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Is it time to end zero-tolerance policies in schools?
By Brian Stack
A former student from my school recently came back to interview me on zero-tolerance policies for a research paper she was writing for her graduate program. Her questions really got me thinking about the purpose and the effectiveness of this approach in schools. Designed to eradicate students from engaging in certain behaviors, zero-tolerance policies generally call for punishing any infraction of a rule, regardless of the severity or whether the infraction was due to a mistake, ignorance or an extenuating circumstance.
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Kids and anxiety: Cognitive therapy aims directly at behavior instead of what causes it
It started with simply driving down the street. The little girl in treatment for selective mutism — an anxiety disorder in which a child is unable to speak in certain situations — was entering kindergarten in September. The transition to a new school was a carefully planned, step-by-step process that began months before.
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New school funding bill won't change much
A new version of a proposed state law changing Illinois' school funding formula isn't much more popular than its predecessor, with some Southland school officials saying they still stand to lose too much.
Schools becoming the 'last frontier' for hungry kids
America's schools are no longer just a place for students to learn their ABCs.
They are also increasingly where children eat their three squares.
The classroom has become a dining room as more children attending public schools live in poverty. More than half of students in public schools — 51 percent — were in low-income families in 2013, according to a study by the Southern Education Foundation.
NEA campaign aims to shift ESEA away from 'testing, labeling and punishing schools'
A new multipronged campaign from the National Education Association will try to shift the focus of federal education policy away from high-stakes testing and back toward students, with a special emphasis on "children living in poverty, students with disabilities and English-language learners."
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Illinois GED testing rates down
The number of people taking and passing the GED dropped dramatically in Illinois and some blame recent changes made to the test, according to a recent report.
Last year, the test became electronic and the cost to take the it doubled to $120.
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Take steps to end inappropriate teacher-student contact
One of the key components of public education is the fact there should be a high level of public trust. The faculty and staff of our schools are entrusted daily with the lives and safety of our most vulnerable and impressionable citizens, the students.
Illinois school districts adapt to new cyberbullying law
The Associated Press via Quad-Cities Online
Illinois school districts have been working to update policies after a new state law on cyberbullying took effect in January.
The News-Gazette reports the law broadened school districts' authority to address cases of cyberbullying. Districts can now step in when they find a student bullying another online, even if it happens off of school grounds or without the use of school property.
Addressing emotional trauma, addictions may help reduce and prevent crime
More attention is being paid to behavioral health care as a way to help ex-prisoners re-enter society — and to prevent people from committing serious crimes in the first place.
Behavorial health approaches to dealing with crime range from addiction treatment for both prisoners and for nonviolent offenders to improved counseling and social services for at-risk children and their families.
What are states doing with college-readiness test results?
As states wade into a big year for using new tests, it's a great time to take a look at what tests they're using and what they're using them for.
Chuck Sweeny: Illinois Sen. Andy Manar's bill just tinkers with school-funding formula
Rockford Register Star
Taxpayers in northern Illinois outside Chicagoland seem positively giddy about a southern Illinois Democrat's bill to change the state's school aid formula in a way that would benefit Chicago and downstate.
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