Daily Headlines for April 26, 2011

Tea Party Heads to School
Wall Street Journal, April 26, 2011
Trying to plug a $3.8 million budget gap, the York Suburban School District, in the rolling hills of southern Pennsylvania, is seeking to raise property taxes by 1.4%.

The Resurrection of School Choice
Washington Post, DC, April 25, 2011
Easter Monday is a good day to celebrate a resurrection story – in this case, the resurrection of a movement to rescue children trapped in failing public schools.

FROM THE STATES

Delaware

US Education Secretary Weighs in on Christina
News Journal, DE, April 25, 2011
The U.S. secretary of education inserted himself into the controversy surrounding the Christina School District, saying Monday that he supports the state’s move to freeze more than $11 million of the district’s federal Race to the Top funding.

District of Columbia

The Charter Kickstarter
Washington Times, DC, April 25, 2011
Today marks the 15th anniversary of the D.C. School Reform Act’s passage. This gives public funding to charter schools and a chance at a good education to thousands of children otherwise doomed to attending notoriously poor D.C. public schools (DCPS).

Indiana

Unions: Be Part of Education Reform Or Be Left Behind
Marion Star, IN, April 25, 2011
As school reform debates continue, two distinctly opposing viewpoints have emerged: one voiced by stalwart union leaders fighting for teachers’ rights; the other by elected officials and other policy makers demanding change.

Michigan

Snyder’s Education Plan For Michigan Has Cash Awards, Online Classes
Detroit Free Press, MI, April 26, 2011
Gov. Rick Snyder will propose Wednesday financial rewards to individual schools that show exceptional academic progress.

Wisconsin

Litjens Sponsors Bill To Give School Choice Scholarships For Students With Special Needs
Oshkosh Northwestern, WI, April 26, 2011
A bipartisan bill circulating in the Wisconsin Legislature would provide state-funded scholarships for students with special needs to attend any private or public school of their choice.

VIRTUAL EDUCATION

Virtual School Expansion Moves Forward
North Escambia News, FL, April 26, 2011
A bill that requires all students in Florida to take one virtual class before graduating and permits kindergarteners to take full-time virtual classes was approved by the Senate Budget Committee on Monday.

Oklahoma House Advances Bill To Create Charter School Commission
The Oklahoman, OK, April 26, 2011
Oklahoma Senate Bill 260 would set up a seven-member charter school sponsoring commission that would establish guidelines for charter schools to offer virtual courses statewide.

A Virtual School Option for Utah Kids
ABC 4, UT, April 25, 2011
If regular public school isn’t for your child, there are alternatives and one of them may be the Utah Connections Academy.

Daily Headlines for April 25, 2011

Why Catholic Schools Matter
City Journal, Spring 2011
Who can doubt that the fortunes of charter schools are on the rise? Philanthropists both liberal and conservative have been showering money on charters, viewing them as a promising alternative to traditional public schools because of their relative freedom from union contracts and education bureaucracies.

A 1-hour Fix for the Racial Achievement Gap?
Los Angeles Times, CA, April 24, 2011
Minority students are especially prone to the fear of failing. But that can be changed.

FROM THE STATES

California

Education: The Magic of Hard Work
Los Angeles Times, CA, April 25, 2011
The educational establishment of Southern California divides fairly neatly into three groups: those who recognize the need for radical and sustained improvement but fear that it’s impossible; those who actively oppose change because their allegiances require them to defend failure; and that small but growing and inspiring group of advocates who see a way to improve and are actually making it happen.

Connecticut

Fight Brews Over Charter School Teachers
The Connecticut Day, CT, April 25, 2011
The test scores of Kendra Salvador’s students suggest she’s doing an excellent job teaching math at her inner-city charter school, but state education officials keep telling her principal she has to go back to college or lose her job.

District of Columbia

Charter Schools Suffer Leadership Shortages
Washington Post, DC, April 24, 2011
One Sunday in 2009, the principal of Potomac Lighthouse Public Charter School in Northeast Washington called the school’s board to tell them she was quitting. The next day, school officials said, she didn’t come to work.

