Daily Headlines for June 30, 2011

New Orleans ‘Portfolio’ Strategy For Public Schools Gains Supporters Around The Country
Times Picayune, LA, June 29, 2011
More evidence arrives today that the same school improvement strategy that’s been adopted in New Orleans is gaining traction across the country.

Education Is The New Abortion: The Battle Over School Reform Has Turned Dangerously Vitriolic
New York Daily News, NY, June 30, 2011
Less than a year ago, as I was finishing a book on Michelle Rhee, the combative former chancellor of schools in Washington, D.C., the time arrived to set up a website for the book. The website designer asked if I wanted to include reader comments. It was a sensible suggestion, but I said, no, thanks.

FROM THE STATES

CALIFORNIA

New Setback For Parents Battling Compton School District
Los Angles Wave, CA, June 29, 2011
After a recent legal blow against parents fighting to strip control of McKinley Elementary School from Compton Unified School District and place it in the hands of a charter operator, members of the activist group Parent Revolution said this week they will likely take the matter to an appeals court.

COLORADO

Denver School Board Set To Vote On Charter For Minority Boys
Denver Post, CO, June 30, 2011
The Denver Public Schools board is expected to vote tonight on applications to open eight schools, including one for an all-boys charter focusing on African-Americans and Latinos in the district’s far northeast area.

Dougco Vouchers, Round 2
Denver Post, CO, June 30, 2011
It’s no surprise that the Douglas County School District’s pilot voucher plan has been challenged in court. That’s what school choice opponents do when such measures have popular support. When a school voucher plan was passed by the Colorado legislature in 2003, it was killed by our liberal state Supreme Court on the grounds that it undermined the authority of local school districts.

FLORIDA

Group At Top Of List To Run Duval’s 4 Most Struggling Schools Not In Business Very Long
Florida Times Union, FL, June 30, 2011
National Academic Educational Partners, the front-runner for teaming with Duval Partners to possibly run the county’s four most struggling public schools, has helped improve reading scores at most of the Florida charter schools it has worked with, but that’s only after a little more than a year of being in existence.

New Florida Teacher Evaluation Guidelines Take Effect Friday
TC Palms, FL, June 29, 2011
Florida teachers who don’t have tenure by now are out of luck. Friday marks the start of a new era in Florida public schools with parts of the state’s sweeping merit pay law, Senate Bill 736, going into effect.

ILLINOIS

Struggling Chicago Public High Schools Get Millions
Chicago Sun-Times, IL, June 30, 2011
Eight poorly performing Chicago public high schools – including a charter school – have been awarded nearly $5.7 million each in federal money to overhaul their programs over the next three years, state officials announced Wednesday.

INDIANA

Private Schools Receive More State Funding For Disabled Students
WRTV Indianapolis, IN, June 29, 2011
New legislation will allow private school students with disabilities access to state tax dollars earmarked for education.

Taxpayers Liable for Imagine’s Bill
Fort Wayne Journal -Gazette, IN, June 30, 2011
The first statewide challenge to the tax-exempt status of a charter school ended with a landmark denial for a Fort Wayne school, a decision that could be detrimental to Allen County taxpayers.

Diocese Officials Praise Voucher Plan
Evansville Courier Press, IN, June 29, 2011
Catholic schools and other nonpublic schools across Indiana stand to gain students from the voucher law, which allows students to transfer from public schools at state expense. The law takes effect Friday.

MAINE

Charter School Law A Chance To Try New Things
Portland Press Herald, ME, June 30, 2011
Educators with ideas of how to meet an unmet need will now have a way to proceed.

Charter Schools History A Boon For Our Program
Kennebec Journal, ME, June 30, 2011
For the past two decades, educators in some of the nation’s big cities and rural towns have been conducting an experiment, seeing what charter schools would do to help their students.

MICHIGAN

To Improve Schools, Shift Funds To Proven Programs
Detroit Free Press, MI, June 30, 2011
Detroit Public Schools is about to undergo its fourth makeover in 18 months under a plan to create a new governing body called the Education Achievement System. The state-controlled EAS would operate on top of the DPS district, paradoxically creating a new layer of governance in the name of downsizing.

MINNESOTA

Two Charter Schools Waiting On The State
Minneapolis Star Tribune, MN, June 29, 2011
Tarek ibn Ziyad Academy (TiZA) is one of two charter schools still waiting on a decision from state officials who are reviewing requests for the schools to switch to new overseers by the end of the day Thursday.

All-Girls Charter Tries To Build Engineering Students
Minneapolis Star Tribune, MN, June 29, 2011
A St. Paul girls-only charter school seeks to get more of them interested in technical fields.

NEW JERSEY

New N.J. Bills Could Halt Growth Of Charter Schools In Suburbs, Expand In Unwelcome Areas
Star-Ledger, NJ, June 29, 2011
The Assembly advanced a package of bills tonight that could stymie the growth of charter schools in the suburbs while dramatically expanding their portfolio statewide.

NEW YORK

School Braces for Hard Truth
Wall Street Journal, June 30, 2011
That hard truth is one of many that the teachers, students and parents of Harlem Day have been confronting in recent months as the school prepares to become the city’s first attempt at a takeover of a failing charter school.

Suing to Strangle NYC Schools
New York Post, NY, June 30, 2011
The United Federation of Teachers and the NAACP are suing to prevent 16 charter schools from “co-locating” with other public schools in city Department of Education buildings. If the lawsuit succeeds, it’s highly unlikely those schools will be able to open this fall

Teacher Evaluations Must Be Worked Out
Poughkeepsie Journal, NY, June 30, 2011
There is, to be certain, much at stake as New York attempts to implement meaningful teacher and principal evaluations, a contentious issue that has landed in court.

OHIO

Historic Achievement
Columbus Dispatch, OH, June 30, 2011
On the important question of evaluating and compensating teachers, the budget provides a good start toward the merit-based pay system that would encourage the most-talented teachers to enter and stay in education.

OKLAHOMA

KIPP Tulsa Applies For Charter School Status
Tulsa World, OK, June 30, 2011
Officials from the school, which is part of the national Knowledge Is Power Program, as well as Tulsa Public Schools say they hope the conversion would bring few changes for students.

PENNSYLVANIA

Successful Charters Can Help Those Struggling
Philadelphia Inquirer, PA, June 30, 2011
The study by the Center for Research on Education Outcomes cited by reporter Martha Woodall (” Pa. charters put to a test,” June 20) highlights the need for clear accountability standards for charter schools in Pennsylvania.

State Budget Leaves School District With $35 Million Hole To Fill
Philadelphia Daily News, PA, June 30, 2011
The school district’s budget problems are far from over after the state Legislature restored a paltry $22 million from the nearly $300 million that Gov. Corbett slashed

School Voucher Push Stalls, Likely Halted Until Fall
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, PA, June 30, 2011
RA last-minute push to provide students in Pennsylvania’s worst schools with a tuition voucher program has likely failed.

SOUTH DAKOTA

S.D. Schools Back Out Of No Child Law
Argus Leader, SD, June 30, 2011
South Dakota schools will not face higher proficiency targets for this year’s math and reading tests – in defiance of the No Child Left Behind Act, Education Secretary Melody Schopp said Wednesday.

Daily Headlines for June 27, 2011

A Look At Ways To Create A Fair Teacher Evaluation System
The Journal News, NY, June 25, 2011
With school budget crises permeating the country, the threat of teacher layoffs has been in the air, including in the New York City and Yonkers districts, where hundreds of layoffs were threatened. This has led to a debate between the unions and advocates for maximizing the effectiveness of schools by retaining the best teachers, not necessarily the most senior.

School Relief or School Reform?
Daily Item, PA, June 26, 2011
When Barack Obama was campaigning in 2008, he promised that he would work to get rid of No Child Left Behind legislation, but until last week, it appeared that he had forgotten that promise.

CALIFORNIA

For San Diego Schools, a Fear That Larger Classes Will Hinder Learning
New York Times, NY, June 27, 2011
Many in the forefront of what is called the education reform movement – like Bill Gates, the philanthropist, and Arne Duncan, the nation’s education secretary – have attended private schools with small class sizes.

LA Schools Step Up Oversight of Stumbling Charters
Associated Press, June 26, 2011
It’s been a rocky year for charters in Los Angeles Unified, which hosts the most charter schools of any district in the nation – 183 currently, with roughly another 20 slated to open in the fall.

Locke High’s Slow And Steady Turnaround
Los Angeles Times, CA, June 26, 2011
The takeover by charter operator Green Dot hasn’t yielded the quick and dramatic results many had hoped for, but there has been some solid improvement.

Courts Still Involved In Charter School Dispute
The Press-Enterprise, CA, June 26, 2011
The president of the San Bernardino City Unified school board said Friday he hopes the courts will determine who will operate the Public Safety Academy charter school so the district won’t have to make the decision.

