Daily Headlines for March 31, 2011

Congress Goes to Bat for DC Students Most in Need
PR Newswire, March 30, 2011
In a true show of support for families and students in the District of Columbia , the US House of Representatives today voted to restore and expand the DC Opportunity Scholarship Program (DCOSP). The program provides scholarships for some of DC’s poorest families, allowing them to choose the school that best fits their children’s needs. The program was created in 2003, but was discontinued by the Obama Administration, even after years of demonstrated success by multiple measures.

Study Says Charter Network Has Financial Advantages Over Public Schools
New York Times, NY, March 31, 2011
Most charter schools receive less government money for each student, on average, than traditional public schools.

Education Reform Success That Obama Ignores
Washington Times, DC, March 30, 2011
As a mother of three who has spent more than a decade working alongside thousands of parents to improve education for children in the District of Columbia, I can’t help but cringe when the president tells moms and dads they need to fight for better schools and be more responsible.

Cheating on the Hard Work of School Reform
TIME blog, March 31, 2011
Cheating in school became education topic number one this week, except this time it wasn’t students cheating on tests – it was adults cheating for them. As part of a series, USA Today published an article strongly suggesting that teachers or administrators goosed student test score gains at an elementary and middle school in Washington, D.C.

FROM THE STATES

District of Columbia

House Approves D.C. School-Choice Bill, But Future Remains Cloudy
Washington Post, DC, March 30, 2011
The House approved a bill Wednesday to revive the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program, even as the controversial school-choice measure faces an uncertain future.

Florida

Charter School Expansion Bill Passes First Test in Florida
St. Petersburg Times, FL, March 31, 2011
A bill to expand Florida’s charter school system sailed past its first hurdle Wednesday, gaining unanimous approval by a Senate committee.

Georgia

State Supreme Court Delays Decision On Charter Case
Atlanta Journal-Constitution, GA, March 30, 2011
In a rare move, the Georgia Supreme Court decided Wednesday to delay handing down an opinion over who has the power to fund and open public charter schools.

Indiana

Indiana House OKs Using Tax Money to Pay for Private Schools
Evansville Courier & Press, IN, March 30, 2011
Indiana students who transfer from public schools to private schools would be able to use tax money to help pay their tuition under a vouchers program the state House of Representatives endorsed Wednesday night.

Maryland

Grasmick to Retire As Md. Schools Superintendent
Washington Post, DC, March 30, 2011
Maryland Superintendent of Schools Nancy S. Grasmick announced Wednesday that she will retire at the end of June, ending two decades at the helm of a state school system that has won national recognition as an educational powerhouse.

Michigan

Detroit Considers 45 Charter Schools
Wall Street Journal, March 31, 2011
The state-appointed manager of Detroit Public Schools identified 45 schools in the struggling district that could be turned over to private charter operators in a bid to improve student performance.

Ohio

Kasich, D.C. School Reformer Make Their Case
Columbus Dispatch, OH, March 31, 2011
The same night that Senate Bill 5 reached his desk, Gov. John Kasich joined a woman famous for taking on teachers unions to show a film that blames America ‘s public-school struggles on bad teachers.

Oklahoma

Former Florida Governor Talks About Education Reform
The Oklahoman, OK, March 31, 2011
Gov. Jeb Bush was touted as an expert on the forefront of school reform Wednesday, and he in turn complimented Oklahoma’s efforts to implement a reforms.

Tennessee

Charter School Bill Advances in TN Senate
The Tennessean, TN, March 31, 2011
Legislation that seeks to create more charter schools in Tennessee would hurt public schools, critics said as the proposal advanced in the Senate on Wednesday.

Wisconsin

State Proposals Could Lead To More Charter Schools
The Northwestern, WI, March 31, 2011
State proposals opening the door to new charter schools could put Oshkosh in a unique position for more expansion than most communities.

VIRTUAL EDUCATION

Cyber School Success Spreads
The Intelligencer, PA, March 31, 2011
Quakertown school district has been hosting presentations and consulting with administrators throughout Bucks and Montgomery counties. By all accounts, Quakertown School District’s cyber school is a success.

Daily Headlines for March 30, 2011

School Founder Says Class Size Doesn’t Matter
National Public Radio, March 29, 2011
Small class size is thought to be a ticket to classroom success. Some states require schools, by law, to limit the number of students assigned to one teacher. But Eva Moskowitz, founder and chief executive of the Success Charter Network, argues that formula doesn’t guarantee a good education.

School Reform Means New Ideas, Tools, Not Just Spending Cuts
Washington Examiner, DC, March 29, 2011
Republicans should stick to their government-downsizing plan, but they need to embrace, in addition, the language of reform — technology-based reform. Better life through technology is the story of the last three centuries; the GOP needs to make that trend its friend.

Black and Hispanic Leaders Blast President Obama’s Opposition to D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program
PRNewswire, March 29, 2011
Statement from Kevin P. Chavous, Chairman of the Black Alliance for Educational Options, and Julio Fuentes, President of the Hispanic Council for Reform and Educational Options

FROM THE STATES

California

Hard Cap On Charter Schools Isn’t ‘Reform’
San Diego Union Tribune, CA, March 30, 2011
The annual battles in Sacramento over charter schools have eased in recent years. Charters continue to have some high-profile flops, but in general they’ve made headway in establishing their bona fides as a K-12 alternative, and the enthusiasm they generate among many parents and students is impossible to deny.

Victories for ‘Parent Trigger’
San Bernardino Sun, CA, March 29, 2011
School reform supporters are celebrating two recent victories for the Parent Empowerment Act, a 2010 law that gives parents of students in failing schools the power to petition for drastic changes.

