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Daily Headlines: January 31, 2012

NATIONAL

Education: States Should Do More To Reach Students
Associated Press, January 31, 2012

In its initial review of No Child Left Behind waiver requests, the U.S. Education Department highlighted a similar weakness in nearly every application: States did not do enough to ensure schools would be held accountable for the performance of all students.

STATE COVERAGE

What Happens to the Kids When Charter Schools Fail?
TIME, January 31, 2012

Most of Lighthouse’s 66 students will be thrust back into the same public schools their parents tried to flee. Nearby public schools only perform slightly better than Lighthouse on standardized tests, and some do just as poorly.

Los Altos School Board Approves Split-Campus Offer for Bullis
Palo Alto Daily News, CA, January 31, 2012

Pointing to a space crunch, the Los Altos School District Board of Education approved a preliminary facilities offer Monday night that would split Bullis Charter School between two sites next school year.

California Assembly Approves Mendoza Bill Making It Easier For School Districts To Deny Charter Schools
Whittier Daily News, CA, January 30, 2012

The state Assembly Monday on a 45-28 vote approved Assemblyman Tony Mendoza’s bill that would make to make it easier for school districts to turn down charter schools.

New Teacher Tenure Rules Closer to Approval in Colorado
Denver Post, CO, January 30, 2012

Statewide teacher tenure rules are closer to becoming law after the state House voted Monday to OK a four-tier rating system for teachers and principals. The tenure standards now head to the Senate. Statewide tenure evaluations were approved by lawmakers two years ago, but the specifics had to come back to the Legislature for final approval.

Parents Now Have More Options When Sending Their Kids Off To School
Lodi News-Sentinel, CA, January 31, 2012

Believe it or not, the time to plan for kindergarten enrollment next fall is now. But the choices might be overwhelming.

Charter Schools Touted As Educational Option
The Day, CT, January 31, 2012

Charter schools are not necessarily the solution to the state’s education woes but they do offer students a choice, and when it comes to education the more options the better, a charter school official said Monday at a community breakfast held at the ISAAC school.

Del. Limits Link of Test Scores to Teacher Pay
News Journal, DE, January 31, 2012

The state Department of Education has again changed how it will calculate public school teacher ratings for the 2011-12 school year.

DCPS Schools To Become Charters? Union Sounds Off
Washington Examiner Blog, DC, January 30, 2012

Last week, D.C.’s deputy mayor for education released a report recommending that three dozen D.C. Public Schools campuses be closed or turned around, likely reinvented as charter schools. Unsurprisingly, that’s not sitting too well with Nathan Saunders, the president of the Washington Teachers’ Union.

Parent Trigger Bad Policy
Sun Sentinel, FL, January 31, 2012

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

Martin County Charter School No. 7 Among State’s High Schools
TC Palms, FL, January 30, 2012

Clark Advanced Learning Center ranked No. 7 among the state’s high schools, according to the first-ever ranking of 3,078 public and charter schools released Monday by the Florida Department of Education.

Checking Out the New Oglethorpe Charter School
Savannah Morning News, GA, January 31, 2012

Savannah-Chatham Public School parents, administrators and district officials gathered at the new Oglethorpe Charter School construction site Monday for a tour.

2 Education Voucher Bills Could Be Headed For Floor Votes
Atlanta Journal Constitution, GA, January 30, 2012

Senate Bill 87 and House Bill 181 passed out of the Senate Education Committee late last week and are before the Senate Rules Committee for possible placement on the full Senate’s calendar. Both are opposed by the Professional Association of Georgia Educators, the state’s largest teacher organization.

Charter Schools: Local Control Is A Key Principle
Columbus Ledger-Enquirer, GA, January 31, 2012

This newspaper’s editorial board has long been on record as supporting charter schools, in concept and in reality. Creativity, innovation and the willingness to meet ambitious performance standards ought to earn educators and administrators some reasonable flexibility with regard to bureaucratic strictures. That’s no threat to public education; done well, it could be its salvation.

How To Get More Hispanics In Charters
Idaho Press, ID, January 31, 2012

Race-neutral policies in their admissions and student assignment processes, including comprehensive review, socioeconomic preferences, class-rank plans and lottery procedures will empower more Hispanics to benefit from charter schools.

Emanuel’s Appearance in Pro-Charter School Video Irks Teachers Union
Chicago News Cooperative, IL, January 31, 2012

As Chicago Public Schools begins what are certain to be contentious contract talks with the Chicago Teachers Union, Mayor Rahm Emanuel emerged as the star of a new online video promoting charter schools and ripping the union.

Yes, Classrooms First
Chicago Tribune, IL, January 31, 2012

About a year ago, in his budget address, Gov. Pat Quinn took a political risk and said Illinois should greatly reduce the number of school districts in the state. Illinois has 868 school districts, more than almost any other state. That creates a lot of unnecessary expense through duplication of services. We’re long overdue for a downsizing.

Jindal’s Education Moon Shot
Wall Street Journal, January 31, 2012

Newt Gingrich wants the U.S. to return to the moon, but as challenges go he has nothing on Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal’s school reform plans.

Mary Landrieu Walks Tightrope On Bobby Jindal’s Education Plans
Times Picayune, LA, January 30, 2012

U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu sought to pour some cold water on one of the central proposals in Gov. Bobby Jindal’s education reform agenda Monday, using state data to show a huge gap between the number of students who would technically qualify for the governor’s proposed private school voucher program and the number of seats that may actually exist in the state’s private schools.

