D.C. Rally Seeks to Save Our Status Quo

Participating groups fight to end school reform and parental choice

July 29,2011

This Saturday’s Save Our Schools rally is holding itself out to be an effort to restore parent and student influence in education, but a rundown of the participating groups raises questions about the authenticity of this goal. Many of the participating groups are strong, vocal opponents of testing, accountability and school choice.

The National Education Association, the American Federation of Teachers and their allies have long advocated for more money, less accountability, no high-stakes testing, and against anything the gives parents more control over their child’s education, such as charter schools and vouchers.

“This coalition is the same coalition of the past 35 years,” said Jeanne Allen, president of The Center for Education Reform. “It advocates for the status quo and reform to them is about money, control, and no high stakes tests or accountability.”

The rally participants have a long track record of opposing public charters schools, opposing school vouchers, opposing merit pay, opposing the closure of failing schools, opposing the freedom of parents to choose where their child goes to school – including home school – and opposing student testing performance as a means to evaluate teachers.

“S.O.S is about deforming education, not reforming it,” said Allen. “They put up the guise that this is for the families and students, but in truth, these groups want to restrict and remove any power parents have in their child’s education.”

Daily Headlines for July 29, 2011

Bill Gates: Poverty Not Excuse For No Education
Associated Press, July 28, 2011
Microsoft founder Bill Gates told the National Urban League on Thursday that a child’s success should not depend on the race or income of parents and that poverty cannot be an excuse for a poor education.

Schools Turn To Fees After Drop in State Aid
New York Times, NY, July 29, 2011
As strapped public schools try to squeeze every possible dollar out of their budgets, an unpleasant reality awaits parents: They will most likely have to pay for programs and services that schools once provided free.

‘Save Our Schools’ March Won’t Unite Us, But That’s Fine
Washington Post, DC, July 28, 2011
Thousands of educators and supporters are expected to be marching, rallying and talking here this week in support of public schools. If I were at the “Save Our Schools” march around the White House, my sign would say “Bring Us Together.” Too many of us who care about schools are picking at each other, but maybe I am expecting too much.

Fed-Up Teachers To March In D.C.
Fort Wayne Journal Gazette, IN, July 29, 2011
Teachers from around the nation hope to give the Obama administration a lesson in shoe-leather lobbying this weekend.

NEA – Master Of Disaster
Washington Times, DC, July 29, 2011
If the disturbing documentary “Waiting for Superman” didn’t convince you that a massive overhaul of the public education system is necessary, maybe the massive cheating scandal erupting in the Atlanta public school system will.

FROM THE STATES

CALIFORNIA

Antioch Charter School On The Move Again
Contra Costa Times, CA, July 29, 2011
With a month to go before the first day of school, a growing charter elementary school here appears close to finding a new home — again.

Pulling The ‘Parent Trigger’ To Save Failing Schools
San Francisco Examiner, CA, July 29, 2011
One of the better slogans to come out of the 1960s was “Power to the People.” It’s a sentiment that everyone – left, right, middle of the road – can agree on. It’s refreshing that California ‘s government – whose slogan too often seems to be “Power to the Bureaucrats” – has implemented the Parent Empowerment Act.

COLORADO

Colorado Governor, Attorney General Stand Against Education-Funding Challenge
Denver Post, CO, July 29, 2011
Days before a landmark school-funding lawsuit goes to trial, Gov. John Hickenlooper and Attorney General John Suthers on Thursday took a pre-emptive bipartisan stand against the legal challenge, arguing that it could cost the state billions of dollars if it loses in court.

Erie Elementary School Choices Soaring As Red Hawk, Aspen Ridge Prepare To Open
Daily Camera, CO, July 29, 2011
A few years ago, Erie Elementary was the only elementary school in town. This fall, there will be four.

GEORGIA

Parent Group Files Complaint Over Gwinnett School Goals
Atlanta Journal-Constitution, GA, July 28, 2011
A parent group filed a federal civil rights complaint against Gwinnett County Schools this month, alleging a contract with the state to improve student performance is discriminatory because it sets lower goals for minorities and kids with disabilities.

ILLINOIS

Give Kids A Chance To Succeed
Chicago Tribune, IL, July 28, 2011
In an education system where only 55 percent of students graduate high school, Mayor Emanuel has and deserves every right to send his children to a private school.

INDIANA

Collaboration, Not Conflict
Fort Wayne Journal Gazette, IN, July 29, 2011
The rancor between state education policymakers and public school teachers that marked the last legislative session moves to the courts with a second lawsuit alleging violation of Indiana law.

LOUISIANA

The Long Turnaround
The Economist, July 29, 2011
WHEN Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans in August 2005, right at the start of the school year, thousands of students across Orleans Parish saw their classes delayed. Teachers were displaced, and so were parents; the schools themselves were festering, where they were not destroyed.

MARYLAND

Montgomery County Finally Takes The Charter School Plunge
Baltimore Sun, MD, July 29, 2011
School officials’ approval of the district’s first charter school represents a long-overdue reform

Charter School Eyes Frederick County
Maryland Gazette, MD, July 28, 2011
A new charter school dedicated to environmental and outdoor education may be coming to Frederick County .

School Parents Press Ahead On Charter Suit
Gloucester Times, MA, July 28, 2011
Superior Court Justice Robert Cornetta shot down a legal bid by 15 Gloucester school district parents for a preliminary injunction that could have blocked the Gloucester Community Charter Arts School from opening for its second year.

NEW JERSEY

New Jersey Loses Out on $15 Million Federal Charter School Grant
NJ Spotlight, NJ, July 29, 2011
New Jersey has again lost out on federal funding for charter school startups, with reviewers citing continued weaknesses in the state’s oversight. They also cited the state’s 15-year old charter law, which is now under debate in the Statehouse.

Chris Christie’s Support For Charter Schools Caters To Involved Parents
Star-Ledger, NJ, July 28, 2011
Gov. Chris Christie admits that involved parents make better schools. He then makes the leap that opponents of “real reform” claim that nothing can be done to help the children of uninvolved parents.

NEW YORK

School Plan to Engage Parents Arouses Skepticism
New York Times, NY, July 29, 2011
The new leadership at Chicago Public Schools is taking another crack at one of the district’s thorniest problems: involving parents in their children’s education.

OHIO

Cleveland Schools Seeking Nearly $50 Million In Givebacks, Cleveland Teachers Union Says
Cleveland Plain Dealer, OH, July 28, 2011
The Cleveland school district and its teachers are still battling over wages and staffing less than a month before the start of school, with the union claiming that class sizes could jump to 50 students unless more teachers are rehired.

PENNSYLVANIA

Elmer Smith: Freedom From Public Education?
Philadelphia Daily News, PA, July 29, 2011
STATE REP. Mark Longietti shuffled through his sheaf of papers and pulled up the study that summed up his concerns about expanding school choice.

SOUTH CAROLINA

Make Case For Charter Schools
Post and Courier, SC, July 29, 2011
The road for charter schools in Charleston County has been unfortunately, and unnecessarily, rocky. Monday’s S.C. Supreme Court ruling added some more bumps in the way.

TENNESSEE

Not A Stellar Moment
Commercial Appeal, TN, July 29, 2011
The Shelby County School board’s behavior over the course of approving the district’s first charter school has been shameful.

Blount County Parents Get Feel For Proposed Charter School
Knoxville News Sentinel, TN, July 28, 2011
HOPE Academy, if approved, will be Tennessee’s 46th charter school and the first established outside an urban setting.

New Memphis City Schools Teachers Finding Seniority
Commercial Appeal, TN, July 29, 2011
The teachers union in the city schools has agreed to let new hires, many of them transplants to Memphis with Teach for America, displace senior teachers.

TEXAS

Ratings Don’t Tell Us Much About School Performance
Houston Chronicle, TX, July 28, 2011
In late May and early June, nearly 5 million Texas school children ended another academic year and began their summer vacation with report cards in hand. Whether it was a letter grade or a numerical grade, the report card was, for virtually every student, a fair and accurate accounting of how that child performed in language arts, mathematics, science, history, foreign language, fine arts and other subjects.

VIRGINIA

Governor Says He Wants More Changes In K-12 Education
Richmond Times-Dispatch, VA, July 28, 2011
Phoning in from the Greenbrier resort in West Virginia, Gov. Bob McDonnell said on WRVA radio this morning that he’ll pursue more changes to K-12 education in this coming General Assembly session, the third of his administration.

WISCONSIN

Charter Schools Receive Grant Money
MyFox Wausau, WI, July 28, 2011
Three Wausau-area charter schools received thousands of dollars to help fund classes in the next school year.

The Value of This School
Milwaukee News Sentinel, WI, July 28, 2011
The goal is clear: Wings Academy, a 9-year-old Milwaukee charter school with a record of service to children with disabilities, should be able to open this fall in a school building that will support its mission and with a population that will justify its budget.

VIRTUAL EDUCATION

Not a Fan of Cyber Charter
Lebanon Daily News, PA, July 29, 2011
Today, as in no other time in history, the public school system is under attack from all sides – parent to President. One of the myths of the current anti-public school mindset is that cyber charter schools, no matter which one, provide a better education to our children than the public school, no matter which one.

Conflict Arises In Oklahoma Concerning Student Transfers To Virtual Schools
The Oklahoman, OK, July 29, 2011
The state Education Board voted Thursday to rescind outdated rules regarding emergency transfers after superintendents contested student transfers out of their districts.

Way Outside The Box: Innovative Programs Allow Students To Direct Learning
Reporter Herald, CO, July 29, 2011
Thompson Online blends traditional and virtual learning strategies within existing courses,” said Diane Lauer, director of curriculum for the district. “The Innovation Lab provides us with an opportunity for our students to create their own courses … centered on their passixons.”

