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New N.Y. school board majority proposing a dramatic overhaul of education

Even optimists who had hoped the new Buffalo School Board would move quickly to deal with issues that shackle the district had to have been startled at the speed with which the new majority is moving.

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New Illinois bullying law good time to re-evaluate rules

It would be foolish to suggest a bill recently signed into law by Gov. Pat Quinn that deals with school bullying will eliminate the problem. But it would be equally foolish to think that schools don't need some guidelines to help deal with bullies and bullying tactics.

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Closer watch needed for charter schools

Michigan needs to keep a sharper eye on its 232 charter schools, which serve more than 100,000 students. The state needs to insist that charter school operators have a record of high performance before they open schools. Once operating, there should be no room for lousy schools to exist year after year.

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'Seed, feed and weed': Advice on turning around underperforming schools

We can’t have a charter sector that’s performing worse than a traditional district. That defeats the purpose of having charters in the first place. The opportunity here in the next three to five years is to get serious about quality — and quality growth, not just growth for growth’s sake.

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Districts that serve Michigan's poorest children should receive more state funding

If the state is sincere in its desire to help all students succeed, it will acknowledge that some districts — those that serve the neediest children —have the need for better and more stable funding.

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Nearly one in five high school seniors smoke, study finds

Almost 1 in 5 (18 percent) of high school seniors smoke waterpipes, or hookahs, according to a new study from New York University researchers. The study found that students with more educated parents or higher personal income are at high risk for use.

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Charter schools misunderstood, have much to offer Michigan families

Charters are accountable in ways that traditional public schools are not. 

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The fallacy of ‘balanced literacy’

An approach to reading that so frustrated me and my students is once again about to become the norm in New York City, as the new schools chancellor, Carmen Fariña, has announced plans to reinstate a “balanced literacy” approach in English classrooms. 

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Time for a cease-fire on Newark schools

For all Cami Anderson’s political problems, the state was right to renew her contract as superintendent of Newark schools. Letting her go now would be massively disruptive to children starting the next school year.

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Why ethnic studies programs are good for California, and America

In a state where minorities are the majority, a dynamic understanding of ethnicity isn't a luxury or a diversion but a necessity. Such courses would help high school students to grapple with the complex history of oppression and achievement in a truthful — and even liberating — fashion.

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