Punjabi Charter School to Open in West Sacramento
Sacramento Bee, CA, June 27, 2011
West Sacramento will be home to the first public Punjabi charter school in the country this fall.

Charter School’s Success Validated By Top State Ranking
Marin Independent Journal, CA, June 27, 2011
LEADERS OF Willow Creek Academy in Sausalito deserve to take pride in the elementary school being named one of the 10 best charter schools in California.

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA

A Disconnect on Big Issues in the District
Washington Times, DC, June 26, 2011
The president and Congress reinstated the scholarship program this spring as part of the federal government’s three-sector approach to public schooling that also appropriates new dollars to traditional and charter schools in the District.

Parents Rush To Apply For D.C. Private School Vouchers
Washington Post, DC, June 25, 2011
For eight years, Elaine Cousins has tried to secure her son a D.C. Opportunity Scholarship from the federally funded voucher program that helps low-income parents pay for local private schools.

FLORIDA

School Holds First Graduation
Tampa Bay Tribune, FL, June 27, 2011
When Melinda Deravil enrolled in Seminole Heights Charter High School she had fewer than half the course credits she needed to walk across the stage and receive her high school diploma.

GEORGIA

Charter Schools To Learn If They Can Stay Open
WSNTV, GA, June 26, 2011
Thousands of children attending about a dozen Georgia charter schools will hear this week whether state officials will allow the schools to remain open.

The Brewing Of A Bruising Fight Over Charter Schools
Atlanta Journal Constitution Blog, GA, June 25, 2011
For the last couple years, the focus has been on transportation as the public policy issue likely to dominate the 2012 political season.

LOUISIANA

Recovery School District Academic-Gains Data Challenged
The Times-Picayune, LA, June 27, 2011
It’s an impressive set of numbers that Louisiana officials have used to illustrate academic gains made by the state’s Recovery School District in New Orleans: Six years ago before Katrina, 62 percent of city students attended failing schools. Now, just 18 percent do.

Recovery School District Will Put More New Orleans High Schools Under Charters
The Times-Picayune, LA, June 26, 2011
The state’s Recovery School District is offering more concrete details about plans for turning around New Orleans high schools that have continued to struggle under its leadership, the main thrust of which will put more students under the watch of charter school operators who have already convinced state officials they can make gains.

MASSACHUSETTS

Evaluating Teachers May Burden Principals
Boston Globe, MA, June 27, 2011
As state education leaders prepare to vote tomorrow on a sweeping overhaul of the way administrators and teachers are evaluated, local school officials say one key area remains a concern: finding time for overburdened principals to actually do the evaluations.

Schools Eye Banning Outside Students From Programs
Gloucester Times, MA, June 26, 2011
Gloucester’s School Department may formally close all after-school activities to “out-of-district” students – including those attending the Gloucester Community Arts Charter School – pending a Wednesday night School Committee’s vote.

MINNESOTA

Charter Schools In Limbo As Deadline Nears
Minneapolis Star Tribune, MN, June 25, 2011
Anxiety is growing as 20 schools seek state approval for new over
seers ahead of Thursday’s deadline.

MISSOURI

Ambitious School Reform Relies On The Personal Touch
Kansas City Star, MO, June 26, 2011
The nation’s latest, greatest attempt to turn around its lowest-performing schools needed a child’s face.

NEW JERSEY

Intervention Can’t Wait
Philadelphia Inquirer, PA, June 26, 2011
It comes as no surprise that the Christie administration closed its eyes when critical factors screamed for state education officials to take a more active role with Camden schools.

Package of Four Controversial Charter Bills To Come Before Assembly
NJ Spotlight, NJ, June 27, 2011
The most contentious proposal would give local voters the right to OK any charters in their community.

NORTH CAROLINA

New Legislation To Affect Charter Schools
Mount Airy News, NC, June 26, 2011
A bill proposing changes to education in North Carolina that started out in the Senate of the N.C. General Assembly Jan. 27 has finally become law after much deliberation and compromise.

OHIO

Breakthrough Charter Schools Buying Four Closed Buildings From Cleveland School District
Plain Dealer, OH, June 26, 2011
The Breakthrough charter schools, seeking to expand, are buying four school buildings closed by the Cleveland school district.

CPS Would Be Smart To Try Charters
Cincinnati Enquirer, OH, June 26, 2011
If you can’t beat ‘em, own ‘em. That’s something of the philosophy Cincinnati Public Schools is taking when it comes to its relationship with charter schools.

PENNSYLVANIA

Charter Schools’ Turnover Lower Here Than Elsewhere
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, PA, June 27, 2011
After nine years at City High Charter School, Casey Teagarden can’t imagine teaching anywhere else.

Pennsylvania Laws Pitting Public Schools Against Private
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, PA, June 27, 2011
Gov. Tom Corbett has laid out a vision for public education in Pennsylvania in which schools compete to offer students the best chance at success.

RHODE ISLAND

A Year-End Assessment of Central Falls High’s ‘transformation’
Providence Journal, RI, June 26, 2011
It’s not easy being a litmus test for the nation. The first struggling school in Rhode Island – and one of the first in the United States – to try to fix itself under new federal guidelines, Central Falls High School finished year one of transformation when its doors closed for the summer on Thursday.

TENNESSEE

Newest Charter Off To Fast Start
Chattanooga Times Free Press, TN, June 26, 2011
After fighting for the Hamilton County school board’s approval for more than a year, officials with Chattanooga’s newest charter school are working hard to recruit students.

WASHINGTON

State Needs Private Schools To Boost Quality Education
News Tribune, WA, June 26, 2011
On Tuesday the Supreme Court of Washington will hear arguments in a significant, albeit misguided, lawsuit concerning education in our state

WISCONSIN

MPS, City Grapple With Deciding School Facilities
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, WI, June 25, 2011
So we’ve got all these empty school buildings in Milwaukee at the same time we’ve got schools or potential schools that need decent buildings. Resolving this doesn’t sound like the most complicated issue facing the human race. Almost needless to say, it’s complicated.

Separate Legislation Best For Green Bay School Voucher Issue
Green Bay Gazette, WI, June 26, 2011
Of all the proposals deleted from the state budget that Gov. Scott Walker will sign today, the plan to expand Milwaukee’s school voucher program to Green Bay gave us the most pause.

VIRTUAL LEARNING

Virtual School Holds Literal Graduation
Statesman Journal, OR, June 26, 2011
About half of this year’s 150 graduates, the school’s largest graduating class, traveled to Salem for the ceremony. Those students hail from all corners of the state; ORCA is the state’s most recognized tuition-free public virtual school.

Online High School in SR?
Press Democrat, CA, June 25, 2011
School Board to establish online charter high school to draw less-traditional students

Daily Headlines for June 24, 2011

GOP Lawmaker Challenges Duncan on No Child Left Behind
Wall Street Journal, June 24, 2011
The Republican chair of the House education committee said Thursday he won’t rush into a revamp of No Child Left Behind and challenged the Obama administration’s suggestion that states be allowed to waive parts of the law.

Bills Outline Game Plan For Education Overhaul
Washington Times, DC, June 23, 2011
Brushing off criticism that Congress is moving too slowly on education reform, a key House committee chairman said Thursday that he believes he can push a package of five reform bills through the House this year and end the “draconian” approach of the expiring No Child Left Behind Act.

The Case for Common Educational Standards
Wall Street Journal, June 23, 2011
The success of today’s students will determine our nation’s destiny. America’s economic strength and standing in the world economy are directly linked to our ability to equip students with the knowledge and skills to succeed in the 21st-century economy.

FROM THE STATES

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA

The Coming Teacher-Union Offensive
Washington Times, DC, June 23, 2011
Already, national political fundraising machines are beginning to hum and s putter toward early targets in their quest to break another election cycle’s worth of spending records.

FLORIDA

3 New Volusia Charter Schools Ready For Opening
Dayton Beach News-Journal, FL, June 24, 2011
Jessica Hewitt was looking for a little something extra when she decided to enroll her daughter in the Ivy Hawn Charter School of the Arts, one of three new charter schools scheduled to open in Volusia County in August.

Rushed Decisions Are Bad For Students
Florida Times-Union, FL, June 24, 2011
A church seemed the appropriate place to hold a meeting on Jacksonville’s four intervene schools, since prayer seems the best intervention at the moment.

GEORGIA

Cherokee Superintendent Wants Limits Put On Charter School
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, GA, June 23, 2011
Cherokee schools Superintendent Frank Petruzielo has warned that approving the application for Cherokee Charter Academy will cost taxpayers and teachers money

ILLINOIS

Teachers Making House Calls?
Chicago Tribune, IL, June 23, 2011
New Chicago schools chief Jean-Claude Brizard expressed support Thursday for the idea of teachers and staff visiting students at home, even in some of the city’s toughest neighborhoods.

