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Daily Headlines: March 9, 2012

Obama, GOP Governors Share Many Views On Education
Associated Press, March 8, 2012

A funny thing is happening between President Barack Obama and many Republican governors when it comes to improving America’s schools: They are mostly getting along.

Aaron Regunberg: A Tale of Two Ed Reforms
GoLocalProv, RI, March 9, 2012

This week I heard two stories, one inspiring and one terrifying, that seemed to me to really effectively epitomize the diverging forces that make up America’s education reform debate. Because they struck me as such a study in contrasts, I wanted to share them here.

Do We Need a Virtual Education Ministry?
Huffington Post, March 8, 2012

Local school districts — with their elected school boards, susceptibility to interest group capture, and lack of scale — aren’t always inclined or well suited to turn legislative reforms into real change on the ground. I’ve wondered out loud whether we should abolish school districts and run the whole kit and caboodle out of state departments of education.

FROM THE STATES

Parents Impetus For New Foreign Language School
Phoenix Business Journal, AZ, March 9, 2012

A group of Scottsdale parents were so impressed with their children’s private school that they are starting a state-funded charter school to continue the curriculum.

Governor Signs School Choice Bill
Peoria Times, AZ, March 8, 2012

Governor Brewer signed SB 1047, a bill sponsored by Senator Rick Murphy of Peoria , that will open up more educational options for Arizona families.

Two Oakland Elementary Schools Will Become Charters, Bringing The Total To 38
Oakland Tribune, CA, March 8, 2012

Two Oakland elementary schools will soon leave the school district and operate independently, bringing the total number of charter schools in the city to 38.

L.A. Unified Board Games
Los Angeles Times, CA, March 9, 2012

In the once-in-a-decade redrawing of school board districts, some close to the current process see the mayor’s guiding hand.

Orcutt Parents, Union Discuss Charter Teacher Issue
Santa Maria Times, CA, March 9, 2012

Mixed, sometimes heightened, emotions highlighted a dialogue between teachers, parents and others interested enough in equal employment rights to attend a meeting hosted by the Orcutt Educators Association Thursday night.

‘Trigger’ Parents Try Again
Victorville Daily Press, CA, March 8, 2012

Just as parents pushing for a major overhaul of Desert Trails Elementary resubmitted their petition, the Adelanto School District Board of Trustees voted to move forward with issuing preliminary layoff notices to 18 teachers within the district.

Colorado Legislature, School Districts Debate Effectiveness of Having Struggling Students Repeat A Grade
Denver Post, CO, March 9, 2012

It can be emotional and controversial, but Colorado may soon find out whether the prospect of retention — having struggling students repeat a grade rather than have “social promotion” move them on with their peers — might also spur parents and schools to more effectively focus on early literacy.

Highlands Parents Frustrated Over School Choice
9NEWS, CO, March 8, 2012

Not too long ago, leaders with the Denver Public School District talked about stopping the bleeding in northwest Denver. Too many families were leaving for private schools or other districts. Today, that area is experiencing the opposite problem.

Kaya Henderson: Charters Must Be ‘In My Tool Kit’
Washington Post Blog, DC, March 8, 2012

This is the second part of last week’s Q-and-A with D.C. Chancellor Kaya Henderson. The highlights: why she wants DCPS to be a charter authorizer, possible changes for the IMPACT teacher evaluation system, and her reasons for rebuffing a proposal from food service director Jeff Mills to take all meal preparation in-house–a plan supported by Council member Mary Cheh (D-Ward 3), author of the D.C. Healthy Schools Act.

Black Leaders Want to Be Included in LHS Charter Talks
The Ledger, FL, March 9, 2012

Some black leaders in Lakeland don’t want black people to be left out from the discussion of Lakeland High School and Harrison School for the Visual and Performing Arts plans to pursue charter status.

Bartlett: Charter Schools Destroy Education
Marietta Daily Journal, GA, March 8, 2012

Not only do charter schools not provide students a better education than public schools, but they also destroy public education, Cobb school board member Alison Bartlett said at a town hall meeting Thursday night.

