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Daily Headlines April 12, 2012

Why Not Embrace School Vouchers?
Huffington Post, April 11, 2012

While New Orleans has the most robust charter school program in the nation, many kids are still trapped in schools that don’t serve their needs. As a result, the New Orleans voucher program has given a lifeline to thousands of low-income children who would otherwise receive an inadequate education.

Flunking 3rd-Graders Can Do More Harm Than Good
USA Today, April 11, 2012

Fads come and go in education, and these days a hot trend is to hold back third-graders who fail standardized reading tests. In 2002, Florida was among the first to launch a tough, statewide policy for “retention,” as educators call it.

Another View: Retention Of Students Can Work
USA Today, April 11, 2012

Several states that are considering ending social promotion — the practice of moving low-performing students to the next grade for socialization reasons — are on the right track.

FROM THE STATES

A Benefit of Charter Schools
Decatur Daily, AL, April 12, 2012

While we oppose the latest version of a charter-school bill in the state House, a debate in Huntsville is a reminder of the potential benefits of a carefully limited charter-school system.

Hundreds Rally for Education Funding at Colorado Capitol
Denver Post, CO, April 12, 2012

Public education is good for students, good for the state and good for the economy, so funding it adequately should be a priority. That was the message delivered by hundreds who attended a rally Wednesday morning on the state Capitol steps.

Opening Day In Douglas County Teacher Contract Negotiations Amicable, Despite District Moves To Quiet Union Activities
Denver Post, CO, April 12, 2012

he first open session of contract negotiations between the Douglas County School District and the teachers’ union was, well, downright amicable Wednesday, as the rift between both sides was put aside to discuss actual issues.

Henderson Launches $10 Million Grant Program To Help DCPS Reach New Academic Targets
Washington Post Blog, DC, April 11, 2012

Chancellor Kaya Henderson, nearing the end of her first full school year as leader of DCPS, is committing the school system to a series of academic goals she hopes to reach by 2017:

Charter Schools Test Well In Study
Tallahassee Democrat, FL, April 12, 2012

A study showing more charter school students achieve passing results on state assessments than their counterparts in traditional public schools is being touted as proof of success for the charter system, but detractors say the study doesn’t actually show much.

Two Articles About Charter Schools Raise Financial Questions
The Ledger, FL, April 12, 2012

The April 4 front page had two articles about charter schools. One was about the lawsuit filed claiming that charter schools received 25.3 percent less funding than district schools ["Group Sues Polk School District"]. The other article was about Lakeland High School officials trying to explain why they want to be a charter school ["LHS Officials Try to Explain Charter Effort"].

APS Panel Recommends Firing Teacher For Test Cheating
Atlanta Journal-Constitution, GA, April 11, 2012

An Atlanta Public Schools tribunal has recommended firing a first-grade teacher as part of the district’s effort to remove all educators implicated in a state test cheating investigation.

Lawmakers Say They Will Fix Ethics Provision in Charter School Bill
Honolulu Civil Beat Blog, HI, April 11, 2012

A comprehensive bill to overhaul the state’s charter school law lost some of its stride in recent weeks over an ethics code exemption, but it still squeaked through the House Tuesday.

School Vouchers Gain Ground
Wall Street Journal, April 12, 2012

Louisiana is poised to establish the nation’s most expansive system of school choice with a package of vouchers and other tools that would give many parents control over the use of tax dollars to educate their children.

Resolve Pays Off In Charter School Victory
Detroit News, MI, April 12, 2012

There’s probably no human trait that liberals depend on more for their success than forgetfulness. So I admit to smug satisfaction that conservatives never let the idea of educational choice die on the vine — and now 14 new charter schools are getting set to open, eight of them in the city of Detroit.

Genesee Intermediate School District Considers Helping Charter School, Despite Opposition To Charter Expansion Law
Flint Journal, MI, April 11, 2012

In last year’s debate over legislation that would allow for more charter schools, one of the most vocal voices opposing the proposal that became law was from the Genesee Intermediate School District. Yet, the GISD is now in discussions with a charter school seeking its support to open in Genesee County.

Charter School Issue Revived in Senate
Jackson Clarion Ledger, MS, April 12, 2012

The Mississippi Senate on Wednesday gave a jolt of life to controversial legislation that would ease allowances for public charter schools.

Missouri Senate Adopts Compromise On Charter School Expansion
St. Louis Post-Dispatch, MO, April 11, 2012

A bill expanding charter schools and strengthening their oversight cleared a major hurdle on Wednesday, but it still has a long way to go to become law.

Gianforte Gives $4.6 Million In Private School Scholarships For Low Income Kids
NBC Montana , MT, April 11, 2012

Former RightNow Technologies CEO Greg Gianforte and his family are donating over $4 million in scholarships to help low and moderate income families afford private schools.

