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Daily Headlines for October 7, 2011

Refocusing The Teacher-Quality Debate
Seattle Times, WA, October 6, 2011
The ability to teach well must be taught. Proposed changes to federal rules governing the colleges and university programs that prepare teachers get to the heart of the debate about teacher quality.

Catholic Schools Offer a Choice and a Good Education
Wall Street Journal, October 7, 2011
“Saving Catholic Education” (Houses of Worship, Sept. 30) by former Los Angeles Mayor Richard Riordan is an excellent summary of the contribution of Catholic schools to education.

FROM THE STATES

CALIFORNIA

Public School Choice Had It Right The First Time
Los Angeles Times, CA, October 7, 2011
L.A. Unified should go back to the original version of the program, choosing from applicants to run new and underperforming schools strictly on merit.

L.A. Unified to Retake Considerable Control of Manual Arts High
Los Angeles Times, CA, October 7, 2011
The campus is plagued by overcrowding and started the school year with shortages of desks and textbooks. It has been run since 2008 by a nonprofit that last month ended a year-round schedule.

Bullis Weathers Storm Before Its Charter Is Renewed For Five More Years
Mercury News, CA, October 6, 2011
Following an occasionally heated 4½-hour discussion, Santa Clara County education officials voted late Wednesday night to allow Bullis Charter School to continue operating in Los Altos.

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA

Bill Combating D.C. School Residency Fraud Gains Traction
Washington Times, DC, October 6, 2011
When Gina Arlotto’s children meet classmates at D.C. public schools, they sometimes get invited to pool parties at their new friends’ homes out in Maryland.

Deal Middle School Principal Leaving For Charter Venture Fund
Washington Post Blog, DC, October 6, 2011
As principal at Alice Deal, Melissa Kim runs the the most coveted public middle school in the city. The Tenleytown campus is packed beyond capacity and looking — just a year after a $70 million renovation–to expand into additional space.

GEORGIA

Charter Schools ‘Integral’ To Education, Says State Superintendent
Macon Telegraph, GA, October 7, 2011
State School Superintendent John Barge applauded the work of charter school educators and founders Thursday, calling charter schools an integral part of the education system

ILLINOIS

Maria High To Close In 2013 After Converting To Public Charter School
Chicago Sun-Times, IL, October 7, 2011
Maria High School — a century-old, all-girls Catholic school overlooking Chicago ’s Marquette Park — plans to go out of business in 2013 after gradually converting to a coeducational, kindergarten-to-12th grade public charter school officials said Thursday.

The Bitter Pill About Education
Chicago Tribune, IL, October 7, 2011
So now we know the bad news: Our schools simply don’t prepare students for success. A new report by the University of Chicago Consortium on School Research revealed what has been suspected but never documented: A too-easy state accountability exam disguised two decades of stagnation in our city’s elementary schools.

IOWA

Proposed Career Tiers For Teachers Questioned
Des Moines Register, IA, October 6, 2011
Iowans raised questions about Gov. Terry Branstad’s proposals to take top teachers out of classrooms and end social promotion for third-graders during town hall meetings Thursday on education reform.

MARYLAND

Task Force on Balto. Co. School Board Makes No Decision
Baltimore Sun, MD, October 6, 2011
A task force considering whether to change the way Baltimore County school board members are selected decided Thursday to take no position, sending the matter unresolved to state lawmakers.

MASSACHUSETTS

Excel Academy Charter School Buys St. Mary’s School Building
Boston Globe, MA, October 6, 2011
The Excel Academy Charter School announced this week its purchase of a shuttered East Boston school building from the Catholic Archdiocese of Boston.

Students to Protest Charter School in Providence
Boston Globe, MA, October 7, 2011
Students opposed to an Achievement First charter school in Providence are set to hold a rally at the state Department of Education.

MICHIGAN

State Senate Narrowly Approves Bill To Add Charter Schools
Detroit Free Press, MI, October 7, 2011
Michigan could be poised to add more charter schools under legislation that narrowly passed the state Senate on Thursday.

MINNESOTA

Clarkfield Area Charter School Gets Its Authorizer, Echo Charter Still Has Time
Advocate Tribune, MN, October 6, 2011
When state lawmakers passed legislation requiring charter school authorizers to be more accountable for the financial and academic standing of the schools they sponsor, like dozens of the state’s other 149 charter schools, ECHO and Clarkfield found themselves in limbo.

NEW JERSEY

Private Scholarship Bill Will Expand School Choice
Asbury Park Press, NJ, October 6, 2011
The Opportunity Scholarship Act (A-2810/S-1872) is a revenue-neutral pilot program. It will not require any funding.