Daily Headlines for July 28, 2011

States Brace For Grad Rate Dips As Formula Changes
Associated Press, July 27, 2011
States are bracing for plummeting high school graduation rates as districts nationwide dump flawed measurement formulas that often undercounted dropouts and produced inflated results.

Teachers Set To Rally In D.C. For Education Reforms
Palm Beach Post, FL, July 28, 2011
A Palm Beach County face will share the stage with actor Matt Damon and former U.S. Assistant Secretary of Education Diane Ravitch during an education march this weekend in Washington, D.C.

School Vouchers: No Clear Advantage in Academic Achievement
Huffington Post, NY, July 27, 2011
In the 1950s, 1960s, and early 1970s, private school advocates tried to build support for tuition vouchers, payments of public tax funds for private school tuition. President Richard Nixon most notably endorsed this idea.

The No Child Left Behind Act’s Fatal Flaw
Baltimore Sun, MD, July 28, 2011
Thank you for drawing attention to the flaws of the No Child Left Behind Act (“A failing law,” July 19). After years of reading about the inadequacies of the public school system, it was refreshing to read an editorial that acknowledged “the faulty way the law was constructed” as a significant factor in how many schools are now labeled failing.

FROM THE STATES

ARIZONA

Committee Exploring Union Of Arizona School Districts
Arizona Republic, AZ, July 28, 2011
State-mandated unification and consolidation of school districts in the past has not fared well with wary Arizona voters.

CALIFORNIA

Protesters Upset Over Changes At 2 South L.A. Middle Schools
Los Angeles Times Blog, CA, July 27, 2011
About 75 demonstrators gathered Wednesday afternoon to protest the removal of a Los Angeles middle school principal and the conversion of another South L.A. campus to a charter school.

Two Bills Would Put Pressure On Charter Schools
Fresno Bee, CA, July 27, 2011
Two new bills in Sacramento could put more pressure on charter schools to scrap their alternative curriculums and improve standardized test scores.

CONNECTICUT

Charter School Students Closing Achievement Gap
Hartford Courant, CT, July 27, 2011
Students at charter schools are making significant strides narrowing academic achievement gaps – between poor and affluent students, between urban and suburban schools and between minority and white students – according to a new analysis of the 2011 Connecticut Mastery Test released Wednesday.

FLORIDA

New Law Boosts Enrollment in Tax Credit Voucher
Sunshine State News, FL, July 28, 2011
Thanks to tinkering from the Florida Legislature, enrollment in Florida’s corporate tax credit vouchers soared last year, with a 20 percent increase in students.

Charter, Private Schools Siphon Hillsborough Enrollment Growth
Tampa Tribune, FL, July 28, 2011
Hillsborough County’s public school enrollment is projected to shrink so much the district plans to build only one school in the next five years.

GEORGIA

New Jumps in Test Scores Put Some Atlanta Schools on the Radar
Atlanta Journal Constitution, GA, July 28, 2011
The odds that these improvements were obtained by honest means aren’t as long as the AJC has found in the past, but they are still statistically unusual. Principals and parents say the improvements were due to exceptional efforts, but others say the scores deserve a closer look.

IDAHO

Schools Rush to Prepare for Merit Pay Law
Magic Valley Times-News, ID, July 28, 2011
Educators are working on customized plans that will set the stage for future decisions about which teachers are awarded bonuses based on student performance. With the Legislature’s approval of a package of education reform bills, districts are now tasked with crafting plans that reflect the needs and priorities of their schools.

ILLINOIS

Charter Schools Press CPS For More Money
Chicago Tribune, IL, July 27, 2011
Charter school advocates are asking Chicago Public Schools to give more money to charter schools in the upcoming school year.

IOWA

Tall Order For Education Reform
The Gazette, IA, July 28, 2011
Now that the state education summit is over, Iowa Department of Education Director Jason Glass and other members of Gov. Terry Branstad’s staff are charged with sifting through the sometimes-conflicting opinions, philosophies and interpretations of data presented by the summit’s distinguished guests.

LOUISIANA

RSD Develops Contingency To Operate Abramson If School’s Charter Is Revoked
Times Picayune, LA, July 27, 2011
The head of the state’s Recovery School District laid out contingency plans Wednesday for operating a charter school in eastern New Orleans that has come under state investigation.

MASSACHUSETTS

Trial Date Set For Charter School Case
Boston Globe, MA, July 28, 2011
The short, turbulent history of the Gloucester Community Arts Charter School moved to the courts again last week, when an Essex County judge denied a bid by 15 Gloucester parents to shut down the school while also allowing the suit to continue, setting a January trial date to determine the future of the school.

NEW JERSEY

Teacher Swap Quashed
Wall Street Journal, July 28, 2011
When Newark’s public school system accepted $5 million from the federal government last year to turn around the
poorly performing Malcolm X. Shabazz High School, it agreed to replace at least half of the school’s teachers, under the belief that principals could then hire better ones.

Nine N.J. Schools To Share $55M In Federal Grant Money To Boost Academic Performance
Star-Ledger, NJ, July 28, 2011
Nine of the state’s most troubled schools will share $55 million in federal grant money to boost their academic performance using bold approaches, which could include firing half of a school’s teaching staff or principal, the state Department of Education said today.

N.J. Must Address Problems At Failing Urban Schools
Times of Trenton , NJ, July 28, 2011
In just a few short weeks, students across New Jersey will begin a new school year. For most, there will be a sense of anticipation and promise as they enter schools that have high standards and highly motivated teachers and classmates.

NEW YORK

Tenure Gets Tougher
Wall Street Journal, July 28, 2011
Two of every five of New York City’s newest teachers will have to wait another year to find out if they will get tenure, as city officials put the brakes on awarding what they see as a lifetime job protection.

Once Nearly 100%, Teacher Tenure Rate Drops to 58% as Rules Tighten
New York Times, NY, July 28, 2011
The era of automatic tenure for teachers in New York City is over, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg said on Wednesday.

Plans Gel For Charter School
Albany Times Union, NY, July 28, 2011
The city may once again have a charter school in time for the 2012-13 school year.

RHODE ISLAND

Cranston City Council Seeks Answers On Proposed Charter School
Providence Journal, RI, July 27, 2011
The City Council has given 14 days for Mayor Allan W. Fung to show the financial impact a proposed charter public school district led by him would have on taxpayers and the running of the city-run school district.

TENNESSEE

Shelby County School Board Approves Contract For Charter School In Bartlett
Commercial Appeal, TN, July 27, 2011
Before the Shelby County school board approved its first contract with a charter school, board members peppered an official for an hour Wednesday with nonstop questions about his operations.

New Teacher Evaluations Lauded
The Tennessean, TN, July 28, 2011
Tennessee’s new teacher evaluation system will give educators frequent feedback on their performance and will dismiss those whose failings can’t be fixed with training, state Education Commissioner Kevin Huffman told House lawmakers Wednesday.

UTAH

Utah Lawmaker Pitches New Vision For Tuition Tax Credits
Salt Lake Tribune, UT, July 27, 2011
A Utah lawmaker said Wednesday his hope to create tuition tax credits for private schools doesn’t equal another attempt to implement school vouchers.

WYOMING

Education Accountability System Moves Forward
Billings Gazette, WY, July 27, 2011
Work to create a state education accountability system began last month but has a long way to go before the Legislature convenes in February.

VIRTUAL EDUCATION

Clayton Alternative Students to Attend ‘Virtual Academy’
Atlanta Journal Constitution, GA, July 27, 2011
Students in the county’s alternative programs and those who aren’t performing well in a traditional classroom will attend a ” Virtual Academy ,” said school board chairwoman Pam Adamson.

Virtual Charter School in Oklahoma Hits Snag for Physical Locations
The Oklahoman, OK, July 28, 2011
The state Education Department sent a letter to Epic One on One Charter Schools requesting they cease enrollment at three physical locations that may be in violation of state law.

‘Virtual’ Public Schools May Be Wave of the Future
WOAI, TX, July 27, 2011
It may just be the wave of the future, and it will allow your child to attend school without having to get out of their PJs.

Online School Provides
Lahontan Valley News, NV, July 27, 2011
The Chapman children attend public school, but not the kind where they take a bus every morning to school and sit among dozens of students throughout the day fighting for the individual attention each needs.

Leggett Valley Unified Enters The Virtual World; School District Offers Online K-12 School
The Times-Standard, CA, July 27, 2011
Parents and students looking to break out of the traditional classroom setting can now attend school online through Leggett Valley Unified School District.

Daily Headlines for July 27, 2011

CALIFORNIA

Tracy District Steps In For Charter
The Stockton Record, CA, July 27, 2011
Only days after being spurned by Lincoln Unified, Humphreys College has found a new and unlikely partner for its plan to open a new high school two months from now.

COLORADO

Ad Campaign Will Focus On School Reforms
Denver Post, CO, July 27, 2011
A coalition of nonprofits will launch a statewide advertising campaign today advocating for education reforms and asking the public to embrace and accelerate the educational changes.

ILLINOIS

Ex-School Administrators Get Big Pension Boosts
Daily Herald, IL, July 27, 2011
Since Hintz – the district’s former finance guru – retired at 55 six years ago, he’s been receiving his pension without the yearly 3 percent cost-of-living adjustment retirees 61 and older receive. However, that doesn’t mean early retirees like Hintz lose out.

IOWA

Report Points To Progress By Des Moines Charter School
Des Moines Register, IA, July 27, 2011
The Des Moines Public Charter School is “making positive progress” toward reaching its goals as it strives to serve students at risk of dropping out of school, according to a report members of the Iowa State Board of Education will review today.

Now, The Hard Part: Settling On Education Reforms
Des Moines Register, IA, July 27, 2011
The success of any plan to dramatically beef up Iowa students’ academic skills will rest in the hands of groups that seldom see eye to eye: legislators, educators, unions, business leaders and Gov. Terry Branstad.

