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Daily Headlines: March 1, 2012

No-Child Law Faces Wave of Opt-Outs
Wall Street Journal, February 29, 2012

Twenty-six more states asked to be excused from key requirements of the No Child Left Behind Act, an exemption that would curb the education law’s impact considerably.

New Approach
Columbus Dispatch, OH, March 1, 2012

Congress’ failure to fix fundamental flaws in the No Child Left Behind law leaves states little choice but to seek relief from its unrealistic demands, but those states should not weaken the accountability requirements that are at its core.

The Los Angeles Schools Chief, on Teacher Ratings
New York Times, NY, March 1, 2012

Bill Gates makes a strong argument (“Shame Is Not the Solution,” Op-Ed, Feb. 23) against public release of teachers’ individual performance assessments. The last thing any educational reformer should want is for class test scores to be bandied about like ballplayer batting averages, without any perspective or context.

FROM THE STATES

Charter Schools Deserve A Chance
North Jefferson News, AL, March 1, 2012

Gov. Robert Bentley has said it before, and he’s saying it again: Alabama needs charter schools. The education establishment is broken, he says, and schoolchildren area suffering because of it, mainly in inner-city systems such as Birmingham.

Governor Signs Private School Tax Credit Bill Into Law
Tucson Citizen, AZ, February 29, 2012

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer signed into law Wednesday a bill that doubles the amount individual taxpayers can take as a tax credit for contributions to private-school scholarship funds.

Jerry Brown Pitches Tax Plan, Hails Charter School ‘Insurgents’
Sacramento Bee Blog, CA, February 29, 2012

Gov. Jerry Brown urged charter school supporters at the Capitol this afternoon to back his ballot initiative to raise taxes, as he continues to try pushing the proponents of competing tax initiatives to step aside.

Parents, Students Enraged Over Vote By Inglewood School Board
Los Angeles Wave, CA, February 29, 2012

Parents and students at the Inglewood Unified School District’s best-performing school, City Honors Charter School, are up in arms over what they claim is a continuing vendetta against them by two school board members that may prevent the senior class from fulfilling requirements to attend college after graduation in June.

Trigger Bill Gets More Guardrails
Education News Colorado, CO, February 29, 2012

A significantly amended version of House Bill 12-1149, this year’s milder “parent trigger” bill, got preliminary House approval Wednesday despite Democrats’ energetic efforts to amend or stop it.

SIMMONS: Chavous Gives Voters Something To Chew On
Washington Times, DC, February 29, 2012

D.C. Council candidate Kevin B. Chavous made some interesting comments Tuesday morning on his way to another day of campaigning.

Charter Board Relents On IDEA Closure, Pushes To Shutter Community Academy’s Rand Campus
Washington Post Blog, DC, February 29, 2012

For a D.C. Public Charter School Board (PCSB) that says it is committed to closing underperforming schools, Integrated Design Electronics Academy PCS (IDEA) looked like a prime candidate.

Charter School In The Works?
Suwannee Democrat, FL, February 29, 2012

The town of White Springs is moving forward with plans to convert South Hamilton Elementary School (SHE) into a public charter school in time for the 2012-13 school year. Parents of SHE students have requested that SHE Principal Maceo Howell conduct a secret ballot vote allowing parents and teachers to determine if a majority supports the conversion to a charter school.

Charter Schools Bill Tabled in the Senate
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, GA, February 29, 2012

After a nearly two-hour debate, the Georgia Senate decided against voting on charter school legislation that split the body along party lines.

Cherokee Charter Is Facing $1.3M Budget Shortfall
Cherokee Tribune, GA, March 1, 2012

Facing a $1.3 million budget shortfall for this year, the Cherokee Charter Academy Governance Council met Wednesday to discuss next year’s budget forecast and school enrollment.

Education Issues Spur Daleville Teacher to Run for Legislature
Star Press, IN, February 29, 2012

Melanie Wright, a teacher at Daleville Community Schools, is running for the District 35 seat in the Indiana House of Representatives. And, not surprisingly, education is a big part of her platform and motivation for running.

Imagine School Gets New Year To Operate
The Journal Gazette, IN, March 1, 2012

Ball State University granted Imagine MASTer Academy a one-year extension of its charter while the university overhauls its oversight procedures, a university official confirmed Wednesday.

School Reform Funding Unclear
Des Moines Register, IA, March 1, 2012

As Iowa lawmakers barter over the details of K-12 education reform, uncertainty abounds over how the proposals will be paid for if passed.

