Opinion & Analysis

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Lauren Williams's picture

Undermining education reform

One of the less edifying spectacles of the waning hours of this year’s legislative session was the General Assembly’s actions to weaken education reforms passed by the Rhode Island Board of Education and advocated by Education Commissioner Deborah Gist.

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Mental health services needed at schools

Would anyone argue that school shooters were ordinary kids who did not need mental health treatment? Where would be the most efficient place to provide needed services to mentally ill youth? The answer is clear — at school. Let’s prioritize mental health treatment for students.

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Report: U.S. teachers love their jobs but don't feel valued

America's public school teachers love their jobs, despite feeling underappreciated by society and facing enormous challenges in the workplace, according to a new international survey from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

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California's funding for school buildings needs an overhaul

Can California K12 school districts provide healthy, safe and educationally modern facilities that promote student achievement with no state funding? Low-wealth and high-need school districts can't do it without state assistance. The state's K12 School Facility Program needs an overhaul.

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Why is bilingual education better?

From a research perspective, bilingual is better. From the perspective of an educator, dual language programs view language as a resource that benefits students learning English. States should be in the business of adding to children’s linguistic toolkit and not asking them to leave their best tool at home.

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New Massachusetts school tests need cost estimates

There are a lot of questions to be answered before school districts and the state can expect to effectively implement the new PARCC tests across the state. Until the Department of Education can firm up a cost estimate for these testing changes, lawmakers should indeed put this project on hold.

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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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