LOUISIANA

Tougher Standards Mean More Louisiana Schools Are ‘Failing’
Times Picayune, LA, July 26, 2011
The number of Louisiana public schools considered failing — or “academically unacceptable” — under the state’s accountability program jumped from 48 last year to 135 this year — but that number doesn’t mean the schools are getting worse.

MARYLAND

Baltimore County Schools Continue To Hire On Business Side Of Operations
Baltimore Sun, MD, July 26, 2011
At a time when Baltimore County schools are cutting nearly 200 teaching positions, the system has added three dozen new employees to the business side of its operations at salaries that total $1.9 million.

MASSACHUSETTS

Peabody Gets No Takers After Opening Up To School Choice
Salem News, MA, July 27, 2011
Starting this fall, Peabody schools will be open to a limited number of out-of-town-students – but so far nobody is interested.

MICHIGAN

Bill Seeks To Reform Failing Schools
Detroit News, MI, July 27, 2011
DPS would be first test case of legislation to be introduced this fall.

NEW YORK

Setting Up Charter Schools
New York Times, NY, July 27, 2011
I was disappointed by your article about my recent work with New York City-area charter schools. It was an unnecessarily negative swipe at the new urban charter movement, and its key premise was unfounded.

Success Charter Network Has Been Just That For Eva Moskowitz But Not For Public Schools
New York Daily News, NY, July 27, 2011
Talk about inflating demand for your product. The Success Charter Network, a chain of charter schools headed by former City Councilwoman Eva Moskowitz, spent an astonishing $1.6million in the 2009-2010 school year just for publicity and recruitment of new students, the group’s most recent financial reports show.

We Can Learn Some Important Lessons From Charter Schools
Times Herald-Record, NY, July 27, 2011
Let’s face it – although school choice is the education catchphrase of the decade, many of us will never have it for our children.

OKLAHOMA

Oklahoma City School Leadership Changes Called Deliberate And Important
The Oklahoman, OK, July 27, 2011
Oklahoma City School District Superintendent Karl Springer said the 26 principal changes in his school district are part of a concerted effort to change the culture of the district.

OREGON

Students Invited To Form Their Own ‘Micro Society’
Statesman Journal, OR, July 27, 2011
The new school will join 112 other charters in Oregon and four existing ones in the Salem-Keizer district. But by fall 2012, that local number could jump to nine charter schools with two high schools, a middle school and an elementary school all in process.

PENNSYLVANIA

Lengthy Battle Over Pocono Mountain Charter School Goes Before Appeals Board
Pocono Record, PA, July 27, 2011
A long, contentious battle over the operation of the Pocono Mountain Charter School took another step closer to completion Tuesday, but there still is no end in sight.

Don’t Buy Out Ackerman – Fire Her, State Rep Says
Philadelphia Daily News, PA, July 27, 2011
SOMEWHERE in the city’s academic community, or even in its business community, there’s an answer to the management of the public-school system.

TENNESSEE

Memphis Board Oks Funding Deal; If City Payment Schedule Unmet, ‘School Does Not Open’
Commercial Appeal, TN, July 26, 2011
The Memphis school board unanimously approved a payment plan from the city Tuesday night that means schools can open on time.

Highland Heights’ Survival Requires Compromise
The Tennessean, TN, July 27, 2011 >
The school, on Douglas Avenue just off Dickerson Pike, is partially occupied by KIPP Academy , a growing, successful charter school. But a plan to spend $9.54 million to renovate the building, part of which went up in 1930, may cost more and require another allocation from city coffers. The building is in horrible shape.

Charter School Says It Would Sue To Open In Shelby County
Commercial Appeal, TN, July 27, 2011
Operators of Shelby County Schools’ first charter school — to open this fall — haven’t decided yet whether to spend the bulk of their money on building renovations and marketing campaigns or on attorneys.

WASHINGTON

Time To Pay School Board Members
Seattle Times, WA, July 26, 2011
Watching Seattle School Board candidates on the political hustings this summer illuminated a stark need: salaries for board members.

WISCONSIN

Milwaukee College Prep Scurries To Open 2 New Buildings
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, WI, July 27, 2011
A compromise in the facilities controversy. Charter and choice school operators have long coveted MPS facilities for their programs, but the Milwaukee School Board has resisted leasing or selling its empty real estate to competitors. College Prep wanted to expand its main K-8 campus at 2449 N. 36th St. to MPS’ 38th Street School building, but negotiations fell through last year.

Whitewater Charter School Offers Different Atmosphere
Janesville Gazette, WI, July 26, 2011
When Whitewater’s charter school opens its doors this fall for the first time, it will carry a theme familiar to its young students. Smart boards in every classroom. Laptop computers and iPads aiding students in research.

VIRTUAL EDUCATION

Online Learning Uplifting, Efficient
Post and Courier, SC, July 27, 2011
Imagine a public education system able to provide access to high-quality instruction, regardless of where a student lives. Imagine schools able to give individualized instruction to potential dropouts. Or course offerings that encourage students to master their studies, instead of simply show up for class. In fact, this vision for the state’s public school system already exists; it’s called online learning.

Virtual Public School Targets Local Students
YNN, TX, July 26, 2011
A virtual school wants to broaden its reach. Texas Connections Academy started as a charter school in the Houston Independent School District in 2009. Now, it’s expanding statewide.

Commission Touts Need For More Virtual Education, Flexible Calendar
Lincoln Journal Star, NE, July 26, 2011
Nebraska needs to explore extending the school year, ramp up its virtual education and focus on early childhood education, state Education Commissioner Roger Breed told Downtown Rotary Club members Tuesday.

Daily Headlines for July 26, 2011

Christie and National Expert Duel Over School Reform
NJ Spotlight, NJ, July 26, 2011
Gov. Christie and Stanford University’s Hammond-Darling present sharply divergent visions of education.

From Drug Dealing To Diploma, A Teen’s Struggle
National Public Radio, July 25, 2011
Lundvick says he has stopped. He’s now free on probation and enrolled in Youth Connection, which runs 22 charter schools in Chicago that deal exclusively with dropouts.

Better Classroom Teachers Begin With Better Teacher Education Programs At Colleges And Universities
New York Daily News, NY, July 26, 2011
The old saw that “those who can’t do, teach,” is a terrible insult to a great profession. But far too often, those who teach teachers to teach – universities – know next to nothing about how to get educators ready for the realities of big-city public school classrooms.

FROM THE STATES

CALIFORNIA

State Lawmakers Craft Stricter Standards For Charter Schools
Santa Cruz Sentinel, CA, July 26, 2011
State lawmakers want charter schools to rev up academic performance and follow stricter guidelines for financial oversight and meeting diversity standards.

CONNECTICUT

Education Tops Agendas of Bridgeport Mayoral Candidates
Connecticut Post, CT, July 25, 2011
With the new school year only weeks away and no school budget in place, mayoral candidates are placing education reform front and center on their agendas.

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA

Questions About Cheating Could Hinder Efforts To Improve Schools
Washington Post, DC, July 25, 2011
By the numbers, it’s a paltry handful. Of more than 100,000 public schools in the United States , about 300 recently have faced suspicions, allegations and, in some cases hard proof, that teachers and administrators cheated to inflate standardized test scores.

Earning Their Apples
American Spectator, July 26, 2011
The move earlier this month by D.C. Public Schools to fire 200 of their worst-performing teachers certainly got attention from school reformers and teachers union bosses alike.

FLORIDA

Proposed Charter School Would Help Those With Autism, Cognitive Disorders
Gainesville Sun, FL, July 25, 2011
Hackley hopes to open H3 Direct Academy Inc., which would be Alachua County’s newest charter school, in order to help students like his client develop necessary life skills.

Florida Teacher Preparation Programs Receive Scrutiny
North Escambia, FL, July 26, 2011
What makes a teacher successful is a vexing question that has fueled major education reforms in recent years, from increased emphasis on testing, to the promotion of charter schools and the newfound popularity of teacher merit pay to provide an incentive for better instruction.

Private Schools Get Public Money For Teacher Training
Dothan Eagle, FL, July 25, 2011
Private schools across the state received nearly $568,000 in federal funds for professional development for teachers for the 20011 fiscal year.

GEORGIA

How Should APS Cheating Scandal Guide Public School Overhaul?
Atlanta Journal Constitution, GA, July 25, 2011
Georgia should seize the chance to change the tenure system and fire bad teachers.

INDIANA

We’re Up To Challenge Of Fixing Urban Schools
Indianapolis Star, IN, July 25, 2011
n 2005, the Indiana Department of Education created a list of schools that could be at risk of state takeover in 2011 under the accountability law. There were 94 schools on that list. Fast forward to 2011 and seven are left: six in Indianapolis Public Schools and one in Gary.

Voucher Students and the IHSAA
South Bend Tribune, IN, July 26, 2011
The Indiana High School Athletic Association says it will follow its present rules in considering student transfer requests associated with the state’s new school voucher program.

MARYLAND

Montgomery Approves Its First Charter School
Washington Post, DC, July 25, 2011
The Montgomery County Board of Education approved its first charter school Monday night, sending a cheer through the crowded board room and signaling a breakthrough for a movement that is pushing to expand beyond struggling inner-city districts.

MISSOURI

Three Catholic Schools Look To Form Their Own District
St. Louis Post-Dispatch, MO, July 26, 2011
Three suburban Catholic schools are looking for a way to survive that may come through a shift in the traditional structure of parish schools.

NEW JERSEY

In Iowa , Christie Talks About Education Reform
Philadelphia Inquirer, PA, July 26, 2011
DES MOINES, Iowa – As speculation about his presidential ambitions hung heavily in the hot Midwestern air, Gov. Christie called for peace in the battle over education at a summit convened Monday by the governor of Iowa.

NEW YORK

Feds’ $113M Will Boost NY Charters
New York Post, NY, July 26, 2011
Cash-strapped New York state is receiving a $113 million federal windfall to help create new charter schools and spread the most effective practices at existing ones, officials announced yesterday.