Opportunity Lost
Macon Telegraph, GA, March 9, 2012

Taxpayer funding of local education is a bitterly resented tax. Those who can, appalled by the standards, secularization, safety or environment of public education, send their children to private school. They still pay taxes to pay for the public schools they see turning out 18-year-olds lacking basic skills. Those who cannot afford private school send their children to public schools unless their children are lucky enough for a scholarship or charter school to get them out of the morass.

Why Does Indianapolis Need A “School Chooser?”
Indianapolis Star Blog, IN, March 8, 2012

Do Indianapolis parents really need a school guide and training to understand their choices for where to send their kids to school?

Deadline Near For Education Bill
Des Moines Register, IA, March 9, 2012

The wide-ranging school overhaul cleared the House Education Committee last month, but for the last several weeks it has been the subject of off-the-record discussions between the chamber’s Republican majority and Democratic minority.

More Than 100 Local Elected Officials Endorse Education Reform Plan
WVLA-TV, LA, March 9, 2012

Over 100 local elected officials including school board members, sheriffs, parish presidents, mayors, policy jury members, city council members, aldermen and assessors endorsed Governor Bobby Jindal’s plan for reforming Louisiana’s schools.

Teachers Union To Lawmakers: Jindal Voucher Plan Unconstitutional
Times-Picayune, LA, March 8, 2012

One of the state teachers unions’ top officials is pressing ahead with his argument questioning the legality of Gov. Bobby Jindal’s proposal to use Louisiana’s public school financing formula to give certain students private-school tuition vouchers.

Bill To Cut Tenure For Virginia Teachers Is Shelved
Washington Post, DC, March 9, 2012

Virginia’s Republican-led Senate on Thursday derailed an effort to eliminate tenure-style job protections for public school teachers, a key part of Gov. Robert F. McDonnell’s education agenda.

Framingham’s Mcauliffe Charter School Expecting Record Enrollment
Metro West Daily News, MA, March 9, 2012

In anticipation of its largest enrollment ever, McAuliffe Charter School is planning to hire three new teachers and open up a new classroom this fall.

A Little Too Close For Comfort
Boston Globe, MA, March 9, 2012

IT’S GETTING slippery around the Boston School Committee headquarters on Court Street. And the member most likely to lose footing is John Barros, the executive director of a well-known nonprofit organization, the Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative.

Proposal For Intra-District School Choice Turned Down
Newbury Port News, MA, March 9, 2012

A majority of the Pentucket School Committee rejected a proposed policy shift to provide local families more opportunity to move their children within the district.

House Panel Approves Bill Establishing Mayoral Control of Minneapolis-St. Paul Schools
Pioneer Press, MN, March 8, 2012

The mayors of St. Paul and Minneapolis could take control of their city’s school districts under a bill approved by the House Education Reform Committee on Thursday night.

Education Board Chooses Failure
Jackson Clarion Ledger, MS, March 9, 2012

The reason we don’t have charter schools is because the state Board of Education has failed miserably to recognize the fact that is there are failing schools in Mississippi, and the board chooses not to do what it could do to remedy those schools.

Charters Spur ‘Politicization’
Jackson Clarion Ledger, MS, March 8, 2012

A less obvious consequence of charter school bills moving through the Legislature is the further politicization of public education.

Charter Schools May Help – At What Cost?
Hattiesburg America, MS, March 9, 2012

We all want to increase educational opportunities for our children, and charter schools may be a wonderful concept. But charter schools do not just pop up overnight.

Charter Schools Aren’t Magic Answer
Natchez Democrat, MS, March 9, 2012

The Senate passed a charter schools bill that would open the door to create alternative learning centers that foster higher academic performance than traditional public schools.

School District Wonders If For-Profit Education Firm Is Worth The Money
Las Vegas Sun, NV, March 9, 2012

Currently on the chopping block is Edison Learning Inc., a pricey for-profit education management company that is operating seven public elementary schools in Las Vegas. The New York-based company’s contract with the School District is set to expire June 30.

JOSEPHSON: Don’t Put Charter Schools To A Vote
Asbury Park Press, NJ, March 8, 2012

Our democracy is a representative one: Informed representatives selected by voters resolve issues on our behalf. With few exceptions, New Jersey voters do not get to micromanage government by popular referendum at the ballot box.