District of Columbia

Henderson Asks Inspector General To Investigate Test Erasures
Washington Post, DC, March 30, 3011
Acting Schools Chancellor Kaya Henderson asked the D.C. inspector general Tuesday to investigate reports that sharp gains in some standardized test scores may have been the result of cheating.

School Funding Puts Gray Under Fire
Washington Times, DC, March 29, 2011
As funding for D.C. students and schools hang in the balance on Capitol Hill and City Hall, school choice proponents are criticizing Mayor Vincent C. Gray for planning to renege on a promise to put charter school funding on par with traditional schools.

Illinois

Taking School To The Next Level
Chicago Tribune, IL, March 29, 2011
With more than $1.2 million in funding from the MacArthur Foundation and other philanthropic organizations, the public charter school to be called Chicago Quest is scheduled to open in September in a renovated school building at Ogden and Clybourn avenues on the edge of the old Cabrini-Green public housing development.

Indiana

Indiana GOP Pushes Ahead With Big Voucher Program
Associated Press, March 29, 2011
Indiana’s Republican leadership is pushing ahead with a proposal that would be the nation’s broadest use of school vouchers, allowing even middle-class families to use taxpayer money to send their kids to private schools.

Louisiana

Special-Needs Students Can Get Tuition Assistance Through State Program
Times Picayune, LA, March 29, 2011
Families in Jefferson, Orleans and St. Tammany parishes have until Friday to apply to a new tuition-assistance program that could help pay for disabled children to attend private school.

Charter Groups Get $2.3 Million
Times Picayune, LA, March 30, 2011
Three charter school groups have won a total of $2.3 million to help cover the cost of adding or taking over schools in the next year as the state continues the process of turning over traditionally run schools to independent nonprofits.

Maryland

Montgomery Board of Education Member Attacks Charter School Policy
Maryland Gazette, MD, March 30, 2011
In a repeat of last year, the Board of Education voted down two charter school applications, although it offered an olive branch of sorts – an extended deadline to apply again this year.

Ohio

School Reformer To Join Kasich At Film Screening
Columbus Dispatch, OH, March 30, 2011
Ohio Gov. John Kasich said he was going to show the movie in this state, and now he’s bringing one of its stars here as well.

Challenge and Choice
Columbus Dispatch, OH, March 29, 2011
For Ohio’s 612 school districts, the new state budget promises to provide a learning experience. Transformative change is coming as Gov. John Kasich’s budget pushes to expand charter-school offerings, quadruple the number of private-school vouchers and prompt efficiencies necessary to weather budget cuts.

Pennsylvania

Education Chief Defends Corbett Cuts
Philadelphia Inquirer, PA, March 29, 2011
HARRISBURG – Facing a bipartisan barrage of criticism, the state’s education chief Tuesday defended Gov. Corbett’s proposal to slash $1 billion in aid to school districts, saying money doesn’t make better schools.

Rhode Island

Brady Resigns as Providence School Superintendent
Providence Journal, RI, March 30, 2011
The Capital City’s school system was pummeled Tuesday as Supt. Tom Brady announced his resignation and four more schools were designated among the state’s worst.

5 R.I. Schools Targeted For Intervention
Providence Journal, RI, March 30, 2011
Five schools in Providence will be targeted for intensive intervention because they have been failing their s
tudents for years, state education officials announced Tuesday.

Tennessee

Political Trap For Charters
Commercial Appeal, TN, March 30, 2011
Stung by City Hall’s funding holdout, MCS passes the pain along to financially vulnerable schools.

VIRTUAL EDUCATION

Bill Opens Door To More Virtual Charter Schools
Indianapolis Star, IN, March 30, 2011
Currently, there are 62 “bricks-and-mortar” charter schools in Indiana, with most of them located in Indianapolis , South Bend , Fort Wayne and Gary . Typically, brick and mortar charter schools are not in sparsely populated areas.

Digital Technologies Must Change Failed Public Education Model
Erie Times-News, PA, March 30, 2011
Only a break with the past and an embrace of the present will give us the public education system we all need and want — and our children deserve.

Virtual Charter School First for La.
Monroe News Star, LA, March 30, 2011
Connections Academy, one of two virtual public schools recently chartered to operate in the state is holding sessions around the state prior April 1, the beginning of its enrollment period for the 2011-12 school year.

Computer-Based Classes Help Students Graduate On Time
Beacon News, IL, March 30, 2011
A pilot program will start up this summer for East Aurora High School seniors who are just one class shy of graduating, with plans to expand this fall to more at-risk students and homebound students.

Daily Headlines for March 29, 2011

Return of the One-Room Schoolhouse
American Spectator, March 29, 2011
While Detroit’s move is certainly driven by cost-cutting, the district is conceding to the reality that the school district model — with its expensive central bureaucracy, woeful inefficiency, and lengthy record of academic failure — no longer works either for children or taxpayers.

State-Union Battles Revive School-Choice Hope
Washington Times, DC, March 28, 2011
After a major loss in their battle with Wisconsin taxpayers over collective bargaining powers, teachers unions are reeling. States are caught in a vicious cycle in which the private sector is shrinking while public liabilities grow and politicians have finally realized they must rein in spending and restore economic sanity to their budgets – even if that means pushing back against union influence.

A Second Chance For Students
Washington Times, DC, March 28, 2011
Imagine you could buy a car at only one dealership, shop for clothes at only one outlet, buy food at only one grocery store. What kind of service would you expect?