MAINE

Charter Schools Serve As Viable Alternative For Frustrated Parents
Portland Press Herald, ME, June 24, 2011
The concept of charter schools — or for that matter, any alternate model of education — came from the frustration that parents have and do experience with failing educational systems.

MARYLAND

Montgomery Superintendent Recommends County’s First Charter School
Washington Post, DC, June 24, 2011
Montgomery County’s superintendent on Thursday recommended approval of the county’s first public charter school, signaling that one of the nation’s marquee school systems is ready to accept such an experiment after years of resistance.

MICHIGAN

Stand Up for Reform
The Detroit News, MI, June 24, 2011
Republicans in the state Senate are wobbling on an important education reform bill that would make it easier for schools to get rid of incompetent teachers. They should find their courage and face down the special interests that would keep Michigan an education backwater.

MINNESOTA

Fate of 20 Minn. Charter Schools at Risk as Sponsor Deadline Nears
Minnesota Public Radio, MN, June 24, 2011
The leaders of 20 charter schools across Minnesota are wondering if next week might be their last in business. They all had to find new sponsors this year, but the switch to a new sponsor still hasn’t earned final approval from the state education department.

NEW JERSEY

Parents Rally For Charter Choice
South Brunswick Post, NJ, June 24, 2011
A crowd of about 40 men, women and children from around the region gathered Tuesday night in front of the Municipal Building on Route 522 to ask their state representatives for the right to vote on whether charter schools should be allowed to open in their communities.

NEW YORK

UFT-NAACP Child Abuse
New York Post, NY, June 24, 2011
The fate of thousands of kids’ educations may be decided next week by a ruling in a lawsuit aimed at thwarting charter schools and keeping open some 22 abysmal traditional schools.
Or maybe it won’t be decided.

Groups Bid To Rebuild Failing Schools
Buffalo News, NY, June 24, 2011
Twelve groups-from the Buffalo Museum of Science and Buffalo State College to a high-profile consulting firm out of Long Island – have submitted proposals to help turn around seven of Buffalo’s failing schools.

OHIO

Teacher Merit Pay Expected to Be in Final Ohio Budget
Columbus Dispatch, OH, June 24, 2011
A new teacher merit-pay system probably will be included in the final state budget, which could take shape today if a conference committee is ready to start plowing through more than 500 differences between the House- and Senate-passed versions of the bill.

Bill Puts Limits On Inferior Charter Schools
Wooster Daily Record, OH, June 24, 2011
Charter schools that earn lower ratings on state report cards than nearby public sch
ools would be prohibited from admitting students who live in those districts, under legislation being considered in the Ohio Senate.

PENNSYLVANIA

Aid For Private School Students Can Cut Companies’ Pa. Taxes
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, PA, June 24, 2011
Businesses in Pennsylvania have a choice to either send their tax dollars to the state or use the money to fund private school education. But time is running out if they want to use the latter option this year.

Charter School Suit Would Challenge State Law
Courier Times, PA, June 23, 2011
In seeking to recoup more than $180,000 in annual payments from School Lane Charter School , the lawyers for the Bensalem School District might also need to overturn a state law. On Wednesday night, the school board voted to sue the charter school over allegations it failed to make regular payments to the district as promised in a 1998 contract.

Corbett Gears Up For Push On School Vouchers
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, PA, June 24, 2011
Saying he believes the Legislature is in “as good a position” to get a school voucher bill passed as it has been “for many, many years,” Gov. Tom Corbett said he wants lawmakers to approve legislation before leaving for recess next week.

Catholic Schools Urge Support For School Choice
Beaver County Times, PA, June 24, 2011
Catholic schools representatives are backing a state initiative by a local legislator that would provide vouchers for students in poor-performing public schools.

VIRTUAL LEARNING

Nevada Connections Academy Sees Enrollment Grow
KTVN, NV, June 23, 2011
With the public school system juggling budget cuts and overcrowded classrooms, more and more parents are turning to alternative schooling for their children.

Daily Headlines for June 23, 2011

Movement Growing To Spread Education Reform To Teacher Training Institutions, Fixing Problems On ‘Front End’
Grand Rapids Press, MI, June 22, 2011
Education schools that produce ineffective teachers could face penalties under a U.S. Senate bill introduced this week by a bipartisan – and influential – group of lawmakers.

FROM THE STATES

CALIFORNIA

District Awaits Court Ruling On Charter School
Press-Enterprise, CA, June 22, 2011
The San Bernardino City Unified School District will wait for a court ruling before acting on a dispute at the Public Safety Academy, where separate boards of directors each claim they are in charge.

COLORADO

Group of Parents Also Files Suit Over School Vouchers
Denver Post, CO, June 23, 2011
While the American Civil Liberties Union and high-profile faith organizations got all the attention Tuesday for their lawsuit against Douglas County Schools, a smaller group of parents, too, filed a challenge to the district’s voucher program.

CONNECTICUT

Lawmakers Pass Bill Raising Teacher Tenure Threshold
Nashua Telegraph, CT, June 22, 2011
Starting July 1, public school teachers would have to work for five years in the same district before getting the job protection of tenure under a bill the Legislature sent to Gov. John Lynch on Wednesday.

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA

High Expectations Drive Success in D.C. Charter Schools
Atlanta Journal Constitution, GA, June 23, 2011
I have returned to the home of my alma mater, Morehouse College, this week to be inducted into the Hall of Fame of the National Alliance of Public Charter Schools.

FLORIDA

A Pragmatic Message On School Reform
St. Petersburg Times, FL, June 23, 2011
Five months after Gov. Rick Scott took office, the Board of Education has hired a new education commissioner of his choosing, Virginia Education Secretary Gerard Robinson.

GEORGIA

Race To Top Money Not For Ga.’s Charters
GPB News, GA, June 22, 2011
U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan told a group of charter school advocates that Georgia’s Race to the Top winnings are already reserved for other projects and so cannot be used to help the schools make up budget shortfalls.

LOUISIANA

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Lusher, Ben Franklin and Lake Forest Win 10-Year Charter Renewals From OPSB
Times Picayune, LA, June 22, 2011
Four of the independent charter schools operating under the Orleans Parish School Board have won renewal agreements with the district, a step that affirms the schools’ academic and financial standing.

MASSACHUSSETS

Schools Mull Pay For Performance Plan For Teachers
Salem News, MA, June 23, 2011
The school district is considering a plan to use some of the $146,000 it received in federal Race to the Top funding for a merit pay program for teachers, called Pay for Performance.

MICHIGAN

Emergency Manager Law Faces Challenge
Wall Street Journal, June 23, 2011
Michigan law that broadened the state’s power to intervene in financially troubled municipalities and school districts faces a fresh challenge as a left-leaning activist law center filed a lawsuit Wednesday alleging the statute violates the state constitution.

If You Don’t Need Them, Don’t Fix Them
Detroit News, MI, June 23, 2011
When something breaks, the choices are either to fix it, replace it or decide whether you can live without it.

Keep EMU Profs Out of Detroit Schools
Detroit News, MI, June 23, 2011
Schools don’t need another batch of union loyalists who put kids last.

MISSOURI

College Prep For Dropouts
St. Louis American, MO, June 23, 2011
In December, his cousin told him about Shearwater, a charter school in the city that focuses on preparing struggling teens for college.

NEW JERSEY

Hedge-Fund Founders Eye N.J. Schools
Wall Street Journal, June 23, 2011
A new group backed by two hedge-fund founders is taking aim at New Jersey’s largest teachers union. Better Education for Kids wants to end the use of seniority in teacher-hiring decisions, implement an effective teacher-evaluation system and weaken tenure.

NEW YORK

South Bronx Charter School Breaking Ground For New High School
New York Daily News, NY, June 23, 2011
In a time when most public schools in the Bronx don’t have a gym or auditorium and have to share diminishing space, a new charter school is bulldozing a parking lot, garage and defunct social club in the South Bronx to make way for a new building.

Education Reform Advocates Push for Parent Trigger Law
WNED, NY, June 22, 2011
The proposed Parent Trigger Law avails parents of some drastic options should their children attend a persistently failing school and a simple majority of parents agree. The options include firing the principal, firing 50 percent of the teachers, forcing closure of the school or converting to a charter school.

OHIO

Charter School Operator White Hat Management Takes Over Five Cleveland Catholic Diocese Buildings
Plain Dealer, OH, June 22, 2011
A high-profile operator of charter schools has taken control of five former churches and school buildings from the Catholic Diocese of Cleveland.

