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Daily Headlines: March 20, 2012

School Reform’s Establishment Turn
Wall Street Journal, March 19, 2012

The Council on Foreign Relations is the clubhouse of America’s establishment, a land of pinstripe suits and typically polite, status-quo thinking. Yet today CFR will publish a report that examines the national-security impact of America’s broken education system—and prescribes school choice as a primary antidote. Do you believe in miracles?

Education Woes Linked To National Security
Associated Press, March 20, 2012

The nation’s security and economic prosperity are at risk if America’s schools don’t improve, warns a task force led by former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Joel Klein, the former chancellor of New York City’s school system.

US High School Graduation Rate Inches Past 75 Percent
Christian Science Monitor, MA, March 19, 2012

The graduation rate rose by 3.5 percent between 2002 and 2009, according to a new report. But 10 states had lower graduation rates in 2009 than in 2002.

FROM THE STATES

House Studies Charter Schools
Times Daily, AL, March 20, 2012

The state’s House Ways and Means Education Committee will hear from proponents and opponents of the “Education Options Act of 2012” this week. Known as HB541, it offers a charter school proposal merged with a flexibility option for all school boards, allowing them to authorize charter schools.

Statewide ‘Summit’ Fails To Answer Big Question: What Is Common Core?
Arkansas News, AR, March 20, 2012

One of the current buzz-phrases in public education circles is “common core.” Educators like to use buzz words and phrases because they can be helpful in getting and holding the attention of their classes in a similar way that pictures can.

L.A.’s Shot at Race to the Top
Los Angeles Times, CA, March 19, 2012

L.A. school officials have a chance to apply directly to the government for education grants. They shouldn’t squander it.

PTAs Oppose Bullis’ Plan to Close LASD Campus
Mountain View Voice, CA, March 19, 2012

The heads of the PTAs and education foundation are asking parents to take a stand against closing any Los Altos District school to give the Bullis Charter School its own campus. A joint statement signed by every PTA president within the district, as well as by leaders from the Los Altos Educational Foundation, was sent out March 17.

Parent Trigger Law Starting To Move Despite Opposition
Contra Costa Times, CA, March 19, 2012

Three years ago, California passed the Parent Empowerment Act, also known as the parent trigger law, which is designed to give parents more power in pushing for school reforms.

Denver Teachers, Parents Question Racial Makeup Of School Changes
Denver Post, CO, March 20, 2012

At a community meeting Monday night, teachers and parents questioned whether African-Americans were targeted as Denver Public Schools sought to trim teachers and staff in its effort to turn around failing schools.

Dixon Has To Produce
Pensacola News Journal, FL, March 19, 2012

In the final determination, there’s no way to justify the existence of A.A. Dixon Charter School of Excellence — or any charter school — without statistical evidence that it is doing the job it was created to do.

Senate Passes Charter Schools Amendment Resolution
Atlanta Journal-Constitution, GA, March 19, 2012

The full-court press legislators endured during the charter schools battle in the General Assembly now moves to voters, who this fall will get their chance to determine how much authority the state should have to approve and fund charter schools.

D-26 Again Flunks Charter School Plan
Northwest Herald, IL, March 20, 2012

The District 26 school board Monday formally rejected a proposed charter school for Maplewood School. Vision Group, a group of education and business professionals, had proposed starting a charter school at Maplewood School for kindergarten through fifth-grade students. Vision Group also was willing to expand to grades six through eight if there was a need.

High Court Takes Reins On Vouchers
Fort Wayne Journal Gazette, IN, March 20, 2012

A day after the Indiana Supreme Court ruled in the Charlie White case, it made another key decision: The justices will bypass the court of appeals and take jurisdiction over the challenge to school vouchers.

Hoosier Academy Charter School Fits Learning To Student’s Lifestyle
Evansville Courier Press, IN, March 19, 2012

Many people are unaware that Indiana has an online K-12 charter school, Hoosier Academy, with 2,000 students enrolled. Including hybrid students, those who attend two days a week in three brick-and-mortar locations, the total enrollment is just fewer than 3,000.

New Orleans School Board President Says He’s Fighting Modern Fascism
Times Picayune, LA, March 20, 2012

And now, president’s gavel in hand, he is after another unlikely goal: saving public education from what he views as a misguided rush by Republicans to privatize anything they can lay hands on.

Democrats, GOP Square Off Over Vouchers
Alexandria Town Talk, LA, March 19, 2012

Democrats and Republicans in the House of Representatives on Monday set the stage for what could be a partisan face-off over Gov. Bobby Jindal’s education-reform package.

Greed Hiding Behind Phony Reforms
The Advocate, LA, March 20, 2012

Democracy is governance by all the people. It’s no exaggeration to say that our nation’s heart, soul, and survival depends on a strong public school system. What happens when it erodes? For 40 years, I’ve heard about Louisiana “reforming.” Never happened.

School Choice Meeting Packed
Salem News, MA, March 20, 2012

More than 100 parents crammed into Carlton School last night for the first public discussion of the School Department’s controversial school choice proposal.

Appeal To Open Jackson Charter School May Move Forward
Jackson Sun, MS, March 19, 2012

Officials with proposed charter school Jackson Preparatory Academy could soon make their case in a public hearing after a ruling in their favor by the state Treasury Department.

