Opinion & Analysis

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The decline of public education

I believe the fundamental error we make is in trying to impose reforms from the top down. Real learning takes place when students become excited in the quest for knowledge and challenged to understand a complex problem and devise a solution for it, even if they get it wrong.

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Living up to promise on Massachusetts regional busing

Imposing school transportation costs discourages otherwise sound regionalization programs in rural areas like the Berkshires from being instituted. To push regionalization, the state promised to pay for those costs. It has consistently failed to do so, leaving communities with transportation costs they feared would be their burden should regionalization come about.

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Quality education trumps state championships

While many of these parents’ concerns may be valid about school athletics and communciations, it is disappointing that the Buffalo community hasn’t shown similar levels of outrage for matters that actually affect young people’s learning and future academic careers. We are placing sports above academics.

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Modify funding, construction planning for schools

By providing the funding that Pennsylvania schools need for instruction and to maintain buildings that are conducive for learning, state leaders can turn election-year optimism into meaningful actions that would benefit all communities.

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Teaching young people about Brown v. Board’s legacy

Whenever an anniversary of a major milestone is celebrated, some might ask what changed since the last one. So it is with the 60th anniversary of the Brown v. Board of Education case. One of the important lessons of the case and its successor is that people matter.

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60 years after Brown v. Board, how to stop schools from re-segregating

Sixty years after racial segregation was outlawed in schools, public education is again segregating along racial lines. And not just in the South, but across the United States.

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California governor offers schools a bitter pill to heal CalSTRS

CalSTRS, the California teacher retirement fund, holds nearly $74 billion less in assets than it needs to meet its pension obligations, and the gap is growing by $22 million daily. Gov. Jerry Brown's revised budget proposes to bring in more pension contributions from teachers, taxpayers and school districts.

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School discipline policies creating a new separate and unequal

Harsh and unequal school discipline practices in a number of South Carolina communities disproportionately push out black and Latino students from the classroom into the criminal justice system. In order to enable all children to succeed, we need them to stay in school.

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Losing federal waiver for Washington’s schools is a wake-up call

Washington could probably win back the federal No Child Left Behind Act waiver next year by embracing the accountability system we just rejected. Or we can turn this loss into a far more significant victory by developing an assessment system that authentically improves teaching and learning.

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Immigrant right to education reaffirmed

The Justice Department should be commended for reaffirming the rights of all children to access public education. The goal of U.S. school districts should not be to intimidate potential students, but to welcome and educate them.

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