CPS to Open Gifted School for Grades 3-6
Cincinnati Enquirer, OH, June 23, 2011 />Cincinnati Public Schools will launch new specialty programs in August and will start opening its own charter schools in the next few years in an effort to lure students back from the low-performing, outside-run charter schools in the city.

OKLAHOMA

Teacher Union’s Slate Of Ideas Commendable
The Oklahoman, OK, June 23, 2011
A slate of reform ideas from the union representing Oklahoma City teachers appears to be more than just political rhetoric. The proposal has substance. It’s not the sort of message we’re accustomed to hearing from a public employees union so it’s a welcome change.

PENNSYLVANIA

House Education Committee Cancels Hearing On School Vouchers And Charter School Reform
Patriot News, PA, June 22, 2011
House Democrats succeeded in stopping a House Education Committee from holding a public hearing on education reform proposals after Democrats argued the meeting had not been advertised according to House rules.

TENNESSEE

Incentive Pay Promotes Classroom Excellence
Knoxville News Sentinel, TN, June 23, 2011
Knox County teachers who excel in the classroom will earn bonuses beginning next year, a long overdue reward system that encourages improvement for all instructors.

VIRGINIA

For Va.’s Proposed Teacher Merit-Pay Program, Few Hands In The Air
Washington Post, DC, June 23, 2011
Virginia’s ambitious program to compensate teachers based on performance has encountered its first hurdle: Only 6 percent of eligible schools have elected to participate.

VIRTUAL LEARNING

Schools Blend Computers With Classroom Learning
NPR, June 22, 2011
Many school districts are reluctantly cutting staff and dropping courses in a desperate effort to respond to tighter budgets. But some educators are looking at ways to save money and improve instruction at the same time.

More Virtual Schools Will Soon Become Reality
The Tennessean, TN, June 23, 2011
That opportunity will reach countless other young Tennesseans next month, when a new law allows any school district to start its own virtual school, adding the Volunteer State to a growing online education movement.

Homeschoolers Can Access Their Curriculum Via The Internet This Fall
Umpqua Post, OR, June 22, 2011
A new form of education is coming to Reedsport this fall. That’s when local home-school families will be able to enroll their children in Reedsport Academy, an online K-12 curriculum program.

Daily Headlines for June 22, 2011

Charter School Debate Overlooks Lessons Learned
USA Today, June 21, 2011
In the debate over how to improve the nation’s educational system, there is typically no middle ground on the value of charter schools. You’re either for them or against them. But in their fervor, both sides are missing a more fundamental question: Which charters work, and why?

Opposing View: Rethink The Charter Experiment
USA Today, June 21, 2011
Replicating good charter schools and rejecting bad ones sounds eminently reasonable, but it’s far easier said than done. For decades, educators have been trying to scale up high-achieving, high-poverty schools, but success often comes down to hard-to-duplicate factors, such as a charismatic principal, a supply of teachers willing to work extraordinary hours or particularly motivated students.

Race to the Top Will Never Reach The Finish Line
Star Ledger, NJ, June 22, 2011
President Obama’s intention to improve the quality of low-performing schools is consistent with our nation’s needs, but his method of achieving that goal – Race to the Top – is fatally flawed.

FROM THE STATES

ARIZONA

Basis Charter Named Third-Best School In Country
Tucson Sentinel, AZ, June 21, 2011
A Tucson charter school was named the third-best high school in the nation this week in Newsweek magazine’s annual “Best High Schools in America” ranking.

CALIFORNIA

South L.A. Charter Schools May Get A Reprieve After Cheating Scandal
Los Angeles Times, CA, June 22, 2011
The Crescendo charter school group has taken appropriate steps and probably can stay open, Supt. John Deasy says.

Charter School Would Be First for Lincoln Unified
Stockton Record, CA, June 22, 2011
Humphreys College is seeking to join the growing local roster of independent charter-school operators, with a former Stockton Unified official among the founders of a proposed new high school and a former mayoral candidate among the signers of the school’s charter petition.

Who Is Running Charter School, People Ask
The Press-Enterprise, CA, June 21, 2011
Staff members and parents of students at the Public Safety Academy charter school Tuesday night called on the San Bernardino City Unified School District to resolve a dispute that has two boards of directors each claiming that it is in charge.

COLORADO

ACLU Sues Over Douglas County School Vouchers
Denver Post, CO, June 22, 2011
The Colorado ACLU and two other civil liberties groups filed suit Tuesday challenging the Douglas County School District ‘s voucher plan, which would allow students to attend private schools with public money.

DELAWARE

Reach Board Files Suit in Chancery Court
Delaware Journal, DE, June 22, 2011
The Reach Academy for Girls Charter School Board asked the state Chancery Court to prohibit the state Department of Education from continuing with a process that could lead to closing the school next month, saying “historic failings” at the state level led to the problems.

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA

D.C. School Ratings Up Among System Parents, But Doubts Remain
Washington Post, DC, June 21, 2011
A majority of D.C. public school parents give the system positive marks for the first time in a decade, according to a new survey by The Washington Post and the Kaiser Family Foundation.

FLORIDA

Virginia Official Selected As Florida Education Commissioner
Miami Herald, FL, June 21, 2011
Gerard Robinson, an advocate for school choice, was unanimously hired Tuesday to take over a 1,000-strong staff overseeing K-12 schools in the state.

New State Education Commissioner An Advocate For Vouchers, School Choice
Palm Beach Post, FL, June 21, 2011
The state Board of Education took little time during a meeting today to name Gerard Robinson, secretary of education in Virginia, to be Florida’s next education commissioner

ILLINOIS

Pingree OKs $6.4M Bond for Charter School, But Traffic Is A Sticking Point
Courier News, IL, June 22, 2011
Village trustees have approved a $6.4 million bond issue for expansion of the Cambridge Lakes charter school, but expressed concern about added traffic from the new building and lack of communication from the school’s officials.

GEORGIA

Cobb Will Decide Fate Of Five Charters
Atlanta Journal Constitution, GA, June 21, 2011
Five charter providers are applying this summer to open or renew schools in Cobb County. Thursday, the school board will vote on three applications for new charter schools, while the fate of two existing Imagine charter schools, Smyrna and Mableton, will be decided next month.

LOUISIANA

Jefferson Parish is Smart to Seek Schools’ Turnaround
Times Picayune, LA, June 21, 2011
Seven Jefferson Parish public schools have qualified for an $8.6 million federal turnaround grant, and it’s encouraging that the school system is grabbing this opportunity to rescue troubled schools.

MARYLAND

New Teacher Evaluation Plan Approved in Maryland
Washington Post, DC, June 21, 2011
A council of Maryland educators and policy makers Tuesday approved a new model for evaluating teachers and principals that will be tried out in Prince George’s County and six other school systems this fall.

NEW YORK

Both Sides Square Off at Hearing on Charter School Suit
New York Times, NY, June 22, 2011
The debate began an hour before Justice Pau
l G. Feinman of the State Supreme Court opened a hearing on Tuesday on the lawsuit by the United Federation of Teachers against the New York City Department of Education.

OHIO

Breaking with Democrats, Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson Asks State Budget Dealmakers To Adopt Teacher Merit Pay Plan
Cleveland Plain Dealer, OH, June 21, 2011
Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson is urging Republican legislative leaders to adopt language in the state budget bill creating a teacher merit pay system — similar to one in Senate Bill 5, a controversial collective bargaining law Jackson has criticized as an attack on public workers.

Bill Would Hold Charter Schools Accountable
Youngstown Vindicator, OH, June 22, 2011
Charter schools that earn lower ratings on state report cards than nearby public schools would be prohibited from admitting students who live in those districts, under legislation being considered in the Ohio Senate.

School Buildings for $1?
Cincinnati Enquirer, OH, June 21, 2011
A state budget proposal could force Ohio school districts to lease closed school buildings to charter school operators – for $1 a year.

OKLAHOMA

Vouchers Have Long Been In Place At College Level
Oklahoman, OK, June 22, 2011
Vouchers, offering competition and accountability, will finally put in place the proper incentives that will make our education system more efficient.

Cherokees Take Action On Charter School Plan
Tulsa World, OK, June 22, 2011
The Tahlequah-based tribe could be the first in the state to sponsor a charter school.

OREGON

Legislators Plow Through Bills, Put Adjournment In Sight
Statesman Journal, OR, June 22, 2011
A trainload of 14 education bills, after starting and stopping Monday, managed to reach the station Tuesday as Oregon lawmakers put the legislative engine back on a track toward adjournment.

PENNSYLVANIA

Charter Schools On State’s Agenda
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, PA, June 22, 2011
A nonprofit law firm that advocates for the rights of public school students urged lawmakers not to act in haste on legislation regarding charter schools that House Republicans considered on Tuesday.