TeachNJ Bill Focuses On Accountability, Almost Ignores Teacher Improvement
Times of Trenton, NJ, March 20, 2012

Earlier this month, I attended Sen. Teresa Ruiz’s (D-Newark) long-anticipated hearing on S1455, the Teacher Effectiveness and Accountability for the Children of New Jersey Act, otherwise known as TeachNJ. The passion the bill generates was clear from the start, as supporters and opponents took turns expressing their views on the draft.

Newark Super Drums Up Support for Sweeping Reforms
New Jersey Spotlight, NJ, March 20, 2012

Newark schools superintendent Cami Anderson’s announcement yesterday of the final details in her plans to reorganize New Jersey’s largest district was almost as much about appearance as it was about substance.

Newark School Reform Efforts Take Turn For The Better
Star-Ledger, NJ, March 20, 2012

The fight over school reform in Newark took a decisive turn yesterday when an impressive range of the city’s civic leaders locked arms with Superintendent Cami Anderson to support her plan.

Evaluations Split Teachers, Union
The Journal News, NY, March 20, 2012

As public school principals lead a growing insurgency against the state’s new teacher-evaluation system, some teachers are beginning to question why their largest state union is defending the system and not supporting the principals’ movement.

Poor School Choices
News & Observer , NC, March 20, 2012

Let’s get our priorities straight: The quality of our children’s education should be more important than the proximity of the school. I would rather my child attend a high-performing school farther away than a failing school in close proximity.

School Choice Plan Leaves Some Raleigh Families With No Choice
NBC17, NC, March 19, 2012

Several downtown Raleigh neighborhoods have children who’ve been given no school assignment after the first round of the process.

Cleveland Teachers Union, Mayor Court City Council on Dueling Plans to Overhaul Schools
Cleveland Plain Dealer, OH, March 19, 2012

Leaders of the Cleveland Teachers Union are working with Democratic state legislators from Cuyahoga County on a counterproposal to Mayor Frank Jackson’s plan to overhaul the city’s school system by firing ineffective teachers and sharing tax money with quasi-private charter schools.

Pa. Must Give School Boards More Autonomy To Manage Funds
Morning Call, PA, March 19, 2012

As families across Pennsylvania try to figure out how to do more with less in this difficult economy, our local public schools must also do the same. But unlike fiscally sound, kitchen-table decisions that can be made in the morning and implemented by lunch, elected school board members are forced to waste taxpayer money because of antiquated and unfair mandates from Harrisburg that do nothing to improve the quality of public education.

Tiny School Has A Big Heart
Philadelphia Inquirer, PA, March 20, 2012

The best and worst of the Philadelphia school system is represented by Isaac A. Sheppard Elementary, a school that probably should be closed, but deserves to stay open.

Testimony Wraps Up In Nonrenewal Hearings For New Hope Charter
The York Dispatch, PA, March 20, 2012

The testimony portion of the New Hope Academy charter nonrenewal hearings has drawn to a close after Monday’s final testimony.

More Oversight Sought For Growing Charter Schools
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, PA, March 20, 2012

Charter school enrollment continues to climb in Pennsylvania, but educators still argue over how to fund the schools and who should grant or renew charters.

S.C. School Awards Criteria Spark Questions
Rock Hill Herald, SC, March 20, 2012

After honoring 70 percent of South Carolina schools for achieving among the state’s top performers, education officials are looking into whether the celebrated Palmetto Gold and Silver Awards program has become watered down.

Charter, Private Schools Could Get Boost
Myrtle Beach Sun News, SC, March 20, 2012

Interest in alternatives to traditional public schools is alive in the General Assembly. The state Senate is debating a bill to bolster the state’s charter schools – public schools freed from many state requirements so that, advocates say, they can encourage innovation. The bill is the top legislation priority for State Superintendent of Education Mick Zais, a first-term Republican.

‘Compromise’ School Bill Still A Bad Choice For S.C.
The State, SC, March 20, 2012

ADVOCATES call their trimmed-down plan to pay parents to send their kids to private schools a compromise. It’s not

Education Backlash Could Fuel Turnover in the Legislature
Austin American Statesman, TX, March 19, 2012

Candidates who have served on school boards stand to benefit, but it won’t be easy.

Seattle Public Schools Should Keep Teach for America
Seattle Times, WA, March 19, 2012

Seattle School Board members should vote no on a motion to end a partnership with Teach for America. Teachers trained by the national innovative teaching corps have perform well enough in classrooms to justify continuing, even expanding, their presence here.

Seattle Schools Create Ombudsman Position To Help Parents
Seattle Times, WA, March 19, 2012

Parents are cautiously optimistic that Ronald McGlone’s appointment is a good step for a school district often criticized for not providing enough services.

Will Teachers Union Pick The School Board Winners?
Wisconsin State Journal, WI, March 20, 2012

A Madison Teachers Inc. endorsement hasn’t always guaranteed victory for Madison School Board candidates.

VIRTUAL LEARNING

EVSC Receives Grant To Help Teachers Move To Paperless Instruction
Evansville Courier Post, IN, March 19, 2012

With its one-to-one netbook program now in its third year in high schools and also now fully implemented in middle schools, the EVSC is putting even more focus on developing paperless classrooms.

Is Online Schooling a Viable Option for K-12 Schools in Iowa ?
Daily Iowan, IA, March 20, 2012

Iowa families should welcome online public K-12 schooling as it becomes more available throughout the state. Homeschooling families should pay special attention to this option, because it could be a strong supplement to their children’s fundamental education.