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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.