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Costs soar as Pennsylvania keeps 500 districts

This campaign season is consumed by the question of whether Gov. Tom Corbett actively cut school funding by $1 billion or passively allowed that amount in federal subsidies to expire without replacing it. Obscured by the debate are questions regarding school costs and governance, including pension reform, benefit costs and whether the state needs 500 public school districts.

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Government needs to re-examine school lunch rules

While it might have been easy to ignore angry students and parents, the School Nutrition Association's survey results and the USDA’s own records clearly show the new federal lunch program has gone too far. It’s time for Congress to dial back parts of the act and find a more balanced approach to providing appealing, healthy meals to students.

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Deciphering the latest MCAS

At least 60 percent of the state's districts have agreed to have their students take the proposed PARC. State citizens will make a decision next year when a vote on switching from MCAS to PARCC is made. Despite continued grumbling about the MCAS and the pressures this puts on students and schools, this may be one case where better the devil you know than the devil you don’t.

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Pa. system of school construction reimbursement needs a fix

Taxpayers pay both the administrative costs in local schools for handling the paperwork overload and the interest on bonds from the uncertainty in reimbursement. If lawmakers can’t see clear to ease the property tax burden, the very least they could do is make it easier, and cheaper, for schools to deal with state requirements.

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Inconsistency in school test standards is not good for anyone

There’s nothing wrong with demanding accountability and higher standards, but inconsistency in the tools used to measure them doesn’t do anyone any good. Nor does excessive delays in reporting the measures, especially in this era of electronic, digital, high-tech testing and analytics.

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Report cards don't tell school's whole story

As an educational tool, Wisconsin's report cards for public schools can be educational for schools to spur improvement — but not everything that's important about a school or school district. Beware of any attempts by legislators or others to attach higher stakes to them, such as a loss of state funding or a loss of local control.

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The myth about public schools

The truth is, today's young people do need more, or at least different, kinds of training and education to succeed in the global marketplace for talent. And plenty of policy changes could help improve outcomes for our most disadvantaged students. In the meantime, let's stop denying the measurable progress that U.S. schools have made in the last half-century.

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Lauren Williams's picture

Tailor education to students, not other way around

Has anyone considered fighting for a magnet school-based system for our children’s education? It is my belief that we would end up with champions in every subject. I do not believe in making every student equal, but to make them rise to their own full potential.

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Lauren Williams's picture

Politics should stay out of education, textbooks

History, which is supposed to be a recollection of factual evidence, shouldn’t be a controversial issue. Of course, this would also mean opinion wouldn’t be interjected. K-12 education should be factual.

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Lauren Williams's picture

The real crisis in public education

Disinvestment has caused the explosion of class sizes—also one of the nation's highest. Inadequate investment has led to layoffs of teachers, librarians, custodians, counselors, administrators and other school personnel.

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