Opinion & Analysis

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Matthew Zalaznick's picture

GOP 2016 hopefuls face an education paradox

Education is where Republicans can demonstrate that they’re serious about making sure opportunity extends to every American. The presidential candidates need to emphasize successful education reforms while explaining how little Washington has to do with them.

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New Jersey governor’s voucher proposal is still unconstitutional

The governor is again proposing to spend $2 million in scarce public dollars to fund vouchers for private and religious schools. The budget proposal is nearly identical to the Opportunity Scholarship Act, a bill that has failed to gain legislative support for nearly a decade.

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Pennsylvania needs to address school funding inequities

Districts in the state currently can be divided into haves and have-nots based on incomes and property values. The wealthiest districts spend $1,800 more per student than the lower-income districts, resulting in higher achievement levels.

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Three out of four teachers say students come to school hungry

A recent No Kid Hungry survey found that 76 percent of public school teachers reported students coming to school hungry regularly. Schools that have explored making minor tweaks to their free breakfast programs - such as serving breakfast in the classroom so it feels less shameful - have reported increased participation in the program.

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Where have all the teachers gone?

This is the canary in the coal mine. Several big states have seen alarming drops in enrollment at teacher training programs. There's a growing sense that teachers have less control over their professional lives in an increasingly bitter, politicized environment. One possible path out of this crisis is to pay teachers more.

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When school leaders empower teachers, better ideas emerge

In a distributed leadership model, no one person at the top of the hierarchy makes all the decisions that will affect the work lives of the adults in the building. When done well, it can create a community of people on the same page. And when teachers feel valued and trusted, they are more likely to trust and empower their students.

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Let's take a time-out on testing

Florida's new testing regimen encourages fear and cynicism. This week's technological issues only fuel that fire, and they're not the full extent of the problem. It's time for a time-out.

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School construction bill needs speedy action in Nevada

The longer it takes to pass SB119, which allows school districts to extend construction bonding for 10 years, the greater the chance that some new schools won’t be complete in time for the start of the 2017-18 school year.

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Why schools should undermine moral teachings

By letting moral values remain opinion - questionable at will by second graders and college students alike - we give those opinions the power to change, and the power to change us. So as a parent, we should teach morals, values and opinions. The schools will teach the children to question us. In that way, we all end up on the right side of history.

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Invest in low-income community schools' energy efficiency

Securing billions of new private dollars for school energy-efficiency projects in low-income, disadvantaged areas would allow the resulting energy savings to remain with each school.

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