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Daily Headlines for August 25, 2011

How to Fix Our Math Education
New York Times, NY, August 25, 2011
There is widespread alarm in the United States about the state of our math education.

Duncan: No Link Between Cheating, NCLB
Washington Times, DC, August 25, 2011
Education Secretary Arne Duncan on Wednesday denied that there is a direct “causal” effect between the high-stakes testing under the No Child Left Behind law and the cheating scandals that have erupted in school systems across the country, including the District.

FROM THE STATES

ARKANSAS

A New Civil Rights Struggle in Little Rock?
Arkansas News, AR, August 25, 2011
Giving poor children vouchers from public money to attend private, parochial or charter schools – could that possibly be the new civil rights struggle in American education?

CALIFORNIA

Achievement Gap Persists
Wall Street Journal, August 25, 2011
Affluent Los Altos is home to some of the best public schools in the state, but the district serving most of the town has larger gaps in math scores between fourth-graders of different income levels than any other in the Bay Area.

LAUSD’s John Deasy Stresses Administrator Responsibility, Promises Aid
Los Angeles Times, CA, August 25, 2011
Los Angeles Unified Supt. John Deasy addresses administrators and says they must take more responsibilities; he also promises to help free them from bureaucratic restraints.

COLORADO

DPS Gets $12 Million Grant To Help New Principals
Denver Post, CO, August 25, 2011
Denver Public Schools received its largest grant ever from a foundation this week – $12 million over five years – to help recruit, train and support new principals.
Aspiring principals in licensure programs will have more opportunities to take full-year residencies working with master principals.

FLORIDA

New State Laws Help Spur New Charter School Applications
The Ledger, FL, August 24, 2011
With new state laws making it easier to set up charter schools, school districts statewide are seeing an increase in charter applications.

The Broward School District Seeks Repayment From Some Teachers
South Florida Sun-Sentinel, FL, August 24, 2011
Two years ago, the Broward School District erroneously gave about 158 teachers a salary bump, paying out an extra $193,551. Now it’s demanding they repay the money – even though 18 of those teachers have since lost their jobs or resigned.

ILLINOIS

School Board Passes Property Tax Increase, CPS Pushes Longer Day
Chicago Sun-Times, IL, August 25, 2011
Chicago School Board members Wednesday unanimously approved a budget packing a $150 million property tax increase as school officials offered elementary teachers raises totaling $15 million to work a longer day.

CPS Board Approves Tax Hike And Budget For Next Year, But Challenges Remain
Chicago Tribune, IL, August 24, 2011
Chicago Public Schools’ governing board on Wednesday unanimously approved a tax increase to support a $5.9 billion budget for next year amid growing concerns about the district’s long-term financial health and an escalating public battle with the teachers union over longer school days and pay.

LOUISIANA

New Orleans Shows Most Gains As Region’s ACT Scores Improve
The Times-Picayune, LA, August 24, 2011
Average scores on the ACT exam — considered an important gauge of college readiness — generally improved, or at least held steady, for pupils across the New Orleans area this year, according to state data released Wednesday.

NEW HAMPSHIRE

State To Keep Eye On School Lottery
Nashua Telegraph, NH, August 25, 2011
State education officials will supervise an admissions lottery if one is necessary at the Academy for Science and Design next year, after the school acknowledged it wrongly barred dozens of students from a chance to attend the school this year.

NEW JERSEY

Newark Mayor Cory Booker Angered By ACLU’s Lawsuit Over Facebook Founder’s $100M Donation To City Schools
The Star-Ledger, NJ, August 24, 2011
A lawsuit filed by the ACLU seeking greater transparency over Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg’s $100 million donation to Newark schools set off a firestorm Tuesday, drawing a rare angry response from Mayor Cory Booker.

