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Daily Headlines: April 4, 2012

Union Leader Urges for Restructuring in Education
Harvard Crimson, MA, April 4, 2012

The teaching profession in the United States needs a makeover, the president of America’s largest labor union—the National Education Association—said at the Graduate School of Education on Tuesday.

FROM THE STATES

Superintendent Expresses Concerns About Charter Schools
Daily Times, AL, April 4, 2012

Alabama’s top educator said Tuesday that he is not opposed to charter schools in the state, but he has some concerns about the bill lawmakers are considering to create them.

Northwest Educators Speak Out Against Charter Schools
Daily Times, AL, April 4, 2012

The latest version of HB541, the “Education Options Act of 2012,” isn’t so much about flexibility and options for public schools as it is a mandate from the state that could potentially siphon state funds from already struggling public schools, according to northwest Alabama educators.

Vote Canceled On Alaska School Choice Constitutional Amendment
Alaska Dispatch, AK, April 3, 2012

It appears that a push to amend the state constitution for the so-called “school choice” movement may not get a vote before the House of Representatives.

Can Giving Parents A Voice Actually Improve Schools?
‎Los Angeles Times, CA, April 3, 2012

The latest setback for the parent-trigger reform — when the Adelanto School District last week rejected a petition to … well, it’s not exactly clear what the parents sought, but more on that later — will surely be appealed in court.

Visalia Charter School Provides Classes For Home-Schooled Students
Visalia Times-Delta, CA, April 4, 2012

Tucked quietly beneath the shadows of the Venice Hills and between fruit orchards off Road 180 in Visalia, the Eleanor Roosevelt Community Learning Center is a bit off the grid.

Vacant D.C. School Buildings Could House Public Charters
Washington Post, DC, April 4, 2012

Four vacant D.C. public school buildings could become new homes for public charter schools under a proposal by city officials.

Two D.C. School Reform Events, Competing Visions
Washington Post Blog, DC, April 3, 2012

The two education gatherings last Thursday evening were only two miles apart on the map. But in the philosophy and agendas, the expanse separating them is vast.

Turnaround Plan Unveiled for Andrew Jackson High School
Florida Times Union, FL, April 4, 2012

A wide swath of organizations, including nonprofit groups, a university and the Duval County school district, are joining forces in the hopes of transforming Andrew Jackson High School from the worst high school in the state to one of the best in the nation.

Too Cool for School
Biscayne Times, FL, April 4, 2012

There’s an old line about going to watch a fight only to have a hockey game break out. I felt a little like that at the March 10 informational meeting sponsored by the Church of the Resurrection and Mater Academy, the charter-school company the church is looking to partner with on a K-5 school.

Charter Schools Association Sues Polk School District
The Ledger, FL, April 4, 2012

Polk Charter Schools Association filed a lawsuit Tuesday that claims charter school students aren’t given as much money for their education as traditional district school students.

LHS Officials Try to Explain Charter Effort
The Ledger, FL, April 3, 2012

In a well-attended meeting Tuesday night, parents got a better understanding of what a committee of Lakeland High School teachers is proposing for a charter conversion plan for the high school.

Somerset Academy To Serve 2,100 Students In Suburban Boynton Beach
Palm Beach Post, FL, April 3, 2012

Suburban Boynton Beach residents got a look Tuesday night at the proposed charter middle and high school they say is sorely needed because of a lack of nearby public schools for their children.

Parents Supporting 6 1/2 Hour Day Meet With Jean-Claude Brizard
Chicago Tribune, IL, April 4, 2012

Parents pushing for a 6 1/2 hour school day say they met with Chicago Public Schools chief Jean-Claude Brizard in recent days to explain their opposition to Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s proposed 7 1/2 hour-school day.

Chicago Teachers Union Says Polls Show Support For A Strike
Chicago Tribune, IL, April 3, 2012

The Chicago Teachers Union says internal polling shows there is support for a strike if contract talks with Chicago Public Schools break down.

Urban League OKs School, Guards Its HQ
The Journal Gazette, IN, April 4, 2012

The Fort Wayne Urban League board says it supports efforts to create a new charter school under its leadership, provided the non-profit isn’t at risk of losing its building if the project goes bust.

Bobby Jindal Education Overhaul Expected To Face Fierce Debate In Louisiana Senate
Times Picayune, LA, April 4, 2012

The same questions that have defined legislative debate about Gov. Bobby Jindal’s proposed primary and secondary education overhaul linger this week as the Senate prepares to take up measures that would curtail teacher tenure, expand charter schools and establish a statewide program that uses the public-school financing formula to pay for private school tuition grants for low-income students. Should local school systems have to financially back a private-school voucher program driven by the state?

Dr. King Charter School Cancels Classes Wednesday As Teachers Head To Capitol
Times Picayune, LA, April 3, 2012

Parents of students at Dr. King Charter School in the Lower 9th Ward have started getting calls letting them know that class will be canceled tomorrow because teachers will be headed to Baton Rouge in protest over the governor’s package of education bills. The state Senate is scheduled to take up legislation this week that would weaken job protections for teachers and expand private school vouchers and charter schools.

Some Louisiana Teachers Look To Expel Governor
Washington Times, DC, April 3, 2012

Riled by tenure reforms and voucher efforts, foes of Jindal take cue from Wisconsin

Group: Union Is Taking Over School Boards
Daily Press & Argus, MI, April 4, 2012

Hartland Township-based RetakeOurGov is claiming Michigan’s largest teachers’ union has “a strategy of taking over local school boards.”

