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Daily Headlines for May 7, 2012

Move to Outsource Teacher Licensing Process Draws Protest
New York Times, NY, May 7, 2012

Sixty-seven of the 68 students studying to be teachers at the middle and high school levels at the Amherst campus are protesting a new national licensure procedure being developed by Stanford University with the education company Pearson.

Students Kick Off National Charter Schools Week
CBS Atlanta, GA, May 7, 2012

As school systems face deep cuts, Georgia charter schools are trying to gain more attention. However, supporters acknowledge they too are concerned about budgets.

Mitt W. Bush
American Spectator, May 7, 2012

Mitt Romney has never been known for taking strong stances on the issues. But he has proven to be even more artfully dodgy than usual on the matter of federal education policy — and the debate over whether or not to reform America’s woeful public schools.

Major Groups Beg Congress to Rewrite NCLB
Washington Post, DC, May 6, 2012

A coalition of 10 major organizations of state and local government officials just sent a letter asking — or, rather, effectively begging — Congress to finally do its job and reauthorize No Child Left Behind.

FROM THE STATES

Senate-passed Bill That Purports To Allow Charter Schools In Alabama Makes It Just About Impossible For That To Happen
Birmingham News, AL, May 7, 2012

The charter school bill the state Senate passed last week is as watered down as a glass of iced tea left to sit in Alabama’s summer sun.

‘Ain’t No Way’ This Bill Will Do
Press Register, AL, May 5, 2012

THE STATE Senate has approved a bill that, if passed by the House, would allow Alabama to announce that it has legalized charter schools. However, the tight restrictions included in the measure suggest that lawmakers may not be serious about wanting charter schools here.

Lausd Charter Elementary With Low Test Scores Gets A Reprieve
Los Angeles Times, CA, May 6, 2012

Academia Semillas del Pueblo, an LAUSD elementary charter school in El Sereno, teaches in three languages and has ambitious goals, but it narrowly escaped closure recently because of low test scores.

Judge Invalidates Glassell Park Charter School’s Lease
Los Angeles Times, CA, May 6, 2012

Seeking college classes on the site, a coalition had challenged the arrangement between the L.A. Community College District and the Alliance Environmental Science and Technology School .

Schools: Creativity Fuels Achievement
Visalia Times-Delta, CA, May 7, 2012

Nationally, time devoted to the arts in classrooms has decreased, especially for schools identified as needing improvement under the provisions of the No Child Left Behind Act.

Connecticut Could Learn From Massachusetts School Reform Plan
Middletown Press, CT, May 6, 2012

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy often refers to the progress Massachusetts has made in implementing education reforms as something to emulate. But an examination of the Bay State’s reforms show it is doing these over a much longer timeframe than Connecticut , with the equivalent of due process tenure protections still in place and with comfortable buy-in from the teacher unions.

“Excessing” Notices for 333 DCPS Teachers
Washington Post Blog, DC, May 4, 2012

DCPS announced late Friday afternoon that it has sent annual “excess notices” to 333 teachers. It means that changes in budget, enrollment or academic programs at their schools have effectively eliminated their jobs.

A Realistic Measure of D.C. Graduation
Washington Post, DC, May 6, 2012

DIFFERENT WAYS of calculating graduation rates allow school districts to kid themselves and the public about how many students succeed in getting diplomas. Even though the new calculation of graduation rates for D.C. high school students shows depressingly low numbers, the move to get a clear-eyed diagnosis must be applauded. Only by laying bare the problem can it be solved.

Gap Between Best And Worst D.C. Schools Growing
Washington Examiner, DC, May 6, 2012

The gap between the District’s best- and worst-performing schools has been growing amid the most intense school reform in the city’s history, according to a report commissioned by the Office of the State Superintendent of Education.

Charter School Vote: Don’t Rush Lakeland High
The Ledger, FL, May 6, 2012

Lakeland Senior High faculty members are scheduled to vote Thursday on whether to convert the conventional public high school into a charter school. If the answer is yes, parents will be asked to cast votes from May 14 through May 21.

Leaving the No Child Left Behind Law Behind
Savannah Morning News, GA, May 7, 2012

Given the chance, Georgia education officials wasted no time leaping to an alternative to the accountability requirements of the federal No Child Left Behind Act.

Forum: Charter Schools the Answer?
Southtown Star, IL, May 6, 2012

A recent SouthtownStar editorial (April 24) called attention to the growing financial burden facing Rich Township High School District 227 (Rich Central, Rich East, and Rich South high schools) from a charter school within the district.

