Daily Headlines for July 14, 2011

Charter School Forges Ahead With Expansion
Wall Street Journal, July 14, 2011
Four years after opening its first charter school in Santa Clara County, Rocketship Education wants to significantly expand the number of schools it operates.

School Woes Slow Malloy
Wall Street Journal, July 14, 2011
As a candidate, Dannel Malloy a year ago placed education at the center of his campaign. He pledged that if elected governor, he would build on a slew of long-awaited education changes Connecticut lawmakers had passed in order to snag federal Race to the Top funds, intending to push the state even further.

ARIZONA

NPA Posts High Pass Rates On AIMS
Arizona Daily Sun, AZ, July 14, 2011
Northland Preparatory Academy again posted high pass rates on this spring’s annual standardized AIMS test

CALIFORNIA

Regulations Approved For Schools’ ‘Parent Trigger’ Law
Los Angeles Times, CA, July 14, 2011
After months of controversy, the state Board of Education set out a clear road map Wednesday to allow parents unparalleled rights to force major changes at low-performing schools.

Offered Chance, Few Failing Schools Close Doors
Associated Press, July 14, 2011
At San Francisco’s Willie Brown Jr. College Preparatory Academy, enrollment has plummeted and student performance has lagged. School officials have decided it’s better to close.

COLORADO

Douglas County District’s Plan For “School” Puts It Further Into Uncharted Charter Territory
Denver Post, CO, July 14, 2011
To operate its groundbreaking and controversial voucher program, the Douglas County School District has hit upon yet another groundbreaking and controversial plan: the creation, staffing and approval of its own charter school.

DPS Food Workers Get Funds To Design Pay-For-Performance Evaluations
Denver Post, CO, July 14, 2011
Denver Public Schools food workers this week received a $150,000 grant to begin designing their own pay-for-performance evaluation system.

DELAWARE

Reach Likely To Stay Open
Delaware News Journal, DE, July 14, 2011
The state secretary of education believes Reach Academy Charter School should remain open

Families And Faculty Plead For Pencader
Delaware News Journal, DE, July 14, 2011
Faculty, students and parents from Pencader Business and Finance Charter School pleaded their cases to state officials Wednesday night in an attempt to keep their school open.

FLORIDA

Miami-Dade Schools Chief Carvalho Vows To Keep 2 Schools Open
Miami Herald, FL, July 13, 2011
Miami-Dade schools Superintendent Alberto Carvalho on Wednesday affirmed his commitment to saving two Miami-Dade high schools threatened with closure – and got permission from the School Board to manage a new charter school opening three campuses this fall.

Pasco School District, Union Resolve Homeroom Dispute
Tampa Tribune, FL, July 13, 2011
The Pasco County school district and the teachers’ union have resolved an unfair labor practices claim the union filed after some high schools began using expanded homeroom periods for instructional time.

ILLINOIS

Celebrate ISTEP Gains, But Keep On Improving
Palladium-Item, IL, July 13, 2011
There should be a collective sigh of relief spreading across Indiana this week as the result of new scores posted on statewide standardized tests.

The Other Transformers
Chicago Tribune, IL, July 14, 2011
July is usually the time for blockbuster action at the movie house, not the schoolhouse. This summer is different.

LOUISIANA

Jefferson Parish Pushes Overhaul At 4 High Schools With Lagging Scores
Times-Picayune, LA, July 13, 2011
High schools missed out on a federal reform grant the Jefferson Parish school system recently won for schools serving lower grades, so parish officials now are setting out to craft their own turnaround plan at four campuses.

Jefferson Parish School Board Moving Toward Third Charter School
Times-Picayune, LA, July 13, 2011
The Jefferson Parish School Board has moved a step closer to opening a third charter school, accepting a $200,000 state grant to help find an organization to manage the campus.

MICHIGAN

DPS Taps Charter School Leader Ross To Head Its Program
Detroit News, MI, July 13, 2011
Doug Ross, CEO of New Urban Learning, a nonprofit charter school operator in Detroit, was named this afternoon as director of charter schools for the Detroit Public Schools.

NEW JERSEY

N.J. Board Of Ed Votes To Relax Hiring Requirements For Superintendents In The State’s Most Troubled Districts
Star-Ledger, NJ, July 13, 2011
The state Board of Education has voted to relax requirements for hiring superintendents in the state’s most troubled school districts, opening these jobs to non-educators for the first time.

N.J. Revises Education Department
Associated Press, July 14, 2011
New Jersey’s Education Department received a makeover Wednesday aimed at making it less of a regulatory agency while putting in place Gov. Christie’s goal of successfully teaching and graduating children from all walks of life.