FROM THE STATES

District of Columbia

D.C. to Review High Rates of Erasures on School Tests
USA Today, March 29, 2011
The District of Columbia’s Board of Education will hold a hearing next week on irregularities in public school test scores, even as former chancellor Michelle Rhee defended the integrity of test results that showed unusual “erasure rates” from wrong answers to right.

Georgia

Charter Schools Awaiting Court Ruling Consider Options
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, GA, March 28, 2011
Ivy Preparatory Academy held a lottery Saturday to select a new class of sixth graders even as a pending state Supreme Court case threatens to shut down the school.

Indiana

House Resumes Work After 5-Week Standoff
Journal and Courier, IN, March 28, 2011
A five-week standoff, one of the longest in Indiana’s and the nation’s legislative history, ended Monday after Republicans made some final changes to a bill that affects labor union jobs and wages.

Maine

How to Attract More-Qualified Teachers? Not Tenure, But Higher Pay
Portland Press Herald, ME, March 29, 2011
The reason half of all teachers come from the bottom third of college classes is a matter of comparative rewards.

Maryland

Montgomery County Again Shoots Down Charter Schools
Washington Post, DC, March 29, 2011
Montgomery County’s school board again swatted down the applications for what would be the county’s first two charter schools on Monday night.

Michigan

DPS Board, Robert Bobb Meet To Discuss Roles, Powers
Detroit Free Press, MI, March 29, 2011
The elected school board in Detroit has no legal authority or powers but does not expect to be dismissed by state appointee Robert Bobb, the board president said tonight.

Minnesota

Ratings Could End Tenure For Minnesota’s Teachers
Minneapolis Star Tribune, MN, March 28, 2011
A radical new approach to evaluating teachers could end their tenure protections and tie job ratings to student test scores, changing the face of education in Minnesota.

North Carolina

School Fails Budget Test
Wall Street Journal, March 29, 2011
School districts across the country face tough financial choices, but no one here ever thought a budget crunch would claim the town’s top-flight elementary school.

Change: Good and Hard
News & Observer, NC, March 29, 2011
After two months of the 2011 legislative session, the trend is pretty clear. Republicans who won the 2010 legislative elections and control the General Assembly for the first time since the 19th century are not just having their way on plans to cut the 2011-12 budget and trim state government. They’re also making up for lost time on dozens of issues that have been nagging at them for years, especially some hot-button issues.

Pennsylvania

Proposed Pennsylvania Law Would Give Local School Boards More Freedom To Award Charters
Philadelphia Inquirer, PA, March 29, 2011
Legislation introduced in the Pennsylvania Senate would give school districts more freedom to convert public schools to charters and set up a new state oversight board. The proposal would also tighten ethics and financial oversight regulations for charter school management.

VIRTUAL EDUCATION

Online School Session Began Monday
The Advocate, LA, March 28, 2011
Enrollment is about to begin for Louisiana’s first online charter school for students from kindergarten through 12th grade, which could radically change the way children are educated.

New Online High School Free to Ga. Residents
Augusta Chronicle, GA, March 28, 2011
Provost Academy, a free public online high school, announced in a news release today that it is opening its virtual doors to Georgia students, starting this August.

Daily Headlines for March 23, 2011

Bill Gates Seeks Formula for Better Teachers
Wall Street Journal, March 22, 2011
Bill Gates shook up the battle against AIDS in Africa by applying results-oriented business metrics to the effort. Now, he is trying to do the same in the tricky world of evaluating and compensating teachers.

Ron Bancroft: End to Teacher Tenure Essential To School Reform
Portland Press Herald, ME, March 22, 2011
As long as it’s linked to fair evaluations, the removal of tenure will improve learning.

FROM THE STATES

District of Columbia

Will a BASIS Charter School Work in D.C.?
Washington Post, DC, March 21, 2011
For Washington suburbanites who think their local high school is straining from the weight of Advanced Placement courses and other academic demands, you haven’t seen anything yet.

Florida

Florida Education Secretary Said He’ll Step Down This Year
Miami Herald, FL, March 21, 2011
Florida’s top education official announced his resignation Monday, fueling speculation over who will replace him.

Georgia

Two Groups Rally For School Choice
Athens Banner- Herald, GA, March 22, 2011
The state Capitol was full of the chatter of children and their parents Monday as they buttonholed legislators about various types of school choices, from public charter schools to private schools funded by tax credit-enhanced scholarships.

Indiana

All Students ‘My Public,’ Schools Chief Says
The Tribune Star, IN, March 22, 2011
It wasn’t just the party faithful attending Tony Bennett’s talk before the Clay County Republican Club Monday night.

Massachusetts

Too Much Jargon, Too Few Fixes
Boston Globe, MA, March 22, 2011
THE TEACHER evaluation process in Massachusetts is broken. Principals conduct drive-by classroom observations of teachers who know there will be no consequences for poor performance and no rewards for excellence. Federal officials are fed up.

New Jersey

Furor in N.J. Over Charter School Space
Wall Street Journal, March 22, 2011
The union representing Newark’s teachers is rallying its members to what is expected to be a raucous meeting Tuesday night over whether charter schools should share space with traditional public schools.

A Voucher for Chris Cerf in New Jersey
Star-Ledger, NJ, March 22, 2011
Chris Cerf has been nominated as commissioner of education in New Jersey . He has a long and illustrious background in education reform – more than a decade at Edison Schools Inc. and at the New York City Department of Education combined – and, not surprisingly, he has stepped on a few toes along the way.

