• No Freedom For You! When School Lunch Nazis Attack
    We are all familiar with the Transportation Security Administration going through our stuff at the airport on the assumption all of us are potential terrorists. When a similar level of scrutiny is applied to our kids’ school lunches on the assumption we are too stupid to feed them properly, we wonder if there’s any place the nanny state will not reach to curtail our freedoms in the name of what’s good for us. Since when is it the government’s business to traumatize four-year-olds by telling them their mothers are trying to feed them unhealthy foods that make them fat? Who says the government knows better what’s good for them, especially when too many kids graduate unable to read the nutrition labels the government also requires?
  • War Against the Core
    It also does nice work debunking standards supporters’ plea that they don’t want to touch curriculum, only standards, as if the whole point of setting standards weren’t to shape curricula.
  • How one charter school bucks trend, serves the disabled
    Half of its students are like Ellie and don’t have a disability. The other half have disabilities such as cerebral palsy, Down syndrome and autism. New research suggests this mix of students raises achievement — not only for the students with disabilities, but their non-disabled classmates as well.
  • The Desperate Need for Market Forces in Education
    If a picture is worth a thousand words, here is three thousand for you:
  • ‘Tim Tebow Law’ Heads Toward Passage in Virginia
    A bill allowing homeschool students to try out for public school athletic teams sailed through Virginia’s House of Delegates on Feb. 9. “Consider why we have sports programs in the first place in public schools. The premise is that we believe those programs will benefit public school students. There is no compelling reason to exclude those presumptive benefits from homeschool students,” Woodruff said. “If sports are good for kids, why not let homeschool kids try out for the team?”
  • Tim Tebow Debate: Should Homeschoolers Be Allowed on Public-School Sports Teams?
    In a diverse society like ours, there is value in commonness. Opponents of Tebow laws have it backwards: integrating homeschoolers into our public education system advances the goal of commonality. Besides, given all the problems our public schools face, it makes sense to build bridges to different communities, not exclude them. It’s how you build support and political coalitions. Letting homeschoolers play sports is one way to do that — if the homeschooling community can get past its reflexive opposition to regulation and meet the public schools halfway.
  • Video: Making a Difference: Public, charter schools form partnership
    Rock Center Special Correspondent Chelsea Clinton visits Central Falls, R.I., where a public school and charter school have formed a unique partnership to better serve their students. Rather than compete with one another, a group of public school teachers are working with teachers from The Learning Community charter school to devise programs that have already raised students’ test scores.
  • Rick Santorum suggests opposition to public schooling
    Campaigning in Idaho on Tuesday, Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum suggested that he is opposed to a public school system overseen by the government. “We didn’t have government-run schools for a long time in this country, for the majority of the time in this country,” he said. “We had private education. We had local education. Parents actually controlled the education of their children. What a great idea that is.” “It’s amazing that so many kids turn out to be fairly normal, considering the weird socialization they get in public schools.” He added: “In a home school, by contrast, children interact in a rich and complex way with adults and children of other ages all the time. In general, they are better-adjusted, more at ease with adults, more capable of conversation, more able to notice when a younger child needs help or comfort, and in general a lot better socialized than their mass-schooled peers.”
  • The next Race to the Top? Arne Duncan outlines vision for teacher reform.
    On Wednesday, Education Secretary Arne Duncan spoke to teachers at a town-hall meeting to launch a $5 billion proposal that would try to improve the teaching profession at every level, from the recruitment and training process to the career ladder and pay and tenure systems. The program, dubbed the RESPECT Project (Recognizing Educational Success, Professional Excellence and Collaborative Teaching), would be structured like another version of Race to the Top: a competitive grant program that would ask states to submit proposals. At this point, the project is just a proposal – and it is couched inside President Obama’s American Jobs Act proposal, which Republicans declared a non-starter. It’s thus difficult to imagine it becoming a reality anytime soon.
  • ‘The Great Equalizer’ Doesn’t Add Up
    Education cannot be “the great equalizer” if it is not helping the children who need help most.  And when a school is failing them, low-income families often do not have the option to move to a better neighborhood or pay for private school tuition. But school choice programs are designed for children from low-income families, providing much needed options for thousands of children across the nation.
  • Study suggests U.S. schools are not falling behind rest of the world
    “Sometimes rankings can make small gaps appear big and vice versa,” says researcher Tom Loveless of the liberal-leaning Brookings Institution think tank.
  • Dyersburg County School Board adopts new calendar
    Dyer County School Board adopted a new school calendar at its February meeting.

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