Opinion & Analysis

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Schools must help train teachers

Because of today's teaching challenges, new teachers need to be helped and mentored beyond the first year by experienced teachers. So, before we place the focus of teacher reform solely on the shoulders of schools of education, let's not forget the role and professional responsibilities of K12 personnel.

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Can decentralization improve Seattle schools?

Student-based allocation won’t solve every problem facing Seattle’s schools, but it will take the important step of giving decision-making power to those who know each school community most intimately.

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Merging 15 York County school districts makes sense

A study has been commissioned to examine the potential cost savings of consolidating 15 of the Pennsylvania county's public school districts, particularly the potential benefits of merging administrative functions. If the study shows a savings worth ruffling the feathers, they should proceed.

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Gender segregation in schools is bad policy

Honest discussion about what sexual identity is, how it defines our cultural norms, and how traditional sex and gender roles limit our collective development will offer real opportunities for creating safe and non-discriminatory public schools.

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Agricultural education a missed opportunity, N.Y. area farmers say

While agriculture experts are thrilled by an agricultural boom in New York, they fear that a lack of agriculture options in public education, both for students and teachers, will thwart possible agriculture growth in the state.

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Private school vouchers need accountability

Wisconsin’s voucher school program needs more accountability, based on objective measures of success. Public money for private school vouchers should be pulled if evidence shows bad results and no improvement.

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Better school nutrition begins at home

The U.S.' healthy foods school program must continue because the savings in health care costs that will be realized if future adults eat healthier will be considerable. Parents also need to do better for their kids by doing better for themselves.

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Court review of Fla. school vouchers long overdue

No state has a bigger voucher system. Florida is on the way to spending $1 billion on a program with questionable accountability that could be the start of an attempt to privatize public education. Legal review of the voucher program is long overdue.

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In schools, when should holy days become holidays?

Expanding religious diversity makes it impractical to keep adding religious holidays to the school calendar without strong evidence that classes can't function well on those days. All public schools can, however, have a clear policy allowing every student a reasonable number of excused absences for religious observance — without penalty.

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What every school can learn from preschools

A high-quality preschool program helps children develop soft skills and deal with emotions. But, a New America Foundation report argues, schools should focus on these same skills, habits, attitudes, and mindsets with older kids as they are just as important as academics.

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