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Daily Headlines: January 26, 2012

NATIONAL

Obama Wades Into Issue of Raising Dropout Age
New York Times, NY, January 26, 2012

President Obama’s State of the Union call for every state to require students to stay in school until they turn 18 is Washington’s first direct involvement in an issue that many governors and state legislators have found tough to address.

Mandating School Until 18 Has Pitfalls
Washington Times, DC, January 25, 2012

Long before President Obama’s call on Tuesday night for all students to remain in school until they turn 18, almost half of the nation’s jurisdictions already had instituted such policies, and several more are taking up the issue this year.

Someone Will Choose Your Child’s Education; Why Not You?
Baltimore Sun. MD, January 25, 2012

This is National School Choice Week, an occasion that always makes me think back to 1976, when as a writer for my high school paper, I interviewed retiring Baltimore County schools Superintendent Joshua Wheeler. I asked Mr. Wheeler why our schools didn’t require proficiency testing for graduation. “I know we’re a great school system,” I said diplomatically, “but even so, some of our kids graduate without being able to read and write.”

STATE COVERAGE

School Choice Will Make Maine More Student-Friendly, Commissioner Says
Bangor Daily News, ME, January 25, 2012

Education Commissioner Stephen Bowen told a cheering group of charter school and school choice supporters at the State House that the LePage administration is preparing several school choice bills for consideration this session.

Breakthrough On Teacher Evaluations
Hartford Courant, CT, January 25, 2012

After about two years of wrangling, a group representing teachers, school administrators and school boards agreed Wednesday on a new way to evaluate teachers that places a strong emphasis on student achievement.

Reform Worth Fighting For
New York Post, NY, January 26, 2012

As the Department of Education closed nearly two dozen of the city’s worst large high schools at the height of the “small-schools boom,” one of the critics’ most common complaints was that the educrats were doing too much, too soon.

Cuomo Pushes Teacher Talks
Wall Street Journal, January 26, 2012

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is pushing the Bloomberg administration and the United Federation of Teachers to make a deal on a new teacher-rating system, wading directly into a local labor dispute that has dragged on for more than a year, said people familiar with the matter.

Montclair Charter School Group Not Giving Up
Montclair Times, NJ, January 26, 2012

Even though they suffered another frustrating rejection last week, charter-school advocates in Montclair are not ready to throw in the towel.

Payments to Charter Schools A ‘Burden,’ Woodland Hills Says
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, PA, January 26, 2012

The Woodland Hills school board, which pays more than $10 million a year to nearby charter schools, is one of at least two local boards joining in an effort to change the way charter schools are funded.

Many Public Schools In D.C.’S Poorest Area Should Be Transformed Or Shut, Study Says; More Charters Recommended
Washington Post, DC, January 26, 2012

A new study commissioned by D.C. Mayor Vincent C. Gray recommends that the city turn around or close more than three dozen traditional public schools in its poorest neighborhoods and expand the number of high-performing charter schools.

Californian Picked for TN Charter Incubator
The Tennessean, TN, January 26, 2012

A California charter school director will be senior fellow at the Tennessee Charter School Incubator, with the goal of starting a network of schools in the city in 2014.

School Board Drafts Resolution Opposing Charter
Herald Sun, NC, January 25, 2012

Durham school board members tonight will likely approve a resolution in opposition to Research Triangle High School, a charter school proposed for opening in Research Triangle Park this fall.

Riverview, School District Headed To Court Over Enrollment Dispute
Beaufort Gazette, SC, January 25, 2012

Though their lawyers still seek an agreement, Riverview Charter School and the Beaufort County School District are scheduled to meet in court next week over an enrollment dispute.

In Ohio, Dropout Law Hard To Enforce
Columbus Dispatch, OH, January 26, 2012

During Tuesday’s State of the Union address, President Barack Obama urged states to require students to stay in school until they graduate or turn 18 — a law already in effect in Ohio and 19 other states.

The Gift of Classroom Time
Chicago Tribune, IL, January 26, 2012

Starting next year, Chicago elementary school kids will receive a priceless gift: another 90 minutes of classroom instruction. Students in several neighborhood schools already are reaping the benefits of the longer day.

Let’s Evaluate All Ways To Close Gap
Wisconsin State Journal, WI, January 26, 2012

In recent listening sessions with Madison parents, I heard how we can improve our schools, what we can be really proud of and stories about our wonderful teachers. In these discussions and in others, people have talked about addressing the racial achievement gap and shared concerns about Madison Prep.

How to Close the Achievement Gap? Greater School Choice
MPR News, MN, January 26, 2012

How much longer must the teachers’ union continue to monopolize public funding of education before Gov. Mark Dayton recognizes that the Minneapolis public schools are incapable of giving students–especially low-income minority students–the education they deserve?

Learning from Charters
Denver Post, CO, January 26, 2012

Immersing assistant principals from traditional Denver schools in successful charter programs holds promise for all involved.

Seattle School Board Tables Proposal on Its Power
Seattle Times Blog, WA, January 25, 2012

In a sign of division, the Seattle School Board voted 4-3 Wednesday night to postpone consideration of a proposal about its own power.

Teachers to Get New Evaluation System
Ashland Daily Tidings, OR, January 26, 2012

The Ashland School District plans to begin implementing new standards for evaluating its teachers by the beginning of next school year.

O.C. School Closing To Let Charter School Expand
Orange County Register, CA, January 25, 2012

In June, the Oxford Preparatory Academy charter school will take over the campus it has been sharing with Mission Viejo’s Barcelona Hills Elementary.

