Opinion & Analysis

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Expanded prayer time in schools is not an infringement

New legislation would expand the Silent Reflection and Student Prayer Act, which requires schools to provide a moment of silence. That 2007 act has been upheld in the courts because what the student reflects upon is the individual student’s choice. We need to strike a balance between religious neutrality and a student’s right to exercise their religion.

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Not just one solution for schools

Vouchers, charter schools, new learning standards, new assessments or other reforms foisted upon school systems are not the solution. We should know by now that there is no singular solution but rather a matrix of solutions.

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Learning from Atlanta's cheating scandal shame

Trust is so basic to the function of public education that we don’t talk about it much. Atlanta’s educators demolished that trust — and in the process deprived some students of honest evaluations of how their educations were proceeding.

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Recruiting great teachers starts with eliminating the status quo

Most teachers have been unfairly indicted for poor student performance, failing schools and low test scores. We cannot ignore the effects of poverty and the lack of high-quality early childhood education investment. To recruit great teachers, we also need to reject the status quo by significantly increasing teacher compensation.

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Green schools not right for Nevada

If building new schools is the priority, the new projects should not be subjected to green standards. Increasing construction costs to build schools that, at best, save only nominal energy and financial savings is not merely imprudent but also a waste of taxpayer money.

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High school students should study abroad

We need to make studying abroad in high school more accessible for all students. A global economy demands global students. We need people who can be at home in different lands and cultures. A high school year abroad is also a quick way to discover just how ignorant you are. As such, it's the door to a lifetime of learning and discovery.

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Build a better standardized test, but beware its consequences

Building a better test has potential benefits for our schools and learning. However, we need to remain vigilant and well informed about how these tests are driving policy, public perception of our schools, instruction, and the daily experience of our children.

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Doctors weigh in on random drug testing in schools

Random drug testing in schools may sound like a good way to keep kids off drugs, but there is little evidence it works, the American Academy of Pediatrics stated in a new report. The group suggests schools redirect their limited resources toward helping students avoid or overcome drug problems.

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Did Louisiana's new Common Core tests make it easier to cheat?

The new PARCC booklets are unsealed with no physical barrier between the different days' units. That has raised concerns that the partnership test made it easier for students to get a head start the content of the next unit — or even for administrators to get a look and prepare a study guide for students.

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Standardized testing has outgrown its rightful place

Let teachers teach. Let school districts' time and financial resources now squandered on testing mania be put to true educational use. Let standardized tests resume their rightful role. And let's return decisions about education to professional educators.

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