OKLAHOMA

State Elementary School Reading Program Unfunded For First Time In 13 Years
The Oklahoman, OK, July 14, 2011
Literacy First began establishing roots in Oklahoma in 1998, but the program’s founders say this economic drought threatens the teacher training program.

PENNSYLVANIA

Corbett Blames Teacher Layoffs On Districts
York Daily Record, July 13, 2011
The blame for the thousands of teachers losing their jobs rests with Pennsylvania school districts, not the deep cuts in state aid in Pennsylvania’s newly enacted budget, Gov. Tom Corbett suggested Tuesday.

Most Philadelphia-Area School Districts Avoid Drastic Cutbacks
Philadelphia Inquirer, PA, July 14, 2011
Despite a tough Pennsylvania budget season that saw state aid cut for the first time in more than a decade, most area school districts averted drastic classroom cuts for the coming school year.

After Seeing School District Data, City Wants More
Philadelphia Daily News, PA, July 14, 2011
City officials were recently granted an unprecedented look at internal Philadelphia School District documents, providing a level of access that has long evaded those trying to keep tabs on the district.

Pa. Tells Districts To Check Testing Irregularities
Philadelphia Inquirer, PA, July 14, 2011
The Pennsylvania Department of Education on Wednesday told 40 school districts and nine charter schools across the state to investigate irregularities found with their 2009 test scores.

Pa. Examines Why Report On Tests Was Ignored
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, PA, July 14, 2011
A report analyzing irregularities among the standardized tests of nearly 1 million students arrived at the state Department of Education in July 2009 and “basically sat on a shelf,” agency spokesman Tim Eller said Wednesday.

TENNESSEE

High Expectations Lead To Higher TCAP Scores
Knoxville News Sentinel, TN, July 14, 2011
Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam rightly congratulated the state’s public school teachers last week for the long strides made in student achievement as measured by state test scores.

VIRTUAL EDUCATION

More Kids Will Learn In Cyberia
New York Post, NY, July 14, 2011
High school will become a virtual learning experience for more New York teenagers under a sweeping new state policy that promotes online instruction.

Online School Expects To Double Enrollment
KTUL, OK, July 13, 2011
The Tulsa Public School system has a new virtual learning program, using the Internet. Some students may never have to step into a traditional classroom again.

Cactus Shadows To Expand Online-Learning Program
Arizona Republic, AZ, July 14, 2011
The Cactus Shadows High School blended online-learning program has proved so popular that the district is adding an evening version.

Changes In Florida Law Make It Easier To Take Classes Online
Florida Times-Union, FL, July 14, 2011
For some students, a few virtual classes in addition to a traditional school environment is just perfect. Some prefer to go virtual full-time.

Hall May Create Virtual Charter School
Gainesville Times, GA, July 13, 2011
Traditional classroom learning might become a thing of the past for Hall County Schools. As the district incorporates more technology, officials are investigating the possibility of a virtual charter school for grades sixth through 12th.

Daily Headlines for July 13, 2011

Schools Chiefs See a Path to Proposing Their Own Accountability Systems
New York Times, NY, July 12, 2011
Some state education chiefs say that if Congress does not overhaul No Child Left Behind, the main federal law governing public education, by the fall, they may be allowed to propose their own accountability systems as an alternative.

Atlanta’s Testing Scandal Adds Fuel To U.S. Debate
Atlanta Journal-Constitution, GA, July 13, 2011
Atlanta’s school cheating scandal, one of the largest in U.S. history, has launched a national discussion about whether the increased use of high-stakes tests to rate educators will trigger similar episodes in the years ahead.

FROM THE STATES

CALIFORNIA

L.A. Officials Unexpectedly Move To Shut Down Charters Implicated In Cheating
Los Angeles Times, CA, July 12, 2011
In an unexpected action, Los Angeles school officials Tuesday voted against renewing the operating agreements of two charter schools involved in a cheating scandal last year. The decision could lead to a shutdown of all six schools run by the Crescendo organization.

Proposed ‘Parent Trigger’ Rules Still Need Work
Los Angeles Times, CA, July 13, 2011
After several months of intense lobbying, new rules have been proposed governing the so-called parent trigger process that allows parents to challenge the operation of low-performing public schools.

COLORADO

41 Colorado School Districts Line Up For Evaluation Pilot Program
Denver Post, CO, July 13, 2011
Colorado school districts have overwhelmed the state Department of Education with their interest in participating in a state pilot program this fall for evaluating new teachers and principals.

Advisory Group Questions ‘Voucher Charter’
Education News Colorado, CO, July 13, 2011
Five parents who serve on Douglas County’s district accountability committee asked lots of questions Tuesday about the voucher charter school slated to open this fall.

