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Nevada's new school voucher law will make inequality worse

When Nevada enacted the nation's first law creating almost universal access to education savings accounts, few reformers pointed out that it would undermine equal opportunity. Those who can afford to add to their education savings account to buy a more expensive education will do just that. But those who can't will not.

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Our golden opportunity

With the reauthorization of the dysfunctional No Child Left Behind, we have a chance to once again let teachers teach and let students learn. Educators know that good teaching and learning inspires students' natural curiosity, imagination, and the ability to develop critical thinking skills. Schools must nurture these values because the stakes are high.

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St. Louis' parking-for-scholars program holds promise

The city treasurer is proposing to invest about $175,000 a year in parking division savings accounts for the approximately 3,500 students who enter city kindergartens each year. Clearly $50 is symbolic, meant to be a learning tool. Studies have shown that kids with a dedicated savings fund are four times more likely to attend college.

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Lauren Williams's picture

Closing the skills gap requires long range view

Unless we modernize our elementary and secondary education systems with a greater focus on college and career readiness, we will never have the robust pipeline of skilled workers our knowledge economy demands.

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Lauren Williams's picture

A bad bet on tying SAT scores to teacher raises

his is another case of good intentions being implemented with bad policy, and the money could have been better spent to promote teaching as a professional career.

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Lauren Williams's picture

Teachers need assistance to do jobs properly

Ask any educator what the major challenge is in providing the effective professional learning needed to implement Common Core State Standards, and the answer is the same: Time.

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Latest teacher bonuses a bad idea

Florida plans to give teachers up to a $10,000 bonus based on how the teacher scored on the SAT or ACT. What does a teacher's score on a college entrance exam 10 or 20 or more years ago have to do with their current performance in a classroom?

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Dissident teachers make it to high court

The U.S. Supreme Court agreed to decide the constitutionality of compulsory union dues being challenged by 10 California public school teachers. The teachers have $1,200 a year deducted from their paychecks to pay the association not only for its union representation, but also for union political activity to which the plaintiffs object.

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Schools must raise focus on kids’ vision

We should be testing the bottom 25 percent of each class by a vision specialist who does two exams — not just at 20 feet but also for reading difficulties at 16 inches. The cost would be compared to money saved in teaching and the sequence for poor readers of remedial reading, dropping out, committing petty crime, going to prison and recidivism.

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State court rules block grants are unconstitutional

The Kansas Legislature is again in a dilemma over school funding. Cutting education funding so a select few can benefit from income tax decreases is not fair to the Kansas students and will ultimately hurt the state's economy in the long term through a less-prepared workforce.

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