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Daily Headlines for February 2, 2012

Transforming Troubled Schools
Chicago Tribune, IL, February 2, 2012

These are the four basic questions of restorative practices, a movement slowly transforming troubled schools and troubled communities around the globe — a movement replacing zero tolerance and other punishment-based and wildly ineffective practices that increase people’s feelings of separation and alienation from one another.

STATE COVERAGE

Passing the Blue Ribbon Schools Test
Los Angeles Times, CA, February 2, 2012

Two Santa Ana schools overcome poverty and other challenges to win. What can they teach L.A.?

Charter School Receives Helping Hand From District
Rocklin Placer Herald, CA, February 1, 2012

While the typical time frame for building a school is three years, Western Sierra Collegiate Academy parents and leaders managed to transform a building into a high school campus in 10 weeks.

Council Rejects Charter School Proposal
North County Times, CA, February 1, 2012

A proposal to open a charter school in a Mission Avenue shopping center for dropouts and others unable to complete their education was rejected Wednesday by the Oceanside City Council because of safety concerns over nearby gang activity.

Lobbyists Set Spending Record in Sacramento
Los Angeles Times, CA, February 2, 2012

The California Teachers Assn. spent the most last year, $6.5 million, as schools were battling potential funding cuts and lawmakers acted on bills involving charter schools and other education issues.

Vallejo Schools Focus On Achievement Gap
Times Herald, CA, February 2, 2012

If the teachers and staff at Solano Middle School have their way, all their students will soar.

Charter School Bill Is Blasted; Measure May Have Chilling Effect, Some Say
Record Searchlight, CA, February 2, 2012

A new bill approved by the state Assembly would allow school districts to shut down any attempt to open a charter school, says a north state lawmaker.

Union Grievance Not Just About Classroom Time
Denver Post, CO, February 2, 2012

We wonder if the objections have more to do with teacher pay rather than the process of extending middle school days.

Fairfield County Leaders Praise Teacher Reforms
Daily Easton , CT, February 2, 2012

School superintendents in Fairfield County are praising education reform proposed by Gov. Dannel Malloy to streamline the hiring of teachers even as his plan earned low marks from teacher unions across the state.

Charters Not the Only Answer in D.C.
Washington Post, DC, February 2, 2012

A consultant’s report ordered by Mayor Vincent C. Gray says that the District should close or quickly improve 38 regular public schools and send many of their students to a new crop of charter schools.

An Outsider’s Wild Teacher-Evaluation Idea
Washington Post, DC, February 1, 2012

Luke Chung, president and founder of a software development company in Tysons Corner, volunteered many times to help the Fairfax County school system with computer and business issues. He was a nice guy, so when the county needed to fill two slots reserved for outsiders (what educators often call non-educators) on the Teacher Performance Evaluation Task Force, he was appointed.

Facing Closure, D.C. Charter School To Plead Its Case
Washington Examiner, DC, February 1, 2012

A Northeast Washington school will plead its case Thursday evening as the D.C. Public Charter School Board decides whether to close the campus because of poor academic performance.

Teachers Get Facts on Possible Charter Conversion for Lakeland High
The Ledger, FL, February 2, 2012

Teachers sat attentively and hung on every word of a presentation Wednesday about what it would take for Lakeland High to become a charter school.

A Visit to an Exceptional Charter
Huffington Post, February 1, 2012

One of the criticisms of charter schools is that they cater to a specialized class of students who are not representative of the student body of a typical public school. Based on that notion, the argument is often heard that charter schools extract the best and the brightest from the public schools, while leaving at-risk students to fend for themselves and fail for themselves.

Constance Nonnenmacher: Parents Need Choices
Gainesville Sun, FL, February 1, 2012

House Bill 1191, The Parent Empowerment Act, is working its way through the Florida Legislature. It requires that school districts inform parents when their children’s teacher has been declared ineffective.

