Public School Policies

From unions to vouchers, school budgets to discipline policies, we cover some of the most controversial issues affecting public schools today. Learn more about education reform and how it impacts your family. Keep current on the latest controversies regarding religion, sex-education, civil rights and more.
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Why Are Things Becoming More Difficult for Public School Teachers?
Being a teacher has never been easy but changes in federal funding and legislation have made it harder than ever for public school teachers. Keep reading to learn more.

Public school teachers have a wonderful opportunity to shape the minds of the next generation. There is a great deal of satisfaction that comes from making an impact on a child’s life, but being a teacher isn’t always easy – especially in public school.

Teachers have always faced challenges but, in recent years, it seems to be getting more and more difficult for public school teachers to do their jobs well. Keep reading to learn about some of the current challenges facing public school teachers and what they could mean for the future.

What Are the Biggest Challenges Teachers Face?

With changes in public policy and legislation, the U.S. education system is constantly changing. Before we get into the details about recent changes which have introduced new challenges for public school teachers, let’s discuss some of the ongoing challenges teachers face in general. Here are a few:

  • Poorly behaved students
  • Limited resources and finances
  • Difficult parents
  • Federal requirements and standardized tests
  • Time constraints

It is difficult enough to wrangle an elementary-age child but being responsible for a classroom full of them is another challenge entirely. When you throw in behavioral problems, it only makes it more difficult. Not only do you have to deal with poorly behaved students, but because you are forced to dedicate extra time to those students, the rest of the class may be neglected. Plus, taking the time to deal with behavioral problems takes away time you could be teaching.

Another major challenge that public-school teachers face is limited resources and financial constraints. Many

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How Much Does It Cost to Educate a Child?
Every year, standardized tests reveal that public school performance is woefully low. Yet you pay taxes to fund public education, so where does that money go? Keep reading to find out how much it really costs to educate your child.

When you think of how your child’s education is going to cost, you probably think of the expenses you cover yourself. From school books and uniforms to daily lunches, transportation to and from school, and extra educational materials at home, the costs add up quickly. But what about the costs you don’t cover? Things like teacher salaries, school maintenance and repairs, taxes, and more – someone has to pay these costs, but who?

If your child attends public school, it is likely that the majority of the cost for his education will be shouldered by the government (federal and state as well as local). One might argue that your taxes pay for a portion of those costs, but it is nowhere near the thousands of dollars it actually takes to send your child to public school for a year.

Depending where you live and the quality of the local education system, you may be wondering just where all of that money goes. In this article, we’ll discuss the average annual cost to educate a student in different states as well as some of the ways your tax dollars are spent.

Annual Costs for Public Education by State

Spending varies drastically for public education from one part of the country to another. The biggest spender is New York, shelling out over $20,000 per student per year. This includes teacher salaries as well as support services and other educational costs. On the other end of the spectrum, states like Utah and Idaho spend a fraction

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An In-Depth Look at Common Core – What’s Working and What Isn’t?
The Common Core State Standards Initiative, more commonly referred to simply as “Common Core”, was introduced to help American students graduate from high school better prepared for career and college. But what exactly are these "common core" standards, and are they working?

If you attended a public school in the United States, you have probably taken a standardized test at some point – probably a lot of them. Testing is one of the most common ways to evaluate the efficacy of an education program, though it may not always be the best way. One of the most well-known education programs that makes heavy use of testing is the Common Core State Standards Initiative.

The Common Core State Standards Initiative, more commonly referred to simply as “Common Core”, was introduced in the early 2000s, though many people still have a poor understanding of what it is and how it has affected the nation’s school systems. This system has been in place for half a decade and yet the jury is still out on whether it works or not.

Whether you have detailed knowledge of what’s going on in the nation’s education system or not, you are probably aware that the most recent presidential election has led to some big changes. Keep reading to learn about the history of common core, it’s future, and whether or not it really works. This video offers an explanation of Common Core.