Making Public Schools Work
Chico News & Review, CA, January 26, 2012

“High-quality charter schools” are not going to help these children. The very nature of “choice” separates children who have involved parents—even to the minimal degree of making a choice and signing a registration form—from those who do not.

Senate Democrats Have Cozy Office Deal With United Federation of Teachers at Union’s Building
New York Daily News, NY, January 26, 2012

The campaign arm of state Senate Democrats is using office space in a building owned by the city’s powerful teachers union.

District 27 Legislators Applaud DOE Decision on Charter Schools
Item of Milburn , NJ, January 26, 2012

Sen. Richard J. Codey, Assemblywoman Mila M. Jasey and Assemblyman John F. McKeon applauded a Jan. 20 decision by state Department of Education Acting Commissioner Chris Cerf rejecting the Hua Mei charter school application.

School Choice Supporters Converge on Capitol
Atlanta Journal-Constitution, GA, January 25, 2012

Busloads of students, teachers and parents swarmed the state Capitol on Wednesday, urging lawmakers to support education options beyond traditional public schools.

Pass Charter Schools Amendment, Get Back to Fixing Education in Georgia
Atlanta Journal-Constitution, GA, January 25, 2012

Ask Georgians about education, and you’ll likely hear two things: It’s important to our future prosperity, and we’re lagging behind. They’re right about its importance. There is one area, however, in which Georgia doesn’t trail most other states when it comes to education:

Charter Schools Bill Would Change Constitution
GPB, GA, January 25, 2012

Georgia lawmakers have filed a constitutional amendment to expand the state’s ability to open and fund charter schools. The amendment is a response to last year’s state Supreme Court ruling that said only local school districts could spend local tax dollars on charters.

Parent Trigger Bills Are Half-Cocked Ideas
Orlando Sentinel, FL, January 26, 2012

It’s understandable that parents who have seen little improvement in their children’s poor-performing Florida schools would have itchy trigger fingers.

Push on for Miss. Charter Schools
Clarion Ledger, MS, January 26, 2012

Momentum is growing for a more flexible charter school law in Mississippi.
In his State of the State address, Gov. Phil Bryant called on the Legislature to “pass a workable charter school act once and for all.”

Governor Bobby Jindal Throws Deep on Education: John Maginnis
Times-Picayune, LA, January 25, 2012

Unveiling his plan for revamping K-12 education last week, Gov. Bobby Jindal outlined dozens of proposals that go further and deeper than many thought he would or that any previous governor’s reform plans have, spanning tenure, school choice, merit pay, salaries, seniority, pre-K and the hiring and firing powers of superintendents versus school boards.

Don’t Protect Failing Schools
Chicago Tribune, IL, January 26, 2012

Grumbling about the longer school day is nothing compared to what lawmakers are up to. State Rep. Cynthia Soto, a Chicago Democrat, says she’ll push a bill this year to stop the Chicago Board of Education from closing or overhauling a handful of its failing public schools for a year.

Charter School Funding Contested
Twin City Daily Planet, MN, January 25, 2012

Charter schools now receive the same funds as a public school district, with the exclusion of referendum revenue. That could change.

Higher Admission Standards For Educators Questioned
DesMoines Register, IA, January 26, 2012

Ramping up admissions requirements for Iowa’s teacher preparation programs could lock promising educators out of the field and would fail to address the most pressing issues facing state schools, Democratic lawmakers said Wednesday.

Charter School Fans Trumpet Successes
St. Louis Post –Dispatch, MO, January 26, 2012

A Missouri House committee heard success stories of charter schools for more than three hours Wednesday as advocates launched an all-out pitch to allow the nontraditional public schools to be established statewide.

Bill In Legislature Would Allow Quicker State Intervention in KC Schools
Kansas City Star, MO, January 25, 2012

Missouri education officials would be able to intervene in failing school districts immediately instead of having to wait two years under a bill being considered by lawmakers.

School Board: Eliminate Tenure
Argus Leader, SD, January 26, 2012

Stuck with a veteran teacher they’d like to fire, Harding County School Board members want the state Legislature to end teacher tenure right away, not over time, as Gov. Dennis Daugaard has proposed.

Nurturing Local Control
Black Hill Pioneer, SD, January 25, 2012

The governor’s plan for awarding bonuses to some teachers might find stronger support if school boards get the flexibility to focus the money on local priorities, one of the Legislature’s senior members said Tuesday.

VIRTUAL EDUCATION

Rochester Schools Expanding Online Classes
KAAL TV, NY, January 25, 2012

The Rochester Public School District is pushing to integrate more online learning. The school board just approved more online classes for students and an even larger expansion is on the way.

Critics Say ‘Cyber’ Charter Schools Have Not Delivered Results, But Families Call Programs ‘A Miracle’
Grand Rapids Press, MI, January 25, 2012

Critics of “cyber” charter schools said Wednesday there’s not enough information to determine whether the schools are successful, but Steve Slisko pointed to his grandson.

Education in a Blender
Janesville Gazette, WI, January 25, 2012

You might have read my grousings about the education community’s penchant for creating new terminology. In defense of our educators, theirs has been a rapidly changing field over the past two decades, with new theories, techniques, etc., coming fast and furious.

St. Martin Schools Go Online
KATC, LA, January 25, 2012

Every year, hundreds of thousands of undergraduates turn to the internet for their courses. Now, some Acadiana schools want in on the growing trend of online education. Why?