Opinion & Analysis

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It's time to limit police presence in schools

Police arrests and court citations have replaced or supplemented school-imposed discipline for student misconduct. The best hope for breaking the so-called school-to-court pipeline is parents. In districts where parents have expressed concern, school officials have replaced public law officers with private security workers.

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What determines whether a school has mean girls?

A new Stanford study finds that some schools—based on their size, organizational structure, and academic climate—are more likely to foster cliques than others. The tendency to segregate is much more prevalent in large schools and schools that provide students with more academic freedom.

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Building a culture of empathy to combat cyberbullying

One response to cyberbullying is to turn to legislation to regulate behavior. Efforts at creating a culture of empathy, on the other hand, receive far less public attention. Framing online behavior as symptomatic of larger cultural narratives is a much neglected view in the public debate around cyberbullying.

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New York needs a stronger school plan

The rescue plan for struggling schools that Mayor Bill de Blasio unveiled on Monday needs to be fleshed out in greater detail before it can be fully appraised. But it is already clear that the plan — which involves giving failing schools support services and seeing how that turns out — might not be sufficient to remake the city’s lowest-achieving, most-dysfunctional schools.

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Do schools really need principals?

There is a growing number of so-called “teacher-led” schools operating across the country. With some 70 schools in existence, and another 20 on track to open in the next couple years, they function more like worker cooperatives than traditional top-down schools.

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Give Washington charter schools time to succeed

A lawsuit threatens to kill Washington’s push into charter schools before those schools can demonstrate what benefits they can provide for students and parents.

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Texas cities' high schools don't measure up

The majority of public high schools in Dallas aren’t measuring up, according to the latest Texas School Guide from Children At Risk. Over 80 percent of the city's schools are rating a D or F at the high school level. In Fort Worth, 70 percent of high schools scored the two lowest grades.

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A wakeup call for school leaders

If school leaders and teachers take steps to reestablish themselves as the preeminent authority on what it takes to turn around schools and to develop quality graduates, in years to come they will not look back at 2014 election as a defeat, but rather as a wake-up call. School leaders need to be bold in their willingness to make unpopular decisions for the success of the children and school communities.

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New York needs a stronger school plan

It is already clear that Mayor Bill de Blasio's plan — which involves giving failing schools support services — might not be sufficient to remake the city’s lowest-achieving schools. The plan could easily delay action on schools that are in desperate straits and should be reorganized or closed in fairly short order.

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Schools won big in California

If Election Day’s results were mixed for other races and measures, they were a clear victory for California's local school board and school bond races. Now it’s up to the school boards and district administrators to provide strict oversight to make sure the funds from those bonds aren’t squandered by those who foot the bill for the campaigns.

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