Florida

Hernando Families Praise School Vouchers
St. Petersburg Times, FL, April 24, 2011
These are the telltale signs of the faith-based education that Jeff and Kimberly Pasmore say they are glad their son is able to receive – and that they wouldn’t be able to afford without the help they get from the state.

Illinois

New Schools Chief Brizard Largely Likable But Often Not Liked
Chicago Sun Times, IL, April 25, 2011
Finally cornered in the corridors of the Rochester School District Thursday evening by a Sun-Times reporter, the man the mayor-elect picked to run the nation’s third largest school district beamed his winning smile, leaned in and asked, “How can I help you, without getting in trouble?”

Indiana

Charter School Salaries Lower
Fort Wayne Gazette, IN, April 24, 2011
Allen County charter school teachers made $21,000 less on average than their regular public school counterparts in 2010, according to a Journal Gazette analysis.

Louisiana

Sci Academy Lottery Sheds Light on Evolution of School Choice in New Orleans
Times Picayune, LA, April 22, 2011
Pamela Morrell sat nervously in the third row Thursday evening among the lines of blue chairs set up in the school cafeteria at Sci Academy, a charter high school in eastern New Orleans.

Maryland

When Students Don’t Go To School, Parents Go To Jail
Baltimore Sun, MD, April 24, 2011
More than 400 Baltimore parents cited this year in what some call a flawed process of getting students back to school

Michigan

DPS Prepares Charter Board
Detroit News, MI, April 25, 2011
Retired principal and teacher Theresa Mattison knows Detroit Public Schools still needs her help and she’d never say no, even though it means coming out of retirement

New Jersey

Charter Schools in Suburbia: More Argument Than Agreement
NJ Spotlight, NJ, April 24, 2011
So-called boutique charter schools are raising concerns about costs and specialized curriculums in some suburban enclaves.

Christie v. Court: Is Threat for Real?
Philadelphia Inquirer, PA, April 24, 2011
He has considered ignoring N.J. justices if they order more school funding. Legal scholars said that would be a historic breach.

New York

Charter School Space: Free of Rent, Maybe, but Not of Hurdles
New York Times, NY, April 25, 2011
After Matthew Greenberg had spent 18 years as a New York City teacher, he wanted a school of his own and decided to try opening a charter.

Ohio

Schools Put On Notice
Columbus Dispatch, OH, April 25, 2011
Considering chronically failing schools a “grievous injustice” to children, Gov. John Kasich wants to fix them or shut them down.

School-Choice Option Gaining
Cincinnati Enquirer, OH, April 24, 2011
At a time when Gov. John Kasich’s proposed budget contains $1.8 billion in cuts to public schools, critics are upset that it also includes plans to dramatically increase private school funding by expanding the state’s educational scholarships.

Pennsylvania

Programs Seek Teacher Pay System That Works
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, PA, April 25, 2011
On the surface, the concept is simple: Pay teachers based on their performance

15 from Boys Latin Earn High Scores In National Test
Philadelphia Inquirer, PA, April 25, 2011
This good news from my education team colleague Martha Woodall, about a unique Philadelphia charter school whose students have done something pretty special:

Utah

Home Schooling – Utahns Feel Less Stigma As More Families Try It
Desert News, UT, April 24, 2011
Regan Barnes wasn’t satisfied with her experience in public school. Most of the time school felt like a game. All she had to do was figure out what the teacher wanted and then do it. She didn’t feel like school was expanding her mind until she got to college.

Wisconsin

Preserving the Bargain on Choice
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, WI, April 23, 2011
State taxpayers are getting a fantastic bargain this year on the education of about one in six Milwaukee children. But how long will they go on getting it?

VIRTUAL EDUCATION

Public Virtual Schools: A View From Within
NW Times, IN, April 25, 2011
I have dedicated my career to public education, and today I am thrilled to be part of a form of public education that’s transforming lives: Indiana Connections Academy-Virtual Pilot School.

Online Learning For Illinois High Schoolers Inspires Praise, Suspicion
Chicago Tribune, IL, April 24, 2011
Miriam Kotacka doesn’t want to wait for her future. She’s only 16, yet she’s due to graduate from Aurora ‘s Metea Valley High School in a few weeks so she can begin training full time as a ballet dancer.

