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Local school boards in Pennsylvania have impossible budgeting task

Rather than address issues such as skyrocketing pension costs, the Pennsylvania Legislature sits back while local school boards grapple with the uncertainties of state aid. It wastes a tremendous amount of administrative time preparing budgets that are not realistic until the state budget is adopted.

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When a school gets a bad report card

More than a dozen states now grade their public schools using the traditional A through F system. North Carolina is the latest to try it, and most of its high-poverty schools received D's and F's from the state education agency last week.

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The mental abuse of young athletes

Young athletes are scared to talk about mental abuse, and parents have no idea how to handle it. There are no official laws against it unless it's taken to an extreme. A coach will get fired for punching a player in the face, but nothing will happen when they subtly abuse their hard-working, trusting athletes for years.

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Washington needs control over pay for K12 districts

Whatever lawmakers do to boost salaries, they need to make sure the state assumes full costs of compensation in the long term. Getting this done might be simpler if the state bargained directly over wages and health care with the state teachers’ unions and left non-pay issues for its local affiliates.

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Troubled school districts need more than prizes

Most likely, Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation is just seeing what any close watcher of urban districts can see. It's clear to education experts that only a few traditional urban school districts favored with both strong leadership and resources can continue to improve pretty much on their own.

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Find a way to teach CPR in schools

The American Heart Association is lobbying the Florida Legislature this session to pass a bill that teaches CPR. Florida's schools are meant to teach students essential life skills. Learning how to save someone's life qualifies as critical education.

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City schools and the taxing dilemma

Baltimore's growing property tax base and revitalization ought to be cause for celebration, not hardship for the city's children. With lower property taxes and the subsequent effect on the state education funding for the city, the loss of funds could mean 393 fewer teachers.

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California’s high school exit exam must change for the better

The high-stakes nature of the test along with persistent questions about its utility at measuring college or career readiness have made it a political lightning rod for years. Yet it may turn out that the new Common Core standards are what finally kills off the exit exam for good.

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How inquiry can enable students to become thinkers

It may seem challenging to keep track of 30 kids investigating 30 different issues, but when inquiry-based teaching is done well, that chaotic swirl of ideas and needs is based on careful planning and teacher support.

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High school diploma bill would help Georgians

Since the state graduation test is no longer required for students, it is reasonable to allow former students to receive their diplomas if their only deficiency was not passing the state test. This change would open up additional career and college opportunities for the former students.

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