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Daily Headlines for February 28, 2011

How Teacher Development Could Revolutionize Our Schools
Washington Post, DC, February 28, 2011
As the nation’s governors gather in Washington for their annual meeting, they are grappling with more than state budget deficits. They’re confronting deep education deficits as well.

Let Education Choice SOAR Coast To Coast
San Francisco Examiner, CA, February 28, 2011
Publicly funded voucher scholarship programs function in seven states and Washington, D.C. , while nine privately funded, tax-credit scholarship programs exist in seven states.

Teachers Unions Are Out Of Step With Students Needs, Financial Realities
Washington Examiner, DC, February 27, 2011
Public employee unionists are on the march in Wisconsin in response to newly elected Gov. Scott Walker’s proposal to cut costs by reducing pension obligations, asking public employees to pay a share of health care that remains well below what private employees bear, and limiting collective bargaining rights.

Former D.C. Schools Chief Aims To Put ‘StudentsFirst’
NPR, February 26, 2011
It’s not only Republicans like Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie who are challenging unions. When it comes to teachers unions, increasingly it’s Democrats like Michelle Rhee, the former chancellor of the public school system in Washington, D.C.

Jail Time For Sneaking Kids Into A Better School: Was Justice Served?
Christian Science Monitor, MA, February 25, 2011
The case of an Ohio woman who lied so her girls could attend a better school triggers a sharp debate about equity in public education.

FROM THE STATES

Colorado

A Long Line To Learn
Houston Chronicle, TX, February 28, 2011
Harmony Academy charter system is booming, despite initial suspicions by parents and a lackluster economy

Families Want School Reforms
Denver Post, CO, February 28, 2011
The numbers prove that families in far Northeast Denver are receptive to the forward-thinking choices offered by DPS.

Florida

Rewarding Teachers And Nurturing Students
Tampa Bay Tribune, FL, February 27, 2011
The instructional quality discussion has been the focus of much debate this year as the Florida Senate works on solutions to reward teachers and improve the quality of education for our state’s children. Following months of collaboration and public input, Senate Bill 736, also known as “The Student Success Act,” has been introduced and passed in three Senate committees with bipartisan support.

Illinois

Charter School Makes Progress Despite Scores Below Nat’l Average
WIFR , IL, February 27, 2011
More than 250 families switched schools to attend Rockford ‘s newest charter school. 23 News is getting look at how the school’s doing and why despite test scores being below the national average, progress is being made.

Indiana

School Bills Help Enhance Opportunities
Fort Wayne Journal Gazette, IN, February 27, 2011
Throughout this legislative session, we have heard hours of debate and testimony concerning education, and we will continue to hear more in the coming weeks. The creation of education bills is rooted in our desire to provide students with a quality education that will make them more competitive in the 21st century.

Louisiana

Choices, Choices
Times Picayune, LA, February 28, 2011
Since Hurricane Katrina, the menu of high school choices in New Orleans has dramatically expanded. Students can now go to almost any school in the city, regardless of where they live. Nearly 75 percent of public schools are charters, free to develop their own curriculums, resulting in schools with distinct characters.

Minnesota

Gov. Dayton, Commissioner Cassellius All To Learn From Outstanding District And Charter Public Schools
Coon Rapids ECM Publishers, MN, February 25, 2011
Minnesota Gov.Mark Dayton and Commissioner of Education Brenda Cassellius are proposing a wise, and historic change in Minnesota public education. They are recognizing reality: Minnesota has outstanding district and charter public schools. We need to honor and learn from them. So they have made a proposal to do that.

Montana

Not All In Private School Are Affluent
Billings Gazette, MT, February 28, 2011
However, the comment made by Tara Veazey, executive director of the Montana Budget and Policy Center, was completely out of line. She stated, “This would use public funds to subsidize affluent people to send their children to private schools.” She obviously hasn’t done a survey of families in private schools. Our family, for instance, is far from affluent.

New York

City Details Worst-Case School Layoffs
New York Times, NY, February 28, 2011
The New York City Department of Education made public on Sunday a list that estimates the number of teachers each school will lose to layoffs if the state does not allocate more money for schools and seniority rules are not changed.

North Carolina

Charter More Charters: NC Legislature Should Eliminate Charter School Cap
The Daily Tar Heel, NC, February 28, 2011
Right now the number of charter schools in North Carolina is capped by the legislature at 100. A bill to eliminate the cap just passed the state Senate and will soon see debate in the state House. Eliminating the cap on charters would be good for North Carolina; the General Assembly should continue to work to pass the bill.

Pennsylvania

Keeping Standards High at Boys Latin
Philadelphia Inquirer, PA, February 27, 2011
Every student, the Boys’ Latin uniform insists, is held to the same high standard. The school also embodies Hardy’s vision of getting more boys, particularly African American boys, into college.

Charter Schools: Public Education With a Twist
Chestnut Hill Patch, PA, February 28, 2011
Although they rely on public funding, charter schools have more freedom to innovate than schools run by the School District.

Pennsylvania Lawmakers Suggest Amendments To School Voucher Bill
Patriot News, PA, February 27, 2011
Lawmakers are lining up behind the idea of giving parents taxpayer-paid vouchers to send their children to schools of their choice. Trying to stop a voucher bill advancing in the Senate is seen by some as futile, so backers are focusing on ways to make it more palatable.

Rhode Island

Providence Teacher Dismissals Seen As Blow To Seniority System
Providence Journal, RI, February 26, 2011
No matter how you slice it, school experts say, the decision Thursday by the city School Board to notify teachers that they might be terminated at the end of the school year strikes at the heart of their union contract’s seniority system.

South Carolina

Charter School Funding
Spartanburg Herald Journal, SC, February 27, 2011
I am writing to thank South Carolina legislators for working to provide sustainable, if not ideal, funding for public charter schools sponsored by the S.C. Public Charter School District .

Public Funds For Private Schools Flunks Reform Test
The Tribune-Star, IN, February 27, 2011
At a time when resources for public education are limited, Indiana cannot afford to divert taxpayer money to fund private school tuition.

Texas

A Long Line to Learn
Houston Chronicle, TX, February 28, 2011
Harmony Academy charter system is booming, despite initial suspicions by parents and a lackluster economy

VIRTUAL EDUCATION

Cyber Grads Face Military’s Bias
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review , PA, February 27, 2011

As enrollment in Pennsylvania ‘s 11 cyber charter schools swelled to about 25,000 students statewide last year, Merrill and others who hope to enlist in the military after graduation are finding their plans derailed by an obscure Department of Defense policy.

Oregon’s K-12 Future Must Include Online Education
Statesman Journal, OR, February 28, 2011
Many Oregon schools face budget cuts. How can Oregon increase opportunities for its students, allowing kids to reach their academic potential? By giving parents the power to choose programs beyond their local district school.