Pleasantech Academy Charter School Board To Seek Conditional Extension Of Charter
Press of Atlantic City, NJ, March 8, 2012

Parents, teachers and students rallied together Thursday to tell PleasanTech Academy Charter School trustees they need to fight to keep the school open.

Hoboken Dual Language Charter School To Include Fourth Grade Students After Receiving $2,500 Grant
Jersey Journal, NJ, March 8, 2012

A Hoboken charter school will be expanding to include fourth-grade students next year with some help from the Provident Bank Foundation.

In Cobble Hill, Continued Resistance to New Charters
New York Times Schoolbook, NY, March 8, 2012

Eva Moskowitz’s charter school network has endured another winter of protests against its new schools and arrived safely on the other side with official approval to open three charter schools in Brooklyn next fall. But that has not put a stop to local opposition, particularly in Cobble Hill, where some teachers and parents have responded with small acts of defiance.

Bloomberg Fails on Public Schools: UFT Head
Times Ledger, NY, March 9, 2012

United Federation of Teachers President Michael Mulgrew may have just gone through a rough few days following the publication of teacher data reports, but on Leap Day he said there were only 22 months and one day left in the administration of Mayor Michael Bloomberg, whom he criticized for 10 years of mismanagement of the city’s schools.

Merit Pay’s Flaws
News & Observer, NC, March 9, 2012

Professor Diane Ravitch calls merit pay for teachers the idea that never works and never dies. So, why did the Wake County school system recently approve merit pay for Walnut Creek and Longview schools?

Cuts, Cont’d.: City School Leaders Struggle to Balance the Numbers
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, PA, March 9, 2012

With her latest budget reductions, city schools superintendent Linda Lane continues to walk a fine line of cutting costs while hurting programs for children as little as possible.

I-LEAD Charter School Hopes to Raise $100,000 for Scholarships
Reading Eagle, PA, March 9, 2012

Officials from I-LEAD, the county’s first charter school, held a kickoff Thursday morning for its inaugural Race for Education campaign that school leaders hope will raise $100,000 for a college scholarship fund.

Event Explains New Teacher Evaluation Methods For State
Williamsport Sun-Gazette, PA, March 9, 2012

A new system of teacher evaluations for state educators are set to take effect starting in the 2013-14 school year. Models to evaluate schools’ administration, counselors and other support staff is expected to start during the 2014-15 school year.

New Hope Hearing Focuses On Academic Growth, Hassles Over Records
York Dispatch, PA, March 9, 2012

An abridged New Hope Academy charter renewal hearing Thursday focused on the school’s academic growth and issues with getting York City School District records.

Mayor Jones Supports Patrick Henry Charter School
Richmond Times-Dispatch, VA, March 9, 2012

Richmond Mayor Dwight C. Jones pledged his support Thursday to the city’s first charter school as a welcome innovation to a public education system that needs to raise its performance.

Test Scores Now Part Of Teacher Evaluations
The Olympian, WA, March 9, 2012

The governor on Thursday signed a measure that will add improvement in student test scores to the list of factors that principals use to evaluate teachers.

Teach for America’s Rocky First Year
Seattle Times, WA, March 8, 2012

It’s been a rocky first year for the Puget Sound branch of Teach for America , but principals say the first TFA teachers are performing well.

VIRTUAL LEARNING

Panel Advances Online School Growth
The Advocate, LA, March 9, 2012

After a spirited debate, the state’s top school board Thursday tentatively approved a plan that would allow maximum enrollment to double at Louisiana’s first online charter school for most grades.

Online Learning Has Its Limits
Muncie Star Press, IN, March 8, 2012

Yikes. It’s a good thing the Legislature dropped a plan from State School Supt. Tony Bennett to mandate virtual instruction for all high school students. As a teacher myself, I can testify that lack of technological aptitude is not a problem.

State Considers Clearinghouse for Online Classes
Magic Valley Times, ID, March 9, 2012

With more students taking online classes in the future, the state is working out the details about which classes they can choose from.

Colorado Online School Oversight Needed
Longmont Times Call, CO, March 9, 2012

The state Legislature appears to be moving forward on bills and proposals to address issues with online schooling outlined in a 2010 state Department of Education report.