Another Legal Challenge to the City’s Charter Schools
New York Times Blog, NY, July 25, 2011
Department of Education officials went out for drinks on Friday to celebrate the city’s preliminary victory in a lawsuit that sought to block 15 charter schools from sharing space in traditional public school buildings.

Co-Locating Schools Sparks Heated Debate
MY Fox Ny, NY, July 25, 2011
Anyone who has been to a meeting on charter school co-locations knows they can get rather emotional. So during a visit to one of those co-locations that weathered its own rough time, Chancellor Dennis Walcott said he doesn’t want it that way anymore.

PENNSYLVANIA

Student Performance May Be Considered In State Teacher Evaluations
Republican Herald, PA, July 26, 2011
A bill that would include student performance in how Pennsylvania teachers are evaluated may be considered after lawmakers return to Harrisburg in the fall.

Some Hope To Pa. Lawmakers’ Daunting Agenda
Pocono Record, PA, July 26, 2011
Beth Winters, a lobbyist for the state school boards’ association, said one of the group’s top priorities is to rewrite the rules under which districts reimburse cyber charter schools, an issue that became more acute after lawmakers and Gov. Tom Corbett eliminated the state’s $224 million subsidy.

SOUTH CAROLINA

S.C. Supreme Court: Ruling Reverses Charter Case
Post and Courier, SC, July 26, 2011
The possibility of Charleston County School District giving millions of dollars more annually to its charter schools still could become a reality, but the state will have to prove why the district should be treated differently than every other district in the state, according to a S.C. Supreme Court ruling issued Monday.

Georgetown County Charter School Receives Approval, But Challenges Remain
Sun News, SC, July 26, 2011
After months of planning, writing and submitting applications for Coastal Montessori Charter School, the group received approval Monday morning from the Georgetown County School District .

“Academy Of Hope” Hopes To Make Students Globally Competitive
WBTW, SC, July 25, 2011
On Monday, some students in Horry County got an early start on the school year. A new year-round charter school opened its doors. The Academy of Hope kicked off its first school year.

RHODE ISLAND

Impact of Mayor’s Charter School On Finances Concerns Councilman
Providence Journal, RI, July 25, 2011
Citing the city’s struggle to “adequately fund our current public school system” and the possibility of a tax increase to fund a proposed public charter school district sponsored by Mayor Allan W. Fung, Councilman Emilio L. Navarro is asking Fung to prepare a financial-impact report “on creating and sustaining a new public charter school district in conjunction with our current public school system.”

TEXAS

Metro Academy Was Caught In ‘A Vicious Cycle,’ State Says
Star-Telegram, TX, July 25, 2011
According to the Texas Education Agency in its May 13 letter informing Metro Academy of Math and Science Superintendent Darryl Killen that the state was revoking its charter, the school was caught in “a vicious cycle all too common in failing [charter] schools.”

UTAH

School Choice Is Back
Desert News, UT, July 26, 2011
When Utah lawmakers convene in regular session next year, tuition tax credits may be on the docket again. Utah Republican leaders recently approved a request to study the matter.

VIRTUAL EDUCATION

New Virtual Grade School Opening In The Fall
Ukiah Daily Journal, CA, July 26, 2011
Local parents looking for an alternative to traditional school now have a new option available to them. Lost Coast Virtual Academy is open for enrollment to students in Humboldt, Mendocino, Trinity, Tehama, Glenn, Lake, and Sonoma counties.

Virtual Academy Is A Welcome Innovation For State’s Students
Knoxville News Sentinel, TN, July 25, 2011
Tennessee has been in the online education world for some time, but the new Tennessee Virtual Academy based in Union County promises to kick the process up a couple of notches. Indeed, it might well figure into serious education reform.

Daily Headlines for July 25, 2011

Was the $5 Billion Worth It?
Wall Street Journal, July 23, 2011
A decade into his record-breaking education philanthropy, Bill Gates talks teachers, charters-and regrets.

School Dropout Rates Adds To Fiscal Burden
National Public Radio, July 24, 2011
Of all the problems this country faces in education, one of the most complicated, heart-wrenching and urgent is the dropout crisis. Nearly 1 million teenagers stop going to school every year.

States Need Flexibility In Using Federal School Funds
Detroit News, MI, July 25, 2011
Local officials are best able to decide which programs meet the needs of their students

Changes To School Tests Must Reflect Reality
The Republican, MA, July 25, 2011
No Child Left Behind, the landmark education law meant to ensure that all the nation’s pupils were at least proficient in the basic subjects, is turning into an upside-down Lake Woebegone, the fictional village where all the children are above average.

FROM THE STATES

CALIFORNIA

High Turnover Reported Among Charter School Teachers
Los Angeles Times, CA, July 25, 2011
With so many charter school teachers moving on each year, concerns arise about retaining quality educators and how stability affects student performance

Clayton Valley High Charter School Supporters Are Preparing For A Showdown
Contra Costa Times, CA, July 24, 2011
Charter school proponents are gearing up for an Aug. 9 Mt. Diablo school board public hearing, where they will advocate for permission to convert the campus to a teacher-led charter. If approved, the school would convert in 2012-13.

COLORADO

Appointment To The Denver Education Compact Tests Mayor Hancock
Denver Post, CO, July 25, 2011
Denver Mayor Michael Hancock is pushing a major change in the way City Hall looks at education, and at the same time walking a delicate line between traditional education and education reform interests.

A Tipping Point For Democrats On Education
Denver Post, CO, July 25, 2011
In multiple elections over the past year, at the state, district and city level, Colorado Democrats are winning elected office despite positions on public education that previously would have been political suicide. This evolution is profound, for it offers Democrats an issue where they can recapture their core values and align with an electorate that increasingly supports the basic principals of education reform. Consider the following elections

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA

Farewell and Keep Fighting for D.C. School Choice
Washington Examiner, DC, July 25, 2011
Over the past month, more than 2,000 parents applied for their children to receive a private school scholarship through the highly successful D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program. After fighting to restore this essential program for more than three years, the sight of families applying is inspiring.

FLORIDA

Education Needs New Approaches
Florida Today, FL, July 22, 2011
Over 5,000 charter schools have been created since state legislatures began adopting this radical and innovative approach to education in the 1990s.

As Merit Pay Raises Stakes on FCAT, Florida Must Avert and Punish Cheating
Orlando Sentinel, FL, July 24, 2011
A national school reform movement that’s increasingly built upon high-stakes testing was rocked by revelations that educators at nearly half of Atlanta’s public schools cheated on Georgia’s standardized tests.

Bradenton Charter School Sets Its Sights On Success
Bradenton Herald Tribune, FL, July 24, 2011
When teachers at Team Success charter school saw two students squinting to read a whiteboard last year, they began to wonder how many other students at the F-rated school might have poor eyesight.

GEORGIA

School Board’s Jobs On The Line
Atlanta Journal Constitution, GA, July 24, 2011
On Tuesday, state education officials will begin the process of deciding whether the eight remaining school board members can continue to oversee educating the nearly 50,000 students in Atlanta Public Schools.

State Supreme Court Decision Was Not Fatal To Charter Schools
Atlanta Journal Constitution Blog, GA, July 25, 2011
Thomas A. Cox is an education lawyer and litigator with the Atlanta office of Carlock, Copeland & Stair, LLP. He has represented the Atlanta and DeKalb school systems in the lawsuit successfully challenging the constitutionality of the state Charter Commission Act.

IOWA

Iowa’s Task: Bet On Right School Reforms
Des Moines Register, IA, July 23, 2011
As Iowa political and education leaders prepare to make sweeping changes in the state’s schools, experts monitoring similar efforts across the country caution that much of what is being tried is still controversial and uncharted territory.

MARYLAND

Montgomery’s Chance To Get Its First Charter School
Washington Post, DC, July 24, 2011
MONTGOMERY COUNTY school officials deny they have a bias against charter schools. They say that the only reason none exist in the county – even as they have become a popular staple of school choice nationwide – is because there have been no qualified applicants or worthwhile programs.

MASSACHUSETTS

School Board Right To Revisit Policy On Extra-Curriculars
Gloucester Times, MA, July 24, 2011
No one is quite saying the Gloucester School Committee is looking to back off its wrongheaded and newly affirmed policy of blocking any students from outside the Gloucester Public School District from
participating in any of the city schools’ extracurricular or after-school programs.

MICHIGAN

Tenure Questions Just Beginning
Midland Daily News, MI, July 24, 2011
With the recently enacted and signed package of four bills reforming the teacher tenure process in Michigan, it would seem that the debates are over. But the debates and questions about tenure are only beginning.

MISSOURI

Taxpayers Join Legal Fight Over School Transfers
Saint Louis Post-Dispatch, MO, July 23, 2011
A new twist emerged Friday in the lawsuit involving parents in failing school districts who want to transfer their kids to better schools, energizing those who say it would be impossible for districts to comply.

NEW YORK

Money for Charter Schools
New York Times, NY, July 25, 2011
“Battle Over Charter Schools Shifting to Affluent Suburbs” (front page, July 17) reveals the attitude of many traditional public school administrators who believe that education funds are theirs and do not belong to the people at large.

As Best Schools Compete for Best Performers, Students May Be Left Behind
New York Times, NY, July 25, 2011
Parents are supposed to rank their choices for the district lottery, but the guidebook is vague about what each school is looking for. Every school listing, under “Selection criteria,” says the same thing: “Review of grades and test scores.”

A Victory For All Of Our Children: Charter Schools Win In Court, and the UFT And NAACP Lose
New York Daily News, NY, July 25, 2011
The naive among us would believe anything said by the United Federation of Teachers or the NAACP. Yet theirs was the wrong side in the suit they brought against the City of New York – and the race talk thrown in by the NAACP made the whole thing even muddier.