Oregon

Oregon Senate Unanimously Approves Changes To Charter School Law
The Oregonian, OR, March 22, 2011
The Oregon Senate unanimously passed a bill to modify the Oregon charter school law. The bill would change the appeals process and some application time lines but remains silent on controversial issues such as funding, transportation and what should be required in the application.

Texas

Let’s Give Charters Access To Funds
Houston Chronicle, TX, March 21, 2011
All around us, we hear we must do more with less. It’s a common theme from how we manage our personal budgets to how our state legislators must cope with our enormous budget shortfall this session. Is it really possible to meet this daunting challenge?

Wisconsin

Poll finds Support In Milwaukee For Voucher Expansion
The Journal Sentinel, WI, March 21, 2011
A majority of Milwaukee residents favor Gov. Scott Walker’s proposal to expand the city’s voucher program by removing family income restrictions on participants, according to the results of a poll commissioned by School Choice Wisconsin, a voucher-advocacy group.

Republican Bill Calls For A Board Of Political Appointees To Authorize Charter Schools
Capital Times, WI, March 22, 2011
Under a Republican-sponsored bill, nine political appointees would get to authorize public charter schools while local school districts foot the bill. The creation of this state-wide charter school authorizing board – with members appointed by the governor and the leaders of the state Senate and Assembly – is a key provision of legislation authored by Sen. Alberta Darling of River Hills that will get a hearing on Wednesday at 10 a.m. at the Capitol before the Senate Education Committee.

VIRTUAL EDUCATION

Online schools seek funding in Georgia
Augusta Chronicle, GA, March 21, 2011
The Capitol was full of the chatter of children and their parents as groups roamed the halls Monday to buttonhole legislators about various types of school choices, from public charter schools to private schools funded by tax-credit-enhanced scholarships.

Daily Headlines for March 18, 2011

NATIONAL

The Search For A New Way To Test Schoolkids
USA Today, March 18, 2011
By all accounts, George Washington Elementary School is the very model of a modern urban public school. Tucked into an up-and-coming neighborhood west of downtown, the school has produced impressive results on annual Maryland School Assessment (MSA) math and reading tests over the past several years. By 2007, scores had improved so steadily that the U.S. Department of Education made it a National Blue Ribbon School of Excellence. First lady Laura Bush came to town to hand out the award.

Next US Education Reform: Higher Teacher Quality
Christian Science Monitor, MA, March 17, 2011
A new study shows teacher quality is the most important lesson that America can learn from top-ranked education countries such as Finland and Singapore. Teacher unions and states will need to work on this together.

FROM THE STATES

California

Second Round Of Charter Bidding Shows Board Is Serious About Reform
Los Angeles Daily News, CA, March 18, 2011
It was a bit of a stunner when the Los Angeles Unified School District board adopted the Public School Choice program in 2009. After years of fighting off attempts to break up the district or diminish its size or scope, here was the board itself offering to give control of some of its schools to charters, to teachers, to the mayor, to anyone, really, with some credibility and a plan.

Colorado

School Vouchers Spell Choice in Douglas County
Denver Post, CO, March 18, 2011
We support Douglas County schools’ bold pilot program to offer parents vouchers to send children to private schools.

Connecticut

Lawmakers Consider Speeding Up Dismissals For Poorly Performing Teachers
Hartford Courant , CT, March 17, 2011
School districts could move more quickly to dismiss poorly performing teachers, a process that now can drag on for two years, under a teacher evaluation bill aired Thursday by the legislature’s education committee.

District of Columbia

Evaluation of D.C. Teachers Is A Delicate Conversation
Washington Post, DC, March 17, 2011
Grading D.C. teachers: The District’s new teacher evaluation system is becoming a national model, even as unions and some experts question the wisdom of staking careers on it. And in the moment when school reform meets the teachers expected to carry it out, master educators, such as Eric Bethel, observe teachers, such as Clay Harris, in class – and then have a conference that can end careers.

Indiana

Democrats Split On Education Reform
Indianapolis Star, IN, March 17, 2011
The education reform waves keep rolling to shore, even as House Democrats try to figure out a face-saving way to come home from Illinois. Although the Republican right-to-work proposal prompted the walkout, the protest was expanded to include education reforms.

Massachusetts

Schools Must Put Up Or Shut Up
Boston Globe, MA, March 18, 2011
PAUL REVILLE, the state secretary of education, has an unvarnished message for the Commonwealth’s traditional schools.

Businesses Push Use of MCAS in Teacher Reviews
Boston Globe, MA, March 18, 2011
Business leaders, worried that Massachusetts is falling behind other states in boosting teacher quality, are pushing for teacher evaluations to be based at least 50 percent on their students’ MCAS scores and other student achievement data – a move strongly opposed by teacher unions.

Winning A Charter School Lottery
MetroWest Daily News, MA, March 17, 2011
It’s not cool to be excited about school, so it was refreshing to see a group of youngsters exchanging whispered cheers and high-fives Tuesday upon hearing the news about their sixth grade assignments. They were acting like they had won the lottery – and they had.

Michigan

Budget Woes Bring New Ideas to Detroit Schools
Kiowa County Signal, MI, March 17, 2011
States are beginning to connect the dots between necessary spending and needless spending. As they work to come up with sustainable budgets the status quo is no longer affordable.

Minnesota

Chamber President: The Next Step In Improving The State’s Public Education System
Minneapolis Star Tribune, MN, March 17, 2011
The quality of teachers, second to parents, is the top predictor of student success. Minnesota’s new alternative teacher licensure law represents one piece of the puzzle to ensure we have effective teachers in every classroom — and more must be done.

