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Daily Headlines for April 27, 2012

Head Start Faces a New Test
Wall Street Journal, April 26, 2012

Some local Head Start programs for the first time will have to compete for a share of $7.6 billion in federal funding under a plan aimed at weeding out low-performing preschool centers.

A GED Safety Net For High School Dropouts
Christian Science Monitor, MA, April 26, 2012

Programs like mine can help high school dropouts earn the equivalent of a high school diploma by passing the GED exam. As a GED teacher, I find success means helping these students clear hurdles outside of class, and giving them a safe, nonjudgmental place to learn in class.

When Bullies Grow Up, They Can Always Run Teachers Unions
Washington Examiner, DC, April 27, 2012

Earlier this month, the presidents of America’s two largest teachers unions co-hosted a screening of the new documentary “Bully.” The movie, of course, aims to combat bullying of schoolchildren.

School Reform: Why Romney and Obama Aren’t Talking About Education
TIME, April 26, 2012

Yet despite all that, President Obama and Mr. Romney aren’t talking about education’s hard questions. They aren’t even talking up their own successes. Why? Because education reform doesn’t fit well with the overall argument either candidate is making about why he should get to sit in the Oval Office next January.

U.S. vs. the World in Education Reform
Philadelphia Inquirer, PA, April 26, 2012

Last week, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal signed the nation’s most expansive school voucher program into law. Since the GOP sweep of statehouses in 2010, similar measures have been introduced by the legislatures of more than 30 states — including Pennsylvania, where a bipartisan school voucher bill was defeated in the House in December.

FROM THE STATES

How We Really Stack Up: Do Your Homework Before Criticizing Alabama Public Schools
Anniston Star, AL, April 27, 2012

Because of my interest in public education and what I see in Alabama schools, I was mystified at Alabama Republican Party Chairman Bill Armistead’s recent column about public schools. (“ Alabama deserves options,” April 19)

After Seeing The Fiscal Impact, Oakland School Board Rejects Charter Conversion
Oakland Tribune, CA, April 26, 2012

During a meeting in late March, the school board appeared to signal its support for their cause, especially in light of transportation concerns. But on Wednesday night, Lazear parents learned their struggle wasn’t over. In a split vote, the Oakland school board voted down the charter petition.

Education Reform In Connecticut A ‘Work In Progress’
New Haven Register, CT, April 26, 2012

The latest version of education reform continues to restrict the power of the commissioner, elevates the role of the University of Connecticut’s education school to administer a teacher evaluation model and makes sure the unions get to negotiate changes at turnaround schools.

Charter Board Has Spent $1 Million To Close Failed Schools
Washington Post Blog, DC, April 26, 2012

Twelve public charter schools and campuses of two others have closed their doors over the last four years. They either shut down on their own, often for financial reasons, or were put out of business by the D.C. Public Charter School Board over academic or governance issues.

Charter Schools Effective As Parents Gain New Choices
TC Palm, FL, April 27, 2012

Charter schools are tuition-free public schools. According to the Florida Department of Education, they are also among the fastest growing school choice option in the state. There is a commitment to higher standards of accountability, while exercising freedom from the traditional public school format.

Is Newpoint Bay Charter Really a “D” School?
WJHG-TV, FL, April 26, 2012

Panama City- Bay County’s lowest graded school has one more year to improve before facing the possibility of closure. But is Newpoint Bay Charter Academy really a “D” school?

ACS Leaders: Charter School’s Proposal Is Wasteful Duplication
Herald Bulletin, IN, April 26, 2012

Few arguments have changed since late last year when Anderson educators spoke against a proposed new charter school here.

Pave Way For Gary School Reform
Post-Tribune, IN, April 26, 2012

No matter how you look at it, Roosevelt has been in a downward slide for years. So the state took over last year, and hired Edison to come up with a plan for improving the school, after six years of failing to meet state standards.

A Bumpy Transition for Indiana Schools
Indianapolis Star, IN, April 27, 2012

Indiana’s foray into school takeovers continues to be fraught with confusion, bickering and accusations of dirty tricks.

As With Public Schools, Charter Business Needs Scrutiny, Too
Alexandria Town Talk, LA, April 27, 2012

As Louisiana gets much deeper into the business of charter schools, it’s worth noting how the business sees itself.

Cape Cod Lighthouse Charter School Well On Its Way To Fall Opening
Cape Cod Times, MA, April 27, 2012

Paul Niles can honestly say he wears a lot of hats: executive director of the Cape Cod Lighthouse Charter School , a school trustee and a science teacher. And on Thursday, he wore a hard hat while leading a tour at the school’s new location, a $2.1 million renovation of an East Harwich six-theater multiplex.

Study Finds Michigan Charter Schools Spend Twice As Much As Public Schools
Central Michigan Life, MI, April 26, 2012

When the charter school movement took root in the early 1990s, one of the claims made by supporters was that independent public schools would be able to devote less money to paying administration and more to educating students.

House Passes Bill That Changes Teacher Tenure Rules
Minnesota Public Radio, MN, April 26, 2012

The Minnesota House passed a bill that would allow local school districts to fire teachers on performance instead of seniority. The House took the action even though Governor Dayton has suggested that he’ll veto it. Supporters of the measure say it’s needed to ensure the best teachers stay in the classroom.