Charter Group Seeks To Block School Sale Plan
WNDU, IN, May 6, 2012

Catholic school officials are reconsidering plans to buy a closed Monroeville elementary school after a charter school group charged the deal violates state law.

$273,000 Boondoggle
Fort Wayne Journal Gazette, IN, May 6, 2012

The poorly conceived state law that is preventing St. Joseph Elementary in Monroeville from moving to a larger, better building has significant other costs as well.

Louisiana Is 3rd In Nation In Private School Enrollment
Times Picayune, LA, May 5, 2012

Over the years, there have been many reasons for Carol and Joey Lange of Metairie to rethink the decision to send their three kids to private school. Even with financial assistance from St. Martin ‘s Episcopal School, tuition for three is a struggle, and the tough economic times aren’t helping, Carol Lange said.

Unmanned Vehicles and Rules Against Fly-By-Night Schools
Shreveport Times, LA, May 5, 2012

State Superintendent John White met with our editorial board last week and said there’s one important protection against such vulnerability. Schools applying for voucher reimbursement must have enrollment in which 80 percent of the students pay tuition.

Harvard and the Charters
Harvard Crimson, MA, May 7, 2012

His students are among the lucky 1,822 who have won lotteried seats at Cambridge’s three charter schools—independent schools that are funded by public money but not bound by many of the state codes that regulate traditional public schools. Driven by a mission of educational excellence, these schools see more students apply each year than they can take in their classrooms.

Michigan Can Reach Higher On School Reform
Detroit Free Press, MI, May 7, 2012

Slowly, Michigan is beginning to craft the infrastructure for a K-12 system whose foundation is accountability and improvement — for students, teachers and entire districts.

Charter School Not Excluded From Use of Athletic Fields
Daily Press & Argus, MI, May 6, 2012

Just five days before a crucial vote on a Brighton Area Schools bond issue, a top administrator for the Charyl Stockwell Preparatory Academy charter school in Brighton fired off an angry letter to parents stating the school was being excluded from the use of Brighton’s athletic fields.

Let The Dust Settle On Charter Schools
Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal, MS, May 6, 2012

Charter school legalization in Mississippi died last week on legislative deadline, stopping a priority of the governor and most other Republican leaders in the Capitol. Opponents of charter schools prevailed by effectively rousing their allies inside the Legislature and in the larger community of public school support.

Ruling Derails Bills on Schools
St. Louis Post-Dispatch, MO, May 7, 2012

Missouri legislators were inching closer this session to an agreement on how to handle school transfers when children in unaccredited districts want to attend a school in a better, neighboring district. And the clock was ticking.

Mo. Lawmakers Unlikely To Take Up School Transfers
St. Louis Post-Dispatch, MO, May 6, 2012

Missouri lawmakers said they’re losing momentum when it comes to legislation on school transfers, particularly after a St. Louis judge declared an existing law unconstitutional this week.

Accountability Outside Classrooms
Las Vegas Journal Review, NV, May 6, 2012

We must fire bad teachers. Taxpayers good, teachers bad. Clark County has some of the largest class sizes in nation, with some of least involved parents and most transient families.

As One Charter School Comes To Nashua , Others Are In The Works
Nashua Telegraph, NH, May 6, 2012

City students and parents are poised to have more educational options in the next few years, as one public charter school will move to Nashua this summer and at least two others are in talks.

New Jersey’s Grading of Charter Schools Under Scrutiny
Courier -Post, NJ, May 7, 2012

Two city charter schools, targeted for closing by an internal document at the Department of Education last fall, do not appear on a new list recently released by the agency.

Low Test Scores Outweigh Lofty Challenges As Trenton Charter School Faces Closure
Star Ledger, NJ, May 7, 2012

Emily Fisher opened 14 years ago and serves some of the state’s toughest-to-educate children. Almost all of the nearly 400 students are poor and about 40 percent have special education needs. Many failed in other schools: The mission statement includes reaching out to “disruptive” students. There are kids who were incarcerated, and several dozen have children of their own.

With or Without Legislature, Christie Has Options for Pressing School Reforms
New Jersey Spotlight, NJ, May 7, 2012

Gov. Chris Chris Christie is back to calling out the state legislature for not moving on his agenda, from income tax cuts to changes in teacher tenure rights. Last week, he started his now familiar deadline by countdown, now at 55 days until the summer break.

No Teachers, Administrators Names To Cuomo Education Panel
Journal News, NY, May 7, 2012

School officials are surprised and bewildered that Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s new commission on education reform does not include representatives of school districts — administrators, board members, teachers or parents.

