Opinion & Analysis

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Could Common Core help grow arts education in schools?

Arts programs have long suffered cuts as schools adjust to meeting the growing demands of academic performance and standardized tests. Yet the Common Core standards mention the arts frequently. Students are expected to analyze paintings, music and theater and create their own works of art.

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Opting out of school lunch is not an option

When a parent’s solution is to opt out by packing a healthier school lunch from home, we lose a potential change-maker who can make a real difference in his or her community. All children, regardless of their circumstances, deserve safe, nourishing and delicious school meals. When we abandon school food, we abandon children who could benefit from our powerful voices.

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Does Common Core ask too much of kindergarten readers?

While Common Core aligned assessments don’t kick in until third grade, many teachers feel pressure to make sure kids are meeting the specified standards before they move on to first grade. That pressure can mean more focus on academics, at the sacrifice of play time in kindergarten.

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The great charter school debate

As charters become a permanent feature of the educational landscape, a series of debates are taking shape over their role in our educational portfolio and the rules under which they operate. Do they serve as a replacement strategy for districts or should they function as a something akin to a poor man’s private school? And how many is too many?

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Texas’ school finance system remains one problematic mess

It seems that the additional $1.5 billion the Texas Senate is proposing is a one-time infusion and doesn’t represent a commitment to a new lasting methodology to make sure that schools are properly and fairly funded over time.

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Small high school reform boosts districtwide outcomes

Creating small high schools improves outcomes for students in the overall school district - both in new small schools and existing larger schools - according to a study of New York City schools by researchers at New York University, Syracuse University and Arizona State University.

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Push but don’t crush students

The pressure to succeed is not unique, nor does it cause a suicide cluster in itself, but the intense reflection underway in California's Palo Alto school district has unearthed a sobering reality about how Silicon Valley’s culture of best in class is playing out in the schools.

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Early childhood learning benefits national security

High quality early learning can help children start school ready to learn and can increase graduation rates. It also has a crucial impact on producing young men and women who have the ability to think critically, work well in teams, and make decisions under pressure. These are the skills we need in the high-tech world of today’s military.

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Why public schools are finally getting savvy about marketing

Competition for students – and the taxpayer dollars they bring – is likely to increase in the future. Savvy school districts are increasingly realizing that if they want to retain and grow market share, they need to borrow marketing techniques from the corporations that have been fighting these battles for years.

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Are North Carolina's charter schools becoming segregated?

More students are going to charter schools in North Carolina that are predominately white, a trend that raises concerns about resegregation of schools. Critics have also raised concerns that because the schools don't have to provide transportation or offer free and reduced-priced lunch, they can be inaccessible to poor families.

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