Douglas County School District To Create Faux Charter School
9NEWS, CO, July 13, 2011
There will be no classrooms full of students. There will be no staff of teachers. The sign outside indicates that the location is the school district headquarters. Yet, this will be the location of Douglas County’s newest charter school.

FLORIDA

Carvalho Vows To Keep Miami Edison, Miami Central Open
Miami Herald, FL, July 12, 2011
Two iconic Miami-Dade schools – one of which was held up by President Barack Obama as a national model for education reform – may have to close their doors or be converted into charter schools because they have not shown the required improvements by a controversial state rule.

St. Lucie School Board Approves Contract For Charter
TCPalm, FL, July 12, 2011
In about 13 months, the College Preparatory Academy of the Treasure Coast is expected to open as the county’s only charter high school.

At Least 4 New Charter Schools Coming This Fall To Pinellas County School District
St. Petersburg Times, FL, July 13, 2011
Two offer Pinellas students the chance to go to a different kind of high school. Another is opening its fourth campus. Still another is creating a school for younger students.

GEORGIA

Charter School Proposed For At-Risk 7th- And 8th-Graders
Herald & Review, GA, July 12, 2011
A new charter school, designed to serve at-risk students in grades seven and eight initially, is in the early planning stages.

Charter School Rushes To Get Ready For Year
Cherokee Tribune, GA, July 12, 2011
With the 2011-12 school year rapidly approaching, officials with the recently state-approved Cherokee Charter Academy are still racing to prepare the school for its inaugural class in August.

ILLINOIS

Charters Tell Mayor They Support Longer School Days
The Chicago Tribune, IL, July 12, 2011
Chicago charter schools have sent a letter to Mayor Rahm Emanuel voicing support for a longer school day. No surprise here: Chicago charter schools have sent a letter to Mayor Rahm Emanuel voicing support for a longer school day.

Education Activist Boasts Of Power Plays, Then Apologizes
The Chicago Tribune, IL, July 13, 2011
An education activist’s blunt tale of wooing House Speaker Michael Madigan and outfoxing teachers unions created a stir Tuesday by violating a cardinal rule of Statehouse power plays – what happens under the dome stays under the dome.

Braggart Angers Teachers’ Union After Tough Negotiations Over Reform Bill
The Chicago Sun-Times, IL, July 13, 2011
Unions and legislators who worked on Illinois’ landmark education reform legislation are upset with an advocate who bragged in Aspen last week that he snookered them into accepting drastic cuts in teacher union’s rights.

INDIANA

City Will Still Pull School’s Charter, Despite ISTEP Strides
WRTV Indianapolis, IN, July 12, 2011
An Indianapolis charter school blasted by the mayor for poor performance showed a drastic improvement in ISTEP scores, but that won’t keep the city from pulling its support.

MARYLAND

Prince Street Barely Missed Benchmark
The Daily News MD, July 13, 2011
Officials said the “school choice” program is being offered at Prince Street Elementary due to the performance of only a handful of students.

MASSACHUSETTS

Kirk Won’t Back ‘City’ Push On School Suit
Gloucester Times, MA, July 12, 2011
While the
City Council has filed a motion to join the 15-parent lawsuit seeking a preliminary injunction that could shut down the Gloucester Community Arts Charter School, Mayor Carolyn Kirk says the “city’s” stand does not have her stamp of approval or support.

MICHIGAN

Charter School Company Holding 2 Public Forums
Detroit News, MI, July 13, 2011
A charter school company operating two former Detroit Public Schools this fall is holding a town hall meeting at 6 tonight to discuss its plans for Edmonson Elementary, now called GEE Edmonson Academy. Global Educational Excellence was selected by DPS to operate Edmonson and White elementary schools as charter schools.

MISSOURI

KC District Should Partner With Charter Schools
Kansas City Star, MO, July 12, 2011
Legal details are one thing, but the Kansas City School District has no logical or competitive grounds to deny the use of its buildings to charter schools.

NEVADA

Leaders Say Charter Schools Key To Education Reform
Las Vegas Sun, NV, July 13, 2011
Nevada’s state and local leaders say the key to education reform is in charter schools.

OHIO

Pickerington Lending Money To Open Charter School
10TV, OH, July 12, 2011
A plan to open a charter school in Pickerington is being met with some hesitancy, as the district just made moves to cut millions from its budget to save money, 10TV’s Tanisha Mallett reported on Monday.

