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How writing down specific goals can empower struggling students

Writing down their internal motivations and connecting daily efforts to positive goals can help young people solidify their identities as students and locate, ground and ultimately resolve anxiety and the associated stress.

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New study banning headers only part of stopping concussions

A group of scientists checked a decade's worth of data about what causes concussions in high school soccer. Their conclusion: While a ban on heading would help decrease head injuries, what the game really needs is better enforcement of rules restricting all sorts of player-to-player contact.

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More work ahead on fixing public-school financing

To ensure Washington legislators fulfill their obligations to provide ample state funding of public schools, the state Supreme Court must ban the use of local levies for basic education and appoint a special master to oversee the process.

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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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