Opinion & Analysis

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Remove red tape to let experienced pros teach

By making it unnecessarily difficult for high-quality professionals to enter the classroom, and equally difficult for neighborhood schools to fill teaching vacancies, unions protect their members from competition while protecting profit from dues.

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‘Opt-in’ sex ed policy would be detrimental

In what’s become a re-enactment of a misguided pursuit a decade ago, some state lawmakers want to prohibit student access to public school sex education classes without parental consent. The current policy, in which local school boards decide whether schools have an “opt-in” or “opt-out” option, works and doesn’t need to change.

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Engaging students online and offline

Effective teachers weave engagement elements in their classes casually and effortlessly while average teachers try to deliver content. There is no question content is important but if a teacher is merely delivering content, there is really no difference between a UPS driver and a teacher.

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Movement revolution needed for healthy kids

In order to comply with impending Oregon regulations, we need to change the way we look at physical activity and kids. It is not some frill compared with core education activities. It should be a high-­priority activity, and an action item for communities.

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Don’t block teachers from right to work

At least 145 school districts, including some of Michigan’s largest, passed contracts that extended years into the future, delaying the full impact of the law aimed at giving workers a choice on union membership. Unions will have to look beyond blocking right to work to hold on to their members.

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Local school boards in Pennsylvania have impossible budgeting task

Rather than address issues such as skyrocketing pension costs, the Pennsylvania Legislature sits back while local school boards grapple with the uncertainties of state aid. It wastes a tremendous amount of administrative time preparing budgets that are not realistic until the state budget is adopted.

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When a school gets a bad report card

More than a dozen states now grade their public schools using the traditional A through F system. North Carolina is the latest to try it, and most of its high-poverty schools received D's and F's from the state education agency last week.

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The mental abuse of young athletes

Young athletes are scared to talk about mental abuse, and parents have no idea how to handle it. There are no official laws against it unless it's taken to an extreme. A coach will get fired for punching a player in the face, but nothing will happen when they subtly abuse their hard-working, trusting athletes for years.

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Washington needs control over pay for K12 districts

Whatever lawmakers do to boost salaries, they need to make sure the state assumes full costs of compensation in the long term. Getting this done might be simpler if the state bargained directly over wages and health care with the state teachers’ unions and left non-pay issues for its local affiliates.

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Troubled school districts need more than prizes

Most likely, Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation is just seeing what any close watcher of urban districts can see. It's clear to education experts that only a few traditional urban school districts favored with both strong leadership and resources can continue to improve pretty much on their own.

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