Opinion & Analysis

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Big results in the Big Easy

Given the depths from which New Orleans' schools started their journey, much more needs to be done. Offering school-level autonomy to all schools, engaging community leaders to help solve the problem and funding the interventions are three lessons that the city has already learned.

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A sick ‘fix’ for failed schools — fake the test scores

Back in 2011, the state of New York banned re-scoring tests, except if there’s a compelling reason — which doesn’t include trying to make a school look better than it is. It does students no favors to have their scores show they passed when they haven’t truly mastered the material.

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Pennsylvania needs to push fair school funding

Both sides are praising the school funding formula as a necessary step toward better school finances, but the timing has now become a negotiating point threatening to slow or derail action. Some legislative leaders want to put it into place immediately and let the formula determine how state funding rolls out in whatever current budget gets adopted.

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Era of overspending must end at Chicago Public Schools

CPS has run up annual operating deficits of about $500 million since fiscal 2011. The deficit is projected to soar to $737 million in the fiscal year that ends June 30 on a budget of $5.83 billion.

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If da Vinci designed our schools

If we conjured up Leonardo da Vinci and asked him to critique our public school system, he would be appalled by the way our high schools segregate students according to the “academic” and the “vocational.”

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Where girls are missing out on high-school sports

Nearly 4,500 public high-schools across the United States have large gender inequality in sports and could be in violation of Title IX.

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The Confederacy's legacy: Should any of it stand?

What should we do about streets, schools and public buildings named after Confederates? It is important to eliminate hurtful images that glorify or legitimize the Confederacy's disgraceful values. But to what extent should we preserve symbols of the Confederacy for their educational value as reminders of that dark period in our nation's past?

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To fix Pennsylvania's school problems, go with what works

Instead of implementing experiments with no documentation of positive impact, let's use proven practices that actually have a history of working in the classroom: smaller class sizes, increased time for instruction in the classroom, and additional support services for children who are growing up in difficult circumstances.

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Taking a stand (literally) for health in schools

We can't put every kid through multi-year personalized health coaching, but we can let him or her do something they inherently want to do anyways — stand up and move. Standing desks can help students burn 15 to 25 percent more calories a day and can increase cognition and concentration.

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Is special education racist?

More than six million children in the U.S. receive special-education services for their disabilities. Of those age 6 and older, nearly 20 percent are black. The real problem is that black children are underrepresented in special-education classes when compared with white children with similar levels of academic achievement, behavior and family economic resources.

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