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Debate

Opinion

Should Plastic Straws Be Banned?

September 28, 2018

People are taking a stand against plastic straws. On July 1, Seattle, Washington, became the first major U.S. city to ban plastic straws. Eight days later, Starbucks announced plans to phase out single-use plastic straws by 2020. More companies and…

Health

Hooked on Games

September 14, 2018

Playing video games can be a fun way to unwind or spend time with friends. In schools, teachers use games like Minecraft to sharpen students’ thinking, encourage teamwork, and spur the imagination. But for some players, gaming has become an…

Alternative Reading Levels

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

January 19, 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,…

United States

The Homework Debate

October 30, 2017

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

Audio
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United States

Do Kids Need Homework?

October 30, 2017

Should elementary schools assign homework? TFK asked two experts to weigh in. Janine Bempechat is a professor of human development and psychology at Wheelock College, in Massachusetts. She studies kids’ motivation for learning. Below, she explains why homework serves an…

Opinion

Should Grades Be Eliminated?

September 27, 2017

Some schools are giving letter grades an F. In their place, students will get detailed descriptions of their progress. Critics argue that grades don’t say much about which skills a student has mastered. After all, grades cover a combination…

Opinion

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…

Opinion

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 certain toys for girls and others for boys. Much of the push to separate toys by gender has come from toymakers, advertisers, and…

Opinion

Should Technology Companies Store Students' Personal Data?

May 3, 2015

New technology is making it easier for schools to collect information about students. Schools around the country are using digital tools to track student progress in subjects. Schools can also track how students behave in class. Much of this data…

Opinion

Should Technology Companies Store Students' Personal Data?

March 6, 2015

New technology is making it easier for schools to collect information about students. Schools around the country are using digital tools to track student progress in subjects. Schools can also track how students behave in class. Much of this data…