Opinion & Analysis

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Chancellor Carmen Fariña changes New York City schools’ course

In the little more than a year since Mayor Bill de Blasio appointed her to lead the city’s Education Department, Ms. Fariña has presided over a methodical dismantling of the policies of Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s first and last chancellors, Joel I. Klein and Dennis M. Walcott.

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Teaching in the age of Minecraft

A popular video game provides a new medium for educators and students to unleash their creativity.

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Teachers should make decisions about our classrooms

While teachers are spending weeks getting themselves and their students up to speed on the latest standards and standardized tests, they’re missing opportunities to build a curriculum that reflects the skills, talents and opportunities of their students, their regions and their communities.

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Make corporations pay fair share for schools

To require that Oregon high schools give full schedules to four out of every five students without a way of funding it will only make already large class sizes even larger. This unfunded mandate is likely to fail unless much greater investment in public education is made.

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What the education reform movement is missing

Some say it's about building more great schools and developing great teachers who transform kids' lives. Vocal critics often cite that more needs to be done to address poverty, which remains the single greatest correlate of education outcomes. Why can't we do both?

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Guns at school? What could go wrong?!

Allowing guns on Nevada's school campuses has its obvious drawbacks. But recent school shootings are clear evidence that “gun-free zones” are ineffective at stopping violence at schools. Since there are not enough cops to patrol all schools, finding the right policy that both protects rights and ensures safety is difficult.

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School innovations require not just funding, but moving away from current 'factory model'

What policy leaders and lawmakers need to assess is how much control they are willing to give up in order to grant sufficient latitude to teachers and administrators to take risks in designing study plans and class structures.

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What do we really mean when we say ‘personalized learning’?

We often say we want creativity and innovation – personalization – but every mechanism we use to measure it is through control and compliance.

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What will reading instruction in kindergarten cost in the long haul?

What will be the impact of the current mandates for teachers, families and the wider society in the long haul if policymakers continue with the kindergarten standards from the Common Core? How many children will only do what is required to complete assigned tasks and become disengaged from the learning process?

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Blind-sided by school bond proposals

Texas public schools are adrift in a sea of red ink. Voters bear some responsibility for Texas' emerging local debt crisis as they have approved most school bond proposals over the years. But with the absence of pertinent financial information at the ballot box, it's little wonder that local debt has become a major problem.

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