New York

Cuomo: School Aid Advocates Making Bogus Threats
Wall Street Journal, March 17, 2011
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo snapped back Thursday at union-backed school aid advocates, saying they’re making bogus threats that children would face larger classes, massive teacher layoffs and the loss of sports and the arts under his proposed cut to school aid.

Ohio

Charter Schools Speak Out On New Budget
WTOL, OH, March 17, 2011
Governor John Kasich showed a lot of support for charter schools while discussing the new state budget. Executive Director of the Ohio Council of Community Schools, Darlene Chambers, said the budget is all about free market, competition and efficiency.

Tennessee

Ramsey Rejects Deal On Teachers Unions
Chattanooga Times Free Press, TN, March 18, 2011
Senate Republican leaders stood their ground Thursday on stripping teachers’ unions of collective-bargaining rights, rejecting a House.

VIRTUAL EDUCATION

LEUSD Will Offer Virtual School In The Fall
The Friday Flyer, CA, March 18, 2011
The Lake Elsinore Unified School District governing board wants parents and students to think Southern California Virtual Academy when considering educational choices.

Daily Headlines for March 17, 2011

Adjusting Education Targets
The Day, CT, March 17, 2011
There is little that Democrats and Republicans on Capitol Hill can agree on these days, but one area of common ground is the need to reform No Child Left Behind. Since its enactment in 2002, public schools have struggled to comply with mandates of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act.

Reform Should Create A Student-Centered Education
The Hill, DC, March 16, 2011
Nearly three decades ago, the National Commission on Excellence in Education issued “A Nation at Risk,” a compelling report that sounded the alarm on the state of public education in America. Since then, we have spent billions of taxpayer dollars to improve our public schools. Yet American students have fallen behind their international peers in math and science, and our achievement gaps remain.

Why Don’t The Congressmen Who Look Like Us Want Us To Go To Better Schools?
Daily Caller, DC, March 16, 2011
As you read this, Democratic state legislators across the country are doing something that, 20 years ago, would have been considered politically taboo. They’re supporting school choice.

FROM THE STATES

Florida

Florida Teacher Pay Bill Clears Legislature on Way to Rick Scott
Florida Times-Union, FL, March 17, 2011
On the strength of Republicans’ super-majority, the House muscled out a bill Wednesday that would represent a significant shift in how Florida teachers are paid and evaluated.

Maryland

KIPP, Teachers Union Reach 10-Year Agreement
Baltimore Sun, MD, March 16, 2011
A Baltimore charter school network that had threatened to shut down in June reached an agreement in principle with the Baltimore Teachers Union minutes before testimony was set to begin in Annapolis on a bill that would have given city charters more flexibility in dealing with union rules.

Minnesota

Wise Way To Spend Public Education Dollars
ABC Newspapers, MN, March 16, 2011
Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton and Commissioner of Education Brenda Casselius 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

House Panel Hears Charter School Debate
Helena Independent Record, MT, March 17, 2011
Proponents of a bill that would provide public funding to charter schools say the law would give families much needed options, while opponents say it would take away dollars from the already strapped budgets of Montana’s public school districts.

North Carolina

Experience with Charter School
Shelby Star, NC, March 16, 2011
For a decade, I have had the privilege of having my children attend Thomas Jefferson Classical Academy . But for the entire time my children have been at Thomas Jefferson, they have been cheated out of their fair share of Cleveland County supplemental public education money because of the same unjust, discriminatory attitude that is being currently exhibited by the school board in their fighting the expansion of North Carolina public charter schools.

Pennsylvania

Charter Operators Named For Six Philadelphia Schools
Philadelphia Inquirer, PA, March 17, 2011
The Philadelphia School Reform Commission on Wednesday adopted School Superintendent Arlene C. Ackerman’s recommendations and named three charter operators to run six low-performing schools, despite the protests of some teachers, students, and community members.

Tennessee

Charter Schools Have Earned Chance To Expand
The Tennessean, TN, March 17, 2011
In 2002, Tennessee became the 39th state in the union to pass public charter-school legislation. The intent of the legislature was to go slow, see what works, and consider next steps.

Compromise Would Limit Collective Bargaining For Tenn. Teachers
The Commercial Appeal, TN, March 16, 2011
House Republicans advanced a compromise Wednesday on the bill that originally halted teacher collective bargaining — allowing bargaining to continue but with new limits.

VIRTUAL EDUCATION

Online Classes Could Help More Kids Graduate
Eastern Arizona Courier, AZ, March 16, 2011
Online classes offered by Arizona Online Instruction could become an option for students who want to drop out of high school.

Daily Headlines for March 15, 2011

Obama Urges Education Law Overhaul
New York Times, NY, March 15, 2011
President Obama called on Monday for an overhaul of education legislation enacted in the Bush administration, telling an audience of teachers and students that Congress should change the No Child Left Behind Act before the start of the next school year.

No Child Left Behind: Why Congress Will Struggle To Hit Obama’s Deadline
Christian Science Monitor, MA, March 14, 2011
President Obama wants No Child Left Behind revised by the fall. The Senate is working toward a bipartisan compromise, but House Republicans want to shrink the federal role in education.

FROM THE STATES

California

L.A. School Board To Decide Who Will Run New Schools
Los Angeles Times, CA, March 15, 2011
Various groups are vying to run the 7 new high schools and 6 other campuses. The board is under pressure from Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa to reward charter schools.

Colorado

Concurrent Enrollment Smoothes High Schoolers’ Path To College
Denver Post, CO, March 15, 2011
In evolving attempts to smooth the path to college, the number of students enrolled in college classes concurrent with their high school studies is growing.

