feel like I owe it to myself, and my city to do so. I moved to the D.C. area in June, and in the six months...

By Rob Pitingolo  | December 31, 2010; 12:15 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  D.C., Local blog network  
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No 'censorship' of Smithsonian video

I have followed the controversy over the video at the National Portrait Gallery [letters, Dec. 28] with great interest, particularly the suggestion that by removing the film the Smithsonian Institution was encouraging censorship and that we are now on some...

By Carol A. Jackson, Gaithersburg  | December 30, 2010; 10:03 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
Categories:  D.C., HotTopic, National Mall, arts  
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The miseducation of Virginia students

The fact that Virginia has chosen grossly under-researched history textbooks suggests that its entire curriculum is not only inadequate but dangerous [“Many errors spotted in Va. history texts,” front page, Dec. 29]. It means that Virginia students are being “taught”...

By Patricia S. Gordon, Ellicott City  | December 30, 2010; 9:54 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
Categories:  Virginia, education, schools  
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Downtown Gaithersburg: Slowly getting there

Downtown Gaithersburg pretty much stinks. The old agricultural/industrial village was left behind during the 20th Century suburban and New Urbanist development booms that defined Gaithersburg as most people know it today. As a result, few people ever go there,...

By Dan Malouff  | December 30, 2010; 4:39 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Local blog network, Montgomery County, development  
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The Arlington Planetarium matters more than ever

The Arlington Planetarium each year teaches people about the planets, the stars, celestial mechanics, physics and concepts of time. Ironically, the planetarium itself has run out of time.The Friends of Arlington’s David M. Brown Planetarium is trying to save and...

By Blaine P. Friedlander Jr.  | December 30, 2010; 3:25 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  Arlington, education  
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Who's the snow 'wimp' now?

Let's travel back in time to the good old days of February 2010, shall we? It was then that two New York congressmen had a grand old time taking potshots about Washington's lack of strength in the face of...

By Aaron Morrissey  | December 30, 2010; 10:45 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  D.C., HotTopic, Local blog network, weather  
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Teaching students who won't struggle

In “Slapped with the label ‘lowest achieving,’ a high school turns a crisis into a challenge” [Metro, Dec. 27], those describing efforts by Alexandria’s T.C. Williams High School to improve student achievement misstated the problem when they said that low-performing...

By Jennifer Martin, Bethesda  | December 29, 2010; 9:15 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (24)
Categories:  HotTopic, Virginia, education, schools  
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Don't close the book on printed presidential papers

I was saddened to read in the Dec. 27 Style article “In a digital-age presidency, books live on” that the tradition of printing the public papers of the president could someday end.Today there are numerous models and styles of electronic...

By Josh Sawislak, Alexandria  | December 29, 2010; 9:01 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  D.C.  
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Virginia is for writers who make egregious errors

Anyone out there looking for a job in factchecking? If so, it sure sounds like Five Ponds Press could use a couple. Five Ponds is the publisher of a series of textbooks purchased by the state of Virginia which...

By Aaron Morrissey  | December 29, 2010; 1:22 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
Categories:  HotTopic, Local blog network, Virginia, history  
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Stories of triumph over adversity

On the day after Christmas, two Post journalists, Dan Morse [“Two lives forever altered on a roadway,” front page] and Eric Prisbell [“Raising each other,” Sports], reminded us about the greatest gift of the season: love.With coffee in one hand...

By Diana Vaca, Alexandria  | December 28, 2010; 6:50 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  HotTopic, Maryland, Virginia, crime  
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Virginia's death penalty ignominy

The Dec. 27 editorial “46 executions too many” made a persuasive case for the trend against the death penalty. It cited the drop in executions nationwide, the reduction in new death sentences compared with historical averages and the abolition of...

By Herbert C. Puscheck, Alexandria  | December 28, 2010; 6:46 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
Categories:  Virginia, crime  
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Home sweet home in Washington

Like many of Washington’s transplants, last week I packed my bags and headed out of town -- to Ohio, in my case -- to spend the holidays in the place where I grew up. Whenever I hear someone suggest...

By Rob Pitingolo  | December 28, 2010; 11:13 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  D.C., Local blog network  
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The true villains in the 'Hide/Seek' story

Clarification: Due to an editing error, an earlier version of this letter neglected to note the writer's past association with the Smithsonian Institution. The version below has been corrected. What hectoring faux bravery Philip Kennicott exhibited in the Dec. 24...

By Thomas Bower, Washington  | December 27, 2010; 6:41 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (10)
Categories:  HotTopic, National Mall, arts  
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Art censorship on a slippery slope

I am, from time to time, extremely proud of The Post, but I had never been so much as while reading Philip Kennicott’s article on the “Hide/Seek” controversy. What a pleasure to read something that tells the story exactly right....

By Wallace Babington, Washington  | December 27, 2010; 6:37 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  National Mall, arts  
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Airports vs. train stations

During my holiday travel, I've had the chance to see a few of America's airports, train stations, and bus stops. Of course, there are exceptions to the rule, but in general, airports, once you get past the security checkpoint,...

By Rob Pitingolo  | December 27, 2010; 10:14 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Baltimore, D.C., Local blog network, transportation  
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Year in review: Metro sliding backward

As a transplant from Texas, where highways dominate the landscape, I was unaccustomed to an efficient mass transit system when I moved to the region. I marveled at how someone could get across the District, Maryland and Virginia in minutes....

By Donavan M. Wilson, Germantown  | December 27, 2010; 5:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  D.C., HotTopic, Metro, Year in review 2010  
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Year in review: Sporting seasons to forget

Some questions have easy answers. For instance, what state is colder than South Dakota? North Dakota, of course. Now, name an American city whose major sports scene was as unlucky, mismanaged, confused, bungled and even downright cursed as was Washington’s...

By William Byron, Takoma Park  | December 26, 2010; 2:17 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  HotTopic, University of Maryland, Year in review 2010, sports  
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Year in review: A time of grief — and grace

A year in which one loses a parent stands out as the absolute pits. In my case, though, losing Dad was mitigated by seeing his legacy, right here, in the cityscape of Washington. My father, Roger Morris, designed the volleyball...

By Bonnie J. Morris, Washington  | December 26, 2010; 2:08 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  D.C., HotTopic, Year in review 2010  
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Freedom in a nursing home

I was shocked to read the article detailing the treatment of the elderly and disabled in D.C. nursing homes [“Suit set on D.C.’s care of disabled,” Metro, Dec. 23]. While the article did not mention residents being harmed or intentionally...

By Karen Thornton, Springfield  | December 26, 2010; 2:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  D.C., public health  
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