Opinion & Analysis

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Survey expands on what veteran teachers think

Overall, teachers do not believe that Common Core Standards are having a positive impact on student learning, according to a new teacher survey. Long-time teachers believe that students should also be learning outside of school.

High school internships can blaze career path

A familiar workforce strategy is now being offered to high school students while addressing a crucial need in the labor market. Internships are not just for college students anymore. In Indiana, one-third of last year’s senior class in Noblesville earned school credit by serving an internship during the school day with a local business.

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New Calif. bill to expel school suspensions good for students

AB420 diverts students to in-school suspensions intended to help them. This kind of reform is necessary to improving positive outcomes of students and makes way for restorative justice practices. Teachers need to spend less time on disciplining students and instead work with counselors and supportive staff who can get to the root of the problem.

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Don’t let politics kill Illinois’ school funding debate

The proposed SB16 bill demands greater financial transparency from school districts. It phases in reductions to state aid over four years and prioritizes resources where there is greater student need. Let’s have a fair, thoughtful, rhetoric-free debate about Senate Bill 16, and remember that it should be about a quality education for all Illinois children, not squabbling over politics.

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Students have right to sit during pledge

While students have the right to not participate in the pledge and should not be compelled to do so or disciplined for refusing, we hope few will choose to sit it out. Standing in silence during the pledge is a show of respect for other participants who feel strongly, similar to someone attending a religious service of a faith he did not follow, but still bowing his head during the prayer.

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Seattle’s special-education program needs more pressure from the state

After years of prompting the Seattle’s special-education program to fix ongoing problems, the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction is finally enacting real consequences. Hitting the program’s bottom line could serve as the heat Seattle Schools needs to fix its problems, but the district’s indolence on this important program does not inspire confidence.

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School referendums must be realistic, properly explained to voters

Districts need to market their referendums in a smarter way. Once they have a solid plan they need to reach out in new ways such as social media to get their message across. Voters are extremely busy today and must be convinced through new methods to lend their support at the polls.

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Transgender kids have rights in high school league

In a proactive move to conform with federal law, Minnesota is likely to join 32 other states and the NCAA in adopting guidelines for participation of transgender students in high school sports.

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State should listen to school superintendents’ concerns

The state’s school superintendents are calling on Florida lawmakers to take a reasoned approach to standardized tests. The superintendents want the state to slow down and exercise some caution as a number of significant changes are thrown at them, including a new standardized test to replace the FCAT.

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School systems have the real impact on student achievement

The consensus of most current research is that classroom teachers have a significant effect on student performance and achievement. Until recently, however, there was little data available to determine the effects that superintendents have on student performance. In general, school district superintendents have very little influence on student achievement in the districts they serve, a study found.

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