Opinion & Analysis

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Year-round schooling would help minority students

Implementing year-round schooling will not only lead to minority students who are more engaged with their academics, but ones who come to rely on the consistency of their educational schedule and are more apt to stick with it.

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Survey finds widespread salad bar use

In a report called “State of School Nutrition 2014,” the School Nutrition Association reported that 63 percent of school districts report offering salad or produce bars, while 69 percent offer pre-packaged salads. The survey also found that 52 percent of districts surveyed serve locally sourced fruits and vegetables.

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A school isn't about teaching subjects, it's about teaching children

Schools offer an education that is too precious to be surrendered to those with no understanding of learning's ultimate meaning and value. They believe that its efficacy can somehow be measured in numbers. A school is not about teaching subjects for testing, but about teaching children subjects.

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Bullying measure shouldn't be taken lightly

It's clear that bullying in schools so concerned the Indiana General Assembly that lawmakers passed a measure requiring schools statewide to track cases. But the state's bullying report shows a significant variance in numbers from school to school. That raises concerns that schools aren't being consistent or, even worse, aren't taking seriously the need to track incidents and file such reports.

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Fix errors that cost New York City schools $356 million

The city's public school students on Staten Island have become victims of a series of financial errors by the Department of Education (DOE). The DOE was due to have been reimbursed for money it spent between 2012 and 2014 on U.S.-mandated services for special education pupils. However, the DOE covered the unreimbursed special education costs by shifting city money from school supplies.

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New Mass. fingerprinting law adds another layer to costly, confusing process

A well-intentioned law to expand national fingerprinting background checks for school employees has been crucial for students' safety. However, the implementation leads to multiple, repetitive background checks and unnecessary, costly layers of government bureaucracy. These challenges will be further complicated by the passage of another new law to extend fingerprint checks to disability service providers.

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The debate over anti-plagiarism software

Plenty of plagiarism is intentional. Many of the matches anti-plagarism software finds come from paper mills, cheat sites and other students' papers. As plagiarism-detecting technology improves, some students intent on cheating will find ways to outsmart it. But with anti-plagarism software companies adding hundreds of thousands of student papers a day, intentional plagiarism is riskier than ever.

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Benefits, pitfalls of buying education like groceries

Milton Friedman's article, "Selling School like Groceries," asked readers to consider a scenario in which grocery stores operated under the same provisions as public elementary and secondary schools. The feasibility of a system that enables one to give as much thought to selecting a child's school as one does with groceries needs to examined.

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The paradox of school speed cameras

If speed cameras in school zones - and warnings of cameras -- slow down drivers, that's a win for public safety. But it also means the cameras won't generate much revenue, because speeding will decline. If the cameras create a ton of revenue because no one slows down, that means plenty of cash, but it also means the cameras aren't keeping people from speeding.

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Eschewing healthy lunches costs everyone

Our local leaders chose to give up federal lunch subsidies and not meet the new federal school nutrition guidelines. But decisions about what our kids eat at school are not just personal ones that affect one family. Instead, the leaders could have chosen to provide healthier options that could lead to the students’ sharing ideas at home and possibly increasing everyone’s quality of life and health.

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