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Daily Headlines for January 25, 2012

Council Finds States Weakening Teacher Tenure
Associated Press, January 25, 2012

America’s public school teachers are seeing their generations-old tenure protections weakened as states seek flexibility to fire teachers who aren’t performing.

Freedom to Choose a School
Appeal Democrat, CA, January 25, 2012

National School Choice Week is going on this week, focusing attention on efforts of parents, activists, legislators, students and grass-roots networks to promote school choice programs throughout the United States.

Disgusted Parents ‘Occupy’ The Classroom
Washington Times, DC, January 24, 2012

That rumbling sound you hear isn’t a snow-removal truck, a low-flying plane or a train inadvertently chugging through your backyard. No, it’s the low, slow churning of civic discontent, fomenting thanks to the decades-long trend toward educational mediocrity and resulting in a grass-roots movement that will — with any luck at all — restore our nation’s status as a well-educated and virtuous people.

STATE COVERAGE

Chipping Away At Charter Schools
Boston Globe Blog, MA, January 24, 2012

Charter school approvals are granted in February. They shouldn’t be. They should have been granted on January 16th this year–Martin Luther King Day–for one simple reason: No education policy change has done more in Massachusetts to alleviate achievement gaps than charters. None.

Eva Moskowitz Seeks To Expand Success Academies To Chelsea, Upper E. Side
New York Daily News, NY, January 24, 2012

Controversial charter school founder Eva Moskowitz could be expanding her education empire into the upper East Side and Chelsea.

P.S. 165 Principal Resigns, Takes Post At Charter School
Columbia Spectator, NY, January 25, 2012

During his year and a half as principal, Gallini made many curriculum changes and saw the school’s Department of Education ranking soar from the 49th to the 93rd percentile.

Charter Schools Say They Can’t Compete With DCPS Teacher Pay
Washington Examiner, DC, January 24, 2012

Leaders of the District’s top-performing charter schools told the D.C. Council on Tuesday that they can’t compete with the bonus-laden pay scale of D.C. Public Schools when it comes to attracting and retaining top teachers.

Drop In Magnet School Applicants Concerns Wake School Board
News & Observer, NC, January 25, 2012

Wake County’s new student assignment plan is drawing concern from some Democratic school board members who think it’s hurting the system’s popular magnet school program.

Public, Private, Home Schools Work Together To Teach Kids
Charlotte Observer, NC, January 25, 2012

I often sense an adversarial tone when listening to discussions about the different educational options available to our children. We often fail to recognize that whether a child attends a traditional public school, public charter school, private school or is homeschooled, each learning environment enjoys a symbiotic relationship with the other.

Emotions Mixed on Trend of School Choice
Statesville Record & Landmark, NC, January 24, 2012

Parents have no lack of school choices in Iredell County, whether it be a public, charter or private school.

State Director Makes Recommendation Against Knox Charter School
Knoxville News Sentinel, TN, January 24, 2012

The executive director of the Tennessee State Board of Education has recommended that the board vote against a proposed charter school in Knox County .

Franklin Schools Rezoning Aims For Poorer Students To Mingle
The Tennessean, TN, January 25, 2012

Some parents in Franklin’s poorest neighborhoods are preparing to send their children to different schools next year after district leaders voted to spread them out more evenly.

Charter School Debate Heats Up in Kentucky
WDRB, KY, January 24, 2012

It is a public school that runs like a private school but it still gets state funding. The charter school debate is heating up once again in Frankfort, with a loud voice asking lawmakers to listen.

Rally Planned To Promote School Choice
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, GA, January 24, 2012

Parents and students plan a rally at the state Capitol Wednesday, hoping to convince lawmakers to give money and momentum to the school-choice movement.

Public School System Releases Locations of Charter Academies
Cherokee Tribune, GA, January 25, 2012

For the Cherokee County School District, six new academies will begin next fall to provide more school choice within the district. At a work session before the school board meeting Thursday, Superintendent Dr. Frank Petruzielo provided an update on the Cherokee Academies initiative.

Alpharetta Charter School Runs Into State Hurdle
WGCL Atlanta, GA, January 24, 2012

State education leaders have told Fulton Science Academy Middle School in Alpharetta that it needs state approval before it can move forward with construction on a new campus.
The charter school received approval for the site from Fulton County last November.

New Pinellas School Board Member Advocates Vouchers
Tampa Bay Times, FL, January 25, 2012

Pinellas County’s newest School Board member is an advocate for school vouchers, as is the man who appointed him to the seat.

District Pilots New Teacher Evaluation Process
News Leader, OH, January 25, 2012

By next year, school officials say every teacher in the district will be rated according to one of four standards: Accomplished, proficient, developing and ineffective. And under a state law approved last year, those evaluations will eventually be a factor in how teachers are compensated, as well as which teachers would be the first to be laid off.

New Voucher Effort Serves Special-Needs Students
Columbus Dispatch, OH, January 25, 2012

Ohio is about to launch its fourth tax-funded education-voucher program, this one for students with special needs.

Familiar Face at Trough
Fort Wayne Gazette, IN, January 25, 2012

As the Fort Wayne Urban League prepares to open the city’s fourth taxpayer-supported charter school, a familiar name has surfaced as a possible landlord.

State on the Mark in Seeking NCLB Waiver
Herald Times Reporter, WI, January 25, 2012

Wisconsin will make sweeping changes in the way it evaluates school and student performance if it is granted a waiver from requirements of the 10-year-old federal No Child Left Behind law.