Charter Schools Fight Not Over; Bryant Eyeing Special Session
Jackson Clarion Ledger, MS, April 4, 2012

The state’s top lawmakers hope to resuscitate a bill to broaden allowances for public charter schools in Mississippi after it died in the House Education Committee Tuesday.

Missouri Senate Sidelines Bill Abolishing Teacher Tenure
St. Louis Post-Dispatch, MO, April 3, 2012

An attempt to get rid of the tenure system for public school teachers in Missouri foundered in a test vote Tuesday evening in the state Senate.

New Missouri Charter-School Law Would Improve Accountability
Kansas City Star, MO, April 4, 2012

If we really want to tackle the problems in our schools, we have to start relying on common-sense solutions that put the needs of students ahead of any other interests in the system. Fortunately, in Missouri , lawmakers advocating for a new public charter school law understand this.

Emily Fisher: N.J. Using Bad Figure In Case Against School
Times of Trenton, NJ, April 4, 2012

Bolstering their claims that the state Department of Education is shutting them down based on a flawed examination of their performance, officials at Emily Fisher Charter School say at least one key figure is very inaccurate.

Teacher Evaluation Data Must Be Made Public
Journal News, NY, April 3, 2012

A compelling debate greets state lawmakers when they return from their two-week break: should public school teachers’ job-performance evaluations be made public? If so, what information should be released and how widely should it be disseminated?

City Revokes Williamsburg High School’s Charter
New York Times, NY, April 4, 2012

A charter high school that opened in 2004 in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, will close at the end of this school year because of governance and financial problems, city education officials announced on Tuesday evening.

Group Aims to Counter Influence of Teachers’ Union in New York
New York Times, NY, April 4, 2012

Leaders of a national education reform movement, including Joel I. Klein and Michelle Rhee, the former schools chancellors in New York and Washington , have formed a statewide political group in New York with an eye toward being a counterweight to the powerful teachers’ union in the 2013 mayoral election.

Smart Money
News & Observer, NC, April 4, 2012

Yippee – we’re 42nd! Take a bow, North Carolina! When it comes to education spending, kindergarten through 12th grade, there are eight states that spend even less per pupil than we do! Yes, that does mean 41 states manage to do better. Some of them are wealthier. You say Mississippi is 41st? Keep your voice down – this could be embarrassing!

Perdue’s Push For Teacher Pay Raises Is Justified But Hopeless
Winston-Salem Journal, NC, April 4, 2012

In calling for teacher pay raises for the 2012-13 academic year, Gov. Bev Perdue is following the North Carolina tradition of governors who advocate for better schools.

Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson’s School Reform Plan Just Another Battle In War On Public Education
Cleveland Plain Dealer, OH, April 4, 2012

Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson’s recent school reform plan, when taken in a larger context, is really just the latest chapter in what we in the education profession have been fighting for several years now — a nationwide War on Public Education.

$6 Million In Goofs Cost Columbus Schools
Columbus Dispatch, OH, April 4, 2012

The Columbus school district owes a total of almost $6 million to six suburban districts for billing errors it made on the Win-Win agreement, a problem that a consultant figured out in 2010 but that the districts have never publicly discussed.

Tough, Fair Evaluations Help Students
Muskogee Daily Phoenix , OK, April 4, 2012

School districts being required to chose one of three possible teacher evaluation frameworks will create a more uniform comparison statewide, which will help our students.

Former Head of Philadelphia Charter School Admits Fraud
Philadelphia Inquirer, PA, April 4, 2012

A former board president and founder of a Northwest Philadelphia charter school admitted Tuesday that he stole $522,000 in taxpayer funds to prop up a restaurant, a health-food store, and a private school he controlled, and for other business and personal expenses.

The Search For A New Schools Chief
Philadelphia Inquirer, PA, April 4, 2012

OVER THE past six weeks, Philadelphia has engaged in a robust and meaningful conversation about the future of our public schools and our search for a new leader for our public schools. As members of the search team established by the School Reform Commission, we look forward to using the ideas and recommendations that we received in this process to help advance the education of all children in the city.

Choice Bill Wouldn’t Help Schools
Greenville News, SC, April 3, 2012

A school choice bill that recently was passed by the South Carolina House of Representatives surely would be welcome by parents who currently send their children to private schools, but it would do little to promote the competition for public schools that proponents offer as their reason to implement school choice in South Carolina.

Nashville Charter School Hopefuls Reach Record High
The Tennessean, TN, April 4, 2012

Charter school applicants, no longer limited by law to serve poor students from failing classrooms, brought a record number of proposals this year to Metro Nashville Public Schools.

Highly Regarded Charter School Systems in California Apply for Memphis
Commercial Appeal, TN, April 4, 2012

Several of the nation’s highest-performing charter schools have applied to come to Memphis, including two California groups hoping to expand for the first time to other states.

Grading Their Evaluations: Teachers Offer Thoughts On New Process
Jackson Sun, TN, April 4, 2012

Educators from across West Tennessee weighed in Tuesday night about the pros and cons of the state’s new teacher evaluation process during a regional roundtable discussion conducted by the State Collaborative on Reforming Education.

Floor Votes Set For Charter Bill
The Tennessean, TN, April 4, 2012

Legislation that would limit how many foreign workers charter schools can hire is heading to the floor of the state House of Representatives and Senate, setting it on a path for passage this month.

Seattle Superintendent Search Process Raises Concern
Seattle Times, WA, April 3, 2012

Seattle School Board members have decided not to ask superintendent finalists to answer questions at a public meeting, in part because they’re worried overly negative attendees would scare off candidates.