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A school reform landmark in California

In a groundbreaking ruling, a California court struck down the state's teacher tenure, dismissal and seniority laws on grounds that they violate the equal protection clause of the state Constitution. If other state governments don't act, disadvantaged students now have a claim to petition the judiciary to protect their rights as much as in the days of Jim Crow.

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Public schools are hurting more in the recovery than in the recession

The slow economic recovery is taking a toll on the nation’s public schools, reversing a multi-decade trend of increased funding and pushing student-teacher ratios to their highest levels since 2000. U.S. schools actually weathered the recession itself relatively well. Once the recession ended, however, so did the stimulus — long before state and local governments were ready to pick up the slack.

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Oregon legislature must maintain education funding

By 2025, the Oregon Education Investment Board's goal is for every student to graduate from high school, 40 percent to earn a post-secondary credential, and 40 percent to graduate from college. These goals are laudable, but meaningless unless we continue to invest funding in what works for Oregon students.

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Flexibility will make school lunch rules easier to swallow

Schools across the country and here in Maine are finding that students will come around to the new healthier lunch menus, given time, creativity and persistence. They also are finding that the menus can be costly, at a time when the budgetary cupboard is bare. Though several Maine districts have had notable success with healthier meals, struggling systems should get some leeway so their efforts don’t fail.

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State takeovers of districts shake up professional development

Over the past few decades, many state departments of education have taken over low-performing schools or districts as a school turnaround strategy. Although the strategy varies in terms of the level of state control and local influence, its success has been mixed or cannot yet be fully measured. Nonetheless, it has sparked new thinking and innovation in states and districts.

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Matthew Zalaznick's picture

Capitalism vs. education: Why our free-market obsession is wrecking the future

A political system designed for gridlock, the grossly disproportionate influence of the rich, and Americans’ ideological aversion to class politics conspire to make it politically inadvisable for a Democratic president to even speak the words “income inequality” before a national audience.

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Matthew Zalaznick's picture

Don’t bet on education funding reform in Pennsylvania

There are no shortage of reasons to doubt that meaningful change when it comes to education funding and property tax reform – a yoke that has hung around the neck of Pennsylvania home owners for decades – is going to happy any time soon.

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Matthew Zalaznick's picture

Building a consensus on K-12 education in Arizona

First, there is near unanimity that student achievement needs to be improved. Second, there is a wide consensus that Arizona K-12 schools are underfunded. And from there, the consensus falls apart and fractures.

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Why criminalizing bullying is the wrong approach

The calls for criminalizing bullying have grown stronger in recent years. With the continued sensationalization of bullying-related suicides and homicides in the media, of course we want to blame and punish someone. We cannot solve bullying by punishing it away; we must work instead to restore relationships and environments, change attitudes and behaviors and heal those harmed.

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Matthew Zalaznick's picture

New Mass. teachers union chief is unapologetically adversarial

A self-described social justice activist from the liberal college town of Northampton, Barbara​ Madeloni was until recently a complete unknown in political circles. But her upset election last month has  jolted lawmakers and officials worried about the dawn of a more adversarial relationship with the state’s largest union.

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