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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  

Archive by Article Title | Archive by Date

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?

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.

What Exactly is ALEC?
The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) seems to be dedicated to the goal of diverting public money to private pockets. When it comes to education, parents must question the motives of reformers.

What is Liberal Arts Education and Who Needs It?
The term Liberal Arts refers to the academic subjects that include language, literature, science, math, and history. In the past, an acquaintance with all these subjects was considered the mark of an educated person. Today's idea of "an educated person" seems to have changed.

What is Proficiency?
Every state is permitted by law to define "reading proficiency" according to their own guidelines. As a result, states often rate their children at a higher level of proficiency than the NAEP does. Parents must adopt their own guidelines and test their children themselves.

What is STEM?
STEM is an acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. It has become a kind of mantra for business leaders and politicians who want more children to pursue careers in those subjects. A danger is that STEM is seen by some as being of more value than subjects in the Liberal Arts.

Why NCLB has failed
In 2002, NCLB promised that by 2014, 100% of U.S. school children would demonstrate “proficiency” in reading and math. On the NAEP test in 2012, 40% of fourth-graders scored at proficiency or above in math, and 32% scored proficiency in reading. Going by NAEP results, NCLB won't make the deadline.

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