Kasich Asks Teachers To Design Merit-Pay Plan
Columbus Dispatch, OH, July 13, 2011
It took a 30-minute meeting with a handful of teachers from across the state yesterday for Gov. John Kasich to decide who should construct a merit-pay system for Ohio schools. And it’s not him.

PENNSYLVANIA

Christie’s Increase In School Aid Is Detailed
Philadelphia Inquirer, PA, July 13, 2011
The Christie administration released new school aid numbers Tuesday that detail Gov. Christie’s $850 million increase in state education funding.

RHODE ISLAND

School Board Leader Resigns
Providence Journal, RI, July 12, 2011
The president of the School Board resigned Monday night, saying that she could no longer stand working in a system that is driven by politics, power and patronage, not what’s best for children.

TENNESSEE

Too Soon To Judge
The Commercial Appeal, TN, July 13, 2011
Memphis City Schools might wind up with no choice in the matter, but it would be unfair to the faculty and students at three of the district’s charter schools that are threatened with closure to be out of business this fall.

VIRTUAL EDUCATION

Dept. Of Education: Technology Task Force Making Progress
Coeur d’Alene Press, ID, July 12, 2011
The Idaho Department of Education reported Tuesday that the Students Come First Technology Task Force wrapped up its July monthly meeting, after making progress on several areas including discussions on how mobile computing devices will work in the classroom.

Clark County’s Charter Schools Experiment With Technology
Las Vegas Sun, NV, July 13, 2011
Imagine a school where kindergartners use Apple iPads to learn numbers and letters and upperclassmen use them to study the constellations and create multimedia presentations.

Back To School With Virtual Learning: Separating Fact From Fiction
Las Vegas Review-Journal, NV, July 13, 2011
Seventeen million pre-kindergarten through 12th grade students in the U.S. will get at least some of their education virtually by 2015, according to new research from Ambient Insight. More than four million of these students will get their entire educations virtually, from full-time virtual schools.

CPS Approves Increased School Choice
Cincinnati.com, OH, July 13, 2011
Even as Cincinnati’s school board approved new school choices for students and discussed shoring up extra-curriculars, board members Monday night questioned how to make these changes fair for students.

L.A. District Officials Propose Changes To Public School Choice Program
Daily Breeze, CA, July 12, 2011
Los Angeles Unified officials and school board members Tuesday proposed two key changes to the district’s landmark Public School Choice reform effort, which some parents and community members fear could water down the ambitious plan.

Daily Headlines for July 12, 2011

AFT Teachers Union To Defend Educators In Cheating Scandals
USA Today, July 11, 2011
The head of the USA’s second-largest teachers union on Monday said local affiliates will defend the rights of teachers caught up in cheating scandals, including the one now unfolding in Atlanta. But she said cheating “under any circumstances is unacceptable.”

Union Chief Faults School Reform From ‘On High’
New York Times, July 12, 2011
Amid one of the most contentious periods in recent memory for teachers’ unions, the president of the American Federation of Teachers, Randi Weingarten, on Monday called for education reform that emanates from teachers and their communities, rather than from “those who blame teachers for everything.”

FROM THE STATES

DELAWARE

Reach Supporters Plead Their Case
Delaware News Journal, DE, July 12, 2011
The supporters of Reach Academy Charter School brought additional evidence Monday to the state Board of Education that they say proves the school is viable and should remain open.

A Model For The Charter
Delaware News Journal, DE, July 12, 2011
When Margie López Waite walks around the gray building flipping on lights in classrooms, it’s clear that her dream is all the more real now. In little more than a month, this vacant building at 326 Ruthar Drive in Ogletown will transform into the dual-language Las Américas Aspira Academy.

FLORIDA

Jacqueline Harris Preparatory Academy At A Critical Crossroads
Pensacola News Journal, FL, July 12, 2011
Tabatha Fields picked Jacqueline Harris Preparatory Academy for her two daughters because she liked the Pensacola charter school’s intimate, inviting environment.

Charter School Jumps From ‘D’ To ‘A’
Miami Herald, FL, July 11, 2011
Somerset Academy South Homestead Elementary “made magic.” That’s how teacher Melissa Alvarez describes the charter school’s leap from a state-issued D grade last year, to an A for 2010-2011. It was the largest grade improvement and highest overall grade of any elementary school in Homestead.

GEORGIA

Four APS Superintendents Removed In Scandal Fallout
Atlanta Journal-Constitution, GA, July 11, 2011
Interim Superintendent Erroll Davis replaced four area superintendents with principals Monday and former school board chairman Khaatim Sherrer El announced his resignation in the continuing fallout from a cheating scandal that has overwhelmed Atlanta Public Schools.

