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Why the Ticking Time Bomb of 'Sequestration' Could Decimate Education

A legislative practice of cutting funding after its already been budgeted will affect up to 7.5 million students unless we demand action.


Congress has concocted a ticking time bomb that is set to go off on the nation's K-12 schools, colleges, and universities in January 2013. "Sequestration," a term you will be hearing more about in the coming months, is a fancy legislative word for cutting funding after it has already been budgeted. In practice, what this means is that Congress takes back federal funds after they've been dis­bursed.

How we got to this point is even more complex and convoluted than the word itself. As part of last summer's debt ceiling deal, congressional leaders were required to come up with a plan to trim $1.2 trillion from the national debt by Thanksgiving. As an incentive for both Republicans and Democrats to reach a deal, automatic across-the-board spend­ing cuts were to be initiated if the dead­line passed without a budget agreement. Of course Congress failed to strike a deal.

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What Does a Whole Child-Centered School Look Like?

A Canadian High School enables students and families to learn and connect in a culturally rich environment.


Many schools have a vision for providing a whole child education—one that nurtures a student’s academic, emotional, and physical needs and prepares them for the real world. Given the narrow focus on academic achievement and test scores in today’s education climate, few campuses are actually able to make that vision a reality.

For the past three years, ASCD, the international education leadership association, has identified schools that are proving to be models of whole child education and recognized their accomplishments through their annual Whole Child Award. This year’s winner, Byrne Creek Secondary School, a 7-year-old, 1,250-student high school located in the Vancouver area, enables students and families to learn and connect in a culturally rich environment.

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What's the Purpose of School in the 21st Century?

Just as our classrooms have changed significantly since the 1800s, so have our ideas about the purpose of schools.

Consider some of the basic symbols of education in the United States: the textbook, the chalkboard, and the apple. Thanks to technological innovations and cultural forces, we’ve seen textbooks supplanted by videos and e-books, SMART Boards replace chalkboards, and the apple on the teacher’s desk pushed aside by the latest gadgets from, well, Apple.

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