Opinion & Analysis

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Test teachers, but first train them

edTPA, the new teacher performance assessment in New York, has been built by the profession for the profession. Unfortunately, the current implementation of the edTPA is not serving the teaching profession as it should.

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Statewide poll links Pa. public education, economic development

Terry Madonna Opinion Research's Spring 2014 Omnibus Survey shows large majorities of registered voters in Pennsylvania believe public schools have an effect on the economy, the investment in public schools should be larger and a school funding formula should be used to ensure fair distribution.

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Social media and the school system: Misunderstood or toxic relationship?

The restrictions schools put on student expression over the Internet are misguided.

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Burlington schools’ budget challenge

Burlington schools have a tough sell on their hands with a revised spending plan that asks for more money than the budget that was defeated on Town Meeting Day that would have raised school tax rates by nearly 10 percent.

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How Brown v. Board of Education changed—and didn't change—American education

Fifty years after the Supreme Court decision struck down "separate but equal," scholastic opportunities for African-Americans have expanded. But inequality remains a major problem.

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Redefining teenage success to relieve pressure in high schools

It’s wonderful to emphasize achievement, but at some point, the pressure to excel takes too great a toll. And lately, some districts are starting to acknowledge that students are sleep-deprived, overwhelmed with homework, and convinced their futures depend on taking five AP classes instead of two.

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There's no school test for respect—but there should be

Unlike reading, writing and math, there are no programs designed to track whether teachers and parents have adequately taught manners, compassion and decorum to our children. Where are the accolades for the kids who are doing the right thing? Where are our lawmakers demanding that teachers have time to teach social skills?

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Lawmakers, stop meddling in school subjects

Under Connecticut's system, local boards develop curriculums to meet state standards, and should be able to do so based on the best available research. Lawmakers' time would be better spent focused on more pressing needs, not developing a laundry list of subjects that need to be covered in schools.

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Food hubs would link small Maine farms to new markets

With L.D. 1431's approval, Maine could provide loans and grants to support the development of food hubs, and provide guidance to schools that want to use more local food. The Legislature should look at the bill again after the governor's veto.

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Should students sit on school boards?

The debate over whether to include students in school decisions is an important one. But ultimately, putting one or two teenagers on a school board won’t make much of a difference if they don’t represent families traditionally left from the table in the first place.

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