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Indiana's school voucher program needs analysis

With no evaluation, all that’s clear is that more families are taking advantage of the state’s voucher program. But policymakers don’t know why. And that’s truly important, especially as lawmakers consider whether to make changes in the voucher program and on how much to spend on education overall.

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Try giving teachers the time to fast track education reform

The problem is not that our teachers are resistant to adopting new standards or advancing their own knowledge and skill sets. Recent data shows that educators are all too eager to work together to look critically at literacy teaching and learning practices and pilot approaches that enrich student learning. The core issue is quality time.

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Philadelphia and 'education reformers' continue war on elementary schools

Regarding funding of Philadelphia schools, there’s no longer a middle ground. All evidence points to a funding plan that basically constitutes a human rights crime. Outrage is the only justifiable response. Anyone who cares about real school improvement should back the students, parents and teachers in Philadelphia and other communities under the privatization assault.

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Tough race: Who will be California's chief school officer?

The campaign for California’s non-partisan superintendent of public instruction is about much more than which Democrat will be elected the state’s chief school officer. It is a campaign to reform the state’s broken public school system and shake up the dysfunctional status quo that has fueled a race to the bottom for California’s public schools.

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When school boards try to block a reporter's access

To the surprise of a Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reporter, the local school board president has requested that the paper remove her from the education beat and replace her with someone less biased. It's not an isolated problem. Even if a newspaper had a fleet of education reporters, the district has no right to dictate coverage.

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Convert schools to after-school facilities for more childrens' activities

Letting school campuses serve as public parks and recreation centers when classes aren’t in session or other activities scheduled seems like a perfect way to maximize taxpayers investments. Many cities struggle to find recreational space for local residents. Meanwhile, schools are padlocked on evenings and weekends and their gymnasiums remain idle.

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Schools should focus on pupils’ emotional IQs

Our school systems are designed for IQ. EQ — emotional intelligence — needs equal attention. Our nation’s schools mandate academic, physical and health education. Children need greater conflict resolution and peer pressure skills. Social emotional learning needs to be embedded into schools’ core curriculum and culture.

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New Common Core polls find division among teachers

Two Gallup polls released this week found school teachers divided on Common Core. And support for the academic standards has slipped among parents, particularly Republicans.

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Regardless of grading scale, quality must come first

There's a new education controversy brewing in North Carolina that has nothing to do with teacher pay, budgets or class sizes. It's much more basic and personal: grades.

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Proposed funding law fails to solve underlying school inequality

Illinois needs to repair how it pays for public education. District-by-district funding reflects local property taxes. Richer districts naturally get more money back. It’s basic inequity for poor families, and the sort of systematic imbalance that often energizes federal courts to impose their own remedies.

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