Could Charter Schools Improve Local Learning?
KRCG, MO, January 24, 2012

This is National School Choice Week. The focus Tuesday night at the MO State Capitol was on charter schools. Just a couple dozen people showed up to hear from a group lobbying for changes.

New Orleans School Board Leadership Debate Turns Divisive
Times Picayune, LA, January 24, 2012

The Orleans Parish School Board, a body that has typically kept its divisions behind the scenes during the past three years, broke into open discord Tuesday evening over the selection of a new president and vice president, as well as applications to open new charter schools in the district.

In Praise of the Virtues of Choice
The Advertiser, LA, January 25, 2012

The choice of John White as the new state superintendent was, in some ways, a controversial one. After Gov. Bobby Jindal picked White, previously the chief of the Recovery School District in New Orleans, for the post, some members of the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education and of teacher organizations objected.

Rally in Castle Rock, Colorado, Praises School Choice and Assails Teachers Unions
Denver Post, CO, January 25, 2012

The message of a school-choice rally in Castle Rock on Tuesday was this: The key to maintaining our democracy is educating its citizens, and the key to educating those citizens is giving parents options for children’s education.

Denver Public Schools Gets $800,000 Grant to Train Assistant Principals
Denver Post, CO, January 25, 2012

Six assistant principals in Denver Public Schools will spend a year shadowing successful district charter principals and learning best leadership practices in a groundbreaking cooperative effort funded by an $800,000 grant.

Proposal Spurs Emotional Debate over Seattle School Board Power
Seattle Times, WA, January 24, 2012

Amid speculation about why Interim Superintendent Susan Enfield decided to leave the district, some members are trying to clarify the board’s role. But others worry the proposal goes too far.

The Opposition View on Charter Schools
Seattle Times, WA, January 24, 2012

We need to hear from the other side
There have recently been two full editorial columns supporting the current charter bill (Senate Bill 6202) — one by the authors and one by The Times’ editorial board. [“Education overhauls gaining traction,” Opinion, Jan. 17].

City View Sprang from Vision for ‘Expeditionary Learning’
Forest Grove News-Times, OR, January 25, 2012

It isn’t at all unusual to see a group of fourth-graders from City View Charter School exploring an historic building in downtown Hillsboro.

SUSD Retains Control of Early College Academy
Stockton Record, CA, January 25, 2012

Rigorous Stockton Early College Academy will continue to be governed by the Stockton Unified School District board, at least for the time being.

Teachers Union Protests Proposed Charter School
Elk Grove Citizen, CA, January 24, 2012

Elk Grove City Council Member and mayoral candidate Gary Davis promoted one of his major community projects, a proposed public charter school to the Elk Grove Unified School District board on Jan. 17.

Golden Missed Opportunity
City Journal, January 26, 2012

School choice is on the move everywhere—except California.

Gov. LePage’s First State of the State: ‘We Must Put Politics and Gridlock Aside’
Bangor Daily News, ME, January 24, 2012

Gov. Paul LePage set out an ambitious but familiar agenda during his first State of the State address on Tuesday, defending the achievements of his first year while pledging to tackle high energy costs, create more educational opportunities and continue government belt-tightening.

Constitutional Amendment Aims To Revive Charter Schools
Augusta Chronicle, GA, January 24, 2012

Georgia lawmakers filed a constitutional amendment Tuesday to address a state Supreme Court ruling that disbanded the state’s charter school commission last year.

Furor Erupts Over Bills To Let Parents Decide Poorly Performing Schools’ Fate
Orlando Sentinel, FL, January 24, 2012

Florida lawmakers want to give parents the power to dictate the future of poorly performing public schools, sparking criticism from parent advocates and others that the effort is part of a continuing campaign to privatize education.

Bryant Stresses Ed Reforms
Clarion Ledger, MS, January 24, 2012

Gov. Phil Bryant on Tuesday pledged to improve Mississippians’ health, reduce the state’s teen pregnancy rates, foster economic development and reform education in a policy-packed State of the State speech.

Indiana Lawmakers Seek Looser School Voucher Rules
Palladium-Item, IN, January 25, 2012

Thousands of students could pour into the country’s broadest private school voucher program if Indiana legislators drop a requirement that children spend at least one year in public schools before becoming eligible.

Jindal Calls Teacher Union Official’s Comments ‘Incredibly Offensive’
Times Picayune, LA, January 24, 2012

A day after teachers unions blasted the rhetoric Gov. Bobby Jindal used in rolling out his plan to overhaul the state education system, the governor fired back and said he was offended by a comment a union official made about school vouchers. The comment, by Louisiana Association of Educators Executive Director Michael Walker-Jones, suggested that parents may not have the resources to make informed decisions about their children’s schools.

Eaton: School Choice Long Overdue In Illinois
Southtown Star, IL, January 24, 2012

While state Sen. James Meeks (D-Chicago) and former state Rep. Kevin Joyce (D-Chicago) normally held positions opposite conservative Republicans, there was one issue on which they agreed — school choice.

VIRTUAL EDUCATION

Virtual Charter Academy Gains Initial Approval
Concord Independent Tribune, NC, January 24, 2012

The Cabarrus County Board of Education granted preliminary approval to the application submitted by North Carolina Virtual Charter Academy in a 5-2 vote at its business meeting on Monday.