TENNESSEE

State to Help Manage Four Memphis High Schools
Commercial Appeal, TN, June 22, 2011
The state will co-manage four failing city schools this year, a change that could lead to large shifts in faculty.

TEXAS

KIPP Snatches Another HISD Administrator
Houston Chronicle Blog, TX, June 21, 2011
Houston ISD has lost at least 11 administrators to the KIPP charter school network since last year.

VIRTUAL LEARNING

Virtual School Plan Praised
Omaha World Herald, NE, June 22, 2011
A virtual school would give students in rural and low-performing schools access to honors, enrichment and remediation courses, improving achievement and graduation rates at a lower cost than traditional classroom instruction, according to a report by the Pacific Research Institute for Public Policy.

Daily Headlines for June 21, 2011

Clinton Honored As Charter Schools Confab Gets Busy
Atlanta Journal-Constitution, GA, June 20, 2011
Attendees at a national charter school conference in Atlanta will tour local charter school campuses today and honor former President Bill Clinton for his support of the concept.

FROM THE STATES

CALIFORNIA

Grading the Teachers
City Journal, June 20, 2011
Ignore the union gripes-value-added teacher evaluations are a useful accountability tool and should be available for public scrutiny.

COLORADO

State Has Millions To Share With 9 Of Colorado’s Worst Performing Schools
Denver Post, CO, June 20, 2011
The Colorado Department of Education is now looking to partner with nine of the state’s lowest performing schools to implement new interventions that will get students on track when they begin to fall behind.

FLORIDA

Teachers Union Sues Florida Over New Pension Law
Sun Sentinel, FL, June 20, 2011
The 140,000-member statewide teachers union sued Gov. Rick Scott and other state officials on Monday to block a new law that requires state employees to begin contributing to their retirement plans.

INDIANA

Revolutionizing Education, Hoosier-Style
Washington Times, DC, June 20, 2011
This year, Indiana lawmakers made dramatic improvements to the state’s K-12 education system to empower teachers and principals, put students on a path to success, use taxpayer money more effectively and provide families with new schooling options.

Blame Lawmakers For Voucher Scramble
Fort Wayne Journal Gazette, IN, June 21, 2011
Exact dates vary, but most Hoosier K-12 students will begin school in eight or nine weeks. Yet students and parents seriously considering private school vouchers as an option will have difficulty planning for the school year because rules on how the voucher system works are still being drafted.

KENTUCKY

Kentucky Seeks To Replace No Child Left Behind Standards
Louisville Courier-Journal, KY, June 20, 2011
Kentucky is seeking to become the first state in the nation to use its statewide accountability system to determine whether schools are meeting the requirements of the federal No Child Left Behind law.

LOUISIANA

Senate Passes Bill Allowing Corporate Sponsorship Of Charter Schools In Exchange For Student Slots, Board Seats
Times Picayune, LA, June 20, 2011
Over the objections of some public school advocates, the Louisiana Senate voted 22-16 Monday to allow corporations to sponsor charter schools in exchange for controlling up to half of the enrollment slots and half of the governing board seats.

MARYLAND

State to Evaluate Teachers On Student Progress
Baltimore Sun, MD, June 20, 2011
Maryland moved Monday to begin evaluating teachers based in part on how well their students learn their lessons – a significant change that will be tried first in seven school districts, including Baltimore city and county, this fall.

MICHIGAN

Stronger Medicine For Sick Schools
Detroit Free Press, MI, June 21, 2011
Detroiters inevitably experience a sense of déjà vu whenever elected officials, business leaders, philanthropists and clergymen unveil yet another initiative to save the state’s largest school district — a sense, as state Schools Superintendant Mike Flanagan, a principal in the latest such initiative, acknowledged Monday, that “we have seen this movie before.”

Charter Schools Show Results: Lift The State Cap On Their Number
Flint Journal, MI, June 21, 2011
Recent student testing in Michigan showed something shocking: Fewer than 50 percent of students in grades 4, 7 and 11 are proficient in writing, and the proficiency rates in subjects like reading, mathematics and science aren’t what they should be, either.

NEW YORK

City Goes to Court Over Charter Schools
WNYC News, NY, June 21, 2011
The city, the teachers union and the NAACP will square off in court Tuesday over plans to let 19 charter schools take space in the same buildings as regular schools. And, like most things in New York City, the feud is largely about real estate.

NORTH CAROLINA

More School Options in Cleveland County? Lawmakers Lift Charter School Cap
Shelby Star, NC, June 20 2011
Cleveland County doesn’t have a charter school – at least not yet.

OKLAHOMA

Oklahoma City Teacher Union Pushing For Reforms
The Oklahoman, OK, June 21, 2011
The Oklahoma City American Federation of Teachers has presented a district improvement plan that calls for changes to teacher evaluations, as well as asking for external help for struggling schools.

PENNSYLVANIA

Education Secretary To Council Prez: Remember, State’s In Charge
Philadelphia Daily News, PA, June 21, 2011
City Council is set to sit down with school-district officials and the School Reform Commission today to talk about how the district will use the additional $53 million in funding to which Council has given preliminary approval.

Democrats Target SRC’s Power Over Unions
Philadelphia Inquirer, PA, June 20, 2011
Though it faces long odds in a Republican-controlled legislature, a group of Philadelphia Democrats hopes to help the city teachers’ union by stripping the School Reform Commission of its extraordinary powers.

School Choice Turns to ‘Tower of Babble’
Pottstown Mercury, PA, June 21, 2011
In January, at the dawn of the current legislative session, it appeared as if Pennsylvania was finally headed toward giving parents of c
hildren in failing schools the right of school choice. School choice had been designated as Senate Bill 1, an appellation that indicated its priority status.

Corbett Open To Voucher Compromise To Get Legislation Passed
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, PA, June 21, 2011
Gov. Tom Corbett wants to see a school voucher program enacted by June 30 and would support a compromise to scale the program back to two years from the four years he wanted, his spokesman said Monday.

RHODE ISLAND

In Central Falls, Charter Schools Considered Great Learning Resources
Providence Journal, RI, June 20, 2011
In Cranston, people are fighting over whether to allow a new public charter school.

WISCONSIN

Free Market Will Make School Choice Work, Vos Says
Journal Times, WI, June 20, 2011
“Scholarships, that’s what I’ve always called them. A voucher makes it sound like people are on welfare. A scholarship means you have the opportunity to take something that you own, because you are given it, and you get to apply it to where you choose to go,” Vos said during a visit to The Journal Times Editorial Board.

VIRTUAL LEARNING

Future of Education Legislation Uncertain
Statesman Journal, OR, June 21, 2011
House Bill 2301 would let students attend online schools, called “virtual public schools,” with the consent of their home districts but the total would be capped. If consent was denied, appeals would be expedited to the state Board of Education.

Daily Headlines for June 20, 2011

NCLB Law Lacks Fairness To Immigrants
Democrat and Chronicle, NY, June 20, 2011
When the federal No Child Left Behind law was adopted in 2001, one of its key components was to use standardized tests scores as a basis for judging whether a school was successful.

Congress Shouldn’t Delay No Child Left Behind Changes
The Oklahoman, OK, June 19, 2011
WHERE is it we’ve heard this story before? Congress has known for months if not years that there’s a problem brewing. And yet no solution is imminent

Schools Will Never Fix Inequality: Diane Ravitch vs. Arne Duncan Fight Misses Point On Poverty
New York Daily News, NY, June 19, 2011
It is not every day that the U.S. secretary of education charges a professor with “insulting all of the hardworking teachers, principals and students all across the country.” But in the cutthroat world of education reform, the daggers have come out.

Let Us Choose Good Schools
Richmond Times-Dispatch, VA, June 19, 2011
In standard school districts, children are enrolled in a school based on their home address. Getting out of that school requires their family to move to another district, make enough money to send them to a private school or alternative public school (if allowed), or have enough free time and ability to homeschool them. Poor families are severely limited, if not hopeless, on all three counts.

FROM THE STATES

ARIZONA

Arizona Strains to Keep Tally of K-12 Students
Arizona Republic, AZ, June 18, 2011
An outdated and overburdened computer system has Arizona struggling to track its approximately 1 million K-12 students, state officials say, a troubling predicament because school funding, grants and required federal reporting all hinge on an accurate accounting.

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA

D.C. Schools Aim For Selectivity By Requiring Teaching Candidates To Give Tryout Lessons
Washington Post, DC, June 18, 2011
Tereasa Sowers, a middle school math teacher for six years, knew the lesson cold. She’d walked hundreds of students through solving systems of linear equations. It was the 360-degree digital camera planted at the front of the classroom that she wasn’t sure about.

