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Daily Headlines: February 14, 2012

Proposal To Expand Charter School Authorizing Elicits Mixed Reviews
Times-Picayune, LA, February 13, 2012

Gov. Bobby Jindal’s proposal to expand significantly the number and type of groups that can approve new charter schools in the state has prompted mixed responses among charter researchers and experts across the country.

FROM THE STATES

School Choice: It’s Just Around The Corner
East Valley Tribune, AZ, February 13, 2012

Earlier this month, I did something I’ve said I was going to do for a long time: I took a tour of a charter school as a PARENT, not as a reporter.

Plans For Arts-Based Charter School Halted; Petition Is Revoked
Lodi News Sentinel, CA, February 14, 2012

The Lodi Unified School District board of trustees was poised to veto the petition, saying it was incomplete. Jack B. Bray said before last week’s school board meeting that while he and his team were disappointed in the district’s response, they remained confident in the education plan and charter petition, and planned to continue their effort.

More Innovation Proposals, and Creating Educator Evaluations in Denver
Denver Post Blog, CO, February 13, 2012

The Denver Public Schools board received an update at Monday night’s meeting about the principal side of educator evaluation systems that the district is creating.

D.C. Charter Enrollment Up 8 Percent
Washington Post Blog, DC, February 13, 2012

Fall enrollment in D.C. public charter schools jumped 8 percent compared to the previous year, education officials announced Monday.

Despite City’s Growth, D.C. School Enrollment Falls
Washington Times, DC, February 13, 2012

An audit released Monday shows enrollment in the District’s traditional public schools decreased slightly from 2010 to 2011, despite significant population growth in the city.

Virginia House Votes To End Tenure-Related Job Protections For Teachers
Washington Post, DC, February 13, 2012

The Virginia House of Delegates voted Monday to end tenure-related job protections for public school teachers, a measure Gov. Robert F. McDonnell (R) has pushed this year as part of his agenda to improve public education.

Charter School Looking To Enter Palm Beach County Through Royal Palm Albertson’s Site
Palm Beach Post, FL, February 14, 2012

One of the largest and oldest charter school chains in the country wants to open a school in Royal Palm Beach, its first in Palm Beach County.

Robbing Public Schools
Miami Herald, FL, February 13, 2012

Drop charter school construction funding, focus on repairing

Charter Schools Strengthen Parent Power
Atlanta Journal Constitution, GA, February 13, 2012

Most people agree local school boards play a critical role in Georgia public education. Most people also agree, however, that local school boards should not have exclusive control over public education.

Campaign For Charter School Amendment: The Heat Is On
Atlanta Journal Constitution Blog, GA, February 13, 2012

To provide a sense of the pressure under way to prod 10 House members to change their votes on the controversial charter school amendment, I would like to share with you — in the inimitable phrasing of Judith Viorst – my terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.

Constitutional Amendment Gives Parents Education Control
Costal Courier, GA, February 13, 2012

Most people agree that local school boards play a critical role in Georgia public education.
However, most people also agree that local school boards should not have exclusive control over public education.

Parent, Student Groups Criticize Charter Schools’ Student Fines
Chicago Tribune, IL, February 13, 2012

Noble Network raised nearly $200,000 last year from discipline penalties, protesters say

Company Aims To Quell Fears Over School Takeover
WRTV Indianapolis, IN, February 13, 2012

The company set to take over one of Indianapolis’ struggling high schools is looking to quell parents’ fears about the transition.

School Reform Takes Time
Des Moines Register, IA, February 13, 2012

The state’s top education official says education reform is needed in Iowa, but changes won’t happen overnight.

Branstad’s 3rd-Grader Retention Proposal Meets Resistance
Waterloo Cedar Falls Courier, IA, February 14, 2012

A controversial proposal to retain third-graders who read well below grade level is on the legislative bubble.