A History of Common Core

According to the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO), the Common Core State Standards Initiative is, “a set of high-quality academic standards in mathematics and English language arts/literacy,” also known as ELA. These standards exist to outline exactly what a student should know

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What are the Biggest Problems Facing the Public School System?
The American public school system is by no means perfect, but is it completely broken? Keep reading to learn about some of the top issues affecting the public school system.

The American public school system is far from perfect, but the list of top issues is constantly changing. Some say that the emphasis on standardized testing is destroying the quality of public education while others believe that schools are too crowded and parents are too uninvolved. The fact of the matter is that each public school system has its own problems depending on where it is located, the local demographics, the amount of funding it receives, and myriad other factors. Keep reading to learn about some of the biggest problems currently facing public high schools in particular.

The Top 3 Issues Affecting Public High Schools

If you were to ask parents from one hundred different school districts about the problems they see with the public school system, you would probably get 100 different responses. Although there are many different problems with the American public school system, recent data collected from the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) shows that the academic performance of American students is significantly lower than their international counterparts. School systems are evaluated on a wide variety of factors, but there are some issues that tend to fly under the radar which still have a significant impact. Here are the top three.

This video explains what the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) is.

1. Students don’t spend enough time in school.

The requirement for the number of school days varies slightly from one state to another. Currently, thirty of the U.S. states have a 180-day calendar

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Are Service Dogs Too Distracting in a School Environment?
Students with disabilities may require the assistance of a service dog, but how might the presence of a dog in the classroom affect other students? Could it be too distracting?

There is a special bond between children and their dogs but, for some children, a dog is more than just a best friend – he is an assistant for everyday tasks. Children with certain diseases and disabilities sometimes need the help of a service dog just to get through their day. The service dog accompanies them everywhere they go – even to school. While a service dog may be a necessity for the student he serves, it is possible the he could become a distraction for other students. But where do you draw the line?

In today’s modern society, distractions are everywhere. Cell phones and tablets are being given to younger and younger children as society as a whole becomes progressively more reliant on technology. But what determines whether something is too distracting? When it comes to service dogs, there are some legitimate concerns regarding allergies and fears that some students may have, but are these concerns more legitimate than the student’s need for the service dog? Keep reading to learn more about this issue.

What Exactly Do Service Dogs Do?

According to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the definition of service animal is, “any dog that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability, including a physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or other mental disability”. Some of the tasks a service dog can perform might include pulling a wheelchair, picking up dropped items, reminding someone to take their medications, providing emotional

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Recent Articles
We examine the issue of Internet access in public schools, particularly in light of recent allegations from a father that his daughter was allowed to visit online dating websites from her school during class hours.
Special education teachers face a unique set of challenges, and so do the parents of special needs students. Keep reading to learn some practical tips for making your life as a special needs teacher or parent easier.
Taking the SAT or ACT is a major source of stress for high school students. Keep reading to learn how to choose the right test and how to prepare for it.
Public School Policies

Education Reform

Education reform is in the works, and you can stay updated on the latest changes, debates, and policies here. Learn more about No Child Left Behind and how it impacts your child. Explore how federal and state government is working to improve school performance, student achievement and education standards.

Teachers and Unions

A comprehensive look at teachers, tenure, and unions. Learn how unions impact school performance. Explore the impact of education reform on teaching qualification standards, traditional unions and controversial tenure rules.

Public School Budgets

We offer an overview of public school budgets; where the money comes from, how it’s spent and what schools are doing to get more funding. Learn how schools are cutting budgets and how the cuts will impact your child. Delve into some of the creative ways school districts are trying to raise money and where the extra money is spent.

Vouchers

Explore both sides of the school voucher debate. Learn what your options are, how those choices are funded and the impact on your local school district. From the latest government initiatives to results from recent studies, explore vouchers and the options they provide.

School Discipline Policies

Examine the various discipline methods being put to use in public schools. From detention to expulsion, spanking to handcuffing, school discipline can often be controversial. Does spanking work? Do police belong in schools? Learn more about what is being done to punish out of control students.

School Controversies

The most controversial issues impacting public school students today. From bullying to book bans, this is a comprehensive look at some of the most oft-debated issues. This section features articles on school segregation, religion, over-crowding, civil rights, and green technology.