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Daily Headlines for October 27, 2011

The Wrong Fix for No Child Left Behind
New York Times, NY, October 27, 2011
The revised No Child Left Behind Act that passed out of the Senate education committee last week goes too far in relaxing state accountability and federal oversight of student achievement. The business community, civil rights groups and advocates of disabled children are rightly worried that the rewrite of the law would particularly hurt underprivileged children.

Andre Agassi Focuses On U.S. Education Efforts After Las Vegas Success
Las Vegas Sun, NV, October 26, 2011
Tennis champion and hometown hero Andre Agassi will see his ultimate dream come true at Saturday night’s 16th Grand Slam charity event with a superstar celebrity lineup.

STATE COVERAGE

Teacher Unions’ Double Standard
Fosters Daily Democrat, NH, October 27, 2011
If Laura Hainey, president of American Federation of Teachers-New Hampshire, wants to cite scholarly studies to attack the handful of private school voucher programs in the nation, she ought to include all the facts. (“School vouchers offer false hope; kids need a quality education agenda,” Oct. 24)

Parents Get Rating Role
Wall Street Journal, October 27, 2011
New York City schools will soon be rated based on how well they work with parents, Chancellor Dennis Walcott said Wednesday night, announcing an overhaul of how the city’s education system engages with families.

You Call This Choice?
New York Times, NY, October 26, 2011
She listed the schools she wanted in order of preference. She brought her list home and someone signed off on it, perhaps without taking the time to double check the schools selected, or without understanding the magnitude of this little piece of paper.

Controversial Cobble Hill Charter School Raising Eyebrows
Brooklyn Daily Eagle, NY, October 26, 2011
The announcement of a planned charter school to be called Success Academy Cobble Hill is raising the anxiety level of some parents in Community Education District 15 (CEC 15), who fear the school will be co-located inside their local public school.

NJEA Backs Four-Year Tenure Track, If Mentoring Is Added For New Teachers
Press of Atlantic City, NJ, October 26, 2011
The executive director of the state’s largest teacher union said Wednesday that the union would support a system that gives teachers tenure at the end of four years, a year later than the current law requires.

Baden Academy, Ambridge Face State Board
Beaver County Times, PA, October 26, 2011
After a two-year face-off, Baden Academy Charter school officials and Ambridge Area administrators faced a state panel in Harrisburg this week, and must now wait until December for a decision whose impact will be felt beginning in the 2012-2013 school year.

Private School Approved as Charter School
WNEP, PA, October 26, 2011
The state has given its approval to turn a private school into a charter school, meaning parents will no longer have to pay tuition.

Maryland Identified As A Leader In Teacher Evaluations
Baltimore Sun, MD, October 27, 2011
Maryland is one of 17 states leading a movement to evaluate teachers based on student performance in the classroom, but the state doesn’t require a teacher to be evaluated on an annual basis, according to a new report.

School Board Takes Steps Back, Forward
Memphis Daily News, TN, October 26, 2011
As the full board approved two KIPP Academy charter school applications and rejected 20 others, including a set by former mayor and MCS superintendent Willie Herenton, some board members expressed concern about the fiscal impact on the school systems if the number of charter schools continues to grow.

Cobb Culls Problem Schools, Targets Them For Intervention
Atlanta Journal Constitution, GA, October 27, 2011
Four schools in Cobb County have so many problems — from student discipline to teacher turnover — that officials are singling them out for special attention.

School Board Discusses Management Style Choices
Savannah Morning News, GA, October 27, 2011
In June 2015 the state will require all Georgia school boards to decide on one of three frameworks for managing their school districts — an IE2 or Investing in Excellence in Education System model, a charter system model or the current, traditional school district model.

Founder Of Failed School Now Wants To Open Charter
Tampa Bay Tribune, FL, October 27, 2011
The founder of a private school in Lutz who moved to Wisconsin owing millions to creditors has a plan for a new school in Hillsborough County .

New State Law Allows Some Teachers To Be Fired Without Cause
WWSB Sarasota, FL, October 26, 2011
A new state law allows some teachers to be fired without cause. That law is part of the Teacher Merit-Pay Bill, which also eliminated tenure and extended teacher’s probationary period from 97 days to one full year. And according to the Manatee Education Association, a year’s probation is too much for any teacher and gives the district an easy way out.

Teacher Merit Pay on the Table In Cleveland Schools Negotiations
Cleveland Plain Dealer, OH, October 26, 2011
Merit pay for teachers is a main issue as the Cleveland and teachers union continue negotiations that could restore at least some of the $13 million in cuts made Tuesday and avoid larger cuts next year.

Failing the Student Teachers
Fort Wayne Journal-Gazette, IN, October 27, 2011
One consequence just surfacing is the effect of a new teacher-evaluation law on college students, whose field experiences are the foundation of their teacher training. The requirement that part of the evaluation measure be based on how classroom students perform has some schools and teachers rethinking their commitments to accepting student teachers.

In IPS, Competition Is in the Classroom
Indianapolis Star, IN, October 26, 2011
Not that White has much choice but to adapt. Continuing enrollment losses — fueled by private school vouchers, charter schools and the imminent state takeover of some IPS schools — mean his district is poised to soon be at the center of one of the nation’s most competitive education marketplaces.

CPS to Use Tougher Standard for Evaluating Schools
Chicago Tribune, IL, October 27, 2011
After years of futility inside the classroom, Chicago Public Schools soon will adopt a more rigorous internal evaluation system that judges schools on how well they prepare students for college, a move that could lead to more school closings in the years ahead.

