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Daily Headlines for July 5, 2011

CHAVOUS: Putting Aside The Politics Of School Vouchers
Washington Times, DC, July 4, 2011
Perhaps it’s an unfortunate symptom of debates in Washington, but for whatever reason, for seven years the conversation about the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program (OSP) always was dominated by one thing: politics.

The Year of School Choice
Wall Street Journal, July 5, 2011
School may be out for the summer, but school choice is in, as states across the nation have moved to expand education opportunities for disadvantaged kids. This year is shaping up as the best for reformers in a very long time.

Union Shifts Position on Teacher Evaluations
New York Times, NY, July 5, 2011
Catching up to the reality already faced by many of its members, the nation’s largest teachers’ union on Monday affirmed for the first time that evidence of student learning must be considered in the evaluations of school teachers around the country.

National Education Association Gives President Obama An Early Endorsement
Chicago Tribune, IL, July 5, 2011
Nation’s largest teachers union also boosts members’ fees by $10 per month to battle efforts to limit collective bargaining rights

Fear Of More Failing Test Scores Sets Off Clash Over No Child Left Behind
Seattle Times, WA, July 4, 2011
With the clock ticking, federal education officials fear calamity awaits

CALIFORNIA

Grand Jury: Charter Schools Threatened By Legislation
Ukiah Daily Journal, CA, July 5, 2011
The 2010-2011 Mendocino County Grand Jury released a report about its look at Mendocino County charter schools which concludes among other things that drop-out rates are lower in charter schools and that a bill introduced in the state Legislature could put a crimp in charter schools’ ability to continue to grow.

Charter Schools Still In Infancy
San Bernardino Sun, CA, July 3, 2011
When the Public Safety Academy asked the San Bernardino City Unified School District to approve its charter in 2005 everything looked good on paper.

COLORADO

DPS OKs Teacher’s Charter School
Denver Post, CO, July 3, 2011
Prep’s founder learns lessons in budgets and models along the way.

DELAWARE

Schools’ Race To The Top Spending Detailed
Delaware Journal, DE, July 5, 2011
After about a year of work, the state Department of Education has released plans that show how school districts intend to spend more than $18 million in federal Race to the Top grant money.

FLORIDA

Three Steps Backward On School Reforms.
Florida Today, FL, July 3, 2011
In 10 years, most of us will be glad for the education reforms passed last month by our state legislators.

No Schools Left Behind
Orlando Sentinel, FL, July 5, 2011
New education commissioner mustn’t forget public schools remain critical in educational equation

ILLINOIS

North Chicago Eyes Grade School At Naval Station
Chicago Tribune, IL, July 5, 2011
With a naval hospital training facility set to close this summer, Naval Station Great Lakes may have found an unlikely new use for the building: a public charter elementary school.

Chicago’s Schools Turnaround Strategy Is Working
Chicago Tribune, IL, July 5, 2011
Marshall High School and other turnaround schools show great success

INDIANA

Courts The Best Place To Settle Voucher Issue
Muncie Star Press, IN, July 2, 2011
That the state’s new voucher law is the target of a lawsuit filed Friday by the Indiana State Teacher’s Association should come as no surprise.

Vouching For The Public School System
Terre Haute Tribune Star, IN, July 3, 2011
Lawsuit challenging state’s new voucher program is far from frivolous

LOUISIANA

Recovery School District Closures And Changes Can Leave Families With Whiplash
Times Picayune, LA, July 3, 2011
The state-run Recovery School District continues to close its traditional schools or turn them over to charter school operators at a rapid clip. Even as things settle down in the coming years, at least a small degree of perpetual change is likely under the new model.

MASSACHUSETTS

From 1 Struggling School To Another
Boston Globe, MA, July 5, 2011
More than half of the teachers pushed out of seven underperforming schools in Boston last year now work at other low-achieving schools across the city that are also under pressure to improve, according to a Globe analysis.

MICHIGAN

New K-12 Teacher-Tenure Reforms Get Mixed Reviews
Kalamazoo Gazette, MI, July 4, 2011
Teacher-tenure reforms about to be signed into law could be a “game-changer” for K-12 schools by improving teacher quality, says an advocacy group for students. But the Michigan Education Association is calling Thursday’s passage of the reform acts “a sad day for Michigan students.” Gov. Rick Snyder is expected to sign the bills into law.

