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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.