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Improving school lunches with chefs

With so many children getting about half of their daily calories from school meals, it’s critical that school cafeterias provide healthier options. The latest research suggests one way to get kids to eat more fruits and vegetables is for schools to develop menus with chefs.

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The role of parents in improving school diversity

Public-education systems struggle with a lack of racial and economic diversity. In many cities, the choice of a school is an individual family’s decision that can become entangled with the future health of the school system itself. We are likely to see more equality in these systems when more families are willing to elect to send their kids to schools dominated by lower-class minority populations.

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Feeling alone as the opportunity gap widens for kids

As Americans, historically we’ve wanted public schools to create a level playing field. Schools must be part of the solution. We shouldn’t blame teachers or districts. They’re just dealing with what they’ve been given. Districts don’t decide their own boundaries, but saying that doesn’t absolve us from how schools can help.

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Congress fails in providing innovation to America's public schools

As Congress debates the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, or ESEA, a bill whose purpose is to fulfill this country's obligation to provide all students with a high-quality education, virtually no attention is being paid to the role that the federal government has played in helping many schools make dramatic progress.

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Educators must unite Arizona schools

We need an Arizona economic plan that is based in education.

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Zeroing out zero tolerance

Large cities are at the vanguard of a shift away from zero-tolerance school discipline toward less punitive strategies that emphasize talking it out and resolving disputes among students to keep them in school.

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How to get world-class leaders for world-class schools

Massachusetts' well-intentioned Open Meeting Law, with its strict provisions for conducting public business with the greatest possible transparency, generally serves the public sector well. However, it does, unintentionally, create problems in attracting top superintendent candidates to a process in which they are required to make their candidacies public.

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The teaching crisis that unions and school districts won't address

Los Angeles teachers and school district administrators are doing battle once again after 18 rounds of contract negotiations. Given the potential long-term impact of any settlement, it is a shame that a major stakeholder can't be at the negotiating table. Namely, college graduates considering whether to pursue a teaching career.

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Pa. Senate bill should include governor's stronger policy ideas

When the Senate receives the House's long-overdue charter school reform bill, it should retain its better features while incorporating the stronger policy sought by Gov. Tom Wolf. His plan would re-establish a state reimbursement to districts, require annual charter school audits and establish a standard base tuition rate.

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How should learning be assessed?

Accountability should shift back to what we do for kids, rather than what they’ve done for us with their test scores. Each person should be held accountable only for what he or she can control — the educators for providing an environment that stimulates individual learning, and the community for providing sufficient funding to enable them to carry this out equitably.

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