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Homework on education

- Fixing education - Buffalo News Editorial
   Something transformative happened recently in Washington, D.C. -- something with potentially large impacts on jobs, health care and the economy. And it didn't happen in the White House, the Senate or the House.
   It happened in the District of Columbia's school system, after years of negotiations between administrators and the teachers' union, an affiliate of the American Federation of Teachers.
   A new contract, approved in a 3-to-1 vote by the teachers, shifts the focus from teacher protection to student improvement in ways unions have resisted for years. Some hope it will become a model for the future; others fear it will.
   Related:
- D.C.’s Groundbreaking Teachers' Contract Will Boost District’s National Prominence - Newsweek
- Rhee dismisses 241 D.C. teachers; union vows to contest firings - The Washington Post
- Evaluation of teachers overhauled - Mary B. Pasciak /The Buffalo News


- Reconsider school districts - Buffalo News Editorial
   The standard reply to the suggestion that New York State taxpayers would save a bundle if only some of their 700 school districts would consolidate is, "You first."
   New Yorkers' heads tell them that the state has too many school districts, often small ones, supported by high property taxes that would be even higher if it weren't for the giant amounts of state aid that also come out of taxpayers' pockets. But our hearts are often loathe to let go of the many smallish districts that provide at least the illusion of local control.
   That's why it makes sense, as two Democrats in the State Legislature have proposed, to form a commission that would look at all of the state's school districts and come up with a set of reforms that would hit everyone, all at once.

-- George Pyle/The Buffalo News

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