Financial Incentives for Longer Day Extended to Charters
Chicago Tribune, IL, October 26, 2011
Charter schools also will be given financial incentives for adding 90 minutes of instruction this year. The Chicago Board of Education on Wednesday approved the program, which matches an offer already extended to neighborhood schools.

Council Should Get to the Bottom of ‘Miracle School’
Journal Sentinel, WI, October 26, 2011
Every child in Milwaukee deserves a high performing school. But the starting point for any school must be transparency and integrity in its claims of achievement. I urge Milwaukee’s Common Council to carefully research all of Rocketship’s outcomes before approving its request for a charter.

Gov. Bobby Jindal’s Focus on Education
Times-Picayune, LA, October 26, 2011
Gov. Bobby Jindal earned plenty of political capital with his commanding reelection victory Saturday. Now the governor is vowing to use some of it to focus on education reform during the first year of his second term.

It’s Time to Back Grier, School Reforms
Houston Chronicle, TX, October 26, 2011
While everyone admits that Houston’s public education system is struggling, very few are willing to come forward with solutions that are both bold and realistic. And those who do take such a risk find themselves beset by critics at every turn.

State School System
Seattle Times, WA, October 26, 2011
I am gratified that Washington does not allow charter schools. I am equally alarmed to learn that the PTA wants them. [“PTA wants state to reconsider charter schools,” seattletimes.com, Oct. 20.]

Opposition to Charter Plan Brings Divisions Among Neighbors, Highlights Unintended Consequences of Prop. 39
The Argonaut, CA, October 27, 2011
A plan by the Los Angeles Unified School District has elicited cheers from some homeowners and interested parties to alleviate the tension brought on by colocation, a situation that allows charter schools to share campuses with traditional neighborhood schools.

Charter School on Horizon for Coronado
San Diego Tribune, CA, October 26, 2011
A new breed of charter school may soon find its way to the Coronado Unified School District.

Charter Company Making The Grade
Modesto Bee, CA, October 26, 2011
Aspire Public Schools has grown to be the largest company of its kind in California, and one of the top five in the nation. The nonprofit company that opened a Modesto school its first year now runs 34 schools serving 12,300 students statewide, the Oakland-based company announced.

Parent Trigger Law Important, But So Are Organized, Informed Parents
Mercury News, CA, October 26, 2011
The “parent trigger” law passed by the California Legislature gives parents the potential for a measure of real power in their children’s schools. If 51 percent or more sign a petition, parents can push a school to become a charter, replace the principal and teachers, or close it entirely. Similar laws have been passed in Texas , Ohio and Connecticut , and are pending in a number of other states.

Charter Wins Won’t End War
Boston Herald, MA, October 27, 2011
Like the swallows to Capistrano, opponents returned to the State House this month to portray the evils of charter schools. Unfortunately for them, the hearing came just after 2011 MCAS results showed that charter public schools again dramatically outperformed their district counterparts.

N.J. Education Chief Urges Civility On School Changes
Philadelphia Inquirer, PA, October 27, 2011
Education officials meeting here this week called for more civility as the debate intensifies over sweeping changes in New Jersey public schools.

Vouchers Seen as A Way Out of Bad Schools
Philadelphia Daily News, PA, October 27, 2011
The bill would establish vouchers for students who attend and live within the attendance boundaries of the state’s 143 lowest-performing schools. Ferguson is one of 88 Philadelphia schools – 25 high schools and 63 elementary and middle schools – on that list.

Vouchers: Pass
Philadelphia Daily News, PA, October 27, 2011
THERE ARE a few bright spots in the revised Senate Bill 1 that would create a school-voucher program in Pennsylvania. Vouchers give money that would otherwise go to public-school systems directly to students to apply toward tuition in nonpublic schools.

Existing Oversight Over Charters Is Sufficient; Proposed Rules Would Stifle Greater School Choice
Detroit Free Press, MI, October 27, 2011
Do not let those opposed to charter public schools kill choice by adding excessive regulation, layers of bureaucracy and impediments to innovation in the existing legislation.

Charter Schools Show Mixed Results; Raising The Cap Should Require Higher Standards
Detroit Free Press, MI, October 27, 2011
Any legislation passed must seek to assure that parents and students can choose the highest quality charter schools.

House Democrats Question Whether Charter Schools Provide Options For All Parents
Grand Rapids Press, MI, October 26, 2011
Charter schools provide choice not for all parents, but “choice for those with means,” said Democratic state House members who oppose bills that would lift a cap on the number of charters and attract out-of-state providers.

Public Money, Public Schools
Commercial Appeal, TN, October 27, 2011
It seems an odd time to push legislation authorizing private school vouchers. Accountability and transparency are among the top concerns these days regarding public education.

Panel Luncheon Debates Special-Needs Scholarships
Tulsa World, OK, October 27, 2011
School vouchers for special-needs students take away limited resources from children who remain in public education, a group of Tulsa-area parents told legislators Wednesday.

Charter Proposal Has School Officials Concerned
Baraboo News Republic, WI, October 27, 2011
A measure allowing approval of local charter schools by a state body has some education advocates concerned it would drain money and students from community school districts.

Budget Panel Backs Expanding Charter School Program Statewide
Journal Sentinel, WI, October 26, 2011
An independent charter school program would expand to medium and large school districts around Wisconsin , under a bill passed Wednesday by Republicans on the Legislature’s budget committee.

VIRTUAL LEARNING

Report: MI Has Virtually Nothing to Gain from Cyber Schools
Public News Service, October 27, 2011
Laptops and e-readers quickly are replacing pencils and papers in most classrooms. But should the classrooms themselves be replaced by Internet connections?