OHIO

Charter Schools Now Priority Tenants
Columbus Dispatch, OH, July 24, 2011
Columbus City Schools can no longer cherry-pick who may lease its vacant buildings, tossing aside a longstanding policy that allowed the district to choose renters it thought would best carry out its mission.

Undue Process
The Columbus Dispatch, OH, July 25, 2011
As do other professionals, teachers deserve a fair chance to make a case for themselves before they are fired for misconduct. But the process Ohio law provides for teachers is unreasonably protracted and expensive for school districts.

Making the Grade
Columbus Dispatch, OH, July 24, 2011
KIPP Central Ohio’s announcement that it is planning to open a second charter school is a great encouragement to those who want better school choices for Columbus children.

Change Ohio’s Teacher Seniority Rules
Cleveland Plain Dealer, OH, July 24, 2011
Kudos to Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson for not letting what he sees as a GOP bait-and-switch on teacher seniority reforms stop him from pushing to loosen the stranglehold such state-mandated seniority requirements place on school innovation and the ability to hire and keep the best teachers.

OKLAHOMA

Schools Should Benefit From New Teacher Evaluation System
The Oklahoman, OK, July 24, 2011
Oklahoma failed to pull in any federal money in the Race to the Top competition, but the resulting teacher and principal evaluation system should be good for public education. Our hope is the new system will provide educators guidance for improvement and flunk out incompetent professionals.

OREGON

Teachers: Education’s Scapegoats
Register Guard, OR, July 24, 2011
Increasingly, and wrongly, the conventional wisdom places the blame for failure of our schools on educators and their unions

PENNSYLVANIA

Summer School: The Essential Bridge
Philadelphia Inquirer, PA, July 25, 2011
For thousands of students across the region, summer school is no way to make up work or squeak through to the next grade – it’s an essential part of their school year.

Charter Schools Provide Alternative
Centre Daily Times, PA, July 24, 2011
The more than 90,000 students enrolled in Pennsylvania’s 140 charter schools forgo traditional public schools to find smaller classrooms, alternative teaching and learning strategies and niche programs that parallel personal education philosophies.

RHODE ISLAND

Charter-School Opponents Raise Concerns About Official Summary Of Public Hearing
Providence Journal, RI, July 22, 2011
Opponents of a charter school application sponsored by Cranston Mayor Allan W. Fung accused the state Department of Education of colluding with charter supporters and tampering with the record to play down community opposition.

TENNESSEE

Rules Skew Charter Schools’ Reality
Commercial Appeal, TN, July 23, 2011
In truth, the Promise Academy in North Memphis, the Memphis Business Academy in Frayser and the Memphis Academy of Science and Engineering in the city’s Medical Center are getting higher achievement out of their students than dozens of other public schools in Memphis. Three examples.

WISCONSIN

The Upside And Downside Of Walker’s Education Vision
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, WI, July 23, 2011
A heat dome has settled over much of American education. Is Gov. Scott Walker just going to add to the stifling atmosphere? Or is Walker right that there are cool breezes in his ideas for how to increase school quality overall?

VIRTUAL EDUCATION

More Schools Connecting W
ith Students Through Online Classes

Lansing State Journal, MI, July 25, 2011
Lansing and Waverly offer online options for kids who have dropped out or gotten behind. Holt will start an online learning program this fall. Eaton Rapids is making an effort to target home-schoolers with a laptop-based high school curriculum.

‘Virtual School’ In Tennessee May Drain Taxpayer Funds
Commercial Appeal, TN, July 24, 2011
State officials are anxious to see how many students across Tennessee enroll in a public “virtual school” run by a for-profit Virginia company — and how much state taxpayer money automatically follows them.

Virtual Schools Increase In Kansas
Topeka Capital Journal, KS, July 24, 2011
Some western Kansas schools are adjusting to the region’s shifting population and cuts in state school funding by offering virtual classes.

Daily Headlines for July 22, 2011

What if School Choice Activists Filed Funding Torts?
Dropout Nation Blog, July 21, 2011
The shutdown last month of the Campaign for Fiscal Equity, the New York City school law nonprofit that successfully fought for New York State to provide more funding to New York City schools in the last decade, has marked the end of the traditional school funding suits. It makes sense. Despite the arguments (and the pretty charts) of such defenders as Rutgers’ Bruce Baker, there is no evidence that spending more on American public education will lead to better results for children.

Failing Schools Get Tough Love
Wall Street Journal, July 22, 2011
Whether failing schools can be improved or must be shut down is at the core of a debate burning across the country and in New York City.

Ed Schools’ Pedagogical Puzzle
New York Times, NY, July 22, 2011
There are wide concerns that too many teachers are unprepared for the classroom, though they may have more educational credentials than ever before. Master’s degrees are required for permanent certification in only a few states, including New York and Kentucky.

More States Defying Federal Gov’t On Education Law
Associated Press, July 20, 2011
At least three states are vowing to ignore the latest requirements under the No Child Left Behind law in an act of defiance against the federal government that demonstrates their growing frustration over an education program they say sets unrealistic benchmarks for schools.

FROM THE STATES

CALIFORNIA

Classroom Suit Would Be Costly Failure By Adults
Redding Record Searchlight, CA, July 22, 2011
In a time of tight budgets, the last thing schools need to spend their scarce cash on is lawsuits – especially in school vs. school feuds like Gateway Unified School District’s ongoing dispute with Rocky Point Charter School over precisely how much space the district must supply to the charter it sponsors.

Hold Failing Schools Accountable
Appeal-Democrat, CA, July 21, 2011
Parents and those concerned with education reform were victorious when the California Board of Education on July 13 unanimously approved tentative regulations governing the groundbreaking “Parent Trigger,” a state law allowing parents of children in failing school districts to overhaul schools, teachers, staff and administration via petition. The state board should be applauded because it rightly kept intact one of California’s few innovative approaches to empower parents and hold public schools accountable.

Charter School’s Backers Vow To Fight On After Rejection By Lincoln Unified
Stockton Record, CA, July 22, 2011
Lincoln Unified’s school board unanimously rejected a planned charter high school proposed by Humphreys College after Superintendent Tom Uslan told trustees this week the college’s petition was “not consistent with sound educational practice.”

County Education Trustees Deny Pajaro Valley Charter School Appeal
Santa Cruz Sentinel, CA, July 22, 2011
The county Board of Education, meeting Thursday in Scotts Valley, denied approval of a charter school seeking to educate Watsonville area students from migrant families.

FLORIDA

Neighborhood Hesitant To OK Charter School
Sun Sentinel, FL, July 21, 2011
A sun-blistered and abandoned old building in the Poinciana Park neighborhood of Fort Lauderdale may come back to life as a charter school.

Florida Gets Federal Money To Expand And Promote Charter School Offerings
Florida Times Union Blog, FL, July 21, 2011
Florida and New York are getting $49 million total to increase high-quality charter school options and better promote those offerings to families.

No Money For More Choices
Palm Beach Post, FL, July 21, 2011
Even as parents and students say they want more magnet and career choice programs in Palm Beach County schools, policy and budget decisions will limit what the district can offer. That less-than-ideal situation gives the district an opening to ask whether it has become over-magnetized.

GEORGIA

More Resign Or Retire In Face of APS Cheating Scandal
Atlanta Journal-Constitution, GA, July 21, 2011
About 30 Atlanta Public School employees implicated in a state cheating scandal have resigned or retired rather than go through termination, and the Fulton County district attorney has been asked to identify educators who won’t be prosecuted so the district can handle those cases first if it chooses.

Peachtree Hope Misses Deadline For State Charter
Atlanta Journal-Constitution, GA, July 21, 2011
A charter school that educated more than 600 children when it opened last year has missed what was likely its last shot at opening its doors again this fall

ILLINOIS

Chicago Needs School Vouchers. And Rahm Needs To Meditate
Chicago Tribune, IL, July 21, 2011
Who could argue? He’s a father who wants the best for his children, and he can’t find it at CPS. The thing is, most every parent in Chicago would agree.

State Commission Can Now Approve Charters, Too
Chicago Tribune, IL, July 21, 2011
A new bill signed into law this week will allow charters to get approved by an alternative commission appointed by the State Board of Education, expanding that authority beyond just school districts.

INDIANA

One Step Closer To Takeover
Indianapolis Star, IN, July 22, 2011
Six Indianapolis Public Schools moved another step toward becoming the first schools in Indiana to be taken over by the state for poor performance and turned over to be run by private companies or nonprofits.

State Is Way Too Forgiving When It Comes To Education
Indianapolis Star, I
N, July 22, 2011

It didn’t take much to get off the list. Schools in East Chicago, South Bend, Fort Wayne and beyond — schools in locales marred by poverty, high dropout rates and other social problems — found a way to get off it. After years of massive failure, they are now spared the prospect of state intervention

State School Voucher Law Under Fire
WAVE 3, IN, July 21, 2011
It was one of the most controversial changes to education in the books for Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels’ agenda.

IOWA

More Money Is Needed To Educate At-Risk Kids, Leaders Say
Des Moines Register, IA, July 22, 2011
Officials in Iowa’s largest school districts want state leaders to change the way schools are financed to allow for more money to flow to the state’s neediest students who are most at risk for failure.

LOUISIANA

Abramson High School Whistleblower and His Boss Are Fired By State Superintendent of Schools
Times Picayune, LA, July 21, 2011
Outside critics have often raised concerns over how the state monitors the more than 30 different charter school operators that educate children in New Orleans under its watch. Last school year, more than half of the city’s public school students attended a charter school overseen by the state, including those that fall under the state-run Recovery School District and those that report directly to the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education, or BESE.

