To teach critical thinking skills, teachers need the freedom to address controversial issues.


Ethnic studies programs are controversial because they present alternative views of history.


Don't jump to conclusions about motives when parents avoid choosing low-income schools.


Newer teachers take for granted the rights they possess.


Children from broken homes can benefit the most from paternalistic schools.


If properly designed, MOOCs can make college more affordable without diluting quality.


The Coleman Report explains why federal money has not erased test score differences between groups.


Blaming teachers unions for California's fiscal woes is classic scapegoating.


Once considered the most promising way to voluntarily integrate schools while at the same time provide a challenging curriculum, magnet schools have since been eclipsed in popularity by charter schools. What is taking place in Los Angeles is a case in point. Although magnet schools in the Los Angeles Unified School District have been in existence since 1977, they have not been able to keep pace with the growth in charter schools since 1993 when they first started. At present, there are 197 charters, enrolling about 110,000 students - far more than any other district in the nation. This ...


With the fall semester at the mid-term mark, teachers are increasingly using their leave privileges. According to the Center for American Progress, the average absence rate for any given day is 5.3 percent. ("Teacher Absence as a Leading Indicator of Student Achievement," Nov. 5). This compares with 3 percent for full-time salaried workers. The difference is likely to provide fuel for reformers who point out that teachers already work far fewer days than employees in any other field. But there is more to the story. To begin with, teacher absentee rates vary greatly from district to district. For example, ...


The opinions expressed in Walt Gardner's Reality Check are strictly those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Editorial Projects in Education, or any of its publications.

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