Dallas-Area District Puts Ex-APS Official On Leave In Wake Of Cheating Probe
Atlanta Journal-Constitution, GA, July 12, 2011
DeSoto school trustees placed embattled Superintendent Kathy Augustine on paid leave Monday following a Georgia probe released last week that found widespread cheating in Atlanta schools while she served as second-in-command.

ILLINOIS

Quinn To Sign Aurora Charter School Bill Wednesday
The Beacon-News, IL, July 11, 2011
Governor Pat Quinn is expected be in Aurora Wednesday to sign a bill that would create a new Fox Valley charter school focused on science and math. The proposed STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) school would serve up to 500 third- through eighth-graders from the East Aurora, West Aurora, Indian Prairie and Oswego school districts.

INDIANA

Suit Hasn’t Slowed State’s New Voucher Program
Evening News and Tribune, IN, July 12, 2011
The Indiana Department of Education will have a new voucher program up and running in the coming weeks despite an attempt by the state’s largest teachers’ union to block its implementation.

State Creates Website To Educate Parents About Vouchers
Indianapolis Star, IN, July 12, 2011
The state Department of Education has created a website to help parents figure out how to receive state money to send their children to private school — and whether they qualify.

MASSACHUSETTS

City Refiles To Join Lawsuit Vs. Charter
Gloucester Times, MA, July, 11, 2011
As Judge Robert Cornetta prepares his decision for the end of the month on a 15-parent lawsuit that seeks a preliminary injunction and could shut down the Gloucester Community Arts Charter School, the city of Gloucester has filed a new motion to back the city school parents’ case.

MICHIGAN

Competition Key In Improving Schools
Detroit News, MI, July 12, 2011
The Detroit News reported last week that charter high schools in Detroit aren’t performing much better – and in some cases they are doing worse – than the city’s traditional public schools, when looking at test scores.

MISSOURI

Barat Academy Faces More Troubles
St. Louis Post-Dispatch, MO, July 12, 2011
Barat Academy got locked out of its own school Monday as part of eviction proceedings, leaving uncertainty over whether it will open for classes as scheduled next month.

Eyes Are On Academie Lafayette As Charter Schools Seek To Expand
Kansas City Star, MO, July 11, 2011
Anyone waiting to see a test of the Kansas City school board’s newly expressed friendliness toward charter schools won’t have to wait long.

NEW JERSEY

Marlboro School Administrators Recommend Participation In Teacher-Evaluation Program
Asbury Park Press, NJ, July 11, 2011
Administrators in the K-8 district are recommending the Board of Education apply to participate in the state’s teacher-evaluation pilot program.

OHIO

It’s Official: Schools Lose $780 Million
Columbu
s Dispatch, OH, July 12, 2011

When the dust settled on the new state budget, operating funds for Ohio schools were cut nearly $780 million for the next two years, with 17 central Ohio districts facing reductions that top 10 percent this school year.

OREGON

Coburg Charter School Gearing Up
The Register-Guard, OR, July 12, 2011
Critics say rating system may unfairly penalize high-achieving schools

PENNSYLVANIA

Rating Teachers
Philadelphia Inquirer, PA, July 11, 2011
Pennsylvania lawmakers should take care in considering a bill that would let school districts use students’ test scores to measure teacher performance. The legislation would mandate a statewide change as early as next year. Standardized-test scores would weigh heavily in determining whether teachers keep their jobs, receive tenure, or get merit pay.

TENNESSEE

Teacher Morale Affected By Vocal Minority, Huffman Says
Nashville Public Radio, TN, July 11, 2011
Tennessee’s Education Commissioner says this spring’s legislative battles left teacher morale bruised. Commissioner Kevin Huffman chalks that up to the harsh back-and-forth not among lawmakers but that of outside comments.

WISCONSIN

Educators Skeptical Of Plans For Statewide Reform
Leader-Telegram, WI, July 12, 2011
A school whose eighth-grade students improve from a fourth-grade to a seventh-grade reading level in one year may have reason to pat itself on the back, but under federal No Child Left Behind benchmarks, it still would be a “failing” school.

Kaukauna Teachers Object To Policy Changes
Appleton Post Crescent, WI, July 12, 2011
About five dozen teachers and community members packed a Kaukauna Board of Education meeting Monday night to express their frustration with a recently adopted employee handbook.

VIRTUAL LEARNING

Internet Offers Robust Learning Option
The Tennessean, TN, July 12, 2011
With all the recent conversation about online, or virtual, learning, you would think it is a new concept, but distance learning is nothing new – it has its roots in the old correspondence schools of the 19th century.

Tennessee’s First Virtual Academy Goes Online In August
The Tennessean, TN, July 12, 2011
The Union County school system has established what’s believed to be a first in Tennessee: an online public school for students in kindergarten through eighth-grade.