Constitutional Amendment Set For Vote Thursday
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, GA, February 1, 2012

A vote is expected Thursday in the House Education Committee on a proposed constitutional amendment that appeals to charter school supporters and is opposed by public school groups.

Tenure Dissolved, Parents Help Evaluate Teachers
Rexburg Standard Journal, ID, February 1, 2012

Public schools are experiencing major changes to policies and procedures and Madison School District finds it is no exception.

House Committee Reviews Branstad Education Reforms
Quad-City Times, IA, February 1, 2012

The chairman of a House panel said amendments to Gov. Terry Branstad’s education reform package are “being drafted right now” just as his committee finished its line-by-line review Wednesday night.

Jindal’s Attacks Hurt Teachers
Opelousas Daily World, LA, February 2, 2012

I am deeply concerned about the poor choices that some of our state education policymakers and legislators are offering the citizens of Louisiana

Catholic Schools Advertising Campaign To Begin
Times-Picayune, LA, February 1, 2012

Faced with an increasingly competitive environment for students, Catholic educators across the state are preparing to roll out an advertising campaign promoting the quality of their schools.

Catholic Schools See New Life as Public Charters
Southern Maryland, MD, February 1, 2012

At first glance, visitors to Tunbridge Public Charter School in Baltimore might confuse it with a Catholic school. The outside of the building is adorned with stained glass windows, stone archways and a cornerstone inlaid with a cross. But on the inside, the school looks like many other public schools.

Parents Appealing Lawsuit Vs. Charter
Gloucester Times, MA, February 2, 2012

The 15 local parents who allege that the state’s commissioner of education and the Massachusetts Board of Elementary and Secondary Education broke state law when they approved the Gloucester Community Arts Charter School’s charter took the first step in appealing a Superior Court judge’s decision to dismiss their lawsuit.

Plan For School Choice Outlined
Clarion Ledger, MS, February 2, 2012

Parents of students attending public schools that lose accreditation will be able to send their children, and the related tax dollars, to another school under a plan Mississippi’s education chief outlined to lawmakers Wednesday.

Archbishop Set Today to Unveil Vision to Boost
St. Louis Post-Dispatch, MO, February 2, 2012

Archbishop Robert Carlson plans to unveil his vision today for the region’s Catholic schools in hopes of reversing four decades of declining enrollment.

Anti-Public Schools Movement has Found Its Braveheart
Concord Monitor, NH, February 2, 2012

So there it is: mini-private schools within the public schools. Maybe several parents of like mind get together and make a whole new course of study – and use the public school asset to house a custom private education system for each student.

Montclair Charter School Opponents Won’t Get Help From Trenton
Montclair Times, NJ, February 2, 2012

Parents who oppose a charter school in Montclair shouldn’t expect any help from school reform bills being proposed in Trenton , according to a leading Democrat lawmaker.

Cuomo Amps Up Pressure On Teachers, Legislature
Wall Street Journal, February 2, 2012

Gov. Andrew Cuomo declared Wednesday that the “Battle of Albany” is on.
Taking on the state’s traditionally powerful teachers unions, Cuomo threatened to impose tougher job evaluations Feb. 16 if the unions continue to, as he put it, block progress.

State Test Scores Reveal Some Gains, Widening Achievement Gap
New Jersey Spotlight, NJ, February 2, 2012

Budget cuts cost New Jersey school districts $1 billion, with some of the poorest districts paying the biggest price

Academic Quits SUNY Board Over Charter Schools
Wall Street Journal, February 2, 2012

A prominent academic has resigned from the State University of New York Board of Trustees, one of two groups with the power to approve charter schools, saying the university is approving charters that increase inequality and needlessly divide the community.

Wadleigh Supporters Say Harlem School Wasn’t Given A Chance
New York Daily News, NY, February 2, 2012

Like many parents and politicians in Harlem , Nanton believes Wadleigh is being phased out to make space for a charter school.

