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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.”