Public School Ads Target Cyber Schools
Altoona Mirror, PA, July 12, 2011
In the wake of a state budget that eliminates reimbursements to school districts for student enrollment in cyber schools outside of their districts, public school officials are planning a campaign to re-attract the students they’ve lost.

Idaho Looks At 2 Online Courses For Graduation, Down From 8
The Spokesman-Review, July 11, 2011
Idaho’s tech-focused “Students Come First” school reform plan originally envisioned requiring all Idaho students to take eight online classes to graduate from high school, but the state now is looking at requiring just two.

Daily Headlines for July 8, 2011

Obama Administration Must Retool No Child Left Behind Law
Seattle Times, WA, July 7, 2011
A showdown over the No Child Left Behind federal education law can be avoided if the Obama administration spells out how it plans to give states relief from key provisions of the law.

Arne Duncan: How Dream Act Can Cut Deficit
National Public Radio, July 7, 2011
During Obama’s Twitter Town Hall meeting Wednesday, several questions focused on U.S. schools’ needs and budgets. Host Michel Martin and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan discuss No Child Left Behind, the plan aimed to improve failing public schools; as well as the Dream Act, which would create a path to citizenship for some undocumented youth.

FROM THE STATES

CALIFORNIA

Stealth Attack on California’s Schools
Los Angeles Times, CA, July 8, 2011
AB 114 was passed to appease the California Teachers Assn., to the detriment of school districts, which are already in serious financial straits.

Teachers From Low-Performing Schools Face Stigma On Job Search
Los Angeles Times, CA, July 8, 2011
In a bizarre game of musical chairs, nearly 1,000 Los Angeles teachers – who are guaranteed jobs somewhere in the school system – have been hunting for a school that wants them. And hundreds of them have to counter a stigma that they are undesirable castoffs, because they previously worked at low-performing schools that are being restructured.

Manteca Unified, Great Valley & Public Education
Manteca Bulletin, CA, July 7, 2011
Competition in public education is about to arrive in Manteca. Some two decades after the concept of charter schools was first rolled out in Sacramento, Great Valley Academy is preparing to open next month.

INDIANA

School Takeover Hearings Leave A Lot To Think About
Indianapolis Star, IN, July 8, 2011
The Indiana Department of Education recently finished the last of the local hearings on the possibility of state intervention at up to seven IPS schools. Here are several thoughts I had while sitting through most of the hearings:

Vouchers Offer Great Deal For All Taxpayers
Indianapolis Star, IN, July 8, 2011
Contrary to the constant drivel from teacher unions and pundits like Dan Carpenter, school vouchers will partially remedy the historic inequitable distribution of tax revenues at the expense of those who chose to educate their children in private schools.

LOUISIANA

New Orleans Catholic School Chief OK With Voucher Standards
Times Picayune, LA, July 7, 2011
The new head of New Orleans area Catholic schools predicts significant improvements next year at Catholic schools accepting students whose tuition is paid with government vouchers. And she says the Catholic schools would not object to the state imposing performance standards on those schools.

MARYLAND

First Charter School Eyed For Montgomery County
Washington Times, DC, July 7, 2011
Montgomery County school officials appear poised to approve the county’s first charter school, but want more time before reaching a final decision.

MICHIGAN

Lansing School Board Will Give Parents Voice In Restructuring
Lansing State Journal, MI, July 8, 2011
Lansing school board members are not sure yet what the process will look like, but they promise district families they will get an opportunity this summer and fall to help shape the district’s future.

NEVADA

Model for Nevada
Las Vegas Sun, NV, July 8, 2011
After much drama and litigation, those reforms finally took effect last week. So are Wisconsin school districts collapsing on top of defenseless kids? Not yet. In fact, Gov. Walker’s law is giving some districts the fiscal and operational flexibility to benefit students and teachers.

OHIO

School Rankings Rate Low With Educators
Columbus Dispatch, OH, July 8, 2011
Starting next year, Ohio’s 3,500 public schools will be ranked best to worst in annual reports issued by the state.

Margaretta: Charter Schools Will Help At-Risk Students
Sandusky Register, OH, July 8, 2011
The Margaretta Board of Education approved establishing an independent charter school at an emergency meeting Thursday.

OKLAHOMA

State Superintendent Met Cautious Support From Local Leaders At OKC Meeting
Oklahoman, OK, July 8, 2011
Oklahoma state schools Superintendent Janet Barresi delivered her first state of education address Thursday at the Cox Convention Center to a mixed-house of supporters and protesters.