MASSACHUSETTS

Judge KOs Parents’ Charter Suit
Gloucester Times, MA, July 21, 2011
An Essex County judge Thursday shot down a legal bid by 15 Gloucester school district parents to get an injunction that could have blocked the Gloucester Community Charter Arts School from operating for a second year

MINNESOTA

Lessons to Learn From Troubled TiZA
Minneapolis Star Tribune, MN, July 21, 2011
After two-plus years of legal wrangling, the Tarek ibn Ziyad Academy (TiZA) charter school is officially out of business as a public school. The complicated story of how it went from an academic star to being shut down by the state offers lessons in church-state conflicts, effective charter school administration and how best to educate a challenged population of students.

NEW YORK

State Court Ruling Paves Way for School Closings
Wall Street Journal, July 22, 2011
The Bloomberg administration scored a major victory in court late Thursday when a New York State Supreme Court justice ruled against the United Federation of Teachers’ efforts to keep troubled schools open and prevent charter schools from moving into public buildings.

NAACP’s Misguided Charter School Lawsuit: Black Students Are Losing Out On Educational Equality
New York Daily News, NY, July 22, 2011
Notwithstanding the best intentions of the Bloomberg administration and hard work of dedicated teachers throughout the system, the problems facing New York City’s schoolchildren – especially black and brown students – are severe.

PENNSYLVANIA

Legislation To Reshape Charter Schools In State
Centre Daily Times, PA, July 22, 2011
This March, legislators in the House and Senate proposed changes to the charter school law. Hearings on the proposals are expected this summer and fall. Senate Bill 094 and House Bill 1348 would

TENNESSEE

MNPS Offers Wide Selection Outside Zone
The Tennessean, TN, July 21, 2011
In many communities, a family’s home address is the only factor determining the school a child attends. But that is not the case in Metro Nashville Public Schools: If you don’t think your zone school is right for your child, you have a growing menu of public school choices.

TEXAS

Charter Schools Could Help DISD With Its Building Problems
Dallas Morning News, TX, July 21, 2011
The news that the Dallas school district is putting construction projects on hold at eight schools naturally won’t sit well with educators, parents and students at those campuses. But this decision is exactly the kind of tough-mindedness DISD needs to survive this economic climate.

VIRGINIA

Teachers In 7 Area Schools Could Get Bonuses
Richmond Times-Dispatch, VA, July 22, 2011
Teachers in seven schools in Richmond and the Tri-Cities area could nab bonuses of up to $5,000 as part of Gov. Bob McDonnell’s performance-pay incentive program for hard-to-staff schools.

VIRTUAL EDUCATION

Stroudsburg Area School District To Launch Cyber Charter School
Pocono Record, PA, July 22, 2011
Stroudsburg Area School District is turning the tables on its high-tech competitors with plans to launch its own cyber school program.

Souderton Area Committee Discusses Cyber School Option
Chester County Daily Local, PA, July 21, 2011
The Souderton Area School District might sign on with the Brandywine Virtual Academy to allow students to take classes at home on their computers.

Leggett Valley Unified Goes Virtual; School District Offers Online K-12 School
The Times-Standard, CA, July 22, 2011
Parents and students looking to break out of the traditional classroom setting can now attend school online through Leggett Valley Unified School District.

Not Your Average Course
Austin Daily Herald, MN, July 21, 2011
That changed when she started at Insight two years ago. The online school, based out of Brooklyn Center High School , provided her with plenty of opportunities. An honors class here, an AP course there, French lessons every day, and sometimes up to 12 hours of work a day.

Daily Headlines for July 21, 2011

Training of Teachers Is Flawed, Study Says
New York Times, NY, July 21, 2011
The National Council on Teacher Quality, an advocacy group, is to issue a study on Thursday reporting that most student-teaching programs are seriously flawed. The group has already angered the nation’s schools for teachers with its plans to give them letter grades that would appear in U.S. News and World Report.

Educators vs. Economists
Twin Cities Planet, MN, July 20, 2011
The thing is, these cheating incidents (and the myriad others not yet caught) were completely predictable.

FROM THE STATES

CALIFORNIA

Incomplete Grade — LAUSD Still Has Work To Do To Make The School Reform Process Functional
Los Angeles Daily News, CA, July 21, 2011
Los Angeles Unified’s landmark Public School Choice program will look different this fall, when communities are due to start reviewing the third annual round of bids from groups seeking to take over the management of low-performing campuses.

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA

D.C. Bill Would Be A ‘Tragedy’ For Charters
Washington Times, DC, July 20, 2011
Charter school advocates are sounding a new alarm: The South Capitol Street Tragedy Memorial Act undermines teaching and learning and could push highly skilled teachers out the schoolhouse door.

FLORIDA

Teachers Sue To Block Voters From Lifting Ban On Public Funding Of Religious Groups
Miami Herald, FL, July 20, 2011
Florida’s largest teachers union wants to stop the state from funneling money to religious institutions.

Voucher Amendment Sponsor Confident Proposal Will Withstand Legal Challenge
The Tallahassee Democrat, FL, July 20, 2011
The sponsor of a constitutional amendment ending the 125-year-old ban on state tax money going to organizations associated with religions expressed confidence today that the proposal will withstand a legal challenge by the Florida Education Association and an inter-faith clergy group.

Wacky World Of School Choice Just Got Wackier
Orlando Sentinel, FL, July 20, 2011
Now that we have spent almost $83 million to overhaul Edgewater High School , students there will be allowed to transfer out, leaving behind a lot of brand-new empty space.

More Charter Schools Coming Soon?
Central Florida News 13, FL, July 20, 2011
It’s very possible that you will see brand new charter schools popping up all over Central Florida next school year. Principal Pam Shenkel is hard at work transforming a church Sunday school building to a new charter school in Orange County.

9 Investigates: Fla. Charter Schools, Voucher Expansion
wftv, FL, July 20, 2011
Investigates the expansion of Florida charter schools and voucher programs that taxpayers are financing. WFTV Investigative reporter, George Spencer, found one school that received millions of tax dollars, while violating the state’s limited rules.

HAWAII

New Task Force Hopes To Improve Charter Schools
Khon2, HI, July 20, 2011
Charter schools across the state are bracing for changes as they deal with a new Board of Education and a tighter budget. A new task force could also mean more scrutiny.

ILLINOIS

New Commission To Oversee Ill. Charter Schools
Chicago Tribune, IL, July 20, 2011
Illinois is getting a commission to decide when charter schools should be created and then make sure they’re running properly.

Public Schools, Private Budgets
Chicago Reader, IL, July 21, 2011
Charter schools are the fastest-growing part of Chicago’s public education system, but how they spend our tax money is mostly a secret.

INDIANA

School Voucher Program Gains Participants
Journal and Courier, IN, July 20, 2011
Five Lafayette private schools have been accepted into Indiana’s new school voucher program, even as a handful of Lafayette public educators join to stop the statewide program from moving forward.

Learn What Voucher Program Can Offer Your Family
Indianapolis Star, IN, July 20, 2011
Thanks to Gov. Mitch Daniels, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Bennett and the Indiana General Assembly, our great state now boasts the single most progressive education reform environment in the country. The new Indiana School Scholarship Act holds tremendous promise for Hoosier students and we encourage parents to learn more about the school choice options.

IOWA

Branstad Says Iowa Is ‘Committed’ To Education Reform Effort
News Record and Sentinel, IA, July 21, 2011
Iowa needs bold reforms to its education system to help students succeed in a global job market, participants in a town hall meeting told Gov. Terry Branstad on Wednesday.

MASSACHUSETTS

Boston Plans 2 Charters To Open In 2012
Boston Globe, MA, July 21, 2011
The Boston School Committee gave preliminary approval last night to opening two new in-district charter schools for fall 2012, although two members raised questions about an organization that would run one of the schools.

MISSOURI

Charter School Is Coming To Hyde Park Neighborhood
St. Louis Post-Dispatch, MO, July 21, 2011
Better Living Communities began more than a decade ago building more than 100 homes in the depressed Hyde Park neighborhood. Next month, it plans to open a school.

City Student’s Legal Victory Highl
ights Unsettled Transfer Issue

St. Louis Post-Dispatch, MO, July 21, 2011
A St. Louis high school student has won a legal battle to enroll at Webster Groves High, adding fuel to a larger court battle over the rights of students from failing school districts to transfer to better schools.

NEW JERSEY

Education Reformer Geoffrey Canada, Gov. Christie Announce Paterson Partnership
Star-Ledger, NJ, July 20, 2011
Gov. Chris Christie stood with Harlem Children’s Zone president Geoffrey Canada in Paterson today to announce that he hopes to expand the state’s cooperation with him to improve education for inner-city children.

NEW YORK

Tenant Suit to Oppose New School in Harlem
New York Times, NY, July 21, 2011
A group of tenants at a public housing development in Harlem said on Wednesday that they planned to sue the city and federal governments over the construction of a charter school on the grounds of the housing project.

Bronx Charter School Disciplined Over Admissions Methods
New York Times, NY, July 21, 2011
A South Bronx charter school has been put on probation for what city education officials called “serious violations” of state law mandating random admissions, including possibly testing or interviewing applicants before their enrollment.

OHIO

Time To Do It Right
Columbus Dispatch, OH, July 21, 2011
The new state budget loads the Ohio Department of Education with a lot of new responsibility for charter schools – more than many experts advised. Now that the law is in place, the department and Gov. John Kasich’s education officials must move quickly.

PENNSYLVANIA

Will Nutter’s Report On The Charter School Choice For MLK High Answer The Tough Questions?
Philadelphia Daily News, PA, July 21, 2011
WITH all that’s embroiled the Philadelphia School District over the last three months – a surprise deficit topping half a billion dollars, staff layoffs by the thousands, evidence suggesting possible widespread cheating on standardized tests – it’s no surprise that the contract controversy at Martin Luther King High has faded from the headlines.

Parents Of Charter School Students Praise Alternatives To Districts
Centre Daily Times, PA, July 21, 2011
The bullying started after elementary school for Davia Dorman. Her mother, Laura Dorman, worked with school leaders to address the issues, and said the teacher went above and beyond the call of duty to try to help. But still the bullying continued.

