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The case against group projects

Although the benefits can be substantial for students, careful planning and instruction on the part of the teacher is essential for group projects. It's empowering for students to be given choices and freedom when it comes to learning; but it's hard for kids to accept responsibility when things don't work out.

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Charter school in Miami fails, but proves useful on Jeb Bush’s résumé

Co-founded in 1996 by Mr. Bush with what he called in an email a “powerful sense of pride and joy,” Liberty City Charter School was the first school of its kind in Florida and a pioneer in a booming industry and national movement.

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It's been a good week for Philadelphia schools

For the last two winters and springs, Superintendent William R. Hite Jr. has grappled with Philadelphia School District budget holes in the hundreds of millions. But things changed last week with revenue proposals from Pennsylvania's governor and the city's mayor. 

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Schools on U.S. military bases are adopting Common Core — but don’t call it that

To ensure a smoother transition when students switch schools, the Department of Defense education system plans to spend the next three to five years phasing in the Common Core. But it is also reviewing a study that could recommend drastic changes for its 60 campuses in the continental U.S.

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GOP 2016 hopefuls face an education paradox

Education is where Republicans can demonstrate that they’re serious about making sure opportunity extends to every American. The presidential candidates need to emphasize successful education reforms while explaining how little Washington has to do with them.

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New Jersey governor’s voucher proposal is still unconstitutional

The governor is again proposing to spend $2 million in scarce public dollars to fund vouchers for private and religious schools. The budget proposal is nearly identical to the Opportunity Scholarship Act, a bill that has failed to gain legislative support for nearly a decade.

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Pennsylvania needs to address school funding inequities

Districts in the state currently can be divided into haves and have-nots based on incomes and property values. The wealthiest districts spend $1,800 more per student than the lower-income districts, resulting in higher achievement levels.

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Three out of four teachers say students come to school hungry

A recent No Kid Hungry survey found that 76 percent of public school teachers reported students coming to school hungry regularly. Schools that have explored making minor tweaks to their free breakfast programs - such as serving breakfast in the classroom so it feels less shameful - have reported increased participation in the program.

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Where have all the teachers gone?

This is the canary in the coal mine. Several big states have seen alarming drops in enrollment at teacher training programs. There's a growing sense that teachers have less control over their professional lives in an increasingly bitter, politicized environment. One possible path out of this crisis is to pay teachers more.

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When school leaders empower teachers, better ideas emerge

In a distributed leadership model, no one person at the top of the hierarchy makes all the decisions that will affect the work lives of the adults in the building. When done well, it can create a community of people on the same page. And when teachers feel valued and trusted, they are more likely to trust and empower their students.

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