Charter School Supporters Prepare for House Education Committee Tuesday
WFPL, KY, February 13, 2012

Representatives from the Black Alliance for Educational Options (BAEO) are asking state lawmakers to move forward with charter school legislation this year.

Flournoy Questions Voucher Proposal
The Advocate, LA, February 14, 2012

Gov. Bobby Jindal’s school voucher plan won’t work, the head of nonprofit advocacy group said Monday.

Grade All Schools
Monroe News Star, LA, February 14, 2012

If “scholarships” or vouchers are to be offered to families whose children attend failing schools, and those parents choose to send their children to a charter, parochial or private school, how does anyone really know that school is a good one?

The AP Achievement Gap
Baltimore Sun, MD, February 13, 2012

For the fourth year in a row, Maryland students have topped the nation in the proportion of high school graduates who successfully passed the rigorous Advanced Placement exams, leaping even further ahead of other top states.

Editorial Wrong About Lepage’s Bills And The Teachers Union
Portland Press Herald, ME, February 14, 2012

Your ignorance is showing. Your Feb. 12 editorial applauding Gov. LePage’s education proposals and criticizing the Maine Education Association as a roadblock to progress demonstrates a profound lack of knowledge about public education and our children’s future.

Modifying No Child Left Behind Is In Students’ Best Interest
Detroit Free Press, MI, February 14, 2012

The Michigan Department of Education is applying for waivers from the No Child Left Behind law that would, among other things, allow the state to set proficiency goals for each school. While this change in the law contains certain risks, the plan is more realistic and practical than current mandates, giving local schools more flexibility to improve education.

Charter-School Group Seeks Legislative Changes To Ease Replication, Ensure Accountability
Minn Post, MN, February 13, 2012

There are more applicants than seats, so admission is done by lottery, which is fair, and the law of the land for publicly funded charter schools. The losers, Blankenship knows all too well, are likely to end up in schools where a third or fewer will reach grade level.

House Says Teachers Need To Pass Test Before Teaching
Bemidji Pioneer, MN, February 14, 2012

Minnesota teachers should know basic reading, writing and math skills before taking over classrooms, a bill the House unanimously passed Monday declares.

Somalis in Schools: One in Three Chooses Charters in Twin Cities
Daily Planet, MN, February 13, 2012

Around 1200 school-age kids reside in Riverside Plaza’s nine paneled towers. The majority of them are Somali or East African. Cedar-Riverside Community School, a tiny charter nestled in the middle of the plaza, can only fit 150 of them, but school director Ricky White says if he were to open a new charter, he would know what to do to attract Somali families.

Dream of School in Downtown Kansas City Closer to Reality
Kansas City Star, MO, February 13, 2012

Dean Johnson and Tysie McDowell-Ray think the third time may be the charm for realizing a longtime goal of downtown advocates: opening a school.

Nevada’s New Charter School Authority Begins Work To Expand Educational Opportunities
Lahontan Valley News, NV, February 13, 2012

Gov. Brian Sandoval described today’s first meeting of the Nevada State Public Charter School Authority as “historic,” and he called on the new group formed as a result of 2011 legislation to help expand charter schools to provide more choice to parents and students.

Local Educators Weigh In On Both Sides of Charter Schools Bills
Princeton Packet, NJ, February 14, 2012

Two controversial charter school reform bills are working their way to the full Assembly after the Assembly Education Committee approved them at a Feb. 2 hearing.

From Bad to Worse — the Legislature Takes a Stab at Tenure Reform
New Jersey Spotlight, NJ, February 14, 2012

Sen. Teresa Ruiz (D-Essex), chair of the Education Committee, has introduced the second version of her bill to reform teacher tenure standards (S-407), reflecting much time and effort in rounding up the views of various interests.

Cuomo Must Give Tough Lesson In School Reform
New York Daily News, NY, February 14, 2012

New York governors have no surer way to get something through the Legislature than to write it into the state’s proposed budget. That’s why Gov. Cuomo has promised to amend his spending plan to include a teacher evaluation system if the education commissioner and teachers union fail to agree on one by Thursday.

