School Uniforms

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School Uniforms Until President Clinton called attention to the issue in his State of the Union address, mandatory public school uniform policies were sporadic local occurences. A few school districts had been quietly experimenting with uniforms for years, but the issue caught President Clinton's eye after the Long Beach, California school district released some numbers suggesting that after only one year, its mandatory uniform policy had not only brought about significant decreases in vandalism and fighting, but had also led to higher test scores. Now that the President's endorsement has elevated school uniforms into the realm of federal education policy, a question needs to be answered: Are uniforms a good idea? The most concise response to this question is, nobody knows. The superintendent of the Long Beach School District claims that the district's self-generated data showing decreases in certain forms of student misconduct is proof that uniforms work. But other steps to improve student behavior, like increasing the number of teachers patrolling the hallways during clas...

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