RHODE ISLAND

A-Plus For Mayoral Academy
Providence Journal, RI, July 20, 2011
Congratulations to the students, teachers and administrators of the Blackstone Valley Mayoral Academy, in Cumberland, who have achieved something extraordinary. All 152 of the kindergarten and first-grade students in the school who took the state Developmental Reading Assessment this year scored proficient, or better.

TENNESSEE

City Claims It Was ‘Blindsided’; Memphis Schools Say They Were Shortchanged
Commercial Appeal, TN, July 21, 2011
The school board’s decision to delay the opening shocked city leaders, who say the city traditionally pays the money it owes to schools after Sept. 1 when taxes are collected.

VIRTUAL EDUCATION

Cyber School In The Works For Mars Area
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, PA, July 20, 2011
The Mars Area school board is moving closer to establishing its own cyber school.

School Choice Now Limited
Highlands Today, FL, July 21, 2011
A few years back, students from less-performing schools in Highlands County had the option to attend another school that met federal academic requirements. This year, parents of most students will have only one transfer option under the School Choice requirement: the Highlands Virtual School , which offers only online classes.

Virtual Gold? Virtual Education? Really?
Indianapolis Star, IN, July 21, 2011
you ever taken a “virtual” course? A course “online?” I have. Several times. And, as the name “virtual” indicates, the experience is just almost, but really not quite, what learning, teaching, and education ought to be.

Daily Headlines for July 18, 2011

Charter School Battle Shifts to Affluent Suburbs
New York Times, NY, July 17, 2011
Suburbs like Millburn, renowned for educational excellence, have become hotbeds in the nation’s charter school battles, raising fundamental questions about the goals of a movement that began 20 years ago in Minnesota.

Obama Seeks CEO Help for Schools
Wall Street Journal, July 18, 2011
President Barack Obama will meet with some of the nation’s top CEOs Monday to prod them to invest more heavily in education initiatives, especially those he champions, such as high-quality teaching and early childhood programs.

Easing Test Pressure Won’t Save Kids
Washington Post, DC, July 17, 2011
Who is to blame for tampering with tests in Atlanta and Baltimore? Why are there so many suspicious testing irregularities in Washington, Philadelphia and other cities? From what I have read in blogs, columns and official statements, the verdict is in. Cheating, wherever it occurred, was caused by too much pressure on principals and teachers to raise student achievement.

Our View: Don’t Blame Tests For School Cheating Scandals
USA Today, July 17, 2011
The wrongdoing was systemic and the coverup sophisticated. Documents were altered, and materials were withheld from investigators. Whistle-blowers were punished, and one of the most blatant perpetrators won plaudits, raises and bonuses.

FROM THE STATES

CALIFORNIA

Los Angeles Schools To Revamp Their Ban On Social Promotion
Los Angeles Times, CA, July 18, 2011
One approach to ensuring that children are academically ready for promotion would be to provide extra help for students in key grades.

Newton: A New Voice L.A.’s Teachers Union
Los Angeles Times, CA, July 18, 2011
New UTLA President Warren Fletcher is a welcome change from his predecessor. But he has his work cut out for him to save his union.

California Ignores Parents, Empowers Reactionaries
San Francisco Examiner, CA, July 17, 2011
Many states are passing progressive legislation to empower parents and students with choice in education. California , on the other hand, is considering legislation that ignores the needs of students and makes the most powerful anti-choice force in the state even more powerful.

COLORADO

Denver Judge: Douglas County Voucher Program Suits Should Stay In Denver
Denver Post, CO, July 18, 2011
Last November, as Douglas County school district leaders were beginning to craft their voucher program, State Board of Education Chairman Bob Schaffer asked Colorado Department of Education staff to help “pave the way for Douglas County” and its controversial program within the department.

Parents Deserve To Know
Denver Post, CO, July 17, 2011
Colorado’s teachers union is wrong to sue the State Board of Education over a rule requiring notification of teacher arrests.

FLORIDA

If University of Florida Program Can Revitalize Teacher Training, Pinellas Schools Benefit
St. Petersburg Times, FL, July 17, 2011
Over the past few years, UF has rolled out its promising but unproven teacher training package to a handful of Florida school districts, including Pinellas. The $24 million investment has spanned five counties and involved 11,000 teachers so far.

GEORGIA

Atlanta Public Schools: Help APS Students Break Poverty’s Lock
Atlanta Journal Constitution, GA, July 16, 2011
The saddest theme of the report dissecting the cheating rackets that enveloped Atlanta Public Schools was that so many educators did not believe their pupils were capable of meeting even minimal academic standards.

Charter Schools Worth Supporting
Savannah Morning News, GA, July 18, 2011
Education has dominated local political news the past couple of weeks, mostly because of the long expected yet still shocking report which detailed the depth of cheating in the Atlanta Public Schools system.

Uncharted Course Ahead For Charter Schools Locally
Savannah Morning News, GA, July 18, 2011
Charter schools have a place in the Savannah public schools going forward, insist educators and parents alike. Figuring out where is a challenge beyond Rand McNally, Garmin and Mapquest.

Cracking a System in Which Test Scores Were for Changing
New York Times, NY, July 18, 2011
There had long been suspicions that cheating on state tests was widespread in the Atlanta public schools, but the superintendent, Beverly L. Hall, was feared by teachers and principals, and few dared speak out.

HAWAII

As Schools Struggle, Officials Seek Relief From NCLB
Star Advertiser, HI, July 17, 2011
A decade after Hawaii students started taking annual reading and math assessments under No Child Left Behind, there are growing calls locally and nationally to overhaul the federal law that requires that schools meet rising annual proficiency goals or risk losing federal money.

ILLINOIS

Education Reforms Underfunded, Illinois Schools Chief Warns
Chicago Tribune, IL, July 18, 2011
State superintendent says budget cuts could hamper performance evaluations for principals, teachers.

INDIANA

Will Vouchers Stand Up To State Constitution?
Fort Wayne News-Sentinel , IN, July 15, 2011
So far, state officials say they’ve received more than 125 applications from schools seeking to take part in Indiana’s new private- school voucher plan. According to the Bloomington Herald-Times, nearly all the 80 schools approved to date appear to be faith-based.

NEW HAMPSHIRE

Teacher Tenure Will Take 5 Years
Nashua Telegraph, NH, July 16, 2011
New teachers will have to work for five years in the same district before earning tenure, after Gov. John Lynch this week allowed the change to become law without his signature.

NEW JERSEY

Foundation Academy Charter in Trenton Expanding to Include High School in the Fall
The Times of Trenton, NJ, July 17, 2011
Foundation Academy Charter, a college preparatory middle school for students in grades 5 through 8, will expand to include a high school starting this fall.

NEW MEXICO

On the Waiting List
Silver City Sun News, NM, July 17, 2011
For the first time in its six-year history, Aldo Leopold High School, Grant County’s only charter school, has reached its enrollment cap of 120 students, and has had to create a waiting list for interested students.

NEW YORK

New York City Abandons Teacher Bonus Program
New York Times, NY, July 18, 2011
A New York City program that distributed $56 million in performance bonuses to teachers and other school staff members over the last three years will be permanently discontinued, the city Department of Education said on Sunday.

Teacher Grading System Passes
Wall Street Journal, July 16, 2011
The city Department of Education and the teachers union have agreed on a teacher evaluation system at 33 failing schools that will for the first time use individual student progress to measure the performance of educators.

NORTH CAROLINA

Family’s Crusade Leads To New Law
Charlotte Observer, NC, July 17, 2011
Leslie Petruk burst into tears when she heard recently that House Bill 344 had passed.
The bill, which became law June 30, allows up to $6,000 a year in tax credits to help pay for private education and therapy for children with special needs.

OHIO

Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson Keeps Pushing State For New Teacher Evaluation System
Cleveland Plain Dealer, OH, July 17, 2011
Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson is demanding a do-over in Columbus, accusing Republican state lawmakers of reneging on plans to approve tougher new rules that would have made it easier for him to fire any public school teacher for poor performance.

‘Last Chance’ Often A Misnomer
Columbus Dispatch, OH, July 17, 2011
Thirteen current Columbus school-district employees have signed agreements that give them one last chance to change their behavior, or else.

OKLAHOMA

Plenty of Lessons From High-Profile School Cheating Scandals
The Oklahoman, OK, July 17, 2011
THE pressure on teachers to help students perform well on state-mandated tests has never been greater. The No Child Left Behind law’s requirement of a rising performance bar means states in the past several years have steadily and sometimes dramatically increased what it takes for students to meet academic standards.

PENNSYLVANIA

Fairly Or Not, Spikes In Test Scores Haunt Some Schools
Philadelphia Inquirer, PA, July 16, 2011
Superintendent Kevin J. McHugh suspects that the Pennsbury School District may be a victim of its own success.

Charter Schools’ Influence Unclear
Centre Daily Times, PA, July 18, 2011
Officials in Bald Eagle Area, like those in Bellefonte, Philipsburg- Osceola and Penns Valley area school districts, have in recent years created online programs largely in an effort to lure students back from cyber charters, or prevent students like Shawley from dropping out.

Charter Schools Fought To Be An Option
Centre Daily Times, PA, July 17, 2011
Elizabeth Eirmann knew middle school could be a challenge for her son. She figured that if Samuel fell behind then, it would be hard for him to catch up later. And she didn’t want him to get lost in a crowd.

Improve Voucher Bill
Scranton Times-Tribune, PA, July 18, 2011
When the Republican majorities in both houses of the state Legislature and Republican Gov. Tom Corbett took office early this year, it looked like school choice legislation would be their first priority.

RHODE ISLAND

What Achievement First Has Achieved
Providence Journal, RI, July 17, 2011
When I took over as superintendent of the Hartford Public Schools in 2006, one of the first things I did was to call Dacia Toll, the president of Achievement First, to ask her to bring her high-performing school model to my district.

