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Matthew Zalaznick's picture

Little money, little opportunity for Michigan's brightest children

Twenty-seven states mandate that schools provide programs or services to gifted children. Michigan is not among that group. Nor is Michigan among the 32 states that have a mandate to identify children who are gifted.

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New school lunch rules: How not to get kids to eat their vegetables

Congress and the U.S. Department of Agriculture should have consulted some everyday, health-conscious moms and dads before they drew up their new rules for school lunches. Most parents know that the best way to tuck a serving of vegetables into kids is to hide it. The federal rules make this nearly impossible.

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Calif. bill to provide emergency allergy care for students deserves support

State law allows children with diagnosed allergies to keep their prescribed epinephrine auto-injectors at school in case of a reaction. A bill has been introduced in California that would require schools to keep an epinephrine stock and train some school personnel to use them in the case of an anaphylactic reaction.

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Will fostering charters undermine children in traditional public schools?

Over the next few years, charters are expected to serve an increasing proportion of New York City students—perhaps as much as 10 percent. Is there a point at which fostering charter schools undermines traditional public schools and the children they serve?

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Matthew Zalaznick's picture

American parents shouldn’t “opt out” their kids from standardized tests

Like it or not, testing is the best way to produce uniform standards and accountability. Opting out is more common among higher income families. If the kids from rich families don’t take the test how can we know what poorer children are or aren’t getting from their schools?

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Matthew Zalaznick's picture

What will happen to ‘big data’ In education?

Student information, like electronic health records, remains much more sensitive than other kinds of consumer information. In state after state, parents and other education activists raised concerns that student data would be exploited for financial gain or stolen by hackers.

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Volunteer school board members deserve adequate training

A recent survey of likely Michigan voters for the Michigan Association of School Boards showed overwhelming support for professional development and training for board members to meet the board's demanding responsibilities. Without this knowledge and awareness, boards are potentially liable for infractions against state laws and statutes.

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Don't water down Illinois teacher standards

Enforcing tougher standards means more students, especially minorities, aren't making the grade as prospective Illinois teachers. That's a big concern because the state needs a diverse teaching cadre. Illinois state government's ill-guided solution: Ease the standards.

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Time to stop seniority-based teacher staffing

Under current state law, seniority is used as the sole factor in staffing decisions in Pennsylvania's districts, with the recent exception of Philadelphia. House Bill 1722 presents an opportunity for the state to fix this and protect excellent teachers by reforming the practice of seniority-based layoffs.

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Charter schools deserve scrutiny

Charter schools are here to stay in North Carolina. Some supporters thought open-government laws applied to the charters. As charter school numbers increase, however, the ability of the taxpayers to keep track of just how their money is spent is shrinking. State lawmakers should plug that apparent hole in the charter school law.

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