If we treated any other professionals the way we do teachers, they'd riot in the streets.

It seems like the less experience a person has in the classroom, the more ideas they have on how to improve teaching. Teachers are increasingly controlled in how they spend their classroom time. Paperwork piles up.Here's a new idea: Let them be brilliant.

The education industry is constantly trying to sell ways to improve education. Self-directed learning apps! Standardized tests! Smartboards! State-of-the-art school buildings!

Enthusiasm for this kind of flashy fix often just makes things worse.


Don't get me wrong. I love the smell of a freshly painted hallway as much as the next person. But these salespeople are missing one major, MAJOR thing.

The single most-important determiner of educational quality is the quality of the teacher in the classroom.

Children who spend all day with the best teachers learn at twice the rate of the average. The difference between an OK teacher and an amazing teacher is huge, and the impact is long-lasting.

Teacher burnout is super high. In the U.S., 40-50% of new teachers leave the profession within their first five years.

The obvious question is where do we find the best teachers? How do we make the teachers we have better?

It's time to treat them the way we treat other college-educated professionals. Pay them well. Trust them to do their jobs well. Offer them opportunities for collaboration. Reward their creativity instead of punishing it. Give them the chance to design their own solutions to their students' stumbling blocks.

I'd rather my kids were in a classroom with a happy, inspired, and empowered leader than a grouchy, burned-out one. Wouldn't you?

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Climate change is happening because the earth is warming at an accelerated rate, a significant portion of that acceleration is due to human activity, and not taking measures to mitigate it will have disastrous consequences for life as we know it.

In other words: Earth is heating up, it's kinda our fault, and if we don't fix it, we're screwed.

This is the consensus of the vast majority of the world's scientists who study such things for a living. Case closed. End of story.

How do we know this to be true? Because pretty much every reputable scientific organization on the planet has examined and endorsed these conclusions. Thousands of climate studies have been done, and multiple peer-reviewed studies have been done on those studies, showing that somewhere between 84 and 97 percent of active climate science experts support these conclusions. In fact, the majority of those studies put the consensus well above 90%.

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As a child, Dr. Sangeeta Bhatia's parents didn't ask her what she wanted to be when she grew up. Instead, her father would ask, "Are you going to be a doctor? Are you going to be an engineer? Or are you going to be an entrepreneur?"

Little did he know that she would successfully become all three: an award-winning biomedical and mechanical engineer who performs cutting-edge medical research and has started multiple companies.

Bhatia holds an M.D. from Harvard University, an M.S. in mechanical engineering from MIT, and a PhD in biomedical engineering from MIT. Bhatia, a Wilson professor of engineering at MIT, is currently serving as director of the Marble Center for Cancer Nanomedicine, where she's working on nanotechnology targeting enzymes in cancer cells. This would allow cancer screenings to be done with a simple urine test.

Bhatia owes much of her impressive career to her family. Her parents were refugees who met in graduate school in India; in fact, she says her mom was the first woman to earn an MBA in the country. The couple immigrated to the U.S. in the 1960s, started a family, and worked hard to give their two daughters the best opportunities.

"They made enormous sacrifices to pick a town with great public schools and really push us to excel the whole way," Bhatia says. "They really believed in us, but they expected excellence. The story I like to tell about my dad is like, if you brought home a 96 on a math test, the response would be, 'What'd you get wrong?'"

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Packard Foundation
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I live in a family with various food intolerances. Thankfully, none of them are super serious, but we are familiar with the challenges of finding alternatives to certain foods, constantly checking labels, and asking restaurants about their ingredients.

In our family, if someone accidentally eats something they shouldn't, it's mainly a bit of inconvenient discomfort. For those with truly life-threatening food allergies, the stakes are much higher.

I can't imagine the ongoing stress of deadly allergy, especially for parents trying to keep their little ones safe.

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Amy Johnson

The first day of school can be both exciting and scary at the same time — especially if it's your first day ever, as was the case for a nervous four-year-old in Wisconsin. But with a little help from a kind bus driver, he was able to get over his fear.

Axel was "super excited" waiting for the bus in Augusta with his mom, Amy Johnson, until it came time to actually get on.

"He was all smiles when he saw me around the corner and I started to slow down and that's when you could see his face start to change," his bus driver, Isabel "Izzy" Lane, told WEAU.

The scared boy wouldn't get on the bus without help from his mom, so she picked him up and carried him aboard, trying to give him a pep talk.

"He started to cling to me and I told him, 'Buddy, you got this and will have so much fun!'" Johnson told Fox 7.

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