NJ Puts New Labels on Schools for Test Scores, Graduation Rates
New Jersey Spotlight, NJ, April 12, 2012

With No Child Left Behind essentially off the books, welcome to New Jersey’s new age — and labels — for school accountability.

23 of 26 Camden Schools Rated Among Worst in N.J.
Philadelphia Inquirer, PA, April 12, 2012

Twenty-three of the Camden school district’s 26 schools have been rated among the worst in New Jersey and have been designated to get state intervention, according to the results of new state accountability system review.

Martinez Moves On Teacher Reviews
Albuquerque Journal, NM, April 12, 2012

Gov. Susana Martinez, undaunted by the refusal of lawmakers to overhaul New Mexico’s teacher evaluation system, has directed the Public Education Department to move forward with a plan that would measure teachers based partly on student achievement.

Making Teacher Evaluation Data Widely Available To Public A Knee-Jerk Reaction, Says Gov. Cuomo
New York Daily News, NY, April 12, 2012

In his strongest comments yet against making teacher evaluations available broadly to the public, Gov. Cuomo called such a move a “knee jerk” reaction.

Raleigh Mayor: School Assignment Plan Starting To Hurt Business Recruitment
News & Observer, NC, April 12, 2012

Raleigh Mayor Nancy McFarlane caused a stir Wednesday after saying that uncertainty about the new Wake County student assignment plan is beginning to hurt efforts to recruit businesses and families to the area.

Elements of A Better School Assignment Plan
News & Observer, NC, April 12, 2012

If the public schools in Wake County weren’t so valuable an asset, would we be arguing over how students are assigned to them? It seems unlikely. In many other American cities, poor quality public schools engender little more than indifference from parents who can afford private schools, or resignation from those who can’t. It would appear that Wake County’s public schools are worth fighting over.

Time for STEAM Academy to Gain Solid Footing
Winston-Salem Journal, NC, April 12, 2012

Administrators at the STEAM Academy in Winston-Salem, facing year-end tests that will determine the school’s future, must finally resolve their problems. We’d like to continue having this school near the heart of downtown.

Lake Lure Classical Academy Plans to Expand
Times-News, NC, April 11, 2012

Two years after opening the doors, Lake Lure Classical Academy officials are ready to break ground on a new facility and offer a high school curriculum. The public charter school, on Memorial Highway in the shadow of Chimney Rock, is attracting an increasing number of students from Henderson and other surrounding counties.

ACLU Pushes for ‘Transparency’ in Mayor Frank Jackson’s Schools Plan
Cleveland Plain Dealer, OH, April 11, 2012
Mayor Frank Jackson has adjusted his schools plan to make the dealings of a proposed board to review charter schools more open, but the American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio says he has not gone far enough.

Schools Adopt New Evaluation Methods
Edmond Sun, OK, April 11, 2012

Not only has the State Department of Education chosen a new A-F system of grading schools, local school districts have adopted new forms of evaluation systems for teachers and administrators.

A Run For Their Money
City Paper, PA, April 12, 2012

Big corporate money in support of school vouchers hits primary races statewide. Will it tip the scales in Philly?

Office of Civil Rights Revises Lottery Process to Encourage Diversity at Charter School
Bluffton Today, SC, April 11, 2012

The U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights has directed the inclusion of an additional “card” for minority students who participate in enrollment lotteries at Riverview Charter School .

School District Boundaries ‘Disappear’ Under Proposed SC Law
The State, SC, April 12, 2012

Fairfield County students could attend Richland County schools under a public-school choice bill that is advancing in the state Senate.

Publishing Teacher Evaluations Demoralizes
Commercial Appeal, TN, April 12, 2012

If we are to respect teachers as the professionals that they are, we cannot diminish them to a number in a list published in the newspaper.

House Delays Bill To Lift Laws For Schools
The Tennessean, TN, April 12, 2012

The House has delayed a vote on a bill to give the state’s education commissioner the power to waive state laws to grant public schools more flexibility.

VIRTUAL EDUCATION

Ailing Psychologist Gets Cyber Charter $urprise
Philadelphia Daily News, PA, April 12, 2012

AN SURPRISE was waiting for Beth Grimm in the mail on Monday – a check from the Frontier Virtual Charter High School.

Pensions Driving Education Crisis
The Daily Item, PA, April 11, 2012

Escalating teachers’ pensions, increased health-care costs and mandated cyber-charter school funding have created a crisis that threatens the very core of public education, Valley school district officials warned at a Wednesday meeting conducted by the Pennsylvania School Boards Association.

CUSD May Rent Church Space For Online-Academy Students
Arizona Republic, AZ, April 11, 2012

Students taking a class through Chandler Online Academy will have a place to take tests and use a computer if the Chandler school board decides tonight to rent space in a church.