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Rep. Robert Aderholt: We're throwing schools a lifeline

The fact is, the 10 lines in the school lunch program bill merely provide a temporary, one-year waiver only for districts that can prove a six-month operating loss. The bill does not pick and choose which nutrition standards school districts must follow. This legislation instead grants the school systems time to comply with the more than 200 policy memorandums that USDA has issued in just the past 20 months.

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Food fight in Congress threatens kids

The U.S. faces an epidemic of childhood obesity and diabetes. Taxpayers spend $11 billion a year to subsidize school lunches. Congress decided in 2010 that the money ought to go toward healthy meals. Now, however, the rules are under fire from the 10% of school systems that have had trouble implementing them, and from the makers of foods and beverages that don't meet the new standards. 

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Are public schools a priority in Illinois?

As lawmakers work to hammer out a spending plan that maintains the meager status quo in Illinois’ struggling public schools, the Illinois House will have a chance to vote in favor of Manar’s school funding reform bill. Without the latter, Illinois schools will continue to find themselves in an uncertain fiscal situation. Students are the ones who will suffer the most.

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Using test scores to evaluate teachers creates problems

Though superficially appealing, using test scores to evaluate teachers will create more problems than it will solve. Excellent teachers will be erroneously labeled as incompetent, while poor teachers may get a pass. Students will not benefit.

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New state law creates sustainable source of funding for schools

State funding for school construction and maintenance has declined by 85 percent over the past five years in Florida. The funding for the Public Education Capital Outlay (PECO) program comes, in part, from a tax paid on the use of landline phones. A proposal before the legislature would instead shift a portion of the revenue from the tax businesses pay on their electric bills to support PECO.

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Pricey construction spending draws scrutiny in California bond measure

West Contra Costa residents are some of the most generous in the area when it comes to their schools, approving six bond measures to rehabilitate old campuses and build new ones since 1998. But this year's request for another another $270 million comes as significant opposition to the district's spending habits -- and the secrecy with which it shrouds them -- is beginning to bubble. 

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Oregon teachers report their curriculums are aligned to Common Core

Oregon schools as a whole began a full-scale switch to teaching to the Common Core State Standards this school year. According to results from the TELL Oregon, 80 percent of teachers reported this spring that the curriculum taught in their schools covers the skills called for by the Common Core.

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Kicked out of school: Disparities are a looming crisis for all districts

A student kept out of the classroom three times by ninth grade is virtually guaranteed not to graduate. In addition, 95 percent of exclusions are for disruptive or disorderly conduct reasons. A group of classroom teachers in Minnesota banded together to request changes to the St. Paul School Board's policies regarding discipline and the mainstreaming of many special education students.

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Congress should start school reform with No Child Left Behind

Congress is taking up a large number of education bills this year. Unfortunately, the issue it is ignoring is the one that most needs its attention: an overhaul of the No Child Left Behind Act. It would be an understatement to say that school reform is in a state of disarray because of this legislative inaction.

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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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