Daily Headlines for April 22, 2011

Watchdog Site Hits a Home Run
Editor & Publisher, April 22, 2011
America’s favorite pastime and education in the media go hand-in-hand on a new website that rates education reporting, baseball style. Did your story score a home run or strike out? Did it at least get you to the bases, or was it more of a pop fly?

Better Teachers: More Questions Than Answers
TIME, April 21, 2011
Teacher effectiveness matters more to student learning than anything else schools do, and there are substantial differences between teachers. Those two points often get lost in the din about teachers unions or tenure.

FROM THE STATES

Delaware

Delaware Schools: State Halts Christina’s Grant
Delaware News Journal, DE, April 22, 2011
The state Department of Education has frozen Christina School District’s $11 million federal Race to the Top grant, citing concerns with a school board vote this week that rescinded a district decision to move 19 teachers out of two low-performing schools.

Illinois

Finally, a Bill That Tackles School Reform
Bloomington Pantagraph, IL, April 22, 2011
It’s not often that we see real reform emerge from the Illinois General Assembly. That’s why it’s refreshing to see the education reform bill approved last week by the Senate and which will soon be taken up by the House.

Indiana

Continue To Hold Charters Accountable
Indianapolis Star, IN, April 21, 2011
Public charter schools must continue to be held to high standards, not because of the misleading inferences made by The Indianapolis Star’s April 4 article (“Charter can’t cut it? Find a new sponsor”) but because accountability and parental choice are working in Indiana.

Education Reforms Are No Longer Just A Theory
North West Times, IN, April 22, 2011
Thursday’s vote to approve the controversial school voucher legislation, along with other education reforms and the decision to fully fund full-day kindergarten, means the Republican experiment officially has begun.

Massachusetts

Split Decisions On School Lottery
Boston Globe, MA, April 22, 2011
Chief Jasaad Rogers of Roxbury, like his brother before him, had lousy luck in the Boston public schools lottery. Not only was the 4-year-old shut out of the schools his parents wanted; he did not win a prekindergarten seat in any school at all. His parents, who both work full time, were left with few options besides paying for him to go somewhere else.

Michigan

Student Performance Won’t Soar Until Schools Are Run Efficiently And For The Children
Detroit News, MI, April 22, 2011
Michigan’s economy won’t be competitive until its schools improve their graduation rates and the performance of students, and get more results from the considerable education dollars the state spends. Here are some suggestions:

North Carolina

Lawmaker Pushes For Deal On Pay Performance Plan
Charlotte Observer, NC, April 22, 2011
N.C. Rep. Ruth Samuelson said Thursday she’s going to “park” the controversial bill giving Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools freedom to revise teacher pay and evaluations in hopes that supporters and opponents can work out differences.

Tennessee

Tennessee Senate Approves First School-Voucher Bill
Commercial Appeal, TN, April 21, 2011
The state Senate has approved a school-voucher bill that would allow lower-income students to take some taxpayer funding and transfer to a private, church-related or other independent school that would accept them or to a public school with room.

VIRTUAL EDUCATION

Proposed Pa. Voucher Program Fails The Accountability Test
Patriot News, PA, April 22, 2011
Are we getting our money’s worth?” In these tough economic times, that’s a question that families across Pennsylvania are asking themselves with every purchase at the grocery store or when they buy clothes for their kids. And with billions of dollars of cuts to schools and other critical services on the table at the state Capitol, it’s a question that taxpayers and lawmakers need to ask as well.

Alabama City To Try Full Day Of School Online
USA Today, April 21, 2011
Those are the ingredients for a full day of school – online. Teachers at Mountain Brook schools are getting ready for the system’s first e-day, which will allow students to receive instruction and assignments over the Internet.

Online Learning Program Gives Simi Students Another Way To Earn Credits
Simi Valley Acorn, CA, April 22, 2011
The Simi Valley Unified school board has approved the purchase of an online learning program that will allow students to recover credits this summer and attend a virtual school in the fall.

Daily Headlines for April 21, 2011

Why Catholic Schools Matter To Inner-City Children
San Francisco Examiner, CA, April 20, 2011
With funding for DC Opportunity Scholarships restored to the adopted federal budget, thousands of low-income minority children in the nation’s capital will be able to stay in schools that serve them better than failing public schools.