FLORIDA

Charter System to Handle Funds
News Chief, FL, June 18, 2011
Local charter schools have officially moved another step toward financial independence. On Thursday, the Lake Wales Charter Schools Inc. Board of Trustees approved a resolution to become their own local education agency.

GEORGIA

Dawson County Schools Given Charter Status
Gainesville Times, GA, June 20, 2011
The Dawson County school system has joined the ranks of 13 others in Georgia that have received greater flexibility to govern local education.

Charter Schools Group Says Gwinnett Funding Offer Violates State Law
Atlanta Journal-Constitution, GA, June 17, 2011
Gwinnett County Schools did not follow state charter law with its offer to fund Ivy Preparatory Academy, officials with the Georgia Charter Schools Association charged Friday.

Georgia Plays Host To Charter School Forum
Atlanta Journal-Constitution, GA, June 17, 2011
This week, Atlanta will host the national conference for the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools, bringing together an expected 4,000 people at the Georgia World Congress Center to promote this alternative classroom concept and further explain it.

Charter School in Gwinnett Rejects Local Funding Offer
The Times-Herald, GA, June 18, 2011
As Coweta Charter Academy parents await the Coweta County Board of Education’s decision regarding their school’s fate with “a mixture of nervousness and optimism,” according to one parent, charter school parents in other parts of the state have been on emotional roller coaster rides of their own.

INDIANA

State to Help Families Pay For Private School
WSBT, IN, June 19, 2011
If you’re a low- to moderate-income family interested in transferring your child or children from a public to a private school, financial assistance will soon be available.

MICHIGAN

DPS Reform Will Target Bad Schools
Detroit News, MI, June 20, 2011
Gov. Rick Snyder and Detroit Public Schools’ Emergency Manager Roy Roberts will announce a major reform plan today involving Detroit’s failing schools.

NEVADA

Union Death Grip On Public Education
Las Vegas Review-Journal , NV, June 19, 2011
From the “Better Than Nothing” file come four pieces of Nevada legislation touted as public education “reform.” Gov. Brian Sandoval signed Assembly Bills 225 and 229 and Senate Bills 197 and 212 into law last week, calling the measures “groundbreaking” and “historic.”

New Law Gives Governor More Control Over Schools
Las Vegas Sun, NV, June 18, 2011
The most significant potential change to Nevada’s education system passed by the Legislature has nothing to do with teacher tenure or seniority.

NEW JERSEY

Fight Ensues Over Facebook Money for N.J. Schools
NPR, June 20, 2011
Nine months ago, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg announced a $100 million gift to improve public schools in Newark, N.J. The plan to spend the money is now taking shape, and a new superintendent is coming on board to lead the effort.

NEW YORK

Private School Tuition Bill Tops $40,000
Wall Street Journal, June 20, 2011
Other Schools Will Soon Join Riverdale Country in Crashing Through Key Barrier; Demand for Slots Remains Brisk

NORTH CAROLINA

Rich Schools, Poor Schools: N.C.’S Gap May Be Growing
Charlotte Observer, NC, June 20, 2011
As state keeps slashing money for education, cuts fall to counties. Rural areas fare worst.

OHIO

Schools Study Merit-Pay Options
Columbus Dispatch, OH, June 19, 2011
Some local school districts are already creating merit-pay plans as state lawmakers debate how to link teachers’ compensation to student performance.

Improve Charter Regulations
Cleveland Plain Dealer, OH, June 20, 2011
Before Ohio gives a lot more public money to privately run charter schools, it has to do a better job of putting the bad ones out of business.

House-Senate Budget Committee Faces Major Questions On Charter Schools
Cleveland Plain Dealer, OH, June 20, 2011
David Brennan has cast a long shadow over this year’s state budget.

Taxpayers Should Have Voucher Choice
Columbus Dispatch, OH, June 18, 2011
Ohio House Bill 136 aims to establish the Parental Choice and Taxpayer Savings Scholarship Program. PACT would expand EdChoice, the voucher program that gives public students in failing schools access to alternatives in the private sector.

OREGON

Package of Education Reform Proposals Gains Momentum
The Register-Guard, OR, June 18, 2011
After weeks of behind-the-scenes negotiations, lawmakers in the Joint Ways and Means Committee, the Legislature’s chief budget-crafting committee, sent a total of 14 different education bills to the House and Senate floors for votes.

PENNSYLVANIA

Charter Schools Are All About Accountability
Republican Herald, PA, June 19, 2011
A national experiment in education started in 1991 is coming to Schuylkill County. While the more than 5,000 charter schools established across the United States have had varying degrees of success, the challenge for Gillingham Charter School of Pottsville will be to prove their education plan will work.

Stanford Report Finds Good And Bad In Pennsylvania Charter Schools
Philadelphia Inquirer, PA, June 20, 2011
Pennsylvania has a larger percentage of high-performing charter schools than the national average, but it also has more underperforming ones.

Two GOP House Members To Introduce Voucher Legislation
Tribune Review, PA, June 20, 2011
Two Republican House members from opposite ends of the state this week will announce separate tuition voucher bills that would allow parents to choose schools for their children.

VIRGINIA

Clifton Elementary Closing, Fairfax Parents Organize Bid For New Charter School
Washington Post, DC, June 19, 2011
With the clock ticking down to the last last day of school at Clifton Elementary on Tuesday, a group of community leaders is drawing up plans for what would be Fairfax County’s first charter school.

Petersburg Charter School Application Filed
Richmond Times-Dispatch, VA, June 20, 2011
Exodus Institute is moving forward with its plan to open a charter school in Petersburg.

WISCONSIN

Hardship Puts Formidable Hurdles On The Path To Scholastic Achievement
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, WI, June 18, 2011
Howard Fuller: Former Milwaukee Public Schools superintendent. Leading advocate for Milwaukee’s private school voucher program. Local and national leader in charter school issues. Howard Fuller: Hands-on chair of the board of a small high school where test scores for 10th-graders last fall were awful and where the record of success has been plainly disappointing.

VIRTUAL EDUCATION

Charters Get These Kids So Totally Wired
New York Post, NY, June 18, 2011

A newly approved Bronx charter school will offer students more than a good education — it’s giving them each a computer and e-reader to use at home.

Cyber Cost Equity
Daily American, PA, June 20, 2011
State Rep. James Roebuck has an idea that will greatly help school districts’ financial situations.

27 from County Graduate from Cyber School
Intelligencer Journal, PA, June 19, 2011
Most high school seniors don’t own their own businesses. Andy Radvansky is not like most high school seniors.

Franklin County School Districts Create Franklin Virtual Academy
Record Herald, PA, June 18, 2011
Online school has become very popular in recent years, and Greencastle-Antrim School District along with other Franklin County school districts are moving forward by creating the cyber school Franklin Virtual Academy.

New High School Exists Only Online
Post and Courier, SC, June 19, 2011
That’s because SC Whitmore School doesn’t have doors or windows or any part of a building, other than its two-person office in Chapin. The public charter high school is completely online, and it’s enrolling now.

Online Courses Change Face Of Summer School
Cincinnati Enquirer, OH, June 20, 2011
Alex Ward usually plays computer games a couple hours a day, but since summer school began the Reading High junior has doubled his time on the computer – at school.

Virtual Way Of Learning Sees Success
Port Huron Times Herald, MI, June 19, 2011
Aaron Kaczmarczyk isn’t sure where he’d be today without the Virtual Learning Academy of St. Clair County. He does know he wouldn’t have his high school diploma, nor would he be on the path to fulfill his dream of becoming an auto mechanic.

Online Technology Gives Options And Enhances Student Learning
St. George Daily Spectrum, UT, June 19, 2011
One of the challenges we all have is to keep up with rapidly advancing technology. We struggle with this in our homes, and in our businesses, and we are certainly struggling to keep our public school students on the cutting edge of technology. Hardware and software is expensive. On the other hand, technology opens new possibilities for each of us, and for society.

Daily Headlines for June 17, 2011

Charter School Laws Surge In Maine, N.C., Tenn.
Huffington Post, NY, June 16, 2011
The charter school movement appears to be making gains as new laws expanding charter access have worked their way through several state legislatures over the past week.

FROM THE STATES

CALIFORNIA

L.A. Unified to Spend $20 Million on Parent Centers
Los Angeles Times Blog, CA, June 17, 2011
A historic one-room schoolhouse became the backdrop Thursday for a parent-involvement initiative that includes spending $20 million to upgrade or add parent centers across the Los Angeles Unified School District.

CONNECTICUT

Right Schools Leader Can Make Difference
Stamford Advocate, CT, June 16, 2011
Aside from the mayor, the schools superintendent arguably is the most important leader in any community. The job goes straight to the community’s bottom line.

