Opinion & Analysis

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Justice wanted for public school students in New York

If New York is ever to offer a high-quality education to all its young people, the case must go forward to a full hearing on the rules that systematically saddle the neediest students with ineffective teachers.

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Give New Jersey's new PARCC tests a chance

Legitimate concerns about testing times have also been raised by both educators and parents. However, if the promise of PARCC is achieved, the scope and quality of data that educators, students and parents will receive from this effort will justify this investment in time.

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Local Wisconsin school leaders oppose education bill

A proposed education bill calls for strict sanctions for struggling schools that would force failing public schools to close and reopen as charter schools. A different outcome should be possible other than public schools being forced into an independent charter.

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Lawmakers should support local control

The new Texas Legislature needs to take a long look at the real purpose of standardized testing. If the purpose of testing is to assess a student's mastery of the state's curriculum, then a change is required. The state needs to replace it with a compact, rigorous curriculum that will allow students the opportunity for enrichment or remediation.

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The pension sink is gulping billions in tax raises

California Gov. Jerry Brown sold a $6 billion tax increase to voters in 2012 by promising that nearly half of the money would go to bolster public schools. Critics argued that much of the new revenue would wind up in California’s severely underfunded teacher pension system. They were right.

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New teachers continuing to teach longer than before

New teachers may be staying longer in the education field than in the past, according to a new analysis. About 70 percent of beginning teachers are sticking with the profession for at least five years — in both high-poverty and low-poverty schools.

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Raise teacher pay and reduce testing

With all of the standardized testing in Georgia today, teachers are spending more time proving they’re doing their jobs than being allowed to do them. With frozen pay schedules, we’re also at the point where we can’t offer teachers competitive salaries. Simply put, we’re losing our ability to recruit and retain top talent.

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Kids should talk about guns in school

Teachers don't have to be firearms experts or take sides to lead a discussion about guns. It's enough to create an atmosphere of trust that encourages students to speak their minds and listen with respect. It's time to stop treating guns as a taboo subject.

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Should schools teach personality?

Self-control, curiosity, “grit” — these qualities may seem more personal than academic, but at some schools, they’re now part of the regular curriculum. Some researchers say personality could be even more important than intelligence when it comes to students’ success in school. But critics worry that the increasing focus on qualities like grit will distract policy makers from problems with schools.

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New York Schools Chancellor Fariña gets mixed reviews

Some critics say Ms. Fariña’s plans for turning around failing schools aren’t bold enough to make a difference.

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