In Louisiana, Charter Schools Show They Can Work
Alexandria Town Talk, LA, March 1, 2012

In a recent editorial, severe misrepresentations about charter schools were posed as “questions” up for debate in the discussion about education reform in Louisiana. While fiery rhetoric sells newspapers, it glosses over the truth. Below are the answers — mandated by law, statistics and cold hard fact:

Salem Submits Turnaround Plan For Struggling Bentley School
Boston Globe, MA, March 1, 2012

The Bentley Elementary School in Salem would get a longer school day and new staff, including an assistant principal, under a “turnaround’’ proposal submitted Tuesday to the state Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.

Highland Park District Staffers To Get Paid Friday
Detroit News, MI, March 1, 2012

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Mike Flanagan agreed to pay an advance of the district’s March 20 state aid payment in the amount of $178,999. This, combined with existing district resources, will cover payroll expenses totaling $237,000.

Dayton Hints He Will Veto Bill To Eliminate Teacher Tenure Rules
Minneapolis Star Tribune, MN, February 29, 2012

Gov. Mark Dayton on Wednesday indicated that the bill to upend teacher tenure rules that will soon be on his desk might not survive his veto.

Education Reform Targets Unions
Minnesota Daily, MN, March 1, 2012

On Monday, the Minnesota Senate passed a bill that would allow schools to take into account performance evaluations of teachers in addition to seniority while making layoffs. This measure is part of a larger education reform movement that, at its best, tries to improve teacher quality, but at its worst, tries to marginalize and destroy unions and privatize public education.

Charter Bill Heads to House
Jackson Clarion Ledger, MS, March 1, 2012

In a packed committee room Wednesday that included superintendents of some of the state’s top school districts, a handful of lawmakers described Mississippi ‘s public school system as failing.

Yes To Charter Schools
Neshoba Democrat, MS, February 29, 2012

Charter schools would bring more accountability and revolutionize public education in Mississippi . The problem is, the entitlement lobby is fighting back in order to protect its interests. Centralized, government control of public education is in jeopardy.

Tax Credit Bill Tarnishes National Identity
Portsmouth Herald, NH, March 1, 2012

Our legislators are deliberating over the future of an education tax credit program, House Bill 1607. If passed, it will provide tax benefits to businesses that offer $2,500 scholarship incentives to families who remove their children from public schools and either keep them home or send them to non-public religious or secular schools.

More Blacks and Latinos Admitted to Elite New York High Schools
New York Times, NY, March 1, 2012

The number of black and Latino students who were accepted at one of eight highly selective high schools in New York City increased from last year, according to admissions statistics released on Wednesday by the city’s Education Department.

State Lawmakers Must Help Get Rid of Unfit Teachers
Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, NY, March 1, 2012

System failure. It’s written all over the case of the city school teacher who continues to draw a paycheck from taxpayers despite being a threat to students’ safety and a disgrace to the teaching profession.

Charter Missions
News & Observer, NC, March 1, 2012

The logic is not without merit, but North Carolina’s charter movement has stumbled a little along the way, with racial and socioeconomic imbalance in some schools and low test scores in others. The State Board of Education, which has to approve new charters, has moved to improve oversight, which is good. But the nine new charters up for approval today include a couple of schools that have prompted justifiable questions and doubt.

Controversial Charters in RTP and Chapel Hill Headed for Approval
News & Observer , NC, March 1, 2012

Two controversial charter schools to be located in the Triangle appear headed toward state approval today despite fierce local opposition centered on questions of money and diversity.

School Hopes To Make Switch From Private To Charter
WSOC Charlotte , NC, February 29, 2012

A local school hopes to switch from being a private to a charter school.
By the end of the week, Corvian School in north Mecklenburg County will find out if it’s been granted charter school status.

Little Choice For Them
News & Observer, NC, March 1, 2012

The first round of Wake County Schools’ new school choice plan is over. As the director/teacher of a nonprofit preschool for children of financially stressed families living in downtown Raleigh , I have observed numerous barriers to registering children for kindergarten under the new plan, especially in the short time allotted for Round 1.

Cleveland Jobs Corps Academy Should Not Escape Scrutiny
Cleveland Plain Dealer, OH, March 1, 2012

There’s a failing school in Cleveland that escapes public scrutiny. It shouldn’t. The school is charged with taking on the toughest students, those who have dropped out, flunked out or been kicked out of other schools.