DELAWARE

A Second Year For Reach Academy May Be A Worthy Stretch
Delaware Journal, DE, June 16, 2011
However, irate parents can still balance out the argument for keeping the Claymont charter school open. Their righteous anger over the disruption to their children’s opportunity for a credible and challenging public school learning environment had originally been entrusted to the wrong folk indeed.

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA

Kaya Henderson Coasting to Confirmation as D.C. Schools Chancellor
Washington Post, DC, June 17, 2011
Kaya Henderson, 40, the daughter of a high school principal and a graduate of Georgetown University, was the only candidate for chancellor that Mayor Vincent C. Gray seriously considered.

FLORIDA

Pines Looking For Funding For Charter Schools
Miami Herald, FL, June 16, 2011
Although highly successful academically and boasting a long waiting list, the financially troubled Pembroke Pines Charter School system is looking for ways to generate funding.

GEORGIA

Cherokee Board Delays Action On Charter School
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, GA, June 16, 2011
A more than capacity crowd turned out Thursday night as the Cherokee County School Board delayed action on a request that it give its blessings — and taxpayer money — to a charter school that at least 900 students are hoping to attend next fall.

Deal Vows to Help Save State-Approved Charter Schools
Savannah Morning News, GA, June 17, 2011
Gov. Nathan Deal says he’ll work with the General Assembly to bypass a recent court ruling outlawing state-approved charter schools.

IDAHO

Luna, Otter Stump For Reform
Coeur d’Alene Press, ID, June 17, 2011
The campaign to keep Idaho’s new education reform laws in place is on, and another initiative to recall the state’s top education official continues.

ILLINOIS

CPS, Teachers Union Face Off Over Pay Raise
Chicago Tribune, IL, June 16, 2011
As the Chicago Teachers Union and Chicago Public Schools prepare for a showdown over across-the-board raises for teachers, each is digging into stockpiles of statistics to bolster its case.

MICHIGAN

School Full of Miracles — Last-Minute Charter Plan Rescues Catherine Ferguson Academy
Detroit Free Press, MI, June 17, 2011
Catherine Ferguson Academy on Thursday got the miracle its supporters struggled and prayed for: The alternative high school on Detroit’s near-west side will stay open.

3 DPS Schools Get Charter Sponsors As 7 Others Close For Good
The Detroit News, MI, June 17, 2011
The last day of school became an emotional celebration Thursday after students at Catherine Ferguson Academy learned the school for teen mothers is getting a second chance as a charter school.

NEW YORK

Teachers Union Confronts Some Crucial Decisions
New York Times, NY, June 17, 2011
The newly seated Chicago Board of Education may have won the first battle with Chicago teachers this week when it rescinded a 4 percent pay raise, but it may also have ended a relatively peaceful era in labor relations and created a more pugnacious adversary.

NORTH CAROLINA

Republicans Right To Lift Cap So Charter Schools Can Regain Momentum
Winston Salem-Journal, NC, June 17, 2011
A new era in charter schools is on the horizon in North Carolina. The General Assembly has dropped the state’s out-of-date cap on the number of these independently run, but publicly funded, schools. That should mean healthy growth in charter schools statewide.

PENNSYLVANIA

Property-Tax Hike Will Help Bail Out Philly Schools
Philadelphia Inquirer, PA, June 16, 2011
City Council is poised to raise property taxes nearly 4 percent as part of a package to deliver $53 million in new funding to the Philadelphia School District.

RHODE ISLAND

R.I. Education Board Questions Charter School Plan
Boston Globe, MA, June 17, 2011
A Rhode Island education board voiced skepticism about a plan to bring a charter school to Cranston during a meeting yesterday, after the school garnered opposition from a number of officials in the city and some community members.

UTAH

Utah: ‘Not Even Close’ To Closing The Poverty Gap
Deseret News, UT, June 17, 2011
The reason – high poverty schools with a high minority population often don’t perform as well as low poverty schools,
and Utah schools are no exception.

WISCONSIN

Opponents Still Fear a School Choice Expansion by Governor Walker
Green Bay Gazette, WI, June 17, 2011
A local educator fears language added to the state budget early Thursday opens the door for school voucher programs to eventually come to Green Bay and other school districts that meet requirements added in last-minute provisions.

VIRTUAL SCHOOL

State’s Online High-Schoolers To Meet For First Time
The Olympian, WA, June 16, 2011
About 275 Washington teens will receive their diplomas and meet their classmates face to face for the first time at a graduation ceremony Saturday at Bellevue College.

Daily Headlines for June 16, 2011

Chartered Into Unions
American Spectator, June 16, 2011
These days, the American Federation of Teachers must be relieved that it has avoided at least some of the wrath faced by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People for the suit it filed last month against New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg to stop the city’s longtime practice of allowing the publicly funded, privately operated schools to share space with its traditional counterparts in the city’s massive (and often half-empty) buildings.

FROM THE STATES

ARKANSAS

Judge Jolts Little Rock
Wall Street Journal, June 16, 2011
A federal judge has halted longtime state payments intended to help integrate three Arkansas school districts, including Little Rock , site of one of the most bitter desegregation fights in U.S. history.

CALIFORNIA

Teacher Quality Must Be Job 1 of Education Reform in L.A.
Los Angeles Times, CA, June 16, 2011
A study released last week by the National Council on Teacher Quality calls attention to just how dramatically L.A. Unified is failing when it comes to recruiting, training, evaluating and compensating teachers

West Covina Charter School Gets Approval to Become Independent of District
San Gabriel Valley Tribune, CA, June 15, 2011
In a 3-2 vote Tuesday night, the West Covina Unified school board voted to let its charter school break away from the district and operate as an independent non-profit organization.

Parents Plead For More Charters Schools in San Jose
San Jose Mercury News, CA, June 15, 2011
In an emotional public hearing that contrasted different approaches to school reform, the Santa Clara County Board of Education on Wednesday heard heartfelt pleas for more high-achieving charter schools serving poor children, while local superintendents cautioned against moving too fast.

FLORIDA

Pines Finds Money For Charter Schools
Miami Herald, FL, June 15, 2011
Pembroke Pines city commissioners voted late Wednesday to adopt a budget that makes ends meet – if only in theory – for its financially strapped Pembroke Pines Charter School system.

Pasco Charter School Idea Already Has Two Backers In Florida Legislature
St. Petersburg Times, FL, June 16, 2011
A proposed charter school near Land O’Lakes can count two future state House speakers as supporters. The founder is married to Rep. Richard Corcoran, R-Trinity, and Rep. Will Weatherford, R-Wesley Chapel, is one of the school’s board members.

ILLINOIS

Chicago Public Schools Board Rescinds Teacher Raises, Angers Union
Chicago Tribune, IL, June 15, 2011
Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s handpicked Chicago Public Schools board drew a battle line between the new administration and the teachers union with its first official act when it voted Wednesday to rescind the 4 percent annual raise due to teachers and other school union members.

INDIANA

Voucher Act Has Phones Ringing at St. Pat’s
Tribune Star, IN, June 16, 2011
Schools anticipate rules, regulations, application forms from state by July 1

Programs Help High Schoolers Get A Jump On College
Indianapolis Star, IN, June 15, 2011
Programs help students earn enough credits for a 2-year degree before leaving high school

MINNESOTA

TiZA Takes Fight To Federal Court
Minneapolis Star Tribune, MN, June 15, 2011
With the clock ticking down to a pivotal June 30 deadline, a beleaguered metro-area charter school has filed a federal lawsuit challenging a change in state law that could force it to close.

NEW HAMPSHIRE

Bill Extending Teacher Tenure Time Moves to Senate
Portsmouth Herald, NH, June 16, 2011
After days of review, House and Senate members responded to teachers’ concerns by recommending changes to a Senate bill that, as originally written, would extend the probationary period for the educators.

NEW JERSEY

New School Reform Group Comes to the Table Very Well Funded
NJ Spotlight, NJ, June 16, 2011
Better Education for Kids, or B4K, can dip into hedge fund money to help get its message across

NEW YORK

We’re Not Against Charter Schools
Wall Street Journal, June 16, 2011
In “The NAACP vs. Black Schoolchildren” by William McGurn (Main Street, June 4), Mr. McGurn avoids the troubling facts underlying the problems in New York City’s schools and instead focuses on dividing communities that need unity to resolve these issues.

High-Stakes School War
New York Post, NY, June 16, 2011
As he won control of the city’s public schools nine years ago this week, Mayor Bloomberg boldly promised: “We will not have to tolerate an incapable bureaucracy which does not respond to the needs of the students.”

OHIO

Dayton’s Top-Notch Charter
Cleveland Plain Dealer, OH, June 16, 2011
No one was more surprised than founder Ann Higdon when Harvard University’s Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation selected her Dayton-based charter schools as one of the nation’s 25 most innovative government-supported programs this year.

