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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.