Opinion & Analysis

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Why so many children aren't ready for school

Only about one-in-three U.S. children are in the process of understanding or actually skilled in the kinds of math and reading activities that support the lessons they will encounter in kindergarten, according to research commissioned by Sesame Workshop. Only about half of children demonstrated the social, emotional and executive function skills that will help them to adapt and learn during kindergarten.

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Setting the stage for a national dialogue on school shooting prevention

The report released by the FBI this week underscores our need for a more effective national dialogue on prevention. What could really help are schools with relationship officers in the ranks, armed only with compassion and the skills to build relationships with distressed students.

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How schools can attack racial disparities

Minority students in Wisconsin tend to start school at a disadvantage, and too often they never catch up.

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Schools should give back time for kids

Since school started this month, my 15-year-old son, Zak, has been having trouble sleeping. He has been worrying whether he has finished everything on his to-do list.

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End the charter school wars

Shouting won’t help thousands of kids learn. Constructive collaboration will.

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The myth about public schools

Have America’s public schools gotten worse over the years? Americans seem to think so.

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Why girls tend to get better grades than boys do

As the new school year ramps up, teachers and parents need to be reminded of a well-kept secret: Across all grade levels and academic subjects, girls earn higher grades than boys. Not just in the United States, but across the globe, in countries as far afield as Norway and Hong Kong.

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Delay the dreaded middle school years, study says

A new study published in the journal Psychology of Women Quarterly found that delaying middle school might help girls remain free of body image issues until at least slightly later in life. They studied three different populations: junior high (grades K-6 together in one school and 7-8 in another), middle school (grades K5 and 6-8) and extended middle school (K4 and 5-8).

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Beyond the MCAS tests

The MCAS tests were never expected to be the last word in academic evaluation in Massachusetts. The Common Core and the PARCC tests are a reasonable attempt to take the state's standards and evaluation regime to the next level. Educators should give it a shot and make it work – while keeping a balanced perspective about the value and limitations of any standardized tests.

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Costs soar as Pennsylvania keeps 500 districts

This campaign season is consumed by the question of whether Gov. Tom Corbett actively cut school funding by $1 billion or passively allowed that amount in federal subsidies to expire without replacing it. Obscured by the debate are questions regarding school costs and governance, including pension reform, benefit costs and whether the state needs 500 public school districts.

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