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Soapbox

Educators step up on the soapbox and voice their views.

More Tests Won't Help High Schools
President Bush has said it is time to expand NCLB testing mandates to U.S. high schools so graduates are better prepared for school and work, but Gene Carter of the Association for School Curriculum Development says tests alone won't solve the problem.

Failing Grade
While the federal No Child Left Behind Act initially won fans of all political persuasions, the Bush administration has not made a commitment to the necessary funding, nor does it in the next federal budget.

Teaching Life Lessons Through Sports
Organized athletics originally were viewed as mechanisms for teaching social values and selflessness, but society has changed and so have sports. Mitch Lyons suggests that athletics still can be a springboard for valuable lessons, if the approach is changed.

Standing Up for Average Students
Teacher/coach Tom Krause worries that real learning and the average student's needs are getting lost in the pressures of greater accountability and assessments.

Creating a Naturalist-Friendly Environment in School
Students with naturalist intelligence can feel constrained by traditional classrooms and by spending so much time indoors. Teacher Gwen Lanning discusses ways to make school more naturalist-friendly.

One Teacher's Pitch to be Emperor of Education
Chemistry teacher Dr. Richard Chapleau outlines his formula for school reform, which includes tough measures for teachers and parents.

Inclusion Teaches Kids Who Struggle How to Succeed
Math teacher Cossondra George -- a former special ed teacher -- makes a strong case for inclusion, saying including special education kids in "regular" classes motivates them to succeed.

Seize NCLB's Opportunities for Arts' Funding
Under the No Child Left Behind Act, the arts, including music, are considered a core academic subject and can qualify for federal funds. Dr. Willie L. Hill Jr., president of the National Association for Music Education, urges educators to seize all opportunities.

Why I Said "No" to an Invitation from the Secretary of Ed
For Dr. Jeffrey R. Ryan, a history teacher already disenchanted with the federal No Child Left Behind Act, Secretary of Education Rod Paige's "terrorist organization" comment about the NEA gave him more reason to skip a meeting with the secretary.

Sports-Psychology Curriculum Focuses on Educating Athletes and Winning
To Mitch Lyons, school sports are about more than winning. Educating student-athletes about the psychology of sports produces life skills that benefit the student and community. Plus teaching the "science of sport" often leads to victory.

Got Technology? Now What Will You Do With It?
For technology to be effective in schools, administrators must have a plan, know how to use it, and be willing to learn from others, according to Nicholas Langlie, a professor Hudson Valley Community College in Troy, New York.

NCLB: If It's Sauce for the Goose...
Veteran teacher Max Fischer suggests that if the federal government, under the No Child Left Behind Act, is going to hold schools to strict accountability standards, then all entities receiving federal funds also should be held to such standards.

What's the Best Way to Motivate Kids?
What's the best way to motivate students? More engaging curriculum? Outings? Chris Kline, a former junior high school science teacher in Arizona, writes that not one approach works for all students.

The Bus Story
Former NAESP president Dr. Paul Young wonders if unrealistic demands are turning American schools into runaway school buses: driving too fast without enough direction. More cooperation is needed, he writes, to get schools back on track.