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Daily Headlines: February 6, 2012

NATIONAL

New Regulation Eyes Accounts of Charter Teachers
Washington Times, DC, February 5, 2012

The IRS has set Feb. 6, as the deadline to express your opinion on a proposed regulation that puts tens of thousands of charter-school teachers at risk of being pushed out of their states’ retirement systems by forcing them to either quit their jobs or lose money already in their state-retirement accounts.

No Reward: Schools Fail Students In Following Fads
North County Times, CA, February 5, 2012

If school reform fads had paid off, then today’s achievement levels would be higher and classroom behavior would be better than they were in the 1960s. The opposite is the case. The taxpayer is slowly catching on, evidenced by a growing revolt against public education’s never-ending cry for more money. Accountability can be a painful thing.

STATE COVERAGE

Do We Really Want Charters?
Andalusia Star News, AL, February 3, 2012

The Alabama legislature convenes for its 2012 regular session this week. There is little doubt that, before it adjourns, charter schools will be approved for Alabama .

Competition Makes For Better Schools
Anchorage Daily News, AK, February 3, 2012

An important piece of legislation pending this year is a K-12 parental school choice providing parents the choice for the school their child attends, with government money following the child. It further requires passage of a constitutional amendment permitting tax money to go to a private or religious school.

Bill Would Shift Control For Schools
Mohave Valley News, AZ, February 6, 2012

A proposed Arizona Senate bill could put more control of an under-performing school in the hands of parents of children in that district.

Charter Schools Have Smaller Classes, Higher Test Scores — But What Are The Drawbacks?
Lodi News-Sentinel, CA, February 4, 2012

This spring, hundreds of students’ names will go into a bucket. They are from families seeking one of 66 spots available at Aspire’s Vincent Shalvey Academy, housed in a former Sibbs grocery store in Morada.

District: Charter Law Forced School’s Closure
Orange County Register, CA, February 5, 2012

Mission Viejo’s award-winning Barcelona Hills Elementary School will close in June to allow the 5-month-old Oxford Preparatory Academy charter school to grow.

Charter School Creation Safe From Legislation — For Now
Chino Enterprise-Record, CA, February 6, 2012

Pending legislation that could be used to block creation of some charter schools, wouldn’t mean much today in Chico.

Charter School Wins Top Education Award In First Year
9NEWS, CO, February 5, 2012

When schools are recognized for academic excellence by the Colorado Department of Education, usually it’s the result of years of hard work – not at Skyview Academy.

Connecticut Set to Boost Charter Funds
Wall Street Journal, February 6, 2012

Connecticut would pump more money into charter schools and increase their numbers under a legislative proposal Gov. Dannel Malloy plans to unveil Monday.

Charter Schools To Get Boost Under Malloy Plan
CT Post, CT, February 5, 2012

Charter schools would expand and get more money under a plan by Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s administration to be announced Monday, but some of the additional funding would have to come from local school districts.

New Collaboration on D.C. Schools
Washington Post, DC, February 5, 2012

The D.C. Public Schools and the Public Charter School Board have traditionally operated in silos, each pursuing its unique mission.

Florida’s Simpleton Rankings
Miami Herald, FL, February 5, 2012

Any way you slice and dice the numbers, Florida’s new way of ranking its 67 school districts — based solely on FCAT results, a one-shot test — tells parents and taxpayers absolutely nothing about the quality of their public schools, be they traditional schools or charters.

Flagler Charter School Weighs Options
Daytona Beach News-Journal, FL, February 6, 2012

Flagler County officials plan to close a failing charter school but the principal said she hopes School Board members will wait a few more months.

‘Parent Trigger’ Bill Stirs Praise, Fear Over What It Means For Florida Public Schools
Tampa Bay Times, FL, February 6, 2012

Karen Francis-Winston joined the advisory committee at her child’s school, intent on improving academics and discipline.

Choice or Cash?
Atlanta Journal Constitution, GA, February 5, 2012

Had you attended the House Education Committee meeting last week and listened to the debate around the charter school amendment, you might have been confused about what the proposed change to the state constitution would do.