Free the Cleveland Schools From Weight of Bureaucracy
Cleveland Plain Dealer, OH, March 1, 2012

So, it’s not just theoretical. There really does come a time when an organization gets so thoroughly mired in rules and bureaucracy that it can no longer do the things it was established to do.

Philly District To Turn Four Troubled Schools Into Charters
Philadelphia Inquirer, PA, March 1, 2012

Despite the fact that it is nearly broke and in the middle of a major organizational shake-up, the Philadelphia School District is turning four struggling schools over to charter organizations at a cost of $2.5 million to $3 million.

Witnesses Grilled About New Hope Performance, 3 More Sessions Scheduled
York Dispatch, PA ,March 1, 2012

At least 10 more hours of testimony are scheduled for York City School Board’s pursuit of turning down New Hope Academy ‘s charter renewal.

Reinstate Charter Funding
York Dispatch, PA, February 29, 2012

The York City School District is pulling the welcome mat for charter schools after years of approving the educational alternatives. It should come as a surprise to no one. Charter schools right now are killing the district, which would be financially struggling even without the burden of funding five charter schools.

SC’s Latest Private School Choice Plan Advances
The State, SC, February 2, 2012

The latest attempt to help parents send their children to private schools in South Carolina advanced Wednesday in a House committee with a $37 million price tag, much smaller than previous versions.

ASD Spells Out School Changes
Memphis Daily News, TN, March 1, 2012

Now that the state’s Achievement School District has named the three Memphis City Schools in which it will run charter schools and three others that will be run by the state as neighborhood schools, the move to a swift transition by August begins.

Teacher Scores Must Coincide With School Results
Jackson Sun, TN, March 1, 2012

About the only thing that is clear from a comparison of area public school teacher evaluation scores is that the evaluation system leaves a lot to be desired. Still, there are things that can be learned and applied to refine the evaluation system to make it a fair and reliable reflection of teacher performance.

Not All Like Carver Academy Change
San Antonio Express, TX, March 1, 2012

The official announcement Wednesday that the George W. Carver Academy will be converted into a public charter school did not draw universal applause.

McDonnell Right On Teacher Term Contracts
Washington Times, DC, February 29, 2012

As a parent of four children in the Fairfax County Public School system, I applaud the efforts of Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell and members of the General Assembly for working to improve the quality of public education in our state (“With assembly control, GOP pushing through its agenda,” Web, Feb. 13).

Richmond Schools Chief Proposes Community High Shift
Richmond Times-Dispatch, VA, March 1, 2012

Richmond school leaders are going to try to convert Richmond Community High School into a charter school focused on a science, technology, engineering and math curriculum, Superintendent Yvonne W. Brandon said Wednesday during her annual state-of-the-schools address.

Education Waiver Won’t Let W.Va. Off The Hook
The Herald-Dispatch, WV, February 29, 2012

West Virginia education officials are headed in the right direction by seeking a waiver from the federal No Child Left Behind Act. If it is granted, however, they are accepting the challenge to devise a better system for improving students’ academic achievement than was possible under the federal education accountability law.

California-Based Rocketship Education Launching Charter Schools in Milwaukee
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, WI, February 29, 2012

The national board of a California-based, tech-savvy charter school network voted Wednesday to expand its chain of charter schools to Milwaukee, representing the first time the company will reach outside the West Coast to serve students.

Wyo. House Panel Endorses Education Reform Measure
Casper Star-Tribune, WY, February 29, 2012

The House Education Committee has endorsed a bill that continues education overhaul efforts in Wyoming’s public schools.

VIRTUAL LEARNING

Bright Spots Shine in Online Blended Learning
Forbes, February 29, 2012

KIPP Empower Academy is a Los Angeles-based elementary school that opened in 2010. It currently serves kindergarteners and 1st graders, and it plans to grow by one grade each year up to 4th grade.

Bradley County Virtual School Slated For Board Vote Next Week
Cleveland Daily Banner, OH, February 29, 2012

A new option for Bradley County students could be nearing as the Board of Education votes next week on a proposal for a Bradley County Virtual School.

Will Michigan Students Soon Be Getting An Online Education?
WDIV Detroit, MI, February 29, 2012
Could virtual education or online education be a solution to the Michigan school budget issues? Could this empower the US to be a leading nation in education? Or, could this destroy the concept of an education system that has been in place for decades?

Virtual School Offers Dropouts Opportunity To Earn Diploma
Your Houston New, TX, February 29, 2012

High school dropouts who live within the Spring ISD boundaries and meet the criteria will now have the opportunity to earn a high school diploma by taking free online courses through the Spring ISD Virtual School .