Jim Manly: Parents Deserve the Best Customer Service on the Planet
New York Times Schoolbook, NY, February 13, 2012

To work for the Success Academy Charter Schools is to be both target and instigator of the ever-churning battle in New York over the direction of the public schools. Jim Manly has been in the line of fire the longest of any Success principal since Eva S. Moskowitz, the hard-charging former city councilwoman, founded the network in 2006.

Medical Academy Charter School Earns Catasauqua Area School Board Approval
Lehigh Valley Express Times, PA, February 14, 2012

School directors voted 8-0 in favor of a three-year charter for the school, which will serve ninth- through 12th-graders who plan to pursue a career in the health care industry. Board member Robert Levine was absent from the meeting.

Charter School Land Case Ruling Overturned
Wilkes Barre Times-Leader, PA, February 14, 2012

The state Commonwealth Court ruled on Monday that Bear Creek Township could not legally take possession of private land where the county’s only charter school

Board Urges Reform On Charter Schools
Reading Eagle, PA, February 14, 2012

The Wyomissing School Board voted unanimously Monday to adopt a resolution to support charter school reform in the state.

School Reform Passes House
Argus Leader, SD, February 14, 2012

Gov. Dennis Daugaard’s education reform plan passed the House on a 41-28 vote Monday as Democrats could not get enough Republicans to join them in opposition.

Charter Educators Charged With Failure To Report Child Abuse
Houston Chronicle, TX, February 13, 2012

Staffers at a charter school in La Marque are accused of taking almost three weeks to inform authorities that one of their students reported being sexually assaulted, Texas City police officials confirmed Monday.

Better Administrators Create Better Schools, Bill Says
KSL, UT, February 13, 2012

Improving and evaluating school leadership is now at the heart of a bill that originally hinged on performance pay for teachers and loosening termination laws.

Potential Deal Emerges On Teacher Evaluations
News Tribune, WA, February 14, 2012

State senators could vote today on overhauling Washington’s system for evaluating teachers and principals.

Bills Advance To Increase WV Teacher Pool
State Journal, WV, February 14, 2012

Lawmakers are hoping to ease the certification process for some new teachers in an effort to curb the growing shortage of educators in the state.

Assembly Urged To Act On Voucher Loophole
Green Bay Gazette, WI, February 14, 2012

Green Bay School Board members are pressing state legislators to pass a bill that would keep the state’s school voucher program from expanding to Green Bay, but say they have no clear sense of what will happen.

VIRTUAL EDUCATION

Brighton To Launch Virtual Academy
Livingston Daily, MI, February 14, 2012

The Brighton Area Schools district plans to launch a virtual academy by this fall that would cater to homeschooled students both within and outside the district.

Bill Would Require High Schoolers To Take Virtual Courses
Indiana Public Media, IN, February 13, 2012

Indiana high schoolers would be required to complete at least one virtual course to graduate under a bill currently in the state legislature.

Florida Virtual School’s Revenues Falling Short of Expectations
Tampa Bay Times, FL, February 13, 2012

Hailed as a money-making model, Florida Virtual School’s effort to bring in millions in extra income is falling short and the venture may soon be in the red.

Shift To Online Learning Raises Questions About Costs To Schools
Herald Bulletin, IN, February 13, 2012

Legislation that would require high school students in Indiana to take at least one online course is meeting resistance from some school administrators who say they can’t afford any more mandates from the state.

Fox Valley Schools Face Challenge of Prepping For The E-Future
Appleton Post-Crescent, WI, February 13, 2012

Paper textbooks could be a thing of the past as school districts are pushed to go digital.

District 1 Considers Online Schooling
Yuma Sun, AZ, February 13, 2012

In an effort to curb future losses in enrollment caused by outside online learning programs, Yuma Elementary School District 1 ratified a submission of an application to become a state-approved online instruction provider.