Florida

Bills on Fast Track in Fla. Legislature
The Ledger, FL, March 14, 2011
The paint is barely dry on teachers’ protest signs but debate over a controversial bill to end tenure and tie salaries to student test scores is nearly over, with lawmakers moving towards final passage this week.

Illinois

Vouchers Bubble Up Again In Springfield
Progress Illinois, IL, March 14, 2011
The voucher battle is bubbling up once again in Springfield. Last week, the Senate Education Committee voted 7-3 to approve SB 1932, legislation that would authorize carving out what it calls a pilot program for vouchers within the Chicago Public Schools system.

Maryland

End Maryland School Boards’ Power To Kill Charter Schools
Washington Examiner, DC, March 14, 2011
When the Maryland State Board of Education overturned the Montgomery County School Board’s unanimous denial of two charter school applications in January, it accused local school board members of harboring “personal biases” against charter schools. Judging by the fact that Montgomery has not approved a single charter school application since 2003, odds are that the folks in Annapolis are right.

Michigan

Charter Decision On Failing DPS Schools May Be Bobb’s Call
The Detroit News, MI, March 15, 2011
At the moment, control over a proposal to turn 41 failing Detroit public schools into charter schools belongs with the elected Board of Education. But that authority may be short-lived.

New Jersey

Charter Schools: Where Are They And Why
Princeton Packet, NJ, March 14, 2011
Some 15 years ago charter schools were created in New Jersey to encourage innovation and improvement in public schools. With that purpose in mind, the Legislature exempted charters from some regulations and practices that are common in our public school systems; the law encouraged charters to try changes in organization and curriculum that promote student learning.

New York

Students’ English Misses the Mark
Wall Street Journal, March 15, 2011
More than a third of New York City students who entered first grade in 2003 identified as English language learners couldn’t pass an English-language proficiency test last year when they were in the seventh grade, according to Department of Education data.

North Carolina

Keeping Charter Cap Not Good For Kids
The Daily Advance, NC, March 14, 2011
Here we go again! Elizabeth City-Pasquotank school officials are drafting a resolution to oppose Senate Bill 8, the legislation that lifts the cap on the number of charter schools in North Carolina.

Pennsylvania

Corbett Wants To Grade Schools, Pay Teachers On Merit Basis
Pittsburgh Tribune -Review, PA, March 15, 2011
When Gov. Tom Corbett released his budget proposal, no one was surprised that it rolled back government spending. And with education making up a third of the state budget, it made sense that public schools and colleges would take a hit.

Despite Money Loss, York City Schools Still Fielding Charter Requests
The York Dispatch, PA, March 15, 2011
The York City School Board moved another step closer to expanding its charter school offerings on Monday, just days after learning state charter school reimbursement money is likely gone next year.

Vouchers Can Provide Positive Educational Experiences
Delaware County Daily Times, PA, March 15, 2011
An opponent of school vouchers recently wrote in a letter to the Daily Times that “limiting our neighbors’ opportunities based on the color of their skin has been supported by the governing bodies of Pennsylvania for a long, long time.”

Tennessee

Rutherford Schools Cut Off Talks With Teachers Union
The Tennessean, TN, March 15, 2011
At least one Middle Tennessee school district stopped annual negotiations with its local teachers union, waiting for an upcoming Senate vote on a proposed bill to end collective bargaining for teachers statewide. Another district is being sued for refusing to recognize its teachers union.

Washington

U.S. Education Secretary Backs Gregoire’s Single-Agency Plan
Seattle Times, WA, March 14, 2011
U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan spoke to Washington lawmakers and top officials via video conference on Monday, saying the state’s education system is illogical and has an organization plan that isn’t a viable business plan.

VIRTUAL EDUCATION

Charter, Virtual Schools On The Horizon for Fond du Lac
Fond du Lac Reporter, WI, March 13, 2011
Fond du Lac schools are taking a leap into the future. Plans to develop a charter school for Grades 3-5 -based in science, technology, engineering and math – are moving ahead.

Rolling Out The Online Classes
KJCT8, CO, March 14, 2011
After a year-long trial, Mesa County School District 51 is ready to roll out online classes.
Made up completely of local teachers and mentors, the Grande River Virtual Academy is touted for it’s 21st Century learning opportunity. Already, many colleges use online classes as a part of their curriculum.

Willis Academy Billed As Chandler’s 1st Hybrid School
The Arizona Republic, AZ, March 14, 2011
Students can take classes online but also in person under a new program being offered through Chandler public schools.

Daily Headlines for March 14, 2011

Pay Teachers More
New York Times, NY, March 12, 2011
From the debates in Wisconsin and elsewhere about public sector unions, you might get the impression that we’re going bust because teachers are overpaid.

Beyond Charter Schools
Wall Street Journal, March 14, 2011
The U.S. is enjoying a new spring of education reform, with challenges to teacher tenure and “parent-trigger” for charter schools. So it’s natural that the mother of all school choice reforms-vouchers-is also making a comeback.

Obama Pushes Overhaul of No Child Left Behind
Associated Press, March 14, 2011
President Barack Obama is calling on Congress to rewrite the nation’s governing education law in time for a new school year next fall. It’s an ambitious timeline but one administration official says it is necessary to start closing the achievement gap between American students and their counterparts in China and elsewhere.

What the School Reform Debate Misses About Teachers
Washington Post, DC, March 13, 2011
As the debate rages over public unions and, in particular, over their role in school reform, an unfortunate dichotomy about America s teachers has emerged.

