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Should Plastic Straws Be Banned?

September 20, 2018

People are taking a stand against plastic straws. On July 1, they were banned in Seattle, Washington. Then Starbucks announced plans to phase out plastic straws by 2020. More plastic-straw bans have followed. Plastic is harmful to the environment.…


Hooked on Games

September 7, 2018

Playing video games can be a fun way to unwind or spend time with friends. In schools, teachers use games like Minecraft to encourage teamwork and critical thinking. But for some players, gaming is an unhealthy habit. At night, they…


Should More Cities Make It Illegal to Text While Crossing the Street?

January 16, 2018

Texting while driving is illegal in 47 states. But what about texting while walking? A 2013 study reported that more than 1,500 people in the U.S. ended up in hospitals for injuries resulting from walking with a mobile device. Honolulu,…

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The Homework Debate

October 30, 2017

In July 2017, families in Marion County, Florida, got some surprising news. “Traditional homework as we know it will disappear, at least for elementary students,” Heidi Maier said in a voice message to parents. Maier is the school superintendent. “Instead,…


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Do Kids Need Homework?

October 30, 2017

TFK asked two experts to weigh in on homework. Janine Bempechat teaches human development and psychology at Wheelock College, in Massachusetts. Below, she explains why homework serves an important purpose for students of all ages. Etta Kralovec teaches education…


Should Grades Be Eliminated?

September 27, 2017

Some schools are giving letter grades an F. In their place, students will get detailed progress reports. Critics argue that grades don’t say much about which skills a student has mastered. That C in math could mean you’re struggling with…


Should Communities Limit the Use of Plastic Bags?

April 14, 2017

For most Americans, plastic bags are a necessary part of any shopping trip. Many of us give little thought to the bags' impact on the environment. But plastic bags that end up in oceans and on beaches are harmful to…


Should School Bake Sales Be Banned?

March 7, 2017

Cupcakes and brownies are out. Carrot sticks and granola are in. In Massachusetts, selling sugary treats at fundraisers during the school day is banned. Massachusetts is one of 24 states that have adopted the federal Smart Snacks standards. The rules…


Should Stores Separate Toys by Gender?

November 4, 2016

Target made headlines last year when it announced that its stores would no longer post signs to direct customers to buy some toys for girls and others for boys. Much of the push to separate toys by gender has come…


Should Technology Companies Store Students' Personal Data?

March 6, 2015

Technology is making it easier for schools to collect information about students. Much of the data is collected and stored by technology companies, and not by the schools or the families. Supporters say the programs make it easier for teachers…