Photo of construction site from Shutterstock.

A new Ballou: DC officials celebrated the topping-out of the high school’s new building in Southeast DC, which will cost $142 million and feature a dazzling array of amenities. Ballou, which currently enrolls only half the number of students the new building is designed for, is the latest in a string of DCPS high school modernizations. (Post)

DC schoolchildren harvest knowledge: A new grant of $33,000 under the DC Healthy Schools Act will help 23 public and charter schools bring more of their students to area farms for hands-on lessons in everything from nutrition to history. (Washington Informer)

Northern Virginia’s first charter: The Loudoun County school is set to welcome its first students next month and aims to build on the success of an interdisciplinary curriculum pioneered by a traditional public school in Arlington. (Post)

Schools for immigrant students: Prince George’s County got a $3 million grant to open schools for English language learners. The county is also one of the top destinations in the country for young immigrants fleeing violence in Central America. (Post, The State)

When high-tech procurement trumps pedagogy: Some school districts find themselves with a raft of expensive laptops but few coherent plans on how to use them for personalized learning. (Ed Week)

Teacher pay scales may slight strong educators: Basing teachers’ pay on the difficulty of their jobs and how well they do them, as DCPS does, makes more sense than basing it on seniority and advanced degrees. (TNTP)

TV reporter turns anti-tenure activist: Former television journalist Campbell Brown is using her media savvy and her own advocacy group, Partnership for Educational Justice, to launch an assault on teacher tenure. (Post)

New York teacher lifts struggling students: In a Harlem classroom, 5th-graders thrive when their teacher uses the Common Core approach to tailor his math teaching to their varied needs. (Rethink Mississippi)

Greater Greater Education Staff Contributor Paula Amann brings experience as a high school bilingual teacher, an editor on education policy, and a journalist. She is also the mother of a student in a local public school. She believes school systems should choose teachers, create curricula, and set policy as if the right to a good public education were enshrined in the US Bill of Rights.