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BellaOnline's School Reform Editor

 F E A T U R E   A R C H I V E  

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Parental Rights Have Limits
Tax-supported public schools exist to provide a basic education to the largest number of children. Governments support them in the national interest because an uneducated populace is unproductive and ungovernable. They can't cater to every parental desire or belief.

Resource Curse in Education
Parents and educational leaders may want to slow down on the drive to transform the public schools into computer-dependent institutions. As with medications, computerized education may present unanticipated side effects.

International Testing Instruments
Journalists often compare U.S. student achievement to that of children in other countries. Here's a brief description of the tests on which these comparisons are based.

Too Much Homework
Parents and teachers are choosing sides in the Homework War. On one side there's a call for more homework, beginning in Kindergarten, no less. On the other, there's the call to abolish the dreadful institution. What's the answer?

Second Chance Education
Instead of pretending that every public school in every community can or should impose an identical educational model on a diverse school population, effective reform will embrace the idea of specialized public schools.

School Policy Won’t Wipe Out Bullying
Like racism and the subjection of women, bullying is a component of human behavior deeply embedded in the human psyche. Children are exposed to the concept from birth. Children bullied at home are likely to become bullies at school.

Unfair Reading Instruction
U.S. public schools favor a time-consuming method of reading instruction whose success depends upon a child’s advantaged home life. Until a quicker and more equable method is adopted, 50% of entering five year olds will continue to fail to achieve proficiency by the end of third grade.

Comparing U.S. to Other Countries
International comparisons make interesting reading. They may even help planners to some extent, but in general, comparing the results of US education to that of other countries is probably meaningless. A more meaningful approach would be to compare state to state.

Children K-3 Need a Different Approach
The Common Core guidelines ignore differences between beginning readers K-3 and children who have learned to read. Not only that, but CC does nothing to change an entrenched instructional method that leaves 50% of U.S. school children unable to read at their intellectual level.

California Waiver Undermines States’ Rights
Secretary of Education Arne Duncan has set a pernicious precedent in California by making a separate deal with eight California school districts concerning the unachievable requirements of the No Child Left Behind Act.

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