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Ideas for building a better school

The Indianapolis Public Schools partnered with the The Mind Trust nonprofit education reform group to launch the Innovation School Fellowship competition, asking for ideas to build a better school. The winners will open and run new schools, which will have autonomy, similar to charter schools. This sounds like a perfect idea for Chicago's public school system.

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Build safer campuses to help prevent school shootings

Although we can never fully keep our students out of harm’s way, educators, architects and designers can take into account strategic administration placement on campus, smart innovations in school construction and single point of access to pave the way to a safer tomorrow, and to avoid future tragedies.

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Not so "Common Core": the reforming of educational reform

Continuous improvement is the hallmark of healthy organizations and systems. The common core standards are directed at improvement of student, teacher and school performance. By devoting the same attention and rigor to improving the standards themselves, they can evolve to deliver the maximum benefit.

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For healthier school meals, try waivers, then options

Administrators have shown they can work out the kinks of their new, healthier meal programs and increase student participation. Giving temporary waivers for the school meal nutrition requirements will enable schools who haven't done well adjusting to the new changes more time to creatively implement the programs.

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Decreasing budget support leading to privatization of youth sports

The landscape of youth sports is changing dramatically, according to a Sports Facilities Advisory's analysis. Increasing budget cuts and a declining emphasis on sports in schools is leading to a growing privatization trend in youth sports.

Applying the right technology for English Language Learners

School systems do not need sweeping change in educational practice to effectively address the growing numbers of English Language Learners (ELLs) in public schools. By streamlining the technology that exists, ELL educators can reach their students with better tracking, documentation and communication.

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Tearing apart neighborhood schools only hurts Newark

State control — and the subsequent lack of local input and accountability — has ushered in policies such as school closings, school turnarounds and charter school expansion in neighborhoods that mostly serve African-American and Latino students. 

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For students' sake, Michigan must do better on charter schools

The last two decades have been a raw and unregulated experiment on Michigan children with no accountability for academic performance or the spending of public money.

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NCLB is failing, not Washington schools

School administrators throughout our state will be spending the summer trying to resolve how their schools will be designated as “failing,” following last April’s action by the U.S. Department of Education to make Washington the first state to lose its waiver for compliance to that legislation.

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Parents best at picking kids' schools — expand Florida vouchers

Florida families have had a chance to start voicing their opinion: Just recently the largest number ever — 100,000 — applied for K12 school choice scholarships. It's likely tens of thousands of Florida children will have to return this fall to schools they want to leave without the scholarships. Lawmakers need to expand Florida's voucher system and allow more parents to choose the school that best fits their child.

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