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.
View the most popular articles in Public School Policies:
Published December 23, 2012 |
Teacher in Hot Water after Playing Macklemore’s Pro-Gay Rights Rap Song in Class
After playing rapper Macklemore's "Same Love" pro-gay rights rap song in class, a Michigan teacher was suspended with no pay. We explore the controversy.
A controversy in a Michigan middle school has been resolved, but questions still remain over why a performing arts teacher was severely disciplined after allowing a student to play a marriage equality song in her classroom. The teacher, Susan Johnson, from Centennial Middle School, allowed the song after checking with the student to be sure it fit within the guidelines of the school district. However, the song offended at least one classmate, whose complaint eventually led to the teacher’s disciplinary action. Was the teacher merely defending a student’s freedom of speech, or was she in violation of district policy? The answer to that question appears to depend on who you ask.

“Same Love” Subject of Controversy
According to CBS Detroit, Johnson allowed a student in one of her eighth-grade performing arts classes to play the song “Same Love” by rapper Macklemore during class. Prior to granting permission, Johnson asked the student if the song contained any inappropriate language or references to violence. The student responded that it did not. In fact, “Same Love” is a song about marriage equality, depicting the life of a gay man from beginning to end. Some of the lyrics in the song include:
“Can’t change, even if I tried…”
“No freedom ‘til we’re equal…”
“We become so numb to what we’re saying…”
“If I was gay, I would think hip hop hates me…”

In addition to the pro-gay message, the song also includes lyrics regarding the church and religion, including:
“If you preach hate at the service those
. . .read more
Updated June 07, 2017 |
NAACP Pushing for Broad Reform in Public Education to Promote Quality, Equality
We’ll report on a new report published by the NAACP that focuses on four areas of education that must be reformed if the U.S. is to maintain their high level of education nationwide.
As more interested parties weigh in on ways to raise the bar on the standard of public education in the United States, a notable equal-rights organization has now found their voice. The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) has recently issued a report that focuses on four primary areas of improvement that should be addressed by the public education system today. The recommendations focus primarily on what it will take for the students of today to succeed in the global marketplace of the 21st century.

About “Finding Our Way Back to First”

The NAACP report, titled, “Finding Our Way Back to First: Reclaiming World Leadership by Educating All America’s Children,” identifies some of the solutions necessary for providing high quality education to all children in the United States. The report was drafted in response to concerns that the U.S. is losing its competitive edge in the education spectrum on a global scale.

“If America is going to lead the world in this century the way we did the last, we must lead the world again in education,” the website for the NAACP states.
The Miami Herald lists four basic areas of focus outlined in the NAACP report, including:
  • Improving kindergarten preparedness through effective preschool programs
  • Improving teacher training for more effective classroom instruction
  • Longer school days that allow for more instructional time in the classroom
  • More efficient targeting of funding, to provide for the neediest students
The president of the NAACP, Ben Jealous, explained to the Miami Herald that by making
. . .read more
Updated June 12, 2017 |
Do Expulsion and Suspension Work in Public Schools?
We examine a recent study on the effectiveness of expulsion and suspension as school disciplinary measures, and alternatives some schools are implementing to keep students in line.
School districts across the country have recently brought disciplinary measures by schools into focus, in an effort to determine the best way to address discipline problems in schools today. While the large majority of school districts still favor methods like suspension and expulsion for a wide range of infractions, evidence continues to show these methods are not the most effective option. Should suspension and expulsion be used in public schools today? And if these methods are not appropriate, what are the alternatives? Check out ways some experts and school officials are approaching the issue of discipline in public schools.

The Cost of Discipline

One survey recently conducted on discipline in public schools weighed the cost of such procedures. The non-profit organization Texas Appleseed recently released its findings after surveying 11 school districts in Texas to determine how much is spent on disciplinary programs and school security. According to the Statesman, the survey found that those school districts, which make up about one-fourth of all Texas schools, spend around $227 million annually on disciplinary procedures and security. This number includes spending on expulsions, suspensions, policing and alternative schools.

The survey comes at a time when Texas schools are facing significant funding cuts from the state. It was also released in anticipation of a senate meeting involving how to deal with problematic students in public schools. The survey was meant to open discussion on the most effective, and most budget-friendly, ways to deal with students who present discipline
. . .read more
Updated June 12, 2017 |
Yoga in Schools: Good Fitness or Religious Indoctrination?
We delve into the recent controversy over teaching of Yoga in public schools. While some see it as a healthy way for children to gain strength and flexibility, some parents are viewing it a religious indoctrination.
A new trend appears to be sweeping some public school districts, despite the alarm by a handful of parents. Yoga has recently been introduced into a number of school systems across the country, allowing students the opportunity to stretch, breathe and focus their bodies and minds during a busy school day. While many tout the new program as a healthy way for students of all ages to gain additional fitness benefits, some are concerned that the religion attached to the movements violates the separation of church and state in public schools.

Introducing Yoga to California Students

One school district that has fully embraced the health benefits of yoga in public schools is Encinitas Union School District in North San Diego County, California. The North County Times reports that the yoga program has been going strong in some district schools over the past three years. This year, thanks to a $533,000 grant from the K.P. Jois USA Foundation, the program has now been expanded throughout the district.

Approximately half the schools in Encinitas now provide yoga instruction for 30 to 40 minutes at a time, twice a week, the publication reports. Yoga joins other enrichment programs offered in the district, including music, reading and gardening. The additional classes serve a dual purpose by providing students with instruction in new subjects while freeing up teacher time for planning and other duties.
The schools, which claim to have removed all religious references from their yoga program, assert that the yoga
. . .read more
Updated June 12, 2017 |
What are Common Core Standards and Why Do We Need Them?
With schools nationwide adopting common core standards, we’ll take a look at what they are, their benefits, and how they will change the face of public education.
In the efforts to ramp up the public education system in the United States, new national standards have been proposed to be the next logical step. In the past, standards were left up to individual states, which created huge variances in what and how children were taught. It also created disparities when it came to preparing students for higher education. Something had to be done, educators and lawmakers decided. Hence, common core standards were born.

What are Common Core Standards?

Common core standards were developed by the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices and the Council of Chief State School Officers. Standards were developed with input from educators and administrators from around the country. The standards focus on English Language Arts and Mathematics, but standards span across other core subjects taught in public schools from kindergarten to 12th grade. There are even common core standards now in place for pre-kindergarten instruction to ensure every student is fully prepared to enter public school.

According to the website for the Common Core State Standards Initiative, the standards are designed to provide students with the appropriate knowledge and skills throughout their K-12 education. Key features of the core standards initiative include:
  • Easy to understand and consistent
  • Build on current standards for individual states
  • Are competitive with standards in other top-performing countries
  • Line up with current expectations for college and the workforce
  • Include rigorous content and knowledge application
  • Are evidence-based for easy assessment
U.S. News and World Report states that these common core standards for language arts and
. . .read more
View Pages:<<Prev  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10  Next>>
Recent Articles
March 09, 2018
We examine the rise in atheist club in public schools across the country – and how the push for Christian clubs may have inadvertently spurred this growth.
March 05, 2018
Changes instigated by the Trump Administration have been met with a great deal of controversy but one of the biggest debates within the education sector is in regard to integration and charter schools. Keep reading to learn more about the charter school debate and what you should know as a parent.
March 05, 2018
The Common Core State Standards Initiative has changed the course of education in the United States, particularly with its emphasis on standardized testing. But how does standardized testing affect teaching quality? Keep reading to find out.
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.


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.