Jindal’s Plan Not Extreme As Some
Monroe News Star, LA, January 30, 2012

Indiana Superintendent of Education Tony Bennett said his state is enjoying big successes with his pro-choice education plan, which includes testing private schools that receive vouchers.

Maryland Schools Test Evaluating Teachers On Student Performance
Baltimore Sun, MD, January 30, 2012

Maryland schools are moving closer to overhauling the way that they evaluate teachers, putting more emphasis on student performance and test scores.

Teacher Seniority, NCLB Top Education Issues In Low-Key Legislative Session
Minnesota Public Radio, MN, January 30, 2012

A state House committee will hear a proposal Tuesday that would change several rules regarding teacher seniority and layoffs.

Charter Schools: Move Cautiously
Clarion Ledger, MS, January 31, 2012

The current state law allowing charter schools is so restrictive that it has made legitimate efforts to create innovative charter schools almost impossible.

Senator’s Bill Would Bring an End to KC School District
Kansas City Star, MO, January 30, 2012

One of many proposals, it faces a difficult path, beginning with hearing today in Jefferson City.

City Shifts on Teacher Evaluations
Wall Street Journal, January 31, 2012

After months of talks with the teachers union, the Bloomberg administration is asking Gov. Andrew Cuomo to help put an end to the labor dispute by scrapping the state’s teacher evaluation law.

New Study Gives New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg An “A” On Small-School Movement
New York Daily News, NY, January 31, 2012

Critics blasted findings from a new study that gives Mayor Bloomberg an “A” on his small-school movement and finds that thousands of students — the majority in the Bronx — are more likely to graduate than their peers at larger high schools.

Next Time, Listen To The Teachers
Albany Times Union, NY, January 30, 2012

New York’s plans to implement its new teacher evaluation law have been met with outcries from principals, wariness from teachers and legal objections by the New York State United Teachers. All of that might have been averted if state leaders had more fully considered the perspective of educators before developing their implementation plans.

State May Delay Decision On Charter School
Outer Banks Voice, NC, January 30, 2012

Efforts to open a charter school on the Currituck Outer Banks may be delayed an additional month.

New Measures In Place For Teachers
Star News, NC, January 30, 2012

A new batch of data from the four-year-old statewide teacher evaluation system is showing the effectiveness of some teachers in the Cape Fear region.

Class Sizes Swell As State Aid Declines, Enrollment Rises
Tulsa World, OK, January 31, 2012

Class size remains a critical issue in some Tulsa-area school districts as they struggle to recover from successive state budget cuts over the past few years.

Leaders Say ‘Choice’ Is Key For Education
The Edmond Sun, OK, January 30, 2012

More than 350 people filled Constitution Hall last Tuesday evening on the campus of the University of Central Oklahoma to see just what school choice was all about.

Chester Community Charter School Funding In Jeopardy, Too
Philadelphia Inquirer, PA, January 31, 2012

A federal court order earlier this month sending money to the Chester Upland School District to keep it solvent threatens to put the Chester Community Charter School, home to about 2,750 Chester Upland students, in jeopardy, charter officials say.

School Choice? Practice What You Preach, Chaput
Philadelphia Daily News, PA, January 31, 2012

CATHOLIC Schools Week began yesterday with a plea from Philly Archbishop Charles Chaput for Catholics to push for passage of a school-voucher bill that would let parents choose where to spend education dollars.

Riverview Argues School District Changed ‘The Rules Of The Game’ In Enrollment Dispute
Beaufort Gazette, SC, January 30, 2012

The enrollment dispute between Riverview Charter School and the Beaufort County School District is a case of “David and Goliath,” Riverview’s attorney Alice Paylor told a jury Monday.

Innovation, Funds Needed To Reach Lofty Schools Goal
Knoxville News Sentinel, TN, January 31, 2012

A joint retreat involving members of the Knox County Commission and the Knox County Board of Education last weekend resulted in an ambitious goal — to make Knox County Schools the best public school system in the Southeast.

The False Promise of Charter Schools
Seattle Times, WA, January 30, 2012

Charter schools do not work as promised, writes Wayne Au, a University of Washington, Bothell education professor. One study indicates charters are two times as likely to widen achievement gaps as close them, he says.

Students Achieving the Best Results Should Be Everyone’s Goal
Journal Times, WI, January 30, 2012

In Milwaukee, 6,400 students attended independent charter schools, 23,198 attended Milwaukee Parental Choice Program schools, and there was an increase in applications to the open enrollment program.

Misstep Returns Voucher Debate To Forefront
Green Bay Gazette, WI, January 31, 2012

Ellis and Rep. Robin Vos, R-Burlington, were discussing the status of the school voucher bill at the Inn on the Park on Wednesday. Ellis talked about possible new legislation that would permit a segment of a school district to qualify for the voucher program if the total school district didn’t meet the criteria.

VIRTUAL EDUCATION

Expect Clash Over Virtual School To Intensify At NC BOE
WFAE 90.7FM, NC, January 30, 2012

What could be North Carolina’s first online charter school has passed its first round of approval. Now it’s up to the state board of education to give the final okay. From there, you can count on it getting a lot of attention in Raleigh both from public school officials and the team of lobbyists employed by the for-profit company that would run the school.

Web 2.0: Indiana Challenges Teachers To Instruct Digitally
Indianapolis Star, IN, January 31, 2012

The Indiana Department of Education is challenging teachers to instruct their students digitally.

Idaho Senate Passes Bill To Revise Online Education Law
Idaho Statesman, ID, January 30, 2012

State senators voted in favor of deleting a portion of Idaho’s new education laws that defines an online course and says the instructor cannot be physically located in the same school in which the student is receiving the virtual instruction.