School Reforms Add Accountability
Detroit News, MI, July 3, 2011
Teachers will be judged on how much their students learn, and removing poor educators will be easier

NEVADA

Keeping Good Teachers
Las Vegas Sun, NV, July 5, 2011
Looming pay cuts and teaching to the test make classroom life more daunting

NEW JERSEY

Charter School Reformers Seek Democratic Control
Asbury Park Press, NJ, July 4, 2011
As legislation is drafted and redrafted in the state Senate, proposed charter schools in Hillsborough, Flemington, Highland Park, South Brunswick and Plainfield await the impact of four bills passed in the Assembly last week.

Tiny Charter School Office Digs Into Mountain of Applications
NJ Spotlight, NJ, July 5, 2011
Gov. Christie’s push for more charters puts the pressure on education department’s undersized office.

NORTH CAROLINA

Provide Resources To Keep Effective Teachers
Charlotte Observer, NC, July 5, 2011
In another year, we’ll know the fallout from recent state and local budget cuts on teacher turnover in N.C. public schools. But the state Department of Public Instruction’s annual “Teacher Turnover Report” released last week provides insights into what happened in 2009-10.

Lifting Charter Cap Lesson in Politics of Practical
Daily Advance, NC, July 4, 2011
The passage of one piece of legislation – the lifting of a charter school cap – may serve as a lesson to governor and legislature on how to focus on the politics of the practical.

OHIO

New State Budget: School Vouchers More Than Double
Columbus Dispatch, OH, July 2, 2011
Instead of turning away some of the students who want to use tax dollars to attend private school this year, the state is making thousands more vouchers available.

OREGON

Recent K-12 Education Reforms Let Kids Transfer to a Brighter Future
Oregon Catalyst, OR, July 4, 2011
Public education exists to serve children – period. However, as evidenced by the Oregon Education Association’s (OEA) ongoing actions, some believe public education should serve primarily the adults who work in the system. Thankfully, this legislative session, Oregon’s state leaders concluded otherwise.

PENNSYLVANIA

Bill Would Use Student Performance To Rate Teachers
Philadelphia Inquirer, PA, July 5, 2011
The Corbett administration wants to change how public school teachers are rated.

Phila.’s New Media Charter School Contends It’s Not A Public School
Philadelphia Inquirer, PA, July 2, 2011
A Philadelphia charter school fighting a unionizing effort is trying to break legal ground by contending that it is not a public school – even though it’s funded entirely by taxpayers.

Learning To Live With Charters
York Dispatch, PA, July 2, 2011
I’ve never been convinced that charter schools are the solution to all of our problems with public education. Not even in York City, where charter schools are growing like weeds.

RHODE ISLAND

The Gist-Ravitch Smackdown
Providence Journal, RI, July 3, 2011
A few weeks back, Governor Chafee invited Deborah Gist, Rhode Island’s commissioner of public schools, to sit in on his meeting, arranged by the Rhode Island Federation of Teachers, with noted education historian Diane Ravitch.

R.I. General Assembly Votes To Strip Power From Providence School Board
Providence Journal, RI, July 2, 2011
The Providence School Board will lose its power to ratify labor contracts, most notably the imminent pact with teachers, thanks to late-breaking legislation passed by the General Assembly.

TENNESSEE

‘Agents of Innovation’ Champion Schools
Commercial Appeal, TN, July 5, 2011
Right here in Memphis, we’ve seen that when there is energetic, effective leadership in underperforming schools, amazing things happen for students.

TEXAS

HISD, Charter School Wage An All-Out Talent War
Houston Chronicle, TX, July 4, 2011
Paul Castro had a promising career in the Houston Independent School District . At 29, he landed his first principal job. He used to think he’d retire from HISD, he said.

UTAH

Education Challenges
Deseret News, UT, July 5, 2011
Utah no longer can say with any credibility that it devotes a higher percentage of its residents’ personal income to fund public education than nearly every other state. That had been the standard comeback to the often-cited other side of the coin, that Utah spends less per pupil than any other state.

VIRTUAL LEARNING

Private Schools Unite To Share Courses Online
Philadelphia Inquirer, PA, July 4, 2011
The 166-year-old Quaker school has joined nine other private schools across the country and abroad to launch Global Online Academy, a nonprofit organization that will offer rigorous courses online, including media studies and Spanish.

Education Must Adjust To Meet Needs of Every Student Group
Jackson Sun, TN, July 5, 2011
A new law in Tennessee allows public school systems to create “virtual schools.” This is not a silver bullet that improves public education across the board. But it is a step toward a public education system that must be reconfigured to meet the needs of every student, regardless of need, location or family circumstances.