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Lessons from abroad to help education reform succeed

If you could change the education system today, what would you create? Where would you start? Doesn't it seem logical to start by studying what the top performers in education do? Only when the United States does this, and learns the right lessons from these countries' practices, will the era of education reform truly arrive.

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Making school lunches healthier doesn't mean kids will eat them

Los Angeles Unified, the country’s second-largest school system, is home to more than 650,000 students, and 42 percent of them are overweight or obese. In 2011, the district decided healthier school lunches were the best way to help them not be. A new study suggests that despite the softened menu standards, students are still beelining toward carbs and meat and avoiding fruits and vegetables.

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Indiana makes progress on preschool, but education problems still daunting

For all the effort and money poured into school reform, Indiana is simply not making enough progress. Only about 10 percent of children from low-income families eventually graduate from a four-year university. We’re at severe risk of developing a nearly permanent underclass in our state, one with few opportunities for upward mobility.

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Why Vermont's top jobs in education turn over so quickly

At the end of June, nearly a third of Vermont's 60-something superintendents are leaving their posts. That is cause for concern if you ask Vermont's secretary of education, Rebecca Holcombe. "If this was a business, and you had 30 percent turnover every year, you'd think it was a crisis," she says.

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Congress' attempt to weaken school nutrition programs

The House Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture just rolled back major steps toward a healthier school lunch. This is a travesty that puts the health of our children and their children at stake. We all need to push back on this and make the health of our children our primary goal, not the health of big business or even the bottom line of school food service operations.

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A new model of school reform in California

By acknowledging and respecting that relationships are crucial to creating positive learning environments—and that this relationship-building must not be limited to the classroom—Oakland USD has embarked upon what could be one of the most effective school reform models to date.

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High school nerds make more money, says social science

Researchers at the University of Miami published a study showing that students who earn better grades in high school also make more money as adults. The paper, which appears in the Eastern Economic Journal, finds that boys who up their GPAs by an extra point can expect to earn 11.85 percent more pay down the road. For girls, an additional grade point is worth a 13.77 percent bonus.

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Students should move full STEAM ahead

If we want results, let’s do the hard thinking to join the arts and sciences in meaningful ways, bring partners together, and put the systemic changes in place that are necessary to build student interest and skill in all areas of the core curriculum. Every one of Utah’s students deserves the opportunity to move full STEAM ahead.

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School data collection needs limits

No matter how poor the school or what important research study is being performed or even what product may be offered to a school, children have a right to privacy protected by the U.S. Constitution. And no one should take that away from them.

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Modify lunch rules, don't dump them

Overturning the new rules entirely is certainly not the answer. With this nation’s unacceptably high rates of childhood obesity and diabetes, it remains important for schools to help young people develop healthy eating habits. For too many lower-income students, especially, school is the only place they get a decent meal. That meal should be a nutritious one.

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