Opinion & Analysis

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The end of homework? Why some schools are banning homework

Fed up with the tension over homework, some schools are opting out altogether. No-homework policies are popping up in several schools in the U.S., where the shift to the Common Core curriculum is prompting educators to rethink how students spend their time.

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Solve school space issue with private sector help in Las Vegas

With no available funding for new construction, decisions need to be made to ease crowding for more than 300,000 students in Clark County School District in the coming years. Allowing students to alternate days between going to school and staying home for online classes, year-round campuses and double sessions are three options that should be considered.

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The invisible achievement gap: students in foster care

The special needs of children in foster care are too often ignored. Many districts do not even know which students are in foster care and are not tracking their performance. We must work to get child welfare and education agencies in more states gathering data on how children in foster care are doing and taking appropriate action to help them succeed.

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New study offers clues about what makes a great school

Exceptional schools can dramatically improve test score results, a new study published in the journal Psychological Science notes. However, the study found that so far there is limited evidence that the schools have done much to change the "fluid cognitive skills" of the students.

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Fixing our national writing crisis

Our nation faces a writing crisis. Instilling foundational writing skills requires intentional focus in the classroom. Giving young students a solid foundation, intervening with older students who struggle, and sharing responsibility for writing across the entire education community can help turn our writing crisis into a writing revolution.

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America's schools could be more efficient if teachers were paid less

GEMS Education's "Efficiency Index" report, created with the support of the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development, looked at costs for teachers and educational outcomes. The United States ranked nineteeth out of the 30 countries. The report stated that, in order to become more efficient, the U.S. would need to increase class sizes and reduce teacher salaries.

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The myth of the superstar superintendent?

Superintendents often get lots of media attention, are in charge of big budgets and, in theory, set the educational agenda. But do they really matter when it comes to student success? Hiring a new superintendent made almost no difference in student success.

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Michigan's emergency school district hasn't earned right to expand

It’s impossible to make the case for expanding the Educational Achievement Authority until the fledgling statewide school district has established a sustained record of improved student achievement and responsible educational administration in the 15 schools it supervises today.

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Imagining a better accountability system for teachers and students

Ever since the passage of No Child Left Behind 12 years ago, teachers have been judged, far too simplistically, based on standardized tests given to their students. This system is a lot of the reason that teacher turnover is so high, causing even many of the best teachers to leave. All of which might be worth it if this form of accountability truly meant that public school students were getting a better education.

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Universal pre-K takes off in New York City

City and school officials have been busy finding vendors, hiring and training teachers, inspecting buildings, guiding parents and signing up more than 50,000 children for free, full-day, citywide, city-run prekindergarten. Besides the paperwork delays, which the administration says are commonplace and a result of putting caution ahead of speed, there have been other relatively minor administrative glitches.

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