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Access to books is the most important factor in improving literacy. This means well-funded, well-stocked school libraries with qualified librarians.
Qualitative assessments, portfolios, written evaluations, demonstrations of work, performances all give much greater insight into what students are learning. On the other hand, grades provide little real insight into student learning, no constructive feedback for improvement, and tend to undermine genuine interest in learning.
Public schools are an important part of a democratic society and public funds should not be farmed out to private charter schools (whether non-profit or for-profit). And, part of that is modeling the democratic process within schools - allowing teachers, staff, administrators, parents, and especially students to have a voice in how schools operate. Learning how to work together is not only an important skill in an increasingly ...more »