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Reducing classroom size starts with building more classrooms

At a time when the Washington Legislature is debating the best way to pay for basic education in K12 schools, it makes sense to start with the most basic element of all: classrooms. That means tackling an outdated school-construction model that has created inequity and inefficiencies across the state’s 295 school districts.

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Barriers that keep poor kids out of school

Absenteeism matters. The reasons that children from low-income families miss more school are varied. These financial, medical, mental and health support problems are difficult to resolve taken one by one. But many could be avoided all together if there were a higher baseline of support offered to low income families.

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Schools hope changes in policy will bridge the 'discipline gap’

Some schools find that racial disparities in student discipline must be fixed before they can address any academic issues. One of the ways to help in this paradigm shift is to engage students, teachers and other school and community authority figures in trust-building relationships. Mutual respect between various parties fosters a more inclusive school and community discipline system.

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Education is not great equalizer for African Americans

Gaps in wealth, not in education, between black and white families may be the most powerful force locking Americans into their social class. Black Americans with college degrees have less in savings and other assets than white Americans who dropped out of high school.

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Increasing student voice in local school districts

Beyond the value of teaching democracy by practicing it and developing leaders by giving them a leadership role, the exclusion of students in districtwide and schoolwide decision-making is pragmatically unsound. Our efforts to educate them would benefit from including the voices of these students.

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Student absences require creative school response

A proposed Maine bill would allow school districts to lower the mandatory attendance age from 7 to 5. It gives schools the power to step in on behalf of its youngest students before a truancy pattern develops. But for it to be effective, schools have to collect and monitor real-time data on attendance, so they can identify at-risk students and respond quickly.

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Lauren Williams's picture

Fractured education reform never works

If everybody in state and local government sat down with everyone who cares about education and said, "Let's make the messiest, most fractured way to change how we educate our children," it would look like what's happening now.

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Lauren Williams's picture

More money doesn't mean better schools

The correlation between school spending and student achievement is far weaker than commonly thought.

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Lauren Williams's picture

Equitable spending the key to education

Education has become highly competitive. We hear about district, statewide, national and international data. We hear politicians and interest groups tell us their interpretation of this data, which they use as a basis to further their agendas. Unfortunately, the resulting headlines don’t always tell the whole story.

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Lauren Williams's picture

Is access to a charter school a civil right?

If the linkage can be established between a student’s civil right to a free and appropriate education, their attempt to enter a charter school and subsequent denial of same because of an existing law (the charter school cap), then the aforementioned barristers will have created the potential for a landmark case, comparable to any in the annals of education law in Massachusetts.

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