Opting Out

What to make of recent events in Colorado, where thousands of high school seniors refused to take a state-mandated standardized test? Is this a harbinger of things to come, an American version of “Arab Spring,” or was it an isolated incident with slight significance beyond the Rocky Mountain State?

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What Happens in Great Schools

If you had been traveling with me the past few weeks, you would have seen three examples of outstanding education: My 3-year-old granddaughter’s pre-school, a 12th grade science class in a public high school in Philadelphia, and a journalism class at Palo Alto High School in California.

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Jesse James, Meet Baker Mitchell

Of course you’ve heard of the notorious criminal Jesse James, but you may not be familiar with Baker Mitchell. He’s a businessman who has figured out a completely legal way to extract millions of dollars from North Carolina in payment for his public charter schools.

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Why We Have Schools

What do schools produce? And who are the workers in schools?

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How Much Do We Test?

The results of our survey are beginning to come in. In hopes of encouraging more superintendents and school boards to provide data, I offer this early report, with the caveat that it is based on information from a handful of the nation’s 14,000 school districts.

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Angry About Drag Racing, Town Bans Jaywalking

Bizarro, Nevada, October 1–In a powerful response to hordes of young adults using Main Street for drag races “day and night,” an angry City Council voted to impose $250 fines and 30-day jail terms for jaywalking. “These damn hot rodders are endangering our citizens, and the only way to stop them is to keep our citizens out of the streets.”

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Looking Back (Part 6)

Food, healthcare, shelter and education matter, but love and affection are vital if a child is to have a decent chance of becoming a functioning adult. Here, briefly, are the stories of Lisa, Roy and Mary, three young people who, for a host of reasons, were growing up without the emotional supports they needed.

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