Opinion & Analysis

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How college admissions are affected by racially biased school discipline

The inclusion of disciplinary records in college admissions is important, in part, because the extent to which teachers discipline students often depends on the students’ race. Numerous studies show that students of color are likely to be punished more severely than white students.

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When a New York school board victimizes kids

East Ramapo public school students are being denied their state constitutional right to a sound basic education. Dominated by private-school parents, hundreds of staff members, full-day kindergarten and high-school electives have been eliminated in favor of increased public spending on private schools.

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School reform needs reform

Public school educators are in a constant battle for fair pay while ever-increasing sums are spent on programs from Gallup consultants to testing classroom technology. Taxpayers, school boards and superintendents must pull away from the latest trends and reforms and commit to the truth: we build better schools by recognizing the humanity in our students and the staff they interact with every day.

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Pennsylvania lawmakers need to fix school funding system

Lawmakers need to find the revenue, restore the funding the state's schools have lost, and start fixing the school funding formula so that politics do not play any role whatsoever in how much state funding school districts receive.

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How students uncovered lingering hurt from LAUSD iPad rollout

The disastrous $1 billion iPad rollout by LAUSD in September 2013 provided a cautionary tale to districts looking to spend public dollars on technology and digital curriculum. But below the surface of the news stories were thousands of kids feeling hurt by the way they were portrayed by the media and the school district’s lack of trust in them.

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All parties must break the cycle of bullying

Schools need to educate parents about the warning signs of bullying, the mood and behavior changes that indicate a student is being victimized. They need to educate students and parents about the limitations of official responses, to let victims know not to expect immediate and dramatic intervention but to understand the importance of speaking up.

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Texas Legislature falls way short on public education funding

Proposals to add substantial funding for public education were whittled down to an increase that doesn’t even keep pace with inflation and still leaves the state $5 billion below the funding level of 2008 in terms of real purchasing power.

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Texas lawmakers passed several school bills but not a finance fix or vouchers

In the end, Senate leaders had no interest in dealing with school finance during the 2015 legislative session, while House leaders did not want the Senate’s $100 million plan to let public school students transfer to private or religious schools at state expense.

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Greater transparency needed around standardized testing in Connecticut schools

Despite its lack of validity and untested predictive value, the Smarter Balanced Consortium has already determined that most students in Connecticut will fail the Spring 2015 test.

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Charter schools misspend millions of Ohio tax dollars as efforts to police them are privatized

No sector — not local governments, school districts, court systems, public universities or hospitals — misspends tax dollars like charter schools in Ohio.

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