Opinion & Analysis

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No Child Left Behind Act needs an overhaul

Everyone has acknowledged for years that No Child Left Behind, which required that 100 percent of students meet academic standards by 2014, had created an impossible goal, and needed an overhaul. But Congress is too dysfunctional to do that.

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Protecting kids in the cloud

A new Virginia measure seeks to protect student privacy and restrict companies' ability to use students' data. The proposl puts Virginia among the dozens of states, along with the federal government, stepping into a complex fight over new technologies, big business, public education, security and privacy rights.

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Should students be allowed to cross the street to catch the school bus?

A new state law prohibits students from crossing the street to catch a school bus. Some Louisiana public school systems say they have already addressed safety issues on busy highways. They say the new law, aimed mainly at urban schools, would cost more money and keep students on the bus longer in rural areas where bus stops are located on interior, residential streets.

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Let's rethink school fundraisers

The new federal restrictions force schools to get serious about keeping students healthy by creating more opportunities for them to eat food that is good for them. One concern heard by active teenagers, especially extremely athletic boys, is that school meals don't provide enough calories to get the students through school and sports. The federal government should review this group of students' food needs.

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Throwing more money at Philadelphia's schools isn't the answer

How can the Philadelphia school district be put on a sustainable path? An additional $80 million in taxes is not the answer to these questions — especially after a $1 billion revenue increase for the district over the last decade, with little improvement in student achievement to show for it.

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A lack of respect for North Carolina teachers

In the recently passed 2014-2015 state budget, state lawmakers' efforts have been focused on raising the salary for beginning teachers while leaving experienced teachers out of the picture. As in most professions, the workers with the most experience tend to be the best and most valued employees. The state has put forth very little incentive to keep experienced teachers in the classroom.

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Balanced calendar saves money and keeps kids motivated

Despite the challenges, the successes that two Michigan elementary schools are having with the balanced calendar is attracting attention from parents in neighboring districts as well. The different schedule does require some adjustments, especially when planning vacations and arranging child care during the year.

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California needs a statewide school bond

The state hasn’t passed a statewide bond since 2006, and the program funds are now depleted. Unless a new statewide school bond measure is approved, many California communities are going to be restricted to the minimum completion of projects envisioned for students.

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Revenue cap for school districts should be increased

Since 1993, public school districts in Wisconsin have operated under a revenue cap. As a result of the state's Act 10, increases to the revenue cap are not tied to inflationary increases, and it is creating problems for school districts.

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Expanding educational opportunity with scholarship tax credit

Access to a good school too often depends on a family’s ability to afford a home in an expensive community. But Massachusetts can break the tie between education and housing by enacting a scholarship tax credit law to expand educational opportunity for tens of thousands of low-income students.

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