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Daily Headlines: May 1, 2012

Let Teachers Teach
The Atlantic, April 30, 2012

The co-founder of the Knowledge Is Power Program explains how charter schools may solve bureaucratic red tape in the American school system.

FROM THE STATES

LAUSD Board Set To Tackle Birmingham Charter Issues
Los Angeles Daily News, CA, April 30, 2012

Citing concerns about the handling of admissions, expulsions, finances and claims of racial bias, the Los Angeles Unified board will take the first steps Tuesday to regain control of Birmingham Charter High.

CU Study: Data Gaps Make Reasons For School-Discipline Disparity Hard To Discern
Denver Post, CO, May 1, 2012

Although some minority students tend to be overrepresented in school-discipline actions, key gaps in state data make it difficult to determine why, according to a study by two University of Colorado doctoral students.

Teachers Union Leader Says Malloy’s Collective-Bargaining Proposal Could Jeopardize ‘No Child’ Waiver
Hartford Courant , CT, April 30, 2012

A top official of the Connecticut Education Association said Monday that Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s proposal to limit the use of collective bargaining in a network of low-performing schools could jeopardize the state’s application for a waiver of the federal No Child Left Behind act.

Selling Public Schools
Orlando Sentinel, FL, May 1, 2012

Sentinel columnist Beth Kassab’s timely channeling of Walt Griffin, Seminole County’s next public school superintendent (“Public schools must do better — at selling themselves,” Sunday) shows Griffin as a man of ideas and creativity, using ideas such as flexible hours and expanded early-childhood education offerings to attract county residents’ attention away from the relentless drumbeat of charter-school publicity.

Charter School Reform’s Transition Bill Clears Committee
Honolulu Civil Beat, HI, April 30, 2012

A bill that is key to implementing an overhaul of the state’s charter school system cleared a major hurdle this morning.

The Way Forward In Teacher Evaluation
Honolulu Civil Beat, HI, April 30, 2012

Education in Hawaii is now at a tipping point. We can move forward or we can continue on our destructive path.

Woodland D-50 Urging Other Districts To Back State-Funded Charters
Chicago Tribune, IL, April 30, 2012

Woodland District 50 wants the Illinois legislature to change the process for funding state-approved charter schools, officials said.

80 IPS Teachers To Be Laid Off As Part Of State Takeover of 4 Schools
Indianapolis Star, IN, May 1, 2012

A state takeover of four IPS schools will cause about 80 teacher layoffs and, for the first time, many of those layoffs will be driven by poor performance rather than low seniority.

Charter Looking for New Backer
The Journal Gazette, IN, May 1, 2012

The Fort Wayne Urban League is looking for a new financial backer for its proposed charter school after a local venture capital company pulled out of negotiations.

Where’s the Demand?
The Journal Gazette, IN, May 1, 2012

Indiana’s shrinking education dollars are about to be stretched further. A second round of charter school applications goes before the new statewide charter board this month, with the fast-expanding inventory of charters likely to grow.

Trying Time for Urban League Charter School
The News-Sentinel, IN, May 1, 2012

The Fort Wayne Urban League’s charter school Thurgood Marshall Leadership Academy is still searching for a way to fund renovations to the former Village Woods Middle School, the proposed home for the school in the fall.

Branstad: Lawmakers To Blame If Education Reform Isn’t Bold
Des Moines Register, IA, May 1, 2012

Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad suggested Senate Democrats and other lawmakers who obstruct passage of bold reforms to K-12 education could face political consequences in this year’s elections.

Group Seeks Teacher Evaluation Study
Detroit News, MI, May 1, 2012

A commission tasked with recommending a state evaluation tool for teachers is asking lawmakers to budget $6 million for a pilot program to test three models in 12 Michigan school districts this fall.

Charter School Bill In Limbo
Desoto Times, MS, May 1, 2012

A charter school bill which appeared dead now lingers on life support due to legislative maneuver by the state Senate which successfully inserted the Senate’s language for a charter school bill into House Bill 1152.

Illinois Considers Charging Kids For Riding School Buses
St. Louis Post-Dispatch, MO, April 30, 2012

The big yellow school bus, that enduring symbol of free public education, may not be so free in the future in Illinois.

Charter Schools Gain Popularity in Kansas City
Fox4KC, MO, April 30, 2012

Charter Schools are seeing a surge in applications as the debate over control of the Kansas City School District drags on. More parents are unhappy with turmoil in the Kansas City School District and are applying to enroll their children in charter schools.

Regional Charter School Committee Plans Public Sessions
Fosters Daily Democrat, NH, May 1, 2012

A local committee has been established to create a regional public charter school within the tri-city area. Public information sessions have been scheduled to allow residents, industry experts, and local community leaders an opportunity to learn more about the proposed initiative.

School Choice Bill Only Benefits Wealthy
Nashua Telegraph, NH, April 30, 2012

Reps. D. J. Bettencourt and Greg Hill recently advocated for passage of HB 1607, a measure that would motivate businesses to provide “scholarships” to subsidize private and religious school tuition costs by making them tax deductible. (April 22: “Choice in education shouldn’t be restricted to the rich.”)

New Support for Charters
Concord Monitor, NH, April 30, 2012

The Sunday Monitor story “Charter Schools Surging” (front page, April 29) was a good update on the charter school movement in New Hampshire. The Department of Education seems to have finally become more supportive of charter schools, which is important.

