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True education reform grapples with power issues, testing mandates

If state and federal governments want to improve education, it would be prudent to invest in early childhood education instead of spending huge sums of money developing standardized tests that are putting increasing pressure on school districts in the state with little result.

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After revising No Child Left Behind, then what?

A new national policy must aim directly at improving classroom teaching and learning. Curriculum must be more demanding, and a fair amount of money should support every student regardless of the property wealth of school districts.

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Let's ease licensure path for out-of-state teachers

When professional, proven educators learn they’ll have to return to school, pay thousands of dollars in tuition and even student teach to become licensed in Minnesota, it’s not surprising that many teachers choose not to come to the state. Legislators need to establish more fair and transparent pathways to licensure for out-of-state teachers.

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Don't let American history get left behind in Mass. schools

It’s said what isn’t tested isn’t taught. Since the decision to postpone instituting passage of the U.S. history test as a high school graduation requirement, entire middle school social studies departments have been eliminated and history courses are being taught by English, math and science teachers.

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Rigorous review of Nashville charter schools needed

The Metro Nashville Public School Board needs to adopt tougher accountability and transparency standards for charters. The proliferation of new charters in the Nashville metro area is forcing existing under-funded public schools to compete for the same taxpayer dollars without proper checks and balances.

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School lunches are a national-security issue

What’s on kids’ school-lunch trays can have an impact that reaches far beyond the cafeteria — even to the frontlines where America's men and women serve. Nearly one in three young adults is too heavy to serve in the military. We should continue to support schools that are having a tougher time meeting healthier standards.

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School bus routes must be designed to save lives, not fuel

Distraction, miscommunication of hand signals, poor visibility, slick roads and other variables may be in play when children cross a road to get on the bus. Levying stronger punishments can't correct for human error, only a system change will. Bus routes can be arranged to pick up and drop off children on the door side only.

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A framework for preventing lethal school violence

Any realist admits that we're not going to succeed in "stopping" school violence because doing so is too high of an expectation. However, if prevention, awareness and effective threat assessment in schools are integral parts of our dialogue, then we might be as close as we can get to cessation.

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From Audrie Pott suicide, questions about how best to help teens

High-schooler Audrie Pott killed herself after three boys sexually assaulted her. Her parents have worked to turn the tragedy of their daughter’s suicide into hope for reform. At least two of the boys have agreed to talk to teens to help promote change as part of a settlement, but that could pose problems, experts say.

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Hillary Clinton on education: 8 things the presidential candidate wants you to know

During her four years as Secretary of State and the last two years giving speeches and promoting her memoir, “Hard Choices,” she has said little about education issues.

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