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Daily Headlines for October 28, 2011

Proposed Fixes Will Cripple Education Law
Philadelphia Inquirer, PA, October 28, 2011
Legislation that is supposed to fix what’s wrong with the federal No Child Left Behind education law would instead water it down to the point that it would not do an adequate job.

School Choice Making Inroads In Blue States
Daily Caller, DC, October 27, 2011
If you have any doubt that real school choice can reach practically every state in this country, cast those apprehensions aside. School choice is making inroads in big, blue states, and it’s likely coming to a community near you. Need proof? Take a look at the news that just broke last night in Pennsylvania.

Who’s Minding the Gap?
TIME, October 27, 2011
Ah, the achievement gap. So much trouble to fix, so why bother trying? That seems to be the attitude in Washington, where pundits have spent the last several months ripping the current focus on improving the low end of student performance in our nation’s schools.

STATE COVERAGE

Charter Lesson: High Goals, Accountability Turn Schools Around
Hartford Courant, CT, October 28, 2011
The problem is that the success of several of these Connecticut charters — independent, publicly funded, non-union operations — is too irresistible to ignore.

Legality of Schools’ Takeover in Doubt
Connecticut Post, CT, October 27, 2011
The state Supreme Court is not expected to announce its decision for some days but if Thursday’s comments and questions from the justices are any indication, then the members of the state-appointed Bridgeport Board of Education probably shouldn’t get too comfortable in their seats.

True to Your School! Cobble Hill Parents Fight Charter
Brooklyn Paper, NY, October 28, 2011
The city wants to give one third of a formerly-struggling Cobble Hill high school to a high-performing charter school — but parents are already fighting the co-location plan.

Walcott Says City Must Step Up and Fix Failing Schools That Mayor Bloomberg Founded
New York Daily News, NY, October 28, 2011
City schools must do more to prepare kids for college, Chancellor Dennis Walcott acknowledged Friday, on the defensive over a Daily News story about failures of schools founded by Bloomberg.

State Superintendents Unveil Education Reform Efforts
Richmond Times-Dispatch, VA, October 28, 2011
Education leaders from across the state showed a unified front Thursday as they rolled out aggressive reform to revamp public K-12 education in Virginia.

KIPP Charter School Raises the Bar
MyFox Memphis, TN, October 27, 2011
From the moment you enter a KIPP Collegiate School, it’s clear that this is something different. The kids are fully engaged. There’s a sense of discipline, even in walking to your next class.

No Clear Push To Revamp
Charlotte Observer, NC, October 28, 2011
Of all the emotional topics in education, few send blood pressure soaring like student assignment.

Rock Hill Schools Plan More Choice For Students
Rock Hill Herald, SC, October 28, 2011
As Rock Hill schools continue adding a variety of academic options, two campuses are turning their focus to science, technology, engineering and math, while another opens its elementary International Baccalaureate program to any student in the district.

Staff Rejects Proposed Charter School for Pasco’s Disabled
St. Petersburg Times, FL, October 28, 2011
For two years, the Center for Independence in Hudson has proposed opening a charter school to serve students with disabilities ages 18-22.

Sunshine is Best
Columbus Dispatch, OH, October 28, 2011
Of course, taxpayers and the charter schools that hire operating companies such as White Hat Management Co. should be able to see records of how such companies spend public money and run public schools.

Pilot Program Evaluates Teachers in Youngstown District
Youngstown Vindicator, OH, October 28, 2011
A teacher-evaluation system operating as a pilot in the city schools this year reflects the standards outlined by the Ohio Department of Education.

Mayor Accuses Teachers Union of ‘Cheating Children Out of an Education’
Chicago Tribune, IL, October 27, 2011
Mayor Rahm Emanuel said the teachers union’s efforts to block additional elementary schools from adopting a longer school day is akin to “cheating children out of an education.”

Accountability and the Achievement Gap
Twin City Daily Planet, MN, October 27, 2011
Those promoting accountability as the best way to close the “achievement gap,” focus their sights on what they identify as educational reforms.

More Oklahoma Schools, Districts Than Ever ‘Need Improvement’
The Oklahoman, OK, October 28, 2011
As federal standards steadily make it tougher for schools to meet academic performance requirements, more and more schools and school districts in Oklahoma have found themselves on the notorious list of schools in need of improvement.

Algiers Charter School Leaders Say Controversial Teacher Retirement Change Was A Surprise
Times-Picayune, LA, October 27, 2011
Leaders of the Algiers Charter Schools Association said during a crowded and boisterous meeting tonight that the group’s controversial departure from the state teacher retirement program wasn’t by choice.

Thompson School Board Denies Red Rock Academy Application
Reporter Herald, CO, October 27, 2011
The Thompson Board of Education voted unanimously Thursday afternoon to deny Red Rock Academy’s application for a charter within the district.

Allow Home-Schooled Kids To Take Classes
Albuquerque Journal, NM, October 28, 2011
But school board members say the district’s lawyer advised the board it is illegal to allow home-schooled students to take classes in district schools because home schools are private schools.

NYC Mayor a Contributor to BESE Campaign
Wall Street Journal, October 27, 2011
New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg has made some big-money donations in the race for control of Louisiana ‘s Board of Elementary and Secondary Education.

Why Do Pa. Lawmakers Ignore The Will Of The People On School Vouchers?
Patriot News, PA, October 28, 2011
With the narrow passage this week of Senate Bill 1 by the Pennsylvania Senate, taxpayers in the commonwealth have been given a trick not a treat when it comes to potentially higher taxes in the future.

Senators: Education Shake-Up Needed, Not Just Vouchers
Standard Speaker, PA, October 28, 2011
Local state senators believe that education in Pennsylvania needs a shake-up regardless of whether they supported a bill to provide vouchers for students to attend private schools.

Court Battle Begins Over Ballot Measure
News Press, FL, October 27, 2011
A proposed change to the state constitution making it easier for taxpayer funds to go to religious institutions does not adequately explain that fact to voters who will be asked to decide, an attorney for critics told a circuit judge Thursday.

State Shouldn’t Subsidize Private School Education
New Philadelphia Times Reporter, OH, October 27, 2011
The Ohio House Education Committee is coming under scrutiny after narrowly passing a bill that would provide scholarships to public-school students if they transfer to private or parochial schools.

SB 5 Camps Report Spending More Than $23 Million
‎Cincinnati Enquirer Blog, OH, October 27, 2011
The battle over Senate Bill 5 and whether collecting bargaining should be eliminated for government workers cost more than $23 million so far, according to campaign finance reports filed today with the Ohio Secretary of State.

Controversial Charter School Bill OK’d by State Senate
Detroit Free Press, MI, October 28, 2011
The Michigan Senate passed six bills Thursday that give parents more options for their children’s education, including one that lifts restrictions on the number of cyber charter schools that can open and the number of students that can enroll in them.

Education Bills Mean Changes
Lacrosse Tribune, WI, October 28, 2011
A raft of Republican education proposals that backers say will offer more flexibility for school districts and parents is moving closer to the governor’s desk.

Parents Concerned About School Voucher Program
KOCO, 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.

VIRTUAL LEARNING

Enrollment Increasing at Ohio Online Schools
WFMJ, OH, October 27, 2011
More students are enrolling in online K-12 schools across Ohio but is this the right option for your child? 21 News spoke with an expert who says there are multiple factors to consider when making a decision.

Virtual School Offers K-12 Distance Learning Option
Lusk Herald, WY, October 27, 2011
It doesn’t happen often, but sometimes education in a brick-and-mortar school just isn’t an option. The Wyoming Virtual Academy (WYVA) offers an alternative.