Schools Are Not Making Information About Choice a Priority
New York Times, NY, February 1, 2012

School reformers have long promoted accountability and school choice as the best methods to provide greater academic opportunities for all students.

Syracuse Charter School Seeks State Permission to Open a School in Utica
Post-Standard, NY, February 2, 2012

The Syracuse Academy of Science Charter School wants to open a second school, this one in Utica.

Judge Rules in Favor of Riverview in Beaufort County Enrollment Dispute
Beaufort Gazette, NC, February 1, 2012

Riverview Charter School will be able to enroll 456 students next school year, a U.S. District Court judge ruled Wednesday.

NCLB Waivers Point To Law’s Problems
Greenville News, SC, February 2, 2012

South Carolina’s application for a waiver from the requirements of the federal No Child Left Behind law is a reasonable response to a law that offers unreasonable expectations for every school district in the nation. Although the waiver application is far from perfect, it is an improvement over current expectations.

Mayor Recruits Nationally Known Charter School Operator
NewsChannel5, TN, February 1, 2012

When you step foot inside a class at Nashville Prep, you soon learn the high energy environment is integral to its culture. Founder and New York native Ravi Gupta was recruited to come to the city by the Tennessee Charter School Incubator.

Teacher Evaluation System Proves Popular Subject for TN Lawmakers
The Tennessean, TN, February 2, 2012

Amid mounting controversy, Tennessee lawmakers from both parties and opposite ends of the state are eager to fix the state’s new teacher evaluation system.

Reeves Backs Charter Schools
Commercial Appeal, TN, February 2, 2012

In the latest pronouncements from Gov. Phil Bryant and Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves are any indication, more charter schools soon will be cropping up across Mississippi .

Greater Ideal Looks To Start Charter School
Midland Reporter-Telegram, TX, February 1, 2012

If members of Greater Ideal Baptist Church get their way, a new charter school for at-risk students could come to Midland in 2013.
About 15 members of the church have worked for the past year to complete necessary groundwork for Ideal Preparatory Academy Charter School to apply as an open-enrollment charter school. There will be an informational meeting at 7 p.m. today at the MLK Jr. Center.

Close Loophole In School Vouchers
Sheboygan Press, WI, February 2, 2012

When Wisconsin lawmakers passed the 2011-13 state budget, last-minute language was added to allow the Racine School District into the school voucher program.

VIRTUAL EDUCATION

Lepage Executive Order Seeks To Expand Digital Learning Options
Bangor Daily News, ME, February 1, 2012

Gov. Paul LePage directed his education commissioner on Wednesday to develop a plan that increases online learning opportunities for Maine’s K-12 students

Education 2.0: Can Digital Learning Day Begin a Classroom Revolution?
Christian Science Monitor, MA, February 1, 2012

Thirty-nine states, 15,000 teachers, and 1.7 million students are expected to participate in a series of events and webcasts on Wednesday, Digital Learning Day.

Districts Don’t Oppose Virtual Learning, They Just Don’t Want Charter Schools Offering Parents Choices
MI Live, MI, February 1, 2012

Traditional K-12 districts don’t oppose virtual schools, they just don’t want charter school operators to be able to run them, state House Education Committee chairman Thomas McMillin said today.

Online Course Mandate Clears Senate
WANE, IN, February 1, 2012

A bill that would require students in Indiana to take a virtual instruction course before they graduate from high school has cleared the state Senate and is on its way to the House, Senate Republicans announced Wednesday.

Don’t Rush To Expand Publicly Financed Cyber Schools
Holland Sentinel, MI, February 2, 2012

Online learning offers tremendous potential for education — there’s little dispute about that. However, Michigan legislators are making a mistake by rushing to remove restrictions on computer-based “cyber schools” when their track record is so brief and the research on their performance so slim.

Digital Learning
Herald Times Reporter, WI, February 2, 2012

Texting, checking out Twitter and going on Facebook aren’t usually part of the school day, but that’s what students at McKinley Academy were doing Wednesday morning.