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Oakland may show us ways to fix disparity in school discipline

Many school-discipline disparities are born of failures to communicate, the rubbing together of differently socialized people, and structures left in place from before the goal was to educate all children. Using restorative justice and trauma-informed care tools, districts can change the existing discipline structure and address communication and socialization issues.

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Education reform policy misunderstands human motivation

Intrinsic motivation is more powerful, long lasting and important. But it steadily declines by ninth grade as students and teachers are being subjected to increasingly punitive extrinsic structures. Even those learning activities that were initially stimulated by intrinsic motivation will weaken after they have been exposed to extrinsic structures.

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California should follow Nevada in offering education savings accounts

Nevada has new legislation creating a universal school-choice program that will allow parents to choose the best education for their children. In contrast, California now gives local school districts more leeway to decide what they think is best for children. Unless parents can easily take their children out of failing public schools, don’t expect government to feel enough pressure to improve the system.

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All high school students should learn CPR

CPR training during high school should be considered a life skill, much like swimming or driver education, and thus become a national standard set by the U.S. Department of Education. This notion of school-based training, easily housed within one class period on one day, represents a tantalizing path to potentially save many lives each year.

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New York tax cap having desired effect

A recent report by New York's state comptroller office indicates that the 2 percent tax cap has had the effect legislators had in mind when they passed the law. Governments and school districts are generally in compliance. When the tax cap first took effect in 2012, 15 of the state's 57 counties outside New York City exceeded it. This year, only six did.

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Iowa Legislature should do better by school districts next year

State law requires the Legislature to set state funding for K12 public schools two years in advance. Perhaps it is flawed in its aggressive time requirement, but the law is wise in its fundamental goal to provide local school districts with state aid decisions early—not nearly two months after local school districts must certify the next year's budgets.

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Analysis: Texas schools, by the numbers

With 5.1 million students, Texas has more kids in public school than 28 states have residents. The latest numbers from the Texas Education Agency also show the student population as 51.8 percent Hispanic, 29.4 percent Anglo, 12.7 percent African-American and 3.7 percent Asian.

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Matthew Zalaznick's picture

Schools, courts worry about new Texas truancy law

Texas' current truancy law, which allows schools to file misdemeanor charges against students who play hooky too often, appears to be working the way its designers hoped. But the rules will change when students return to school this fall, and there is widespread disagreement on what to expect.

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Matthew Zalaznick's picture

Senate bill would let schools give education money to financial consultants

As budget-strapped Chicago follows a mass school closure with a new plan to layoff more than 1,400 teachers, one set of transactions sticks out: the city’s moves to refinance $1 billion in debt through complex financial instruments called swaps.

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Matthew Zalaznick's picture

How much tougher is Common Core?

In an early glimpse of how much tougher state tests could be in the Common Core era, a new federal report released in July shows that early adopters of the controversial standards are assessing their students using far higher bars of difficulty.

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