FROM THE STATES

Georgia

Voucher Bill Renews Education Debate
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, GA, March 11, 2011
A Senate leader’s plan to expand a school voucher program to foster children and thousands of others sets up the latest battle over the free-market approach to education.

Kentucky

Kentucky Teachers Should Reject Union’s Actions
Lexington Herald- Leader, KY, March 14, 2011
Like the rest of America, teachers in Kentucky have been following the news in Wisconsin and elsewhere as thousands of union teachers are converging at statehouses across the country. Some used fake doctor’s notes to protest as school systems across the state were forced to shut their doors. These protests have outraged teachers from coast to coast, leaving many questioning their membership in local unions and have even led some to search for alternatives.

Massachusetts

Unlocking Potential At A New Charter School
Boston Globe, MA, March 13, 2011
About 700 Boston families entered the lottery for 162 sixth-grade seats at the South Boston school, which will be christened UP Academy in August.

Charter Seeks State OK To Delay Hiring
Gloucester Times, MA, March 14, 2011
The acting board chairman of the Gloucester Community Arts Charter School has formally asked permission for the school to hold off on hiring a director of education as ordered by the state’s education commissioner and board.

Tax Credits Pushed For Private-School Families
Boston Herald, MA, March 13, 2011
Citing a new report that shows the Bay State’s 209 Catholic schools score better on SATs, graduate more students and cost less per student than their public counterparts, a coalition of religious and education groups is going to push for tax credits for parents who pay for private schooling.

Michigan

Detroit Plan Makes Big Charter School Bet
Wall Street Journal, March 14, 2011
A plan unveiled over the weekend to convert nearly a third of Detroit’s public schools into privately run charter schools has thrust the Motor City into the national debate over education reform.

Charter Operators: Autonomy Is Key
Detroit Free Press, MI, March 13, 2011
Jose Afonso said he’s interested in a Detroit Public Schools plan to turn 41 of the lowest performing schools in Detroit into charter schools — given the interest his company has had in opening a charter school in the city.

Minnesota

‘Strong Schools’ Plan Stands To Reason, Merits Support
Pioneer Press, MN, March 12, 2011
We support the goals and vision of Superintendent Valeria Silva’s plan to reorganize St. Paul ‘s public schools, and we urge the school board and the community to come together behind the plan. We welcome the day when administrators and teachers can bear down and teach, and spend less energy on rewiring the system.

Missouri

Schools Could Receive More Local Control
Columbia Daily Tribune, MO, March 12, 2011
As the Missouri House of Representatives debates a bill that would allow charter schools in any Missouri district – right now such schools are restricted to St. Louis and Kansas City districts – Columbia Public Schools is looking at a different approach.

Nevada

‘Passing The Trash’ In Public Schools
Las Vegas Review – Journal, NV, March 13, 2011
It’s a simple idea. And it’s not new. Some union-free charter schools achieve remarkable excellence. But to really make a difference, we don’t need a charter school here and there. We need reform that can work in all public schools.

Ohio

Let Charters Bid On Closed Schools
Cleveland Plain Dealer, OH, March 14, 2011
After a fruitful move to let a handful of quality charter schools save costs by operating in some Cleveland public school buildings, school district officials propose to put unneeded structures off-limits to charters.

Pennsylvania

School Budgets Crashing Without Stimulus
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, PA, March 14, 2011
When the federal economic stimulus money was allotted two years ago, there was both excitement about getting millions of dollars for Pennsylvania and fear of falling off the funding cliff when the money runs out in September.

In Proposed State Budget, Possible Elimination of Charter Reimbursement Surprises School Districts
York Daily Record, PA, March 14, 2011
School districts in York County and around the state had been bracing for the release of Gov. Tom Corbett’s proposed budget for months, trying to anticipate what kind of dr
op in basic education funding they would receive.

Senate Bill 1 Has Friends, Foes
Times Leader, PA, March 13, 2011
Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett’s proposed education budget, unveiled Tuesday, not only cuts 10 percent of educational funding across the state, it also brings to the forefront the debate over school choice in the commonwealth.

Rhode Island

School’s Mission Is to Launch Leaders of Tomorrow
Providence Journal, RI, March 13, 2011
When I ask why they greet the kids, Chiappetta shrugs, “All good schools do it.” Really? I can only think of a few non-charter schools that bother. But the staff has culled through 20 years’ experience of successful urban charter schools for all kinds of techniques known to get results with challenged kids.

Washington

Ore. House to Vote Monday on Charter Schools
The Columbian, WA, March 13, 2011
Oregon lawmakers are nearing a vote on a bill designed to make it easier to open a charter school.

Wyoming

Bill May Bring Education Revolution
Wyoming Tribune Eagle, WY, March 13, 2011
Wyoming lawmakers say the recently passed Senate File 70 is a “huge, huge bill” that will force ours schools to produce results or face sanctions.

VIRTUAL EDUCATION

San Lorenzo Valley Charter School Thrives With Online, Home-Based Programs
Santa Cruz Sentinel, CA, March 13, 2011
In this age of expanding choices in public education and “wired” youngsters, a San Lorenzo Valley charter school is thriving by giving parents and students flexibility in how a child masters the basics.

Daily Headlines for March 10, 2011

Most Public Schools May Miss Targets, Education Secretary Says
New York Times, NY, March 10, 2011
More than 80,000 of the nation’s 100,000 public schools could be labeled as failing under No Child Left Behind, the main federal law on public education, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan told Congress on Wednesday.

