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BellaOnline's School Reform Editor

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 F E A T U R E   A R C H I V E  

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Cursive Writing Controversy
Cursive writing is just one style of handwriting, but many people seem to think that it is the only kind. North Carolina legislators have passed a law requiring that all fifth graders must be able to write in cursive.

Cut Scores and Priorities
Cut scores are selected points on the scoring scale of a test. Like the tests they are created for, cut scores are arbitrary. As the new Common Core Standards bring a new set of federal priorities to American education, it's more important than ever for parents to take charge.

Defining Education
Not everyone means the same thing by the word "education." Parents who want "a quality education" for their children would do well to define what they mean by "education" in very specific terms.

Educational Goals vs U.S. Culture
Efforts at school reform without an overhaul of U.S. cultural priorities are pie in the sky.

Educational Malpractice K-3
In addition to the Common Core Standards created by corporate consultants, additional requirements are being placed on schools by state legislators and political appointees. The latest is the intrusion of keyboarding instruction for children K-3 who should be learning how to write.

Firing Teachers Won't Improve U.S. Education
Judging by responses to a recent NPR report on a lawsuit to make it easier to fire California teachers, many members of the public seem to see public school teachers as a species of self-sacrificing missionaries dedicated to acting as surrogate parents to every child who enters their classroom.

Free Tutoring from Khan Academy
The Khan Academy is an online tutorial resource featuring more than 3,000 short video lessons that children can play again and again until the concept is learned. Its focus is math and science.

Homework, Soccer, and Meaningful Reform
The only meaningful school reform will address the reality that not every child wants to be a brain surgeon: public school instruction should be adapted to the needs of two very different types of student: the academic-oriented and the nonacademic-oriented.

How Meaningful is Your Child's GPA?
Thanks to weighted courses in high school, 4.0 is no longer the highest GPA that can be earned. Weighting enables students to manipulate the system in order to "look good" on their college applications. These days, GPA is not a dependable gauge of high school achievement.

How Much Training Does a Teacher Need?
Critics of Teach for America are outraged that participants are placed in teaching positions with only five weeks of teacher training. Compared to the training that prospective doctors must undergo, four-year teacher training programs should spark the same sense of outrage.

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