Opinion & Analysis

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Teacher pay, class sizes are state issues

A local district can’t bear the cost of creating smaller classes beyond building expansions already planned. But it remains a demand of the union in local district strike threats. The demand is further complicated by the lack of qualified teachers to fill even existing classroom needs.

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Revamped charter school law, not moratorium, will benefit N.J. students

It is long past time to update New Jersey's public charter school law. With a better public charter school law in place, charters could serve up to three times the number of children they currently do. New Jersey needs a law that increases opportunities for parents wishing to send their children to charter schools, not one that restricts them.

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Addressing truancy needs to be a collaborative, sustained national effort

It’s difficult to collect and analyze data to see how and why students miss class when there is a lack of a clear definition of truancy from state to state. We also need more collaboration between the school district and community members and organizations to provide incentives for attendance where possible.

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Kentucky needs to find ways of serving transient children

Kentucky’s public schools have the nation’s highest percentage of students who are “homeless”. As the number of homeless students has ballooned, funding has not. That has left school systems scrambling for donations, cobbling together private funds to help feed, clothe and educate students without permanent shelter.

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How Newark schools will look with a more democratic concept of local control

Local control needs a growing period, and it will be most effective if it comes from the bottom and not the top. This requires a safe space for educators, parents and community members to be able to come up with ideas, and experiment with new education solutions. There also needs to be a fundamental guarantee of fair allocation of resources by the state.

To diversify schools, expand charters: The model works

Racially and socioeconomically diverse schools increase opportunity for students of all colors and income levels. So it’s hard to understand why New York's administration does not support the one type of public school — charters — with the potential to integrate the city's horribly segregated school system.

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Philly, others should adopt K14 school model

Students can no longer sit down after graduation and apply for jobs from the classified section. They need career training long before they receive their diplomas. The K14 model does exactly that. With technical education, experience in the workplace, and mentors in their chosen field, these young people gain a solid career footing.

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National poll supports public school choice and reduced reliance on testing

A new poll of public and public school parents reports widespread concerns about an overemphasis on tests, mixed views on “opting out” of testing and strong support for public school choice. About two-thirds think there is an overemphasis on standardized tests. The majority of African-American and Hispanic responders would not excuse their children from testing.

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Standardized testing cripples educational goals

Standardized testing does not test a student’s intelligence so much as it tests their ability to adhere to the status quo and think inside the box. Because of this, students who excel at thinking and learning in more abstract ways are punished.

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Why school superintendents should act more like CEOs

A school district superintendent will never get paid like a private sector CEO, but that does not mean they should not act like one. Make no apology for hiring a leadership team. Tell the story of your vision. Celebrate success.

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