The GOP Sends In A Marine For Education Reform
Washington Post, DC, April 20, 2011
During 25 years in the Marine Corps, including flying helicopters in Vietnam, Rep. John Kline, a Minnesota Republican, developed the skill of maintaining small-unit cohesion. He will need this skill in his new job.

FROM THE STATES

Alabama

Education Leaders Back Tenure Bill
Montgomery Advertiser, AL, April 21, 2011
Area education leaders Wednesday further affirmed their support for a bill that would amend teacher tenure, and they pointed out changes made to the proposed legislation to ease the fears of educators.

California

‘Parent Trigger’ One Step Closer To Reality
Sacramento Bee, CA, April 21, 2011
In passing the Parent Empowerment Act of 2009, California lawmakers showed national leadership in creating new tools to put pressure on chronically low-performing schools.

Public Tax Dollars For Some, But Not All
Mercury News, CA, April 20, 2011
More than 400 students who attend Bullis Charter School are being excluded from this parcel tax, just as they are excluded from the existing $7 million per-year parcel tax passed in 2002. Despite the fact that parents and families at Bullis are district residents and taxpayers, district trustees have refused to allocate funding to benefit all of their constituents.

Florida

Charter School Bill Passes Last Stop In Florida House
Bradenton Herald, FL, April 20, 2011
Top-rated charter schools could more easily add students and expand grade levels under a House proposal that passed its last committee stop today.

Illinois

Fundraising Group Plans To Support 50 New Charter Schools In Chicago
Chicago Tribune, IL, April 20, 2011
The Renaissance Schools Fund, which for the last six years has poured enough startup money into new charter schools to triple their number in the Chicago Public Schools system, has announced a new $60 million venture fund to add 50 more charter schools.

Indiana

Education Reform Clears 2 Hurdles
Indianapolis Star, IN, April 21, 2011
Gov. Mitch Daniels signed into law a bill limiting collective bargaining for teachers Wednesday, while another piece of his education reform agenda — an overhauled process for evaluating Indiana teachers — passed in the House.

Massachusetts

Randolph Makes The Grade
Boston Globe, MA, April 21, 2011
Four years ago, Kevin and Laura Donovan debated whether to send their oldest child to the local high school or to a private one. At that time, Randolph residents with the means were abandoning the public schools in droves, fed up with years of budget cuts and increased reports of violence.

Michigan

Focus on Results
Detroit News, MI, April 21, 2011
Snyder’s education plan should both set high standards and allow schools flexibility to succeed

Snyder Unveiling Education Agenda, Ready To Tackle Teacher Tenure, Merit Pay
Detroit News, MI, April 21, 2011
Gov. Rick Snyder won’t shy away from the “sacred cows” of education in a sweeping and detailed special message on the subject next week that will likely be controversial, according to a person familiar with his plans.

New Jersey

Court Weighs Funding
Wall Street Journal, April 21, 2011
The future of New Jersey school funding is in the hands of the state Supreme Court, after the Christie administration and an advocate for poor children on Wednesday made final arguments on whether the recession justified a billion-dollar cut to local school district subsidies.

Ohio

Gov. John Kasich’s Budget Has Good News For Charter Schools, Voucher Programs
Cleveland Plain Dealer, OH, April 21, 2011
While suburban districts like Solon and Rocky River are wailing over proposed cuts in their state funding, supporters of “school choice” are pleased with Gov. John Kasich’s budget — and hopeful that they’ll get even more of what they want down the road.

Wisconsin

Legislative Committee Considers School Choice Expansion Plan
Superior Telegram, WI, April 20, 2011
School choice advocates told a panel of state lawmakers Tuesday that a plan to expand Milwaukee’s private school voucher system would increase competition and benefit students.

VIRTUAL EDUCATION

Middle Georgia Parents Send Kids to Virtual Schools
WMGT41, GA, April 20, 2011
Virtual learning is a new concept giving parents alternatives to traditional schools, and is a big hit around Middle Georgia, especially for one family.