UTAH

Teacher Pay Idea Has Great Merit
Daily Herald, UT, July 17, 2011
A brouhaha over teachers’ contracts in Ogden provides lots of lessons on why merit pay is an
idea whose time has come. It’s time to seize the moment statewide.

VIRTUAL LEARNING

The Internet Will Reduce Teachers Union Power
Wall Street Journal, July 18, 2011
Online learning means fewer teachers (and union members) per student.

Studies Show Cyber Schools Not Making Grade
Wilkes Barre Times-Leader, PA, July 18, 2011
Every school district in Luzerne County reached a key state benchmark that measures school performance in the 2009-10 school year, but the news was not nearly as good for the 11 charter cyber schools operating in Pennsylvania.

Controversy Swirls About Cyber Schools
Wilkes Barre Times-Leader, PA, July 17, 2011
Backers praise their accessibility, but critics question their accountability.

Commitment Vital to Child’s Success
Wilkes Barre Times-Leader, PA, July 17, 2011
A decade ago, Ian’s parents, Dawn and David, were among the first families in the state to test the waters of what was then an emerging educational movement known as cyber schooling.

Phoenixville Unveils Its Own Cyber School
Pottstown Mercury, PA, July 17, 2011
Touting it as a “great opportunity” for students who want a conventional and online education, the Phoenixville Area School District is making the transition into the 21st century, competing with area cyber schools by creating its own online curriculum.

Memphis Exploring Virtual Academy
Knoxville News Sentinel, TN, July 16, 2011
Union school district serves as fiscal agent for education venture

New School Is Both Virtual, Reality
Munster Times, IN, July 18, 2011
For generations, Hoosier students have gone to high school. Now they have the option of high school coming to them. The Achieve Virtual Education Academy, created by the Wayne Township Metropolitan School District in Marion County , is now open to students living anywhere in Indiana.

Part-Time Teaching Online Pays Off
Las Vegas Review-Journal, NV, July 18, 2011
Teachers have been known to make a few extra bucks by delivering pizza or hawking peanuts at the ballpark. These days, students might just as easily find their teachers working online.

Daily Headlines for July 15, 2011

Charter Schools Not The Right Idea
The South End, MI, July 14, 2011
In the general discourse on the subject of education, “ideas,” preferably of a bold nature, are often called for. Fair enough. But the most depressing facet of political life in recent years surely is that bad ideas can be identified simply by this sign: the federal government has implemented them.

Fixing the Fix
Columbus Dispatch, OH, July 14, 2011
When Congress enacted the No Child Left Behind law in 2001, it aimed to identify poor-performing schools and force them to improve or face consequences, including letting students transfer to better schools. But now the question might well be, ‘Who’s going to be left?’

Impossible Standards Fuel Spread Of Cheating
Philadelphia Inquirer, PA, July 15, 2011
Cheating isn’t usually a laughing matter, though, as the Philadelphia School District is learning. A recently revealed 2009 report by the state Department of Education flagged 22 district-run schools and seven charters for suspicious results on standardized tests.

FROM THE STATES

CALIFORNIA

San Bernardino Public Safety Charter School Turns Its Attention To New School Year
San Bernardino Sun, CA, July 14, 2011
As a legal battle continues between the Public Safety Academy’s board of trustees and the charter school’s former CEO, Michael Dickinson, academy officials are gearing up for the new school year beginning Aug.4.

DELAWARE

Reach Academy Has Earned Right To A Future
Delaware News Journal, DE, July 14, 2011
New life for Reach Academy Charter School can’t just turn on the fact that 200 girls would be thrust into traditional public schools well after the school choice options have closed.

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA

Schools Chancellor Henderson Relaxes Evaluation Rules For Some Veteran Teachers
Washington Post, DC, July 14, 2011
D.C. Schools Chancellor Kaya Henderson, prodded by the Washington Teachers’ Union, has relaxed teacher evaluation rules so that some veterans who receive two consecutive poor appraisals can keep their jobs.

FLORIDA

Florida Not Alone in Push to Make it Tougher on Teachers
The Bradenton Times, FL, July 15, 2011
Its been a tough year to be a teacher. If you’re startled, or you jump when you hear the word “reform,” chances are you’re in the education field. Florida Governor Rick Scott said he was going to reform education, and he and his team has not wasted any time with their wrecking ball.

New Education Chief Touts School Choice, Other Goals
Orlando Sentinel, FL, July 14, 2011
Gerard Robinson, Florida’s incoming education commissioner, visited Orlando on Thursday for a “look, listen and learn” tour and to familiarize Floridians with his background and approach to education.

As Florida School Construction Money Dries Up, Charter Schools Are The Winners
St. Petersburg Times, FL, July 15, 2011
In an already lean budget year, Florida’s public schools are facing yet another challenge: Finding money to build badly needed new schools and fix crumbling old ones.

Failing Charter Schools Safe For Now
Pensacola News Journal, FL, July 15, 2011
Two Escambia County charter schools with low standardized test scores and financial problems will operate for at least another year.

GEORGIA

Eight Charter Schools Get Money From Governor
Atlanta Journal-Constitution, GA, July 14, 2011
Eight imperiled Georgia charter schools got good news Thursday when Gov. Nathan Deal pledged $10 million to keep them afloat.

Deal’s Pledge Will Help Cherokee Charter
Cherokee Tribune, GA, July 15, 2011
Cherokee Charter Academy’s funding woes were quickly subdued Thursday after hearing Gov. Nathan Deal’s pledge to hand out $10 million in bridge funding to Georgia charter schools that were affected by a state Supreme Court ruling in May.

HAWAII

‘Don’t Turn Your Back,’ Teachers Union Ad Says
Honolulu Star-Advertiser, HI, July 14, 2011
The teachers union took to the airwaves Wednesday to try to bring the state back to the bargaining table.

INDIANA

125 Indiana Schools Apply For Private Voucher Program
Indianapolis Star, IN, July 14, 2011
State officials say they’ve received more than 125 applications from schools seeking to take part in Indiana’s new private school voucher plan.

School Vouchers Offer Path To The Future
Evansville Courier & Press, IN, July 14, 2011
Tanya Cleckley says the smaller class sizes available in most private schools is what she finds attractive about enrolling her children in one of them using Indiana’s new school voucher program.

LOUISIANA

Charter School May No Longer Need To Move Out Before New School Year
WWL-TV, LA, July 14, 2011
Next month, students are scheduled to return to Sojourner Truth Academy off Freret Street. This week, though, school administrators heard there was a good chance they wouldn’t be back there.

MARYLAND

Number of City Schools Missing Academic Targets Surges
Baltimore Sun, MD, July 14, 2011
Nearly 90 percent of Baltimore elementary and middle schools fell short of academic targets on state assessments this year, signaling a trend that education officials nationwide say will eventually label most American schools as failures.

MICHIGAN

Catherine Ferguson Academy Becomes Charter School Under New District
The South End, MI, July 14, 2011
School officials outlined plans for Catherine Ferguson Academy’s future as a charter school during a press conference July 13.

NEW JERSEY

Trenton Leadership Needs To Make School Choice Top Priority
NJ Spotlight, NJ, July 14, 2011
NJ Spotlight’s recent interview with Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver hopefully drew attention to a mired process of addressing what has been called the key civil rights issue of our time — educational choice.

OHIO

South High Outsourcing Daily Operations
Columbus Dispatch, OH, July 15, 2011
The Columbus school district has won a federal turnaround grant that will pay for an outside group to run long-struggling South High School.

State Superintendent Blames Budget Cuts For Layoffs
Columbus Dispatch, OH, July 15, 2011
Blaming state budget cuts, schools Superintendent Stan W. Heffner yesterday announced the elimination of 26 jobs at the Ohio Department of Education, and more layoffs are coming.

SOUTH CAROLINA

Georgetown Likely To Approve Charter School, Although Hurdles Remain
Myrtle Beach Sun, SC, July 15, 2011
There’s a very good chance that a new charter school will be approved by the Georgetown County Board of Education later this month.

TENNESSEE

Memphis City School Caught In Seniority Quandary
Commercial Appeal, TN, July 15, 2011
Memphis City Schools is balancing on the beam of spending millions of dollars a year to recruit and keep talent while also complying with teacher union seniority rules.

Urban Parents Want School Options
The Tennessean, TN, July 14, 2011
District officials say there are plenty of options for parents who live in the urban core. Robert Churchwell Museum Magnet Elementary opened last year at 1625 D.B. Todd Blvd. and provides an arts integrated curriculum.

WISCONSIN

Kaukauna Schools Are Test Case For Wisconsin Collective Bargaining Changes
Green Bay Press-Gazette, WI, July 14, 2011
Republican Gov. Scott Walker has touted the Kaukauna School District’s projected budget surplus as proof the state’s collective bargaining law already is working.

VIRTUAL LEARNING

Ipad Perk: Students, Teachers Get Gadgets
Greensboro News & Record, NC, July 14, 2011
Montlieu Elementary Academy of Technology just got way cooler. Starting this fall, every teacher and student at the school will be outfitted with their very own iPad.

High-Tech School: Science Charter School Unveils New Building
Idaho State Journal, ID, July 15, 2011
Brent Christensen teaches language arts, and art to sixth, seventh, and eighth graders at the Idaho Science and Technology Charter School in Blackfoot.

Online Program Is Asset To Education
St. George Daily Spectrum, UT, July 15, 2011
Today, with the advances in technology, there are many ways in which students can receive a full education. The Washington Online School Utah program is one of those additions to public education that can enhance and expand a students’ learning experience.

Online Options Abound For Arizona K-12 Students
East Valley Tribune, AZ, July 15, 2011
Arizona students are taking online classes by the thousands, and with a change in state law, they have more options to do so.