PENNSYLVANIA

Bad Teacher:” Evaluations Aim To Find Them
Philadelphia Daily News, PA, July 8, 2011
So although a proposal by Gov. Corbett, backed by a bill from Sen. Jeffrey Piccola to include student test scores in the factors that go into evaluating a teacher has many merits, we are cautious about endorsing such a plan without some caveats.

RHODE ISLAND

Plan For 5 Charters Up To R.I. Regents
Providence Journal, RI, July 7, 2011
For months, a plan to open as many as five charter schools in Cranston and Providence under the control of the cities’ mayors has stirred up a storm of debate over who controls local schools and the taxpayer money that pays for them.

TENNESSEE

Charter Schools Have A Place
Commercial Appeal, TN, July 8, 2011
KIPP expands: KIPP Memphis’ expansion plans will give under- performing students more options to succeed academically. p>

TEXAS

Texas Bill Gives Charter Schools Momentum in Financing Growth: Muni Credit
Bloomberg, July 8, 2011
Texas will join Colorado in providing state backing for charter-school bond offerings, a move that may spur debt sales while reducing some issuers’ borrowing costs in a growing part of the municipal market.

KIPP Helps Grow College Funds
Houston Chronicle, TX, July 7, 2011
With her youngest about to start his senior year in high school, the 49-year-old is finally about to open her family’s first college savings account. She plans to scrape together $20 a week, money that will be matched by an ambitious program being piloted by the KIPP charter school giant, the Corporation for Enterprise Development and the United Negro College Fund, now called UNCF.

VIRTUAL LEARNING

A Different Kind Of Education
Indianapolis Star, IN, July 8, 2011
Welcome to online high school, where students read, take tests and talk to teachers without a classroom. Lawalin teaches summer school now, but come fall, she will join about 20 other teachers to launch Achieve Virtual Education Academy — Indiana’s first statewide online-only public high school.

Cambridge Lakes Rolling Out New Virtual School
Northwest Herald, IL, July 8, 2011
The Cambridge Academy is set to roll out its virtual learning curriculum this fall. The Illinois Board of Education recently approved the Cambridge Lakes Charter School ‘s academic software for kindergarten through 12th-grade students.

Bluesky School May Join Regular District
Minneapolis Star Tribune, MN, July 7, 2011
Officials in the West St. Paul-Mendota Heights-Eagan district have been discussing a deal that could allow much of BlueSky’s program to survive while helping the traditional district branch out into online education.

Enrollment Booms At Virtual School
The Press-Enterprise, CA, July 7, 2011
Taylion Virtual Academy began a new year and a summer school session on Tuesday with a significantly higher enrollment than it had during the 2010-11 academic year.

Daily Headlines for July 7, 2011

No, Seriously: No Excuses
New York Times Magazine, NY, July 7, 2011
To point out the obvious: These are excuses. In fact, they are the very same excuses for failure that the education-reform movement was founded to oppose. (If early reformers believed in anything, it was that every student is an apple.) And not only are they excuses; they aren’t even particularly persuasive ones.

FROM THE STATES

CONNECTICUT

State to Appoint New Board of Education in Bridgeport
New York Times, NY, July 7, 2011
The intervention in Bridgeport, Connecticut ‘s second-largest school system, with 20,000 students, will be the second time in the state’s recent history that a locally elected school board has been replaced by an appointed board, education officials said.

Takeover Is About More Than Bridgeport
The Hartford Courant, CT, July 7, 2011
Bridgeport’s forlorn plea for a state takeover of its schools isn’t about another dysfunctional school board. It’s about our abject failure to deal with the problem that, year in, year out, never fails to go away.

COLORADO

Panel Urges Higher Charter Standards
Education News Colorado, CO, July 7, 2011
A committee that’s been studying standards for charter school governance and for how districts authorize charters has finished its work with recommendations that the state adopt existing national standards on authorization and that charter boards be required to follow existing laws and rules on financial and ethical conduct.

Groups Suing Douglas County Schools Over Vouchers Seek Preliminary Injunction
Denver Post, CO, July 7, 2011
Two groups that filed suit June 21 against the Douglas County School District have asked a Denver district judge to stop the implementation of the district’s voucher program while the lawsuits make their way through court.

FLORIDA

Charter School Push is on in Palm Bay
Florida Today, FL, July 6, 2011
Parents, students and faculty members plan to show up in large numbers at tonight’s city council meeting in support of the financially embattled Palm Bay Community Charter School .

Team Success Beats The Odds, Soars From F To B
Bradenton Herald, FL, July 7, 2011
It’s been a year since charter school Team Success’ employees began a journey to change the F grade they received from the state of Florida. Their goal for 2011 was to get a C, but they didn’t make that goal.