Daily Headlines for April 20, 2011

Detroit’s Mass Teacher Layoffs May Prove Bellwether For Education Reform Nationwide
Huffington Post, NY, April 19, 2011
Detroit’s layoffs are not unprecedented, but they could signal a new trend toward mass layoffs for large school districts unsure of their finances but required by state laws to notify teachers of potential dismissals. 2011 is the first year to see entire districts fired.

FROM THE STATES

Arizona

Chandler Unified School District May Transform Another School In Quest To Keep Students
The Arizona Republic, AZ, April 20, 2011

After nearly 100 years as the main game in town, Chandler Unified School District is considering remaking another elementary school to boost enrollment and compete with charter schools.

California

Reforming Los Angeles
Daily Breeze, CA, April 19, 2011
Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa took some license with his state of the city address this year. The city of which Villaraigosa is chief executive was almost an afterthought. Instead, the focus of his speech was on the future of the Los Angeles Unified School District and education reform.

Colorado

Douglas County Voucher Plan Draws Private Schools In
Denver Post, CO, April 20, 2011
About a quarter of the roughly 105 eligible private schools have applied to participate in the Douglas County School District’s pilot voucher program. Douglas County School District officials said 27 private schools returned applications by the Friday deadline.

Florida

Wanda Ezell Booth Is Charter School Teacher of the Year
The Ledger, FL, April 20, 2011
If Wanda Ezell Booth hadn’t lost her job at a dentist’s office where she worked for 20 years, accepting the Polk County Charter Schools Association Teacher of the Year wouldn’t have happened Tuesday night.

Illinois

For Students’ Sake, Get On The Same Page
Chicago Sun-Times, IL, April 20, 2011
No one in this city should be confused about where Mayor-elect Rahm Emanuel wants to take the Chicago Public Schools.

Nevada

Teacher Evaluations Called Unproductive
Las Vegas Sun, NV, April 20, 2011
The assumption behind Gov. Brian Sandoval’s education reform package is that red tape has prevented schools from getting rid of bad teachers, who are increasingly viewed as the greatest impediment to improving public education.

New Jersey

More Choices, More Success
Courier News, NJ, April 19, 2011
While the debate over vouchers to allow kids trapped in unsafe and failing public schools in New Jersey’s cities rages on, there’s been virtually no fighting over the interdistrict school choice law signed last year.

New York

Schools Boss Hails Single-Sex Classes
New York Post, NY, April 20, 2011
New Chancellor Dennis Walcott says he strongly supports school reform efforts that offer parents additional educational choices — including controversial single-sex schools.

Ohio

More Parents Take Advantage of Voucher Program
Morning Journal, OH, April 20, 2011
More students across Ohio have applied for the Educational Choice Scholarship Program, exceeding the number of vouchers available.

Virginia

McDonnell Pushes Teacher Merit Pay In Va. Schools
Washington Post, DC, April 20, 2011
Gov. Robert F. McDonnell unveiled a program Tuesday that would award $3 million in merit-based bonuses to recruit and retain teachers in select schools in Northern Virginia and elsewhere in the state.

VIRTUAL EDUCATION

For AP Students, a New Classroom Is Online
Wall Street Journal, April 20, 2011
When budget cuts wiped out honors French classes at her Uxbridge, Mass., high school, 18-year-old Katie Larrivee turned to the Internet. These days, Ms. Larrivee, who plans to study abroad in college, practices her pronunciation alone in front of a computer.

Daily Headlines for April 19, 2011

FROM THE STATES

Alabama

Hearings on Charter Schools Set Wednesday
Times Daily, AL, April 19, 2011
Charter schools, the subject of heated debate and controversy during 2009 and 2010 sessions of the Legislature, are coming up again Wednesday in a public hearing on a bill that would allow them.

Area School Officials Support Proposed Changes To Tenure Law
Montgomery Advertiser, AL, April 18, 2011
Local school system leaders support proposed legislation that would alter the state’s teacher tenure law, even as the Alabama Education Association mounts a vigorous campaign against the proposal.

District of Columbia

For Leftists, Some Choices Are More Equal Than Others
Washington Examiner, DC, April 18, 2011
It’s peculiar how the Left embraces choice when it comes to aborting children, but opposes it for children languishing in failing public schools. These substandard schools virtually guarantee their students a life of poverty, teen pregnancy, near illiteracy and welfare dependence.

