Opinion & Analysis

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Tough race: Who will be California's chief school officer?

The campaign for California’s non-partisan superintendent of public instruction is about much more than which Democrat will be elected the state’s chief school officer. It is a campaign to reform the state’s broken public school system and shake up the dysfunctional status quo that has fueled a race to the bottom for California’s public schools.

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When school boards try to block a reporter's access

To the surprise of a Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reporter, the local school board president has requested that the paper remove her from the education beat and replace her with someone less biased. It's not an isolated problem. Even if a newspaper had a fleet of education reporters, the district has no right to dictate coverage.

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Convert schools to after-school facilities for more childrens' activities

Letting school campuses serve as public parks and recreation centers when classes aren’t in session or other activities scheduled seems like a perfect way to maximize taxpayers investments. Many cities struggle to find recreational space for local residents. Meanwhile, schools are padlocked on evenings and weekends and their gymnasiums remain idle.

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Schools should focus on pupils’ emotional IQs

Our school systems are designed for IQ. EQ — emotional intelligence — needs equal attention. Our nation’s schools mandate academic, physical and health education. Children need greater conflict resolution and peer pressure skills. Social emotional learning needs to be embedded into schools’ core curriculum and culture.

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New Common Core polls find division among teachers

Two Gallup polls released this week found school teachers divided on Common Core. And support for the academic standards has slipped among parents, particularly Republicans.

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Regardless of grading scale, quality must come first

There's a new education controversy brewing in North Carolina that has nothing to do with teacher pay, budgets or class sizes. It's much more basic and personal: grades.

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Proposed funding law fails to solve underlying school inequality

Illinois needs to repair how it pays for public education. District-by-district funding reflects local property taxes. Richer districts naturally get more money back. It’s basic inequity for poor families, and the sort of systematic imbalance that often energizes federal courts to impose their own remedies.

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Public school parents now divided on common core

Parents of U.S. public school students in grades K12 are about evenly divided over the Common Core State Standards. The data suggest that an increase in awareness has led to an increase in negativity, given the seven-percentage-point increase in those viewing the standards negatively.

School should also be about learning through play

In many cities in the United States, poor children live in housing areas where drug deals, street crime, and gang violence make it too dangerous for caring parents to allow their kids to go outside to play. It makes more sense to add opportunities for children to play during the school day, not obliterate them by getting rid of sports.

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Who will be the next school shooter?

There are many teens in U.S. suburban high schools who fit the profiles of the most recent school shooter and the teens who flew to join ISIS. Teens in urban schools, dealing with more real-life and day-to-day survival issues, have been less likely to be school shooters or jihadists.

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