BTF Battle Applauded By Teachers Statewide
Buffalo News, NY, May 7, 2012

The Buffalo Teachers Federation has been getting its share of lumps for refusing to go along with the school district and the state Education Department in the creation of a new evaluation system for teacher performance.

Dare Schools Chief Backs Corolla School School
Daily Advance, NC, May 5, 2012

Even though it means her school district could end up losing some revenue, Dare County’s schools chief says she supports the new charter school in Corolla.

Teacher Tenure Revision Is A Process With Two Sides
Daily Advance, NC, May 5, 2012

The N.C. Senate rolled out its education reform package last week, and among components of the bill is an end to teacher tenure in North Carolina public schools. Look a little closer: It doesn’t take much guesswork to spot where the real emphasis lies in this round of education reform.

Too Bad
Crains Cleveland Business, OH, May 7, 2012

Some charter school operators aren’t happy that the Cleveland Metropolitan School District’s transformation plan would give a public-private watchdog panel a say over which charter schools in Cleveland would receive money from the district’s operating levy and which ones would not.

Mayor Jackson’s Transformation Plan Poses No Threat To Charter Schools That Will Offer High Academic Quality
Cleveland Plain Dealer, OH, May 5, 2012

Ohio’s charter schools have existed since 1997 — yet the state continues to lack needed oversight laws to address recurring problems of low academic performance, a creaky closure mechanism and poor fiscal management.

Cut Teacher And Administrative Salaries To Charter Levels
Cleveland Plain Dealer, OH, May 7, 2012

The Plain Dealer’s April 30 report on Mayor Frank Jackson’s effort to reform the Cleveland School District contains a statistic that bears highlighting. While the average teacher salary in charter schools is $38,859, it is $65,518 in the public school system. A comparison of administrative costs would be interesting as well.

Open Enrollment Stirs Debate
The Register-Guard, OR, May 6, 2012

Why should families and students who do not have sufficient funds be excluded from being able to choose the school that best fits their children’s needs? Shouldn’t families have an opportunity to find a school with the very best fit for their children, no matter where it might be located?

City Schools Seek To Base Layoffs On Teachers’ Effectiveness
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, PA, May 7, 2012

No one disputes that this fall will be a year of unsought change as Pittsburgh Public Schools battles a projected deficit.

No Easy Fix To Public-Private Debate
Reading Eagle, PA, May 7, 2012

Pennsylvania’s government has halted several possible solutions due to potential discrimination of private-school students.

Shining Lights In The Public Schools
Philadelphia Inquirer, PA, May 7, 2012

All three are excellent educators – emblematic of 63 Philadelphia School District teachers being honored by the Lindback Foundation on Tuesday for their talents.

District Tells Charter To End $45 Fee
Philadelphia Inquirer, PA, May 6, 2012

The Philadelphia School District has told a charter school in Bridesburg its practice of charging students a $45 administration fee after they have been selected for admission may violate state law.

Law Gives Charter Schools Chances They Deserve
Charleston Post Courier, SC, May 7, 2012

Charter schools in South Carolina have struggled to get the authority and funding that they deserve. A bill adopted by the General Assembly last week should end much of that struggle. Finally.

Donation To Aid Gestalt Charter Schools In Expanding, Setting Example
Commercial Appeal, TN, May 7, 2012

Today, school leaders are getting another lift — a $3.5 million cash infusion, the largest single investment in a Memphis charter — to help it build a network of schools like Power Center.

Proposed Charter School Weighs Next Steps
Knoxville News Sentinel, TN, May 6, 2012

The future of the Knoxville Charter Academy is in limbo after the Knox County school board denied extending its agreement with the school. And its school officials are working to figure out what steps they want to take moving forward.

Corell: A Peek Inside Education That Works
Staunton News Leader, VA, May 6, 2012

The Harlem students attend a well-known charter school, Harlem Village Academies. They are accepted through a lottery system (their parents put their names in and hope they are pulled out of the hat) and diagnostic testing.

Candidates For Governor Vague On How To Better Fund Schools
Seattle Times, WA, May 5, 2012

Gubernatorial candidates Rob McKenna and Jay Inslee addressed a gathering of the state PTSA on Saturday to talk about education funding, teacher accountability and charter schools.

VIRTUAL EDUCATION

Charter School Coming To Indy Blends Technology And Traditional Teaching
Indianapolis Star, IN, May 7, 2012

Last year, Bennett invited the school’s founder, Rick Ogston, to bring his vision of blending Internet-based learning with teacher instruction to Indianapolis. Ogston complied, and in December, the newly created Indiana Charter School Board approved the opening of a Carpe Diem school in August in Indianapolis, the first of six such schools planned in the state.