Georgia

Population Shifts Mean Big Changes For Schools
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, GA, April 18, 2011
When Marcia and John Grimsley moved to Johns Creek from Buckhead ten years ago, they identified the schools they wanted their children to attend and built their lives around them.

Illinois

A New Team for CPS
Chicago Tribune, IL, April 19, 2011
Signs that Jean-Claude Brizard, soon to be CEO of the Chicago Public Schools, has the chops for the job: In three years as superintendent of the Rochester, N.Y., schools, he’s already posted improvements in graduation rates and test scores.

Missouri

KC’s Closed Schools Need A Brighter Future
Kansas City Star, MO, April 18, 2011
The Kansas City School District urgently needs to find new uses for 38 empty school buildings. Neighborhoods are understandably chafing about vacant structures in their midst and some of the buildings have been vandalized.

New Jersey

Meet the School Board Candidates: Vidya Gangadin and Carol Harrison-Arnold
Jersey City Independent, NJ, April 18, 2011
There are three open seats for three-year terms on the city’s Board of Education (BOE) up for grabs in this year’s election, which will take place on April 27 (polls are open from 7 am to 9 pm). JCI reached out to all 10 candidates with our questionnaire, which asks about their backgrounds, their ideas about specific issues and what they would do if elected to the BOE.

Duncan Drops In on Newark’s School Debate
Wall Street Journal, April 18, 2011
A visit to Newark by U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan on Wednesday highlights the city’s emerging status as a focal point in struggle over how to improve public schools.

No Time For Politics
Philadelphia Inquirer, PA, April 18, 2011
After months of tough talk about reform, Gov. Christie has finally delivered his proposal to drastically change New Jersey’s education system.

New York

Stakes Are High At Lottery For Bronx Charter School, Where 98% Of Families Go Home Unhappy
New York Daily News, NY, April 19, 2011
In the hushed gymnasium at Bronx Charter School for Excellence, Nelliette Colon was a bundle of nerves as she sat next to her 5-year-old son.

Future Foggy As Jean-Claude Brizard Departs
Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, NY, April 19, 2011
He closed failing schools, overhauled the budget and pushed to tie teacher salaries to performance, but as Jean-Claude Brizard departs Rochester, some wonder if education officials will continue the controversial work he started.

Ohio

Voucher Applicants Surpass State Cap Again
Dayton Daily News, OH, April 18, 2011
For the second year in a row, more Ohio students have applied for private school tuition vouchers than are available.

Rhode Island

Teacher Seniority Loses Some of Its Clout
Providence Journal, RI, April 19, 2011
Scituate is one of the first school districts to abandon seniority as the sole criteria for filling vacant teaching positions.

South Carolina

Panel Hears Call For More Choice In Education
Anderson Independent Mail, SC, April 18, 2011
The state’s school superintendent called Monday for more choices for the school system, and U.S. Sen. Jim DeMint called for less federal involvement.

Don’t Believe Education Fearmongers
Myrtle Beach Sun News, SC, April 19, 2011
Leaders of the so-called education lobby are rallying their bureaucrats against the evils of parental choice in K-12 education.

VIRTUAL EDUCATION

Future of Education Looking A Bit Brighter
Foster’s Daily Democrat, ME, April 19, 2011
Maine is one state in which a variety of electronic learning methods are taking hold in different ways, including some which meld the traditional classroom and modern gadgetry.

A Virtual Education
St. George Daily Spectrum, UT, April 19, 2011
Utah Connections Academy, a virtual public school, conducted an information session Monday night in Cedar City , where students and parents could ask questions about the curriculum and other aspects of this new form of education.

Virtual Schools Are An Innovation Deserving Our Support
The Register-Guard, OR, April 19, 2011 em>
The underprioritizing and underfunding of the American educational system is a national sin and endangers us stupendously. We’ve all heard, and too many have felt, the knifed-to-the-bone agony of closures and cutbacks of all kinds in our public schools – the “new normal.”

