Opinion & Analysis

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Matthew Zalaznick's picture

California vaccine legislation spurs legal debate over right to education

A debate over the right to a free public education has surfaced in the most contentious legislative battle in California this year: Does one student's right to an education trump another student's right to stay healthy?

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Fix charter school lotteries to give every student a chance

Charter school lotteries are fixed. Even when operators entice lottery participation, voluntary entry skews the composition of charter populations. Charter lotteries should instead include every student within a district or zone. Such a fix would maintain the power of school choice while providing all the opportunity to make that choice.

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Why Vermont dropped SBAC testing

Unless empirical studies confirm a sound relationship between performance on Vermont's Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium test and critical and valued life outcomes (college and career-ready), test results should not be used to make consequential funding judgments about schools and students.

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True education reform grapples with power issues, testing mandates

If state and federal governments want to improve education, it would be prudent to invest in early childhood education instead of spending huge sums of money developing standardized tests that are putting increasing pressure on school districts in the state with little result.

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After revising No Child Left Behind, then what?

A new national policy must aim directly at improving classroom teaching and learning. Curriculum must be more demanding, and a fair amount of money should support every student regardless of the property wealth of school districts.

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Let's ease licensure path for out-of-state teachers

When professional, proven educators learn they’ll have to return to school, pay thousands of dollars in tuition and even student teach to become licensed in Minnesota, it’s not surprising that many teachers choose not to come to the state. Legislators need to establish more fair and transparent pathways to licensure for out-of-state teachers.

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Don't let American history get left behind in Mass. schools

It’s said what isn’t tested isn’t taught. Since the decision to postpone instituting passage of the U.S. history test as a high school graduation requirement, entire middle school social studies departments have been eliminated and history courses are being taught by English, math and science teachers.

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Rigorous review of Nashville charter schools needed

The Metro Nashville Public School Board needs to adopt tougher accountability and transparency standards for charters. The proliferation of new charters in the Nashville metro area is forcing existing under-funded public schools to compete for the same taxpayer dollars without proper checks and balances.

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School lunches are a national-security issue

What’s on kids’ school-lunch trays can have an impact that reaches far beyond the cafeteria — even to the frontlines where America's men and women serve. Nearly one in three young adults is too heavy to serve in the military. We should continue to support schools that are having a tougher time meeting healthier standards.

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School bus routes must be designed to save lives, not fuel

Distraction, miscommunication of hand signals, poor visibility, slick roads and other variables may be in play when children cross a road to get on the bus. Levying stronger punishments can't correct for human error, only a system change will. Bus routes can be arranged to pick up and drop off children on the door side only.

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