GEORGIA

APS Braces For Fallout From Investigation
Atlanta Journal-Constitution, GA, July 7, 2011
National attention on a state report castigating Atlanta Public Schools for a deeply embedded culture of cheating, cover-ups and obstruction increased the pressure Wednesday on local school officials.

INDIANA

Good Schools Fearful of Bad Grades in Rating System
Indianapolis Star, IN, July 7, 2011
Critics say rating system may unfairly penalize high-achieving schools

LOUISIANA

Ed Dept.: Too Early To Gauge Voucher Effectiveness
Westport New, LA, July 6, 2011
A day after an education advocacy group called attention to the poor performance of some private New Orleans schools that accept state-funded tuition vouchers, the state Department of Education said relatively few students in the voucher program have been tested so far.

MARYLAND

Montgomery Considers First Charter School
Washington Post, DC, July 6, 2011
On Thursday, the Montgomery County Board of Education will decide whether to restore part of the old building to its original purpose by approving the county’s first public charter school. The application may offer lessons for how future charter proposals could succeed in a suburban system that has been skeptical of the independently operated public schools.

MASSACHUSETTS

Program’s Students Aim For College
Boston Globe, MA, July 7, 2011
Instead of enjoying the summer sun yesterday, a group of soon-to-be fifth-graders crowded into Suffolk University lecture halls and built houses out of straws.

Charter Funding More Than Fair To Districts
Gloucester Times, MA, July 6, 2011
For more than 15 years, since charter public schools first opened, district angst has been focused on money.

MICHIGAN

Ann Arbor School Officials Not Sure How Teacher Tenure Reform Bills Will Affect District
Ann Arbor, MI, July 7, 2011
Although AAPS officials haven’t figured out how the bills will change the teacher evaluation process in Ann Arbor and what it might mean for the district, the head of the Ann Arbor Education Association thinks the reform bills mean bad days are ahead for public education.

NEW YORK

Charter School Pushing Special Ed Students Out Of Gym Class, Parents Argue
New York Daily News, NY, July 7, 2011
Parents of Bedford-Stuyvesant special-needs children at a borough public school say the expansion of a well-known charter school franchise will mean less gym time for their kids.

NORTH CAROLINA

We All Benefit When Dropouts Come Back.
Fayetteville Observer, NC, July 7, 2011
They’re not looking for criminals, but this manhunt is just as important. The Cumberland County schools are hiring five social workers with federal Race to the Top funding that encourages educational innovation. They’ll be doing some serious detective work, trying to track down about 650 former students who appear to have become dropouts.

OHIO

Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson Says Charter Schools
Likely If They Improve Education

Cleveland Plain Dealer, OH, July 7, 2011
Mayor Frank Jackson says he’s likely to push to convert some Cleveland district schools to charters, exempting them from union rules that govern teacher layoffs and other matters, if he decides that would provide a better education for students.

OREGON

Small Town Community Puts Charter School Together
KVAl News, OR, July 6, 2011
As kids plant a garden and water their crops outside the old Coburg Elementary School, you can almost see the roots of a new school taking hold.

PENNSYLVANIA

Teachers Vie For Jobs At New Charter School
Reading Eagle, PA, July 7, 2011
The I-LEAD Charter School, to be located at the former Central Catholic High School, will kick off its inaugural year with 10 teachers, said Dr. Yamil Sanchez, headmaster.

When Did Public Education Become Public Enemy No. 1?
Patriot News, PA, July 7, 2011
Now, Gov. Tom Corbett and other public officials pontificate the evils of public education. Their rhetoric describes a flawed system. One that is too expensive. They propose drastic reductions in the cost of educating the youth of this nation.

TENNESSEE

Haslam May Seek ‘No Child Left Behind’ Waiver
Knoxville News Sentinel, TN, July 7, 2011
Acknowledging the “very real possibility” that most Tennessee schools would fail federal “No Child Left Behind” standards when they are raised, Gov. Bill Haslam said Wednesday that his administration may seek a waiver from federal officials.

UTAH

Ogden Skips Teacher Negotiations, Moves Toward Merit Pay
Salt Lake Tribune, UT, July 6, 2011
In a dramatic break with tradition, Ogden School District is refusing to negotiate with teachers over a contract and plans to eventually base their pay on performance instead of experience.

VIRTUAL LEARNING

New Software Helps Richmond County Students Learn At Their Own Pace
WJBF, GA, July 7, 2011
To the average adult whose high school experience included filmstrips and chalk dust, the typical day for summer school students taking classes at butler high may seem like something out of science fiction movie.

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.