Opinion & Analysis

Daily news

Facing the new realities of special education

Changing the state education funding formula to reflect more up-to-date special education enrollment numbers and costs would help relieve pressures on school budgets and provide school districts more flexibility in meeting student needs.

Read more

It's time to school lawmakers on Alaska's need for education funds

This year, the legislative majority has continuously chosen to focus on strict adherence to a budget concept that leaves Alaska's schools underfunded and lacking any security going forward. Two-thirds of recently polled Alaskans want the Legislature to stop playing the legislative games each year with education funding.

Read more

Pros, cons in proposed Minneapolis Public Schools budget model

District leaders are holding public meetings to discuss allocating funds using student-based budgeting (SBB). One advantage is that students with the same type of needs would get the same amount of funding, no matter which school they attend. SBB budgeting can give building principals more flexibility to tailor resources to fit their schools.

Read more

Put an end to prevailing wage

The Michigan Legislature is on its way to repealing the state's prevailing wage law. The measure artificially drives up the costs of public construction projects for schools and other government buildings. That's bad for taxpayers, school districts and job seekers.

Read more

Capping superintendent salaries has backfired in New Jersey

After Gov. Chris Christie imposed a cap on superintendent salaries in 2010, the savings — only about $10 million a year — were really a drop in the bucket. This coming school year, many more superintendents will see their contracts expire. The state Senate voted to lift the cap, before it drives more superintendents to other states. Let's hope the Assembly does the same.

Read more

Suicide among elementary-aged black children is on the rise

Since the 1990s, suicide rates among elementary-age black children have nearly doubled, while suicide rates among white children have fallen, according to a new study published in the journal JAMA Pediatrics.

Read more

Tattooed Jesus, yoga and religion in schools

Legal battles over when and where to draw the church-state line on school endorsement of religion can be a nightmare for administrators, a headache for judges and a payday for lawyers. Government neutrality toward religion is an essential condition of religious freedom — especially in public schools where impressionable young people are a captive audience.

Read more

Pouting state board of education shirks its charter school duty

Public charter schools are coming to Alabama, and they deserve a State Board of Education interested in the makeup of the commission that will make the critical decision about charter authorizations. That isn't a role the leaders of Alabama's public education system should reject or treat with apathy; they should embrace it.

Read more

Could autonomy, mastery and purpose be the keys to motivating students?

Teachers are preparing students for a world in which the jobs increasingly require problem solving, critical thinking and creativity. Many schools are trying to mirror that sort of thinking in the classroom, but many students have very little autonomy, mastery or purpose with which to develop intrinsic motivation.

Read more

Children should learn through play

In many schools, formal education now starts at age 4 or 5. But a growing group of scientists, education researchers and educators say there is little evidence that this approach improves long-term achievement; in fact, it may have the opposite effect, potentially slowing emotional and cognitive development, causing unnecessary stress and perhaps even souring kids’ desire to learn.

Read more

Pages