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'Seed, feed and weed': Advice on turning around underperforming schools

We can’t have a charter sector that’s performing worse than a traditional district. That defeats the purpose of having charters in the first place. The opportunity here in the next three to five years is to get serious about quality — and quality growth, not just growth for growth’s sake.

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Districts that serve Michigan's poorest children should receive more state funding

If the state is sincere in its desire to help all students succeed, it will acknowledge that some districts — those that serve the neediest children —have the need for better and more stable funding.

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Nearly one in five high school seniors smoke, study finds

Almost 1 in 5 (18 percent) of high school seniors smoke waterpipes, or hookahs, according to a new study from New York University researchers. The study found that students with more educated parents or higher personal income are at high risk for use.

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Charter schools misunderstood, have much to offer Michigan families

Charters are accountable in ways that traditional public schools are not. 

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The fallacy of ‘balanced literacy’

An approach to reading that so frustrated me and my students is once again about to become the norm in New York City, as the new schools chancellor, Carmen Fariña, has announced plans to reinstate a “balanced literacy” approach in English classrooms. 

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Time for a cease-fire on Newark schools

For all Cami Anderson’s political problems, the state was right to renew her contract as superintendent of Newark schools. Letting her go now would be massively disruptive to children starting the next school year.

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Why ethnic studies programs are good for California, and America

In a state where minorities are the majority, a dynamic understanding of ethnicity isn't a luxury or a diversion but a necessity. Such courses would help high school students to grapple with the complex history of oppression and achievement in a truthful — and even liberating — fashion.

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Student privacy should be a priority

Debates about the relationship between privacy and personal liberty have come to a head in the past year, with legitimate arguments being made by folks from across the political spectrum. But when it comes to school children, some things should be non-negotiable. Student privacy should be protected, and companies should not be raiding kids' records to make a buck.

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Use student ratings in evaluating teachers

Although nearly every major college and university requires students to evaluate their teachers, many high school students are denied this opportunity. State law should encourage high school surveys as one component of teacher evaluations so that administrators can better remedy shortcomings in teachers and reward and retain teachers who receive positive feedback.

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SIIA's releases report showing increasing need for technology

The Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA) released its 2014 Vision K-20 Survey Report. The report suggests that only 40 percent of K12 education institutions feel prepared for upcoming online assessments while respondents expect an increase in the use of BYOD technology.

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