Opinion & Analysis

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Education reformers have a big blind spot

For all the attention to diversity, one perspective remains almost absent from the conversation about American education: The viewpoint of those who weren’t good at school in the first place.

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Mix high school with higher ed to aid Minnesota students

A new state bill would revise current law to allow more teens and high schools to participate in dual enrollment programs. That’s an investment worth making, because preparing more students for college work saves money for families and taxpayers and increases postsecondary graduation rates.

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Accountability doesn't need to be a dirty word in education

Under No Child Left Behind, accountability has hinged entirely on standardized test scores. The problem is, a single test score is like a blinking "check engine" light on the dashboard. It can tell us something's wrong but not how to fix it. What we need instead is a whole dashboard of indicators that monitor better measures of success and learning opportunities.

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Screen time can improve toddler's reading comprehension

The right combination of educational media and technology, far from being a brain drain, can have a positive and immediate impact on learning.

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Remove red tape to let experienced pros teach

By making it unnecessarily difficult for high-quality professionals to enter the classroom, and equally difficult for neighborhood schools to fill teaching vacancies, unions protect their members from competition while protecting profit from dues.

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‘Opt-in’ sex ed policy would be detrimental

In what’s become a re-enactment of a misguided pursuit a decade ago, some state lawmakers want to prohibit student access to public school sex education classes without parental consent. The current policy, in which local school boards decide whether schools have an “opt-in” or “opt-out” option, works and doesn’t need to change.

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Engaging students online and offline

Effective teachers weave engagement elements in their classes casually and effortlessly while average teachers try to deliver content. There is no question content is important but if a teacher is merely delivering content, there is really no difference between a UPS driver and a teacher.

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Movement revolution needed for healthy kids

In order to comply with impending Oregon regulations, we need to change the way we look at physical activity and kids. It is not some frill compared with core education activities. It should be a high-­priority activity, and an action item for communities.

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Don’t block teachers from right to work

At least 145 school districts, including some of Michigan’s largest, passed contracts that extended years into the future, delaying the full impact of the law aimed at giving workers a choice on union membership. Unions will have to look beyond blocking right to work to hold on to their members.

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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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