For Teachers, Many Ways And Reasons To Cheat On Tests
USA Today, March 10, 2011
This is high-stakes testing. The standardized tests required by the federal No Child Left Behind law have become one of the most important – and controversial – ways to measure a student’s progress, a teacher’s competence, a school’s success and a state’s commitment to education. That can be a heavy load for an assessment built on paper booklets and bubble sheets

FROM THE STATES

California

El Camino Real To Leave LAUSD
Canyon News, CA, March 10, 2011
El Camino Real High School has been unanimously approved for a Charter Conversion.

Charter School Proposes More Class Time For Struggling Students
Santa Cruz Sentinel, CA, March 9, 2011
A proposed charter school would help prepare children from migrant and farmworker families for college with a longer school day and year.

Colorado

Denver Charter Schools Share National Prize For Achievement
Denver Post, CO, March 9, 2011
Two Denver charter schools will get a share of an $1.8 million national prize for student achievement gains.

District of Columbia

Gray’s Pick for D.C. Schools Chancellor Upsets Teachers Union
Washington Times, DC, March 9, 2011
D.C. parents and students may never know whether interim schools chief Kaya Henderson faced stiff competition to permanently succeed Michelle A. Rhee as chancellor, but Mayor Vincent C. Gray announced Wednesday that she now holds the $275,000-per-year job and the title.

Florida

Full Senate, House Committee Take Up Teacher Tenure Bills Today
Tampa Tribune, FL, March 10, 2011
The Florida Senate has scheduled a final vote for today on a controversial education bill that could end tenure for teachers and tie their pay to student learning gains. The bill would also require a much more stringent annual review process for teachers.

Idaho

Idaho House Approves Merit Pay System For Teachers
Spokesman Review, ID, March 10, 2011
A bill requiring merit pay for teachers cleared the Idaho House on Wednesday, sending it to the governor’s desk and giving the state schools superintendent a second big win in his push for sweeping school reform.

Indiana

Charter Bill Gets Hearing in Senate
Fort Wayne Journal Gazette, IN, March 10, 2011
The Senate Education panel took up the issue of expanding access to Indiana charter schools Wednesday – the same day a flattering study on the schools was released by Stanford University.

Maryland

KIPP Is Good for Students – and for Baltimore
Baltimore Sun, MD, March 10, 2011
KIPP stands out because of the achievements of its students. We urge the school board, Mr. Alonso, the Baltimore Teachers Union and KIPP’s leaders to do whatever it takes to keep the KIPP opportunity available to Baltimore students for years to come. Our education leaders have an opportunity to serve the current and future students at KIPP by securing an agreement that enables KIPP Ujima Village Academy to continue its good work.

Massachusetts

Students Face Tough Odds To Get Charter School Seats
Boston Globe, MA, March 10, 2011
Last night was lottery night for many of Boston’s 14 independently run charter schools as well as the six new schools opening this fall. Enrollment is determined by chance, with schools drawing names from fish bowls, hats, and boxes.

Six Mass. Charter Schools Honored Nationally For ‘Dramatic’ Student Gains
Boston Globe, MA, March 9, 2011
Six state charter schools, including four in Boston, will collect nearly $700,000 from a national non-profit for making “dramatic gains in student achievement” at “high-need urban” institutions.

Pennsylvania

Western Pa. Propel Charter Schools Awarded By National Organization
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, PA, March 10, 2011
Two Propel charter schools — McKeesport and Montour — are among 18 charter schools honored by New Leaders for New Schools.

Vouchers Allowable Under Constitution
Centre Daily Times, PA, March 10, 2011
Pennsylvania’s General Assembly is considering a proposal that would empower parents whose children are trapped in failing public schools to choose, if they so desire, to enroll their children in a private school and receive a scholarship, or voucher, to help pay the tuition

South Carolina

Award-Winning Charter School Educators Put Kids First
Charleston Post Courier, SC, March 10, 2011
Thirty-one charter schools from across the state nominated educators for the award, and Pedings wasn’t the only Lowcountry winner. Jody Swanigan, principal of East Cooper Montessori Charter School in Mount Pleasant , was named Administrator of the Year.

Tennessee

Suburbs Vow to Fight Schools Merger
Wall Street Journal, March 10, 2011
Officials in the suburbs of Memphis, Tenn. , said Wednesday they would fight what they see as a shotgun marriage that joins its school system with that of the city, claiming the move will harm academic standards and increase bureaucracy.

Bill Altering Tennessee Teacher Tenure Advances in House
Commercial Appeal, TN, March 10, 2011
The bill that delays and alters tenure for public school teachers won its first committee approval in the House Wednesday and is set for a Senate floor vote today.

West Virginia

West Virginia Needs Parental Choice in Our Schools
WTRF, WV, March 9, 2011
If a child goes to a public school in West Virginia, the school that child attends is determined by where the child’s family lives. Thus, geography dictates which students go to which schools. Although the residence of a family determines where their children go to school, an area’s schools are not the only determinate of where a family chooses to live.

VIRTUAL EDUCATION

More Cyber Schools Await Georgia Students This Fall
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, GA, March 9, 2011
The menu of cyber schools in Georgia will grow this fall.

House Removes Controversy From Online Ed Bill
The Salt Lake Tribune, UT, March 10, 2011
The House advanced a bill Wednesday night to expand online education opportunities in Utah, but not before taking out a controversial provision that could have sent some public school money to private providers.

Lodi Unified Looking At Creating A Virtual Academy For Students
Lodi News-Sentinel, CA, March 10, 2011
Elementary students may soon be able to log onto computers to take math tests while wearing their pajamas.

Daily Headlines for March 8, 2011