NEW YORK

Success Charter Is Planning a School for Cobble Hill, Brooklyn
New York Times, NY, October 6, 2011
Fresh from a bruising battle to open a charter school on the Upper West Side, Eva S. Moskowitz, the former city councilwoman who runs a network of charters in New York City, is gearing up to expand into middle-class areas by opening a school in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn, next fall.

Starting Early to Create City Teachers
New York Times, NY, October 7, 2011
The gap between the number of minority teachers in Chicago’s public schools and minority student enrollment has widened over the last decade, but one school is working to change that by preparing the next generation of teachers.

OHIO

Charter School-CPS Case Goes To High Court
Cincinnati Enquirer, OH, October 6, 2011
The Ohio Supreme Court has taken up a case in which a South Fairmount charter school is fighting the Cincinnati Public School district’s efforts to shut its building down.

OREGON

WESD, Charter-School Fiascoes Show Need For Real Accountability
Statesman Journal, OR, October 7, 2011
With the recent failure of the Portland-based REAL Prep Charter Academy to open its doors, even after spending $500,000 of federal grant development money, parents and taxpayers are demanding more “accountability” for Oregon’s charter schools.

OKLAHOMA

Many Frustrations With Special-Needs Legislation
The Oklahoman, OK, October 7, 2011
IF all those throwing stones in the matter of private school scholarships for special-needs students would put their energies to more productive efforts, just imagine what good could happen for kids.

PENNSYLVANIA

2 Proposed Charter Schools in Harrisburg Announce Enrollment Plan
Patriot News, PA, October 6, 2011
Half of all spots at two proposed charter schools in Harrisburg will likely be open to students across the district.

Charter Performance: Conflicting Reports
Warren Times Observer, PA, October 7, 2011
The bottom line in education is student achievement. In that area, does it matter whether a child goes to a charter school or a public school?

House Bill Would Put State In Charge Of Paying Cyber School Tuition Fees
Norwin Star, PA, October 6, 2011
A bill in the state’s House could make the state responsible for paying charter and cyber charters school students’ tuition, instead of school districts.

TENNESSEE

Charter Schools See Mixed Results In Learning Growth
The Tennessean, TN, October 7, 2011
Charter schools in Nashville, Memphis and Chattanooga showed mixed results from 2008-2011 in an analysis by the Center for Research on Education Outcomes at Stanford University .

New Teacher Evaluations Are Cumbersome, Flawed, Need Changing Immediately
The Daily News Journal, TN, October 6, 2011
I am a tenured teacher with Rutherford County Schools. In the thirteen years I have taught here, I have never seen teachers (myself included) more stressed out and overwhelmed than this year.

UTAH

Beware of School Voucher Risks
Daily Herald, UT, October 7, 2011
Recently there has been an increase of interest in school vouchers or tuition tax-credits, and there are bills being written for the legislature to implement them next year. There are things we can learn from other countries as we consider adoption.

WISCONSIN

School Voucher Plan Advances
Beloit Daily News, WI, October 6, 2011
The Wisconsin school voucher bill is advancing through the state legislature, without Beloit as one of the voucher school districts added. The Senate Education Committee on Wednesday approved Senate Bill 174, which limits expansion of the school voucher program beyond the existing school districts of Milwaukee and Racine . The bill will then go before the full state Senate, Assembly, and on to the governor.

VIRTUAL LEARNING

‘Flipped’ Classrooms Take Advantage Of Technology
USA Today, October 7, 2011
It’s the latest way technology is changing teachers’ jobs — in this case it’s literally turning their workday upside-down. But teachers say flipped, or upside-down, classes offer greater control of material and more face time with students.

Test Results of Cyber-Charter Schools Discussed
Reading Eagle, PA, October 7, 2011
Cyber-charter schools apparently aren’t measuring up in the eyes of officials in the Exeter School District , which is required to spend about $500,000 to pay tuition for district residents enrolled in those schools.

PA Cyber Charter School Named Pittsburgh’s ‘Top Workplace’
PR Newswire, October 6, 2011
Dr. Nick Trombetta and the online school he founded and leads, the Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School , took top honors among large organizations in the Pittsburgh region in the “Top Places to Work” program sponsored by the Post-Gazette newspaper.

Straying Students Find Home in Olentangy’s OASIS
Delaware News, OH, October 6, 2011
Olentangy schools’ money-saving program, now a year old, is meeting its goal of attracting students who left for charter or online schools.