Opinion & Analysis

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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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Appeals Court supports N.M. students in all schools

The New Mexico Court of Appeals has provided an important learning moment for those who would keep taxpayer-funded instructional materials out of private and religious schools. It’s a lesson in fairness. When parents and guardians opt to have their children attend a private or religious school, their tax bill does not decrease.

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Arizona must settle its school financing obligations

We don’t know how much money the continued court fight on school funding is costing, but we do know that it’s an insult to Arizona’s public-school students and teachers. Lawmakers — whether just elected or re-elected — should stop tilting at legal windmills and accept a settlement deal offered by the schools.

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Investing in arts education is a good investment

Think funding for the arts in public schools isn't money well-spent? Think again. Students involved in the arts are less likely to be truant or get in trouble, and they do better in standardized tests, as a recent report by the Community Arts Team notes.

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Parental involvement is key to better schools

Judging public schools on test scores has a serious, perhaps fatal, flaw. That’s the notion all learning is dependent on what happens within a school building between a teacher and a student. A key component is left out of such a calculus: parents.

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Indiana's school voucher program needs analysis

With no evaluation, all that’s clear is that more families are taking advantage of the state’s voucher program. But policymakers don’t know why. And that’s truly important, especially as lawmakers consider whether to make changes in the voucher program and on how much to spend on education overall.

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Try giving teachers the time to fast track education reform

The problem is not that our teachers are resistant to adopting new standards or advancing their own knowledge and skill sets. Recent data shows that educators are all too eager to work together to look critically at literacy teaching and learning practices and pilot approaches that enrich student learning. The core issue is quality time.

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Philadelphia and 'education reformers' continue war on elementary schools

Regarding funding of Philadelphia schools, there’s no longer a middle ground. All evidence points to a funding plan that basically constitutes a human rights crime. Outrage is the only justifiable response. Anyone who cares about real school improvement should back the students, parents and teachers in Philadelphia and other communities under the privatization assault.

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