Daily Headlines for April 15, 2011

Budget Deal Fuels Revival of School Vouchers
New York Times, NY, April 15, 2011
In the 11th-hour compromise to avoid a government shutdown last week, one concession that President Obama made to Republicans drew scant attention: he agreed to finance vouchers for Washington students to attend private schools.

There’s Hope For Better Schools
The Mercury, PA, April 15, 2011
Unless Congress blows it, the United States has the best chance ever to finally make its public education system world class.

Parents Support Charter Schools Because They Work
Washington Examiner, DC, April 14, 2011
Western Michigan University’s recent study on KIPP, a widely known public charter school network, shouldn’t deter legislators from encouraging charter school growth and replication.

Why N.J. Teacher-Tenure Reform Plan Matters to the Rest of America
Christian Science Monitor, MA, April 14, 2011
Gov. Chris Christie’s new proposal, unveiled Wednesday, continues the national debate over how to reform teacher tenure. Seven other states have passed or are considering similar legislation.

FROM THE STATES

District of Columbia

Mayor Gray’s Flip-Flop On D.C. School Vouchers
Washington Post, DC, April 14, 2011
A LOT OF MISLEADING things have been said over the years about the federally funded program that gives low-income children in the District the chance to attend private schools. That it takes money away from public schools (false) or that it has no positive effects (also false). Now comes a new canard: that the program is a pernicious attack on home rule by congressional Republicans.

Florida

Expanded School Voucher Plan Advances in Florida Senate
Orlando Sentinel, FL, April 14, 2011
A plan to expand school choice by creating education savings accounts – dubbed by some as “vouchers for all” – won a favorable vote from the Florida Senate’s education committee this morning.

Michigan

Detroit Public School Charter Plan Detailed
The Detroit News, MI, April 15, 2011
More than 70 organizations interested in running charter schools in Detroit got a closer look Thursday at an ambitious plan by Detroit Public Schools to convert nearly a third of the district into charters.

Minnesota

Charter Schools Hit By Funding Shift
Minneapolis Star Tribune, MN, April 14, 2011
Minnesota schools paid $1 million to borrow money while waiting for promised state aid, a survey found

New Jersey

New School Choices Give Students More Room to Roam
NJ Spotlight, April 15, 2011
New Jersey’s modest start in opening up public school boundaries a decade ago is about to see a major expansion, with the state yesterday adding 56 more districts that can accept students outside their borders.

Oklahoma

New Teacher Due-Process Law Will Benefit Students
The Oklahoman, OK, April 15, 2011
THE school board room – not the courtroom – will soon be home to final decisions on teacher hiring and firing. That’s just as it should be.

Pennsylvania

Two Former Officials of Philly Charter School Indicted
Philadelphia Inquirer, PA, April 15, 2011
A federal grand jury has indicted two former top officials at a charter school in Northwest Philadelphia on charges of stealing $522,000 in taxpayer funds.

Tennessee

One Year Into Race To The Top: 500 Million Dollars and Change
Nashville Public Radio, TN, April 14, 2011
One year ago Tennessee won a half billion dollars for education in the federal Race to the Top Competition. Every school district in the state received anywhere from tens of thousands to millions of dollars. The catch? Districts have four years to spend it. In that time they must create stronger teachers, boost student learning, and make all these reforms last.

VIRTUAL EDUCATION

Welcome to Virtual High
Charlotte Observer, NC, April 14, 2011
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools is making an unusual offer to next year’s juniors and seniors: Stay home and finish your education online.

Out of the Box
Lodi News-Sentinel, CA, April 15, 2011
Lodi students are getting home-schooled through online virtual learning academy

Daily Headlines for April 11, 2011

The Deadlocked Debate Over Education
New York Times, NY, April 10, 2011
As is often the case with morally charged policy issues – remember welfare reform? – false dichotomies seem to have replaced fruitful conversation. If you support the teachers’ union, you don’t care about the students. If you are critical of the teachers’ union, you don’t care about the teachers. If you are in favor of charter schools, you are opposed to public schools.

FROM THE STATES

California

Fulfilling the Charter School Promise
San Diego Union Tribune, CA, April 10, 2011
Something unprecedented is happening with charter schools in San Diego and across California. This year, San Diego County saw a 14 percent increase in the number of charter schools operating, jumping from 81 to 92.