House Targets Charter School System Funding; 5-Year Plans At Risk For Floyd County, Others Were Innovative Education Model Is Used
Rome News-Tribune, GA, February 5, 2012

Three months after the Floyd County charter school system drew praise at a state summit of government, business and education leaders, funding for the flexible learning model is on the chopping block.

School Reform Organization Gets Average Grades
Chicago Tribune, IL, February 6, 2012

While the Academy for Urban School Leadership has ‘turned around’ several failing Chicago Public Schools, some critics say improved test scores don’t tell the whole story

School Vouchers Have Yet To Prove Their Success Definitively
Times-Picayune, LA, February 5, 2012

The state’s private-school voucher program in New Orleans — the test case for Gov. Bobby Jindal’s new statewide voucher push — has yet to produce enough raw data to show whether it is really boosting student achievement.

Some Strings Needed For State Vouchers
Shreveport Times, LA, February 5, 2012

Amid the fiery exchanges between bowed-up defenders of public education and the forces for systemic overhaul there are some legitimate issues that most of us in the middle need explaining before plunging into taxpayer-financed school-choice vouchers.

Experts, Lawmakers Weigh In On School Choice Debate
Flint Journal, MI, February 5, 2012

Even opponents of the legislation lifting the 150-school cap on university-sponsored charters say there are bright spots on the charter school landscape.

Bill: Teacher Evals Overrule Seniority In K-12 Schools
Minnesota Daily, MN, February 6, 2012

A proposed bill would allow school districts to look at other factors when laying off teachers.

Pilot Teacher Evaluation Program Empowers Teachers To Improve
Herald-Mail, MD, February 4, 2012

Through a pilot teacher evaluation program that began this school year at five Washington County public elementary and middle schools, Raley said she’s learning ways to improve her teaching techniques, and she’s seeing results with her students.

Boston Gives Bonuses To Teachers
Boston Globe, MA, February 6, 2012

Boston gave out more than $400,000 in bonuses to teachers and classroom aides this year at 12 academically struggling schools that showed progress, marking the first time the city – after intense resistance from the teachers union – has rewarded rank-and-file educators for boosting the performance of their students.

Schools Standoff
Wall Street Journal, February 4, 2012

Newark’s new schools superintendent, Cami Anderson, outlined a broad plan on Friday to reshape the state’s largest school system, including closing poorly performing schools and lifting standards for charters.

Teacher Tenure Overhaul Proposed
Vineland Daily Journal, NJ, February 6, 2012

Teachers in New Jersey’s public schools no longer would enjoy tenure as lifetime job security and principals would have more power over personnel decisions, under major legislation expected to be introduced today..

Charter Schools Eye Same Holy Trinity Location for Proposals
Utica Observer-Dispatch , NY, February 5, 2012

Two proposed charter schools — Utica Academy of Science and Mohawk Valley Community — have their eye on the well-kept building, which served as a Catholic elementary school from 1960 to 2002 and an alternative high school for BOCES until 2010.

Firing Bad Apples
New York Post, NY, February 6, 2012

In a series of articles last week, The Post chronicled how New York’s taxpayers continue to pay for the salaries and benefits of several bad — and sometimes downright dangerous — teachers for doing nothing all day. The school system pays these teachers not to teach because it lacks the tools necessary to fire them.

Evaluation System Finds Few Teachers ‘Inadequate’
Buffalo News, NY, February 5, 2012

Buffalo public school students consistently miss the mark, with the vast majority unable to read or do math at grade level. Most do not graduate on time. But another group in the city schools almost universally meets the expectations the district has set for them: the teachers.

Pennsylvania Schools’ Financing Fight Pits District Against ‘Charter on Steroids’
New York Times, NY, February 5, 2012

The Chester Upland School District is more than $20 million in debt, its bank account is almost empty and it cannot afford to pay teachers past the end of this month.

Charter-CPS Battle Goes To Higher Court
Cincinnati Enquirer, OH, February 6, 2012

An Ohio Supreme Court judge will hear arguments Tuesday in the case of a South Fairmount charter school fighting efforts by Cincinnati Public Schools to shut down its building.

At a Glance: Bills Regarding Teacher Bonuses
The Oklahoman, OK, February 6, 2012

Three Oklahoma legislators have proposed bills this year that would finish paying bonuses to teachers who earn national certification.

