STRESSING that every learner, able or differently abled, should be in school, Education Secretary Armin Luistro has ordered all of the Department of Education (DepEd) heads nationwide to take the lead in planning and implementing the early registration of children and youth with disabilities on Jan. 28.

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The District of Columbia has long had some of the worst educational outcomes in the country, including the lowest high school graduation rate. Now the nation’s capital owns the dubious distinction of having by far the largest achievement gap between African American and white students – as well as Hispanic and white students – among major urban school systems, according to a federal study released last month.

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Tiffany Johnson is the beneficiary of the Washington, D.C., merit pay system.

Washington, D.C., public school teacher Tiffany Johnson is a “highly effective” educator — and saw her pay jump to $87,000 from $63,000 this past year as a result.

“When I was making way less, I was entertaining the idea of going to a neighboring school district,” said Johnson, 29, a special-education teacher. “I’m not going anywhere now.”

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Tomeka Hudson receives her diploma from Mercy Learning Center's Jaci Coleman before friends and family.

Jessenia Rivera is a certified nursing assistant who used her maternity leave to study new skills. Jasmin Masso is a mother of four with strong math and writing skills, but no piece of paper to prove it. Tomeka Hudson worked to improve in math and now can pursue her passion, cooking, as a career.

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Is there such a thing as an unacceptably low college graduation rate?

There is seemingly universal agreement in higher education that college completion rates aren’t high enough. Yet it’s difficult to find anyone pointing fingers at a particular college. Lawmakers lament the low graduation rates of students who receive federal Pell grants, the largest source of federal student aid to low-income students. Yet to criticize a college with a large Pell student population and a miniscule graduation rate is thought to be bad form.

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Linwood Center receives $50,000 from Knott Foundation

The Linwood Center, in Ellicott City, received $50,000 from the Marion I. and Henry J. Knott Foundation to fund its supported employment program for adults with autism.

Linwood provides education, employment and residential services for children and adults with autism and related developmental disabilities.

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