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Daily Headlines: April 11, 2012

High School, Only Shorter
Wall Street Journal, April 10, 2012

More high school students are graduating in three years. Fueling the trend are state scholarships, the growth in online classes and the use of proficiency testing to earn credits.

Charter Schools Spend More On Administration, Less On Instruction Than Traditional Public Schools: Study
Huffington Post, April 10, 2012

Public schools are often criticized and scrutinized for perceived administrative bloat, tied to concerns that those sitting behind desks in district offices are diverting funds away from investment in students. Conversely, charter schools are touted for successes through their leaner administrative model, allowing for more resources to go directly to classrooms.

FROM THE STATES

DPS Is Weeding Out Experienced Teachers
Denver Post, CO, April 11, 2012

The Denver Post told you direct placement teachers in Denver Public Schools don’t deserve to stay and aren’t wanted. Well, half of that is true. I know because I’m one of these teachers looking for a new position in DPS.

Who Will Rescue The D.C. Voucher Program This Time?
Washington Post, DC, April 10, 2012

WHEN PRESIDENT OBAMA reached a deal with Congress last year to reauthorize for five years the District’s program of federally funded school vouchers, families in the program and those who hoped to participate breathed easier.

Florida Releases Report On Charter School Performance
Miami Herald, FL, April 10, 2012

The new report contrasts with other studies that have shown little difference in performance by students in charter schools and traditional public schools.

Report: Florida Charter Students Perform Better Than Those In Traditional Schools
Florida Times Union, FL, April 11, 2012

Florida charter school students performed better on state standardized tests than those who attend traditional public schools, according to a report issued Tuesday, renewing questions about what role school choice plays in academic achievement.

Miami-Dade School System Makes Case Against Controversial Charter School
Miami Herald, FL, April 10, 2012

The Balere Language Academy has more than $229,000 in outstanding debts and failed to provide mandatory programs for children with special needs, school district records show.

SC Senate Leader Says School-Choice Bill Likely To Stall
Augusta Chronicle, GA, April 10, 2012

South Carolina Senate President Pro Tempore John Courson predicts the school-choice bill passed by the House in March will run out of time this year.

Longer CPS School Day Plan Cut By 30 Minutes
Chicago Tribune, IL, April 11, 2012

Emanuel bows to pressure, shortens proposed elementary school day to 7 hours

Why Did Rahm Blink?
Chicago Tribune, IL, April 11, 2012

Although we’ve supported the 71/2-hour proposal, we won’t suggest that a 7-hour day is a travesty. But the mayor and officials at Chicago Public Schools have said repeatedly that they wouldn’t yield on this: Chicago students, many of them from disadvantaged backgrounds, need the 71/2-hour schedule, and they would have it.

Evaluations of Teachers To Be Revised
The Advocate, LA, April 11, 2012

The state will modify plans for how public school teachers are evaluated starting this fall, mostly to aid principals, state Superintendent of Education John White said Tuesday.

Reform: Everything To Gain, Nothing To Lose
The Advocate, LA, April 11, 2012

Here’s one thing I know about doing business: Choice and competition make everything better. Having options and being able to break into a market without someone shoving you out or paying you out is the engine that drives our free economy; and without it, you just get stagnant monopolies.

Legislative Solution To Teacher Evaluation Fight Seen As ‘Unlikely’
Cape Ann Beacon, MA, April 10, 2012

Lawmakers and labor unions worried Tuesday that a national group’s effort to add consequences to the state’s teacher evaluation policy could subject voters to an expensive and confusing ballot campaign this fall.

Education Committee Advances Bill To Help Charters Use Empty Schools
Cape Ann Beacon, MA, April 10, 2012

Charter school operators are hopeful that the Legislature could make a small but impactful change to the 2010 education reform law that would direct public school districts to make unused buildings available for lease or purchase to charter schools.

Charter Schools Are Good For New Bedford
South Coast Today, MA, April 11, 2012

When the mayor of your city says that your schools are “falling backward” you’ve got a problem. It is a problem that New Bedford Mayor Jon Mitchell wants to fix and he has made school improvement a priority of his administration. He’s not alone.

Teachers, Layoffs, And “Doing Something”
Twin Cities Planet, MN, April 10, 2012

H.F. 1870, the bill to replace seniority with an unfinished teacher evaluation system, is wrapping up its time in conference committee on its way to likely passage from both houses of the Minnesota legislature.

Charters: What About Priorities?
Hattiesburg American, MS, April 10, 2012

The new Republican leadership in the Legislature is still reeling from a signature campaign pledge – charter schools – being rejected despite holding majorities for the first time in both chambers since Reconstruction.

Elementary Lock-In: No More Manchester Choice
Union Leader, NH, April 11, 2012

Manchester soon will save some money by limiting the choices of parents whose children are stuck in schools that fail to teach them adequately.

Fine Print: New Teacher Evaluation Guidance
New Jersey Spotlight, NJ, April 11, 2012

The Christie administration last month sent out notice of more than $2 million in grants for school districts to join the state’s teacher evaluation pilot now underway to develop a statewide system for 2013-14. Last weekend, it sent out additional guidance for the 10 districts already in the pilot, breaking down how student performance should fit into teachers’ grades in this first year as well.

Don’t Even Think Of A Gag Order For Parents On Teacher Evaluations
Daily News, NY, April 11, 2012

There’s an idea floating around the state capital that calls for enacting legislation to prohibit parents from discussing the quality of their children’s teachers in public.

Teacher Eval Process Needs More Scrutiny
Newsday, NY, April 10, 2012

The advent of a new teacher-evaluation apparatus remains in atangle of labor politics, state bureaucracy, lobbying by interest groups and questions of funding.

Lobbying for Reform
New York Observer, NY, April 10, 2012

Traditionally, reformers have had a hard time coming to terms with practical politics. That’s because most reformers have sought to, well, reform politics as usual. They abhorred the practice of politics, and as a result, they often have failed to achieve genuine progress.

Wake County Student Assignment Plan Draws Last-Minute Activity
News Observer, NC, April 11, 2012

With time running out for the second round of the school selection process, Wake County school officials announced Tuesday new programs for six schools, and the Great Schools in Wake Coalition launched a campaign that advocates replacing the new student assignment plan.

State Board of Education Urges Collaboration, But Stops Short Of Endorsing Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson’s School Plan
Cleveland Plain Dealer, OH, April 10, 2012

A divided state Board of Education on Tuesday rejected Gov. John Kasich’s request to endorse Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson’s school reform plan.

National Union: CPS Exaggerated Teacher Cuts
Cincinnati Enquirer, OH, April 10, 2012

One of the nation’s largest teachers unions, the American Federation of Teachers, says Cincinnati Public Schools over-projected its expenses and doesn’t need to cut up to 225 teaching jobs as planned next week.

Sofo Moving To Pittsburgh Charter School
Beaver County Times, PA, April 10, 2012

Presented with school choice, Beaver County s most persistent voice for charter school funding reform chose a job with a charter school.

Green Bay District To Look For Charter School Money
Green Bay Press-Gazette, WI, April 10, 2012

The Green Bay School Board gave the green light Tuesday for school administrators to ask for state planning money to begin work to create a new online charter school.

VIRTUAL EDUCATION

Virtual Instruction Hurts Education
RU Daily Targum, NJ, April 11, 2012

The Garden State’s first comprehensive “virtual” charter school has begun to enroll students for the coming fall semester. The New Jersey Virtual Charter School , a for-profit education company based out of Newark, N.J., will hold all of its classes online – an idea that has residents throughout the state – as well as our own editorial board – fervently throwing up our arms in protest.