Connecticut

A Tale Of Two High Schools
Connecticut Post, CT, April 10, 2011
Bassick, Harding using different approaches in race to turn schools around

Stop Waiting for a Savior
New York Times, NY, April 10, 2011
DID Cathleen P. Black, the former publishing executive who was removed last week after just three months as New York City’s schools chancellor, fail because she lacked a background in education?

District of Columbia

School Reform Has Bypassed Low-Income Neighborhoods
Washington Post, DC, April 9, 2011
There are some who question my commitment to educational reform. In fact, it was Adrian Fenty’s advocacy of reform that helped me decide to support him for mayor in 2006. And I strongly back Mayor Vincent Gray’s nomination of reformer Kaya Henderson as schools chancellor

Georgia

Proposal Puts Performance Above Seniority In Teacher Layoffs
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, GA, April 11, 2011
Teachers could no longer rely on seniority as a safe harbor when school districts lay off workers, under legislation before the Georgia House Monday.

Idaho

Idaho School Reforms Enacted
The Spokesman Review, WA, April 9, 2011
Idaho Gov. Butch Otter signed the third major school reform bill into law on Friday, and a parents’ group immediately filed paperwork for a referendum drive to overturn it.

Louisiana

New Leadership for Louisiana’s Recovery School District
Times Picayune, LA, April 10, 2011
State Superintendent of Education Paul Pastorek has chosen John White, a top official with New York City schools, to head Louisiana’s Recovery School District, and Mr. White’s background in reform will be critical in his new position here.

New Jersey

Newark School Woes Transcend Money
USA Today, April 11, 2011
Six months after Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg appeared on Oprah to give $100 million to improve Newark’s strapped and struggling schools, $99 million is still sitting in the bank.

Which Children Should Get New Jersey’s Funding?
National Public Radio, April 10, 2011
New Jersey has long been under court order to provide extra funding for schools in low-income districts, and for the past 12 years, that has included full-day preschool. But now, facing dire budget cuts, some legislators are questioning whether the state’s education system can afford to boost the school readiness of 3- and 4-year-olds and would rather see the money spent on middle- and upper-income schools.

New York

Tisch’s Test
New York Post, NY, April 11, 2011
With a new New York City schools chancellor and a departing state commissioner, education in New York is at a crossroads. The biggest question: Who’ll replace State Education Commissioner David Steiner — and will that person stand up for real school reform, even as powerful forces fight against change?

Ohio

Kasich’s School Plan Goes Beyond Cuts
Marion Star, OH, April 11, 2011
Kasich’s budget proposal goes beyond basic cuts to schools in an effort to mend an $8 billion budget gap. He wants to completely revamp how Ohio’s public and private schools do business.

Pennsylvania

Debate Brewing Over Pa. Charter School Proposal
WFMZ, PA, April 10, 2011
Those in support of charter schools say an independent authorizer for the schools is a good thing. However, school board members in Allentown say creating this position will continue to drain school district resources.

Rhode Island

Charter School Advocates Seek Funding Equity At House Hearing
Providence Journal, RI, April 11, 2011
Charter school advocates came out to the State House last week in support of a section of Governor Chafee’s budget that would allow charter schools to receive the same state reimbursement rate for construction projects as public school districts.

VIRTUAL EDUCATION

Turning the Classroom Upside Down
Wall Street Journal, April 9, 2011
But it doesn’t have to be this way. In 2008, I started a non-profit organization called the Khan Academy to deliver free online education. As it turns out, our tools have given students and teachers the power to “flip” the traditional classroom.

Sperry to Offer Free Online Public School
Tulsa World, OK, April 11, 2011
A total of 305 students have applied for open transfer to Oklahoma Connections Academy, which is partnering with Sperry Public Schools to offer a free public school online next year, a Sperry spokesman said.

Going Online To Avoid Violence
Philadelphia Inquirer, PA, April 10, 2011
Fed up with the violence her daughter faced and the Philadelphia School District’s inability to stop it, Wanda Walker said, she pulled her daughter from the district. Now, Naveda is a ninth grader at Agora Cyber Charter, an online school.