3 Finalists Set For State Schools Superintendent
Columbus Dispatch, OH, June 15, 2011
Three educators with differing backgrounds are competing to be Ohio’s next superintendent of public instruction.

PENNSYLVANIA

Will Kirkland’s Theatrics Pay Off For Ailing Schools?
Delaware County Daily Times, PA, June 16, 2011
You have to admire Thaddeus Kirkland’s flair. The Democratic state rep
who represents the city of Chester and the towns that make up the Chester Upland School District decided to hold a press conference to bemoan the $20 million state funding cut the district is facing.

Christiana Unveils Vouchers Bill
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, PA, June 15, 2011
With state lawmakers have kicked budget negotiations into high-gear (now that both chambers are run by the GOP, like the gov’s office, the only word on those talks is “they’re going fine”), there may be another issue beyond a shale tax/fee aiming to get shoehorned into that budget package.

TENNESSEE

Charter Schools To Be Open To All In District
Jackson Sun, TN, June 16, 2011
Proponents of charter schools laud them as an innovative way to educate those who simply want to learn, but critics say a provision of recently passed Tennessee legislation that opens enrollment to students who aren’t in failing schools defeats the purpose of charter institutions.

WISCONSIN

Green Bay School Voucher Talk Isn’t Over, Advocates Say
Green Bay Gazette, WI, June 16, 2011
School-choice advocates say the push to bring a school voucher program to Green Bay won’t end even if the concept is removed from the state’s proposed budget.

VIRTUAL SCHOOL

Daleville Schools Sponsoring Virtual Charter School
Muncie Star Press, IN, June 16, 2011
District students will be able to take online classes at cost, including some they can’t get in school.

Virtual Charter School Opens in Choctaw-Nicoma Park
The Oklahoman, OK, June 16, 2011
The largest online education company in the nation will open a charter school in the Choctaw-Nicoma Park School District when school resumes Aug. 18.

New Online Learning Law Full of ‘Unintended Consequences’
Deseret News, UT, June 15, 2011
Legislation intended to create more options for students through online courses could actually end up limiting their choices and creating major logistical problems, according to state education and charter school officials.

Educators Wary Of New Online Education Law
Salt Lake Tribune, UT, June 15, 2011
Some education leaders worry that a new law intended to give students more opportunities to take online classes will be difficult to implement, may limit students’ educations and could hurt some schools in the long run.

Daily Headlines for June 15, 2011

True or False? School Choice Is Increasing
World Magazine, June 14, 2011
Choosing a school has increasingly become a multiple-choice question.

‘Parent Trigger’ Laws: Shutting Schools, Raising Controversy
TIME, June 14, 2011
In a bare-bones basement office in Buffalo, N.Y., Katie Campos, an education activist, is plotting a revolution.

Redefine ‘No Child’ for Success in Real World
Spokesman Review, WA, June 15, 2011
The federal No Child Left Behind Act has been up for reauthorization since 2007, but because Congress hasn’t been able to agree on the fate of the law it has been granted one-year renewals.

ALASKA

State Board Rejects College-Bases Charter School in Fairbanks
Daily News Miner, AK, June 14, 2011
The Alaska Board of Education and Early Development has rejected a proposed Fairbanks charter school geared toward early college preparation where high school students could take university courses for credits.

CALIFORNIA

Rocketship Proposal For 20 More Charters Should Be Launching Pad For Plan To Close Achievement Gap
Mercury News, CA, June 15, 2011
Rocketship Education, the growing charter school operator with three branches in San Jose , has asked the Santa Clara County Board of Education for permission to open 20 more schools by 2018.

FLORIDA

Driving off Teachers
Tampa Bay Tribune, FL, June 15, 2011
The surest way to destroy a state’s economic competiveness is to destroy its education system.

ILLINOIS

Merrillville Denies Site For Charter School
Post Tribune, IL, June 14, 2011
The Town Council voted Tuesday to deny a request to open a charter school at the former Jump N Fun on U.S. 30 and Madison Street, reiterating safety concerns for the more than 300 students who would be enrolled there.

Parents to CPS: Make Our School a Charter
WBEZ, IL, June 14, 2011
When Chicago closes low-performing schools, the district often faces fierce resistance from parents, who fight to save their children’s teachers and their neighborhood’s institution. Now, for the first time in Chicago, a group of parents is publicly asking CPS to shut down their school-and reopen it as a charter school.

LOUISIANA

New Plan Offers Unconventional Way to Govern New Orleans Schools
Times Picayune, LA, June 1, 2011
Two competing visions for New Orleans schools are battling it out among educators, politicians and parents: one that applauds the dramatic state takeover that came after Hurricane Katrina and another that is demanding that control of city schools be returned to the local elected School Board that lost them after the 2005 storm.

MAINE

Charter Schools Measure Wins Maine Senate Support
Portland Press Herald, ME, June 15, 2011
The bill, which now goes to the House, would permit ‘schools of focus’ on certain subjects, its sponsor says.

MICHIGAN

Parents Deserve Choice on Education
Lansing State Journal, MI, June 14, 2011
Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush’s appearance before a joint House and Senate Education Committee hearing today should offer a stark contrast between a state that has embraced parental choice in education and one still grappling with a discriminatory constitutional provision.

NEW JERSEY

Make Public Private
Philadelphia Inquirer, PA, June 15, 2011
Gov. Christie’s idea of letting private education companies operate failing New Jersey schools provides another viable option for parents and children, so long as it doesn’t come at the expense of families who don’t exercise it.

NEW MEXICO

Charter School Budget Reflects Unique Challenges
El Defensor Chieftain, NM, June 14, 2011
Cottonwood Valley Charter School has prepared its budget for the 2011-2012 school year, and as Socorro’s only charter school, the 10-year-old CVCS faces unique challenges in producing money and meeting expenses.

NEW YORK

Graduation Rates in City Set Record
Wall Street Journal, June 15, 2011
The four-year graduation rate in New York City rose to a record 65% in 2010, Mayor Bloomberg announced Tuesday, touting the numbers as a sign his administration’s reforms have boosted student success.

Despite Anger of Black Parents in New York, NAACP is Right
USA Today, June 14, 2011
The NAACP is being attacked by parents of New York City schoolchildren who are angered by the civil rights group’s support for a lawsuit that seeks to keep 20 charter schools out of buildings that already are occupied by traditional public schools.

NORTH CAROLINA

Charter School Cap Lifted
Carey News, NC, June 15, 2011
The North Carolina legislature voted to eliminate the 100-school limit on charter schools, giving supporters a victory they’ve craved for more than a decade.

TENNESSEE

Senate’s Voucher Plan Would Boost Low-Income Students
The Tennessean, TN, June 14, 2011
I read with renewed optimism the June 10 guest column, much of which I agreed with, by Marc Everett Hill, chief education officer of the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce (“School voucher plan in present form would be a mistake”).

TEXAS

Charter Schools in Texas
New York Times, NY, June 15, 2011
“Charter Schools Tied to Turkey Grow in Texas” (front page, June 7) attempts to place the schools that several educators and I founded, Harmony Public Schools, in the con
text of an Islamic movement with which we are not and never have been affiliated. Harmony schools do not teach religion, and no such affiliation exists.

East Austin Community Wants Charter School To Take Over
KVUE, TX, June 14, 2011
How do you turn around an under performing school? Some members of an East Austin community say the answer is taking AISD out of the equation. Eastside Memorial High School , formerly Johnston High School , saw nearly 30 percent of its seniors from the Green Tech portion of Eastside, fail to graduate this past year.

UTAH

Utah’s Charter Schools Get Special Treatment
Salt Lake Tribune, UT, June 14, 2011
When it comes to applying rules to the public-education system in Utah, some schools are more equal than others.

WYOMING

Wyoming Charter School Appeal Goes To State Board
Casper Star-Tribune, WY, June 15, 2011
For the third time ever, the Wyoming Board of Education will decide today whether to overturn a rejection of a proposed charter school.

VIRTUAL EDUCATION

Virtually There: Online School Program Appeals To Some Parents
Evening News and Tribune, IN, June 14, 2011
V. Lori Hedges has more or less spanned that gamut of school options for her six sons. Some perform well in private schools, others prefer public schools and she’s also given home schooling a go.

Online Charter School Helping Dropouts, Others Earn High School Degrees
Twin Falls Times-News, ID, June 14, 2011
Destanie Breland said she will never get rid of her sapphire graduation gown. She held the flimsy fabric close on Monday as she looked down at her 16-month-old daughter, Aaralynn, who toddled around the living room.

“Virtual School” in Lodi Lets Students Study from Home
KTXL, CA, June 14, 2011
Log on in Lodi. Instead of going to school, students can stay home and take their tests in their pajamas.