Charter School Would Serve Autistic Students
Post-Bulletin, MN, April 26, 2012

A group of Rochester parents are working on creating a charter public school that would serve students with high-functioning autism, which would be only the second such school in the state.

State Takes Over Aberdeen School District
The Columbus Packet, MS, April 26, 2012

As of Tuesday, the Aberdeen School District no longer has an acting superintendent. The Mississippi Department of Education took over the school on Tuesday and met with parents, faculty and students to discuss the impending changes.

Majority of County Voters Favor Tax Hike To Fix Schools, Survey Says
Las Vegas Sun, NV, April 27, 2012

A little more than half of Clark County voters support a tax hike under consideration by the Clark County School District to fund a $5.3 billion school improvement plan over the next decade.

Opinion: A Tale of Two Cities: Charter Schools in Philadelphia, Camden
New Jersey Spotlight, NJ, April 27, 2012

The big education news this week in the Delaware Valley is the Philadelphia Public School District’s announcement that it will close 40 of its 250 schools in September 2013.

Two Schools Given Reprieves
Wall Street Journal, April 27, 2012

Two New York City schools that were among 26 slated to be closed got a reprieve Thursday from the Department of Education just hours before a meeting that would have sealed their fates.

Charter School Being Established In Newburgh By Former Mayor
YNN Hudson Valley, NY, April 26, 2012

In less than two years, there could be a charter school in Newburgh. The proposal is on the table and it’s being spearheaded by a familiar face in the city. YNN’s Elaina Athans has more.

Glitches Frustrate Wake Parents Looking For Student Assignment Results
News & Observer, NC, April 27, 2012

Wake County parents went through a glitch-filled Thursday waiting to see if their children had gotten into the schools they want to attend this fall.

Measuring Outcomes In Narrowing Achievement Gap
Durham Herald Sun, NC, April 27, 2012

A report issued in 2010 found that only 12 percent of black fourth-grade boys were proficient in reading, compared with 38 percent of white boys. The gap grew wider with math, with 12 percent of black fourth-grade boys proficient, compared with 44 percent of white boys.

Republican Education Reform Plan Deserves Consideration
Charlotte Observer, NC, April 27, 2012

The Senate proposals need more definition, but there are elements worthy of consideration. The plan begins with the premise that all N.C. third graders read at grade level before they can be promoted.

Openness Is Key To Cleveland School Reform: Rabbi Joshua Caruso, Rev. Jawanza Colvin And The Very Rev. Tracey Lind
Cleveland Plain Dealer, OH, April 27, 2012

Greater Cleveland Congregations supports the legislation agreed upon by Mayor Frank Jackson and the Cleveland Teachers Union to reform the Cleveland School District, and urges the Ohio General Assembly to pass it in its current form.

State May Alter Plan For Grading Schools
Columbus Dispatch, OH, April 27, 2012

Columbus School Superintendent Gene Harris and others took issue yesterday with a new state plan to hand out letter grades to Ohio schools — significantly below current levels, in most cases — and they might get some of what they want.

Charter School Proponents Insist That They’d Never Go Back To Public Schools
Chronicle-Telegram, OH, April 26, 2012

Heidi Bickenheuser said she never even thought about sending her children to Elyria Schools. The 35-year-old mother of five said knew she would seek out a charter school — a publicly funded, privately operated school that uses state funds to run under its own parameters.

Oklahoma Education Officials Questioned on Scrutiny of Tulsa Model
Tulsa World, OK, April 27, 2012

Several members of the State Board of Education on Thursday questioned the scrutiny administrators at the Oklahoma State Department of Education have been giving to Tulsa’s teacher evaluation model.

Allentown School Board: Vitalistic Has 60 Days To Revamp Charter School
Allentown Morning Call, PA, April 27, 2012

Vitalistic Therapeutic Charter School has two months to fix a slew of financial, academic, special education and legal problems or face a shutdown.

SC Republicans Host Education Event with Jeb Bush
Myrtle Beach Sun News, SC, April 27, 2012

U.S. Sen. Jim DeMint is hosting a forum on education reform featuring former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush. The Empower South Carolina Education Reform Summit is scheduled for Friday at the Columbia Convention Center .

Proposed Fairfax Charter School Wins State Endorsement
Washington Post Blog, DC, April 26, 2012

The proposed Fairfax Leadership Academy moved one step closer to becoming Northern Virginia ’s first charter school Thursday when it won unanimous endorsement from the Virginia Board of Education.

Freedom Academy Plans Meet Resistance
Daily Herald, UT, April 27, 2012

Expansion of a charter school in northwest Provo has pitted the school and its legislative protection against the city and the neighborhood.

CREATE Works To Bridge Achievement Gap Between White, Minority Students
Green Bay Gazette, WI, April 27, 2012

Minority students tend to drop out of school at higher rates than white students and are more likely to be placed in special education classes, according to organizers of a diversity conference for educators on Thursday.

VIRTUAL EDUCATION

Carroll’s Bid For Full-Time Virtual School Is Approved
Richmond Times-Dispatch, VA, April 26, 2012

Virginia has its first official full-time virtual school, and more, including one in Chesterfield County , could follow in the near future.

State House Oks Bill To Boost Number Of Cyber Charter Schools And Allow More Students To Attend
Detroit Free Press, MI, April 27, 2012

The number of cyber charter schools could expand from two to as many as 15 under controversial legislation narrowly passed Thursday by the state House.