Gov. Christie Introduces New N.J. High School Testing Program
Star Ledger, NJ, April 30, 2012

New Jersey high school students will need to pass as many as 12 end-of-year tests to earn their high school diplomas, under a plan unveiled today that’s designed to ensure “a New Jersey high school diploma is a meaningful measure of college and career readiness.”

City Lays Out Digital Rules For Teachers
Wall Street Journal, May 1, 2012

New York City on Monday issued its first guidelines for the use of social media in schools, stopping short of an outright ban but warning teachers to keep a bright line between personal and professional accounts.

The Gov’s Gambit
New York Post, NY, May 1, 2012

The self-appointed “lobbyist” for New York’s students — i.e., Gov. Cuomo — went to bat for them yesterday, and the upshot could well be meaningful school reform down the road.

High Turnover for Charter School Principals, Report Says
New York Times Schoolbook, NY, April 30, 2012

By their own numbers, New York City charter schools have a tough time holding onto their principals, with nearly one in five of them heading for the door from one year to the next, according to a report released by a charter school advocacy group on Monday.

Charters’ Big Edge Has Twist
New York Post, NY, May 1, 2012

City charter schools have gotten better academic results than traditional public schools — but they also serve far fewer high-needs students than their district counterparts, according to a new analysis.

Charter Schools Boot 2 ‘Troubled’ Kindergartners
New York Daily News, NY, April 30, 2012

Two kindergartners were yanked from separate charter schools after staff deemed them too troubled to attend, their lawyer and parents said.

Cleveland Officials To Push For Their Schools Plan
Columbus Dispatch, OH, May 1, 2012

Cleveland’s mayor, schools chief and teachers union president will urge state lawmakers today to approve a compromise recently reached on an overhaul designed to improve the city’s poor-performing schools.

Guaranteed Improvement
Columbus Dispatch, OH, May 1, 2012

As Ohio lawmakers consider instituting a “third-grade reading guarantee” — a law that says kids who can’t read at grade level by the end of third grade must be held back a year — Florida’s experience with the idea offers some guidance:

School Sites Aren’t Proper Settings For Political Muster
The Oklahoman, OK, May 1, 2012

When does a rally held at a public school cross the line from being pro-public schools to being anti-tax cuts? Perhaps it already has. We’ll leave it for readers to decide.

PA Senate Passes Bill Limiting Superintendent Payout Packages
Philadelphia Inquirer, PA, May 1, 2012

Spurred in part by former Philadelphia Superintendent Arlene C. Ackerman’s $905,000 buyout package, the Pennsylvania Senate on Monday approved a bill that would limit the amount school systems could pay departing leaders.

State Sen. Jeffrey Piccola Remains Hopeful for Significant Education Reform in Pennsylvania
Patriot News, PA, May 1, 2012

As his 36-year career in the General Assembly winds down, state Sen. Jeffrey Piccola remains hopeful for significant education reform in Pennsylvania.

Enrollment Dispute Between Riverview, Beaufort County School District Could End
Beaufort Gazette, SC, April 30, 2012

The Beaufort County School District and Riverview Charter School may have reached an agreement that would end a yearlong dispute over how many students the school can enroll.

School Choice: Why Speculate?
Times and Democrat, SC, April 30, 2012

The bill primarily supports low-income students and students with special educational needs. It extends income tax credits to those who fund private scholarships for those students. It is based on existing programs in other states, with excellent track records.

Knox School Board Voices Disfavor With Charter Academy’s Progress
Knoxville News Sentinel, TN, May 1, 2012

Some members of the Knox County school board said the Knoxville Charter Academy did not meet its deadlines and they are against giving it an extension to open its doors.

Tennessee’s Teachers About To Get Their Grades Under New Evaluation System
WKNO FM, TN, May 1, 2012

Bledsoe teaches at Highland Oaks Middle School, which is in the Shelby County School district. Under a new statewide teacher evaluation system rolled out this year, Bledsoe’s skills in the classroom were graded using a four-page rubric.

Open for a Choice
Austin Daily Herald, TX, April 30, 2012

Yet Sarauer lives with Cheng and her husband in Austin. He’s one of 78 students who transfer from Austin to Lyle, part of a school choice reform system more than two decades old and one of the key factors why rural schools survive and even thrive as more people flock to larger city centers.

SASD OKs New Charter School
Sheboygan Press, WI, May 1, 2012

After many sleepless nights and pull-out-all-the-stops fundraising, the organizing committee of the Sheboygan Leadership Academy has gotten the go-ahead from the Sheboygan Area School District after raising enough money.

VIRTUAL EDUCATION

Pheaa’s Online Funding Policy Needs An Upgrade
Patriot News, PA, May 1, 2012

The state of Pennsylvania is perfectly fine with K-12 students getting an education online via a cyber charter school. But there’s a bizarre different standard for college students.

Taxpayer Dollars Funding Both Public & Cyber Schools
KDKA, PA, April 30, 2012

These are tough times in public education. Struggling from cutbacks and tight budgets, school districts are laying off teachers and cutting programs. At the same time, some cyber charter schools are thriving, which are funded by your local tax dollars.

Virtual School To Expand Services
Tallahassee Democrat, FL, May 1, 2012

Parents can begin customizing their child’s educational plans from the very start after Gov. Rick Scott signed into law an expansion of virtual-school offerings that will allow children as young as kindergartners to take online classes and still attend a traditional school.

Pierce County Online School To Close
News Tribune, WA, May 1, 2012

A pioneering Pierce County school district and a leading online education company have decided to end a partnership that began in 2006.