Chester Upland: State Special Ed Formula Drains Millions From District
Philadelphia Inquirer, PA, February 6, 2012

As Delaware County’s financially troubled Chester Upland School District struggles to stay afloat, officials there say they are paying millions more than they should on special-education students who attend charter schools.

Teacher Training Grant Will Pay Dividends
Erie Times-News, PA, February 5, 2012

Students in the Erie School District, Erie employers and our local economy will be the ultimate beneficiaries from a huge investment that the GE Foundation is making in education reform via teacher training programs.

School Choice: Don’t Choose To Rob Even More Money From Education
Courier Times, PA, February 6, 2012

Gov. Tom Corbett and the Legislature have a legal obligation to support public schools. They should focus on what they are already obligated to do, restore the funding they have removed, and refrain from making drastic changes that will inevitably impact negatively on Pennsylvania’s public school system.

Grading Our Teachers: Value-Added Formula Raises Alarm For Some
‎Commercial Appeal, TN, February 6, 2012

To close the achievement gap between poor and affluent students in Tennessee, some students may need to learn at double the rate of their high-performing peers, according to Tennessee Department of Education materials.

An Argument for School Choice
Daily Press, VA, February 5, 2012

Providing alternatives that create competition for traditional public schools is but one of the compelling reasons Virginia should consider school choice, a movement that would help parents select the best option for their children’s education, particularly those who are frustrated by declining or stagnant performance at their local schools.

Educators Split On Possible Changes To Contracts
Virginia Pilot, VA, February 5, 2012

Gov. Bob McDonnell wants to do away with those open-ended contracts, making the case that the current system protects some undeserving teachers.

Washington’s Legislative Education Chairs Stalled Reforms To Improve Education
Seattle Times, WA, February 4, 2012

The failure of Democratic leaders in the state Legislature to move on charter schools and teacher evaluations is all the more disappointing because of the urgency for school reforms.

Improve Teacher Quality in W.Va.
The Intelligencer, WV, February 5, 2012

It is distressing enough that a national school quality program gives West Virginia low marks for how it prepares and manages teachers. Worse is that little progress has been made during the past two years.

Student Transfers From Open Enrollment Have Financial Consequences For School Districts
Appleton Post Crescent, WI, February 6, 2012

The ebb and flow of students transferring across school districts through Wisconsin’s open enrollment program can mean a gain or loss of millions of dollars in state funding for local school districts.

Monona Grove Charter School Is Successful
Wisconsin State Journal, WI, February 5, 2012

While Madison continues to debate the merits of Madison Prep, those seeking choices for their students’ education should realize there are successful public charter schools in place in the metropolitan area.

VIRTUAL EDUCATION

Who Really Benefits From Putting High-Tech Gadgets In Classrooms?
Los Angeles Times, CA, February 4, 2012

How much genuine value is there in fancy educational electronics? Don’t let companies or politicians fool you.

Wooster City Schools Use New Lesson Concept
Wooster Daily Record, OH, February 5, 2012

The 21st century classroom is “flipped” — or about to be. It’s not a derogatory term; it’s the new “buzz” word for education. It’s a concept Wooster City Schools is trying on for size, with the highest hopes it will be a good fit.

Expansion of Cyber Schools Would Open The Door To Fraud
Holland Sentinel, MI, February 5, 2012

Gov. Snyder and Republican lawmakers in Michigan are driving legislation to replace traditional public schools with full-time cyber schools. Enactment of these proposals would open doors to widespread fraud.

K-12 Online Schools Gear Up In Iowa
Des Moines Register, IA, February 6, 2012

Officials launching Iowa’s first two full-time online public schools for kindergarten through 12th-grade students say they face the same challenge: Families are unsure of how online education works.

Arizona Online School Bills Seek More Accountability, Money
Arizona Republic, AZ, February 6, 2012

Arizona’s rapid growth of K-12 online schools is spurring new proposals to both toughen accountability and promote additional growth by giving online schools more state money.

Online Explosion Takes Hold in Ripon Schools
Modesto Bee, CA, February 4, 2012

California Connections Academy @ Ripon will open as a public charter school in the fall, becoming the latest in an exploding array of online options in the area.