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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.