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g School Reform Site

BellaOnline's School Reform Editor

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Legislation

Parents need to inform themselves about the laws that govern the public schools. Good laws should be enforced, but bad ones should be challenged and changed.

Cursive Writing Controversy star
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.

Education Commission of the States star[offsite link]
A site featuring the pros and cons of voucher programs and school choice.

Harvard Faculty´s Response to NCLB star[offsite link]
From the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

No Child Left Behind (NCLB) star[offsite link]
The official website for the U.S. Government´s No Child Left Behind Act.

Parent Trigger Laws star
The existence of parent trigger laws are seen by many as a positive alternative for parents who feel that promised school reform takes too long. A closer look makes one wonder just whom these laws are intended to benefit.

Politicians and Education star
Efforts to improve the academic quality of U.S. public schools continue to fail because legislation that ties everything to standardized test scores and makes scapegoats of teachers is totally out of touch with the reality of U.S. culture.

Section 504 in Education star[offsite link]
A 504 Plan is a legal document that requires specific assistance for mainstreamed students with special needs. Here are some FAQs.

Special Education vs General Education star
As the number of school children diagnosed with special needs soars, many schools face bankruptcy in their attempts to meet federal mandates to serve this demographic. Like other areas of public education, special education is in serious need of reform.

The Elementary and Secondary Education Act star
The battle over ESEA (otherwise known as the elementary and secondary education act or No Child Left Behind) renewal is waging once again.

Third Grade Reading Law star
Thirteen states have passed Third Grade retention laws. Children who fail to learn to read well enough to do fourth grade work will repeat the third grade.

U.S. Lawmakers and School Officials Need to Take a Good Look at What’s Happening in the U.K. star[offsite link]
Maeve Maddox: Laws that govern the schools are laid down as if all children arrive at the classroom door ready to receive what is being offered. The result is a growing underclass of children who are going to swell the criminal classes when they grow up.

What Exactly is ALEC? star
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 STEM? star
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 star
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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