NEW YORK

Teacher Tests Overhaul Goal Struck Down
Wall Street Journal, August 25, 2011
New York’s effort to overhaul its system for evaluating teachers suffered a setback on Wednesday when a state judge ruled that public-school educators can’t be deemed ineffective based only on the performance of their students.

A Quiet First Day for an Upper West Side Charter School
New York Times Blog, NY, August 24, 2011
But the months leading up to the opening of this charter school, part of the Success Charter Network run by Eva S. Moskowitz, a former City Council member, were anything but typical.

NORTH CAROLINA

Parents And Advocates Helped Save CMS From Drastic Cuts
The Charlotte Observer, NC, August 25, 2011
When the first school bell rings this week, there will be no science lab at Shamrock Gardens Elementary. Smith (now Waddell) Language Academy will have half the security staff of last year. Double Oaks Pre-Kindergarten Center, along with 13 other schools, will not open its doors.

OHIO

Cleveland Schools Chief Celebrates Gains, Evaluates Setbacks On First Day Of School
The Plain Dealer, OH, August 25, 2011
Eric Gordon, the new CEO of the Cleveland schools, delivered a clear message Wednesday on the first day school at John Marshall High School: Well done. The West Side high school moved from academic watch to
continuous improvement on newly released state report cards.

Charter Schools Partnering With the Cleveland School District Score Well on State Report Card
The Plain Dealer, OH, August 24, 2011
The group of charter schools that the Cleveland school district partners with excelled on this year’s state report cards.

First-Class School
Columbus Dispatch, OH, August 25, 2011
It isn’t fairy dust that creates an excellent school, in which teachers teach effectively and students learn well. No, the magic results from hard work, high expectations and effective management.

PENNSYLVANIA

More Than 200 Central Bucks Students Opt Out of Blogging Teacher’s Classes
Philadelphia Inquirer, PA, August 24, 2011
More than 200 Central Bucks High School East students have requested to be kept out of the classes of a teacher suspended for a time over her blog comments, a district spokeswoman said Tuesday.

City School Board Cuts 30 More Jobs
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, PA, August 25, 2011
The board of Pittsburgh Public Schools voted Wednesday night to eliminate an additional 30 jobs through a mix of furloughs and layoffs, most of them classroom paraprofessionals

Ackerman Blames Nutter, Union, And Politics For Her Ouster
Philadelphia Inquirer, PA, August 25, 2011
In her first public comment since quitting as city school superintendent, Arlene C. Ackerman blamed Mayor Nutter, the teachers’ union, and other political forces for her removal, and said her troubles began when she refused to overrule parents in favor of a politically connected contractor.

Penn Hills Charter School Opens
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, PA, August 25, 2011
For most of the summer, the hallways of the old William Penn Elementary School in Penn Hills have been teeming with construction crews and school officials eager for classes to begin.

RHODE ISLAND

Gist to Report on Use of Race to Top Funds
The Providence Journal, RI, August 24, 2011
One year ago, Rhode Island won a portion of an unprecedented $4-billion federal grant program, securing $75 million over a four-year period to improve local schools – the largest single competitive grant in state history.

Meeting Marks RI’s Race to Top Grant, Challenges Ahead
Providence Journal, RI, August 24, 2011
Rhode Island’s top political and education leaders gathered Wednesday morning to commemorate the anniversary of the state’s Race to the Top grant which is bringing in $75 million in federal money to improve local public schools.

TENNESSEE

Few Students Take Option of Leaving High-Priority Murfreesboro Elementary
The Tennessean, TN, August 25, 2011
Mitchell-Neilson Elementary will only lose a handful of students in the coming days because of its classification as a high priority school. “We have only had six families request the move. I am very pleased with that number,” said Principal Robin Newell.

Memphis Reaches Tentative Plan For Makeup Of Education Board During Schools Merger
The Tennessean, TN, August 25, 2011
School officials in Memphis and Shelby County reached a tentative agreement Wednesday about the makeup of a 23-member board of education that will oversee the merger of the two systems.