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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.

Sexting in middle school linked with real-life sex, study finds

Sexting habits are a strong predictor of sexual activity, according to a study from the USC School of Social Work, Los Angeles USD and Sentient Research. Compared with students who didn’t sext, those who received the messages were seven times more likely to have had sex.

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An 82 percent failure rate on high school algebra exams?

What does it say about our public school system when 82 percent of the high school students in suburban Montgomery County in Maryland fail their Algebra 1 final exams? It implies quite strongly that our public schools are not doing a good job preparing America’s students in STEM fields.

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Latest New York City high school directory drops letter grades

The Department of Education’s 2014-2015 grade-less high school directory is the first clear sign of the new administration’s progress toward solving a high-stakes puzzle: How to distinguish among the system’s 1,800 schools with enough nuance to capture each one’s strengths and weaknesses and account for factors it controls.

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