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Daily Headlines: May 11, 2012

Obama’s Education Plan Gets Closer Look
Washington Times, DC, May 10, 2012

An influential group of conservative state lawmakers is on the verge of proposing model legislation to block the Common Core national education standards that have been heavily promoted by the Obama administration.

FROM THE STATES

Lawmakers Blame Special Interests For Killing Charter Schools Bill
Montgomery Advertiser, AL, May 11, 2012

The sponsor of proposed charter school legislation, a top priority for Republican lawmakers and Gov. Robert Bentley, said on Thursday that he felt like he was attending a funeral as he talked about the demise of the proposal.

Try Next Year With A Better Charter School
Press-Register, AL, May 11, 2012

CHARTER SCHOOL legislation, at least for this session, is dead. And considering the last version that was discussed, it’s not a big loss for supporters.

Parents Trying To Transform School
San Bernardino Sun, CA, May 10, 2012

Desert Trails Elementary is the lowest performing school in Adelanto Elementary School District and in the bottom 10 percent of the state; it is failing by any metric.

State Education Board Wants To Avoid New Teacher Evaluation Plan
Los Angeles Times Blog, CA, May 10, 2012

The state Board of Education voted Thursday to seek relief from federal rules that label more than 6,000 California schools as failures, but in the process, it declined to authorize a new evaluation system for teachers and principals.

State Must Step Up Sluggish School Reform
Hartford Courant , CT, May 10, 2012

Here’s what I’ll never understand about Connecticut and it sluggish efforts at meaningful education reform: The state is home to some of the best charter schools in America — Amistad Academy in New Haven and Jumoke Academy in Hartford being the two most prominent. And by all accounts, New Haven has a novel and effective teacher-tenure agreement.

Neighborhood Admissions Preference For Charter Schools To Be Studied
Washington Post Blog, DC, May 10, 2012

District officials are moving closer to changes in the law that would allow charter schools–currently open to all eligible students citywide– to grant admissions preference to families in surrounding neighborhoods.

Teachers Approve LHS Charter Application
The Ledger, FL, May 10, 2012

In a 73-to-25 vote, Lakeland High School teachers approved a conversion charter application Thursday afternoon that would make the school independent from the Polk County School District .

Charter School Decision Doesn’t Sit Well With Seminole Schools
WFTV, FL, May 10, 2012

The Seminole County School District is about to go head to head with the State Board of Education over charter schools. The district rejected several charter school applications, but the state overturned those decisions, opening the door for more charter schools to move in.

‘Rubrics’ Destroy Teacher Morale
Tampa Bay Tribune, FL, May 11, 2012

More frequent evaluation and feedback is good for the profession and everyone it impacts, but the foolish use of “rubrics” based on cobbled-together and often situation-specific “research” is not. The various applications of this stifling and capricious process have destroyed teacher morale across the state and are driving competent veterans from the profession.

Proponents of New High School At Drew Charter Gear Up To Win Support
Atlanta Journal Constitution Blog, GA, May 11, 2012

The opposition of APS superintendent Erroll Davis to a new high school at Charles Drew Charter School disappoints the plan’s proponents, but does not dissuade them.

State Approves Charter Designation For Madison County
Athens Daily-Banner, GA, May 10, 2012

The Madison County school system will become a state-approved charter school district next school year.

10 In Cheating Scandal Have Teaching Certificates Revoked, 23 Suspended
Atlanta Journal-Constitution, GA
May 10, 2012

More than half of the educators implicated in widespread test cheating in Atlanta Public Schools have been disciplined by the state, including 33 who had their teaching licenses revoked or suspended Thursday.

Chicago Teachers Conduct ‘Dry Run’ For Strike Vote
Chicago Tribune, IL, May 11, 2012

The Chicago Teachers Union polled its 25,000 members Thursday on questions involving the school board as part of what one official called a “dry run” for a potential strike vote.

Failed Indy Charter School Gets A Second Chance
Indianapolis Star, IN, May 11, 2012

Mayor Greg Ballard spoke bluntly in deciding to shut down Fountain Square Academy in March 2011. After six years of consistent failure, Ballard said at the time, the charter school sponsored by his office would have to close.

Slidell High School Teachers Petition For Recall Of 2 Lawmakers
Times Picayune, LA, May 10, 2012

Slidell City Councilman Jay Newcomb, who in his day job is a teacher at Slidell High School, has filed a recall petition against state Rep. Greg Cromer in response to Cromer’s support for education measures in this year’s legislative session. Education bills pushed by Gov. Bobby Jindal’s administration have been opposed by many teachers and teacher groups across the state.

Blacks’ Test Scores Show Some Schools In City Shine
St. Louis Post-Dispatch, MO, May 11, 2012

For the next 12 years, Amanda Honeywood endured a daily one-hour bus ride each way every day to attend Parkway schools through the voluntary desegregation program. “I did what I had to do to get her a good education,” Honeywood said.

Details Few At Tilton Charter School Hearing In Haverhill
Eagle Tribune, NH, May 11, 2012

But nothing about the proposal to turn the city’s largest elementary school into an “innovation” charter school was learned at last night’s public hearing on the plan, except that about 30 parents who attended the hearing support it.

N.H. School Voucher Bill Should Be Defeated
Hampton Union, NH, May 11, 2012

A few days from now, Statehouse members will be voting on the state Senate’s version of the school voucher bill (SB 372).

Bill Offering N.J. Teachers $10K Loans To Live In Poor Communities Clears Assembly Panel
Times of Trenton, NJ, May 10, 2012

Assemblyman Reed Gusciora says there aren’t enough Trenton police officers who live in the struggling city, so he wants to give them an incentive to move there.

Despite Law, Many N.J. School Districts Did Not Disclose Value of Sick, Vacation Time
Star Ledger, NJ, May 11, 2012

More than one in three school administrators in New Jersey have failed to disclose the value of their unused sick and vacation time as required by a state law intended to make their compensation plans more transparent, a Star-Ledger analysis shows.

N.J. Department of Education Deems Two Mercer Charter School Applications as Qualified
Times of Trenton, NJ, May 10, 2012

Two charter schools proposed for Mercer County are on a list of 26 qualified applicants released this week by the state Department of Education.

APS Students Jump Ship To Charters
KRQE, NM, May 10, 2012

Albuquerque Public Schools will be losing millions of dollars next year as hundreds of student leave the district for other schools.

Top-Ranked Small Schools Are A Lesson For Teachers Union Boss Michael Mulgrew
New York Daily News, NY, May 11, 2012

The list of America’s best high schools by US News & World Report puts New York City smack on top of the academic heap. There’s a lesson here for United Federation of Teachers President Michael Mulgrew.

How New York City Measures Schools’ Performance
New York Times, NY, May 11, 2012

I take issue with how Michael Winerip’s column “On Schools’ Performance, Invisible Line Between ‘A’ and ‘F’ ” (On Education, April 30) represents the methodology of New York City’s progress reports and characterizes how they are used in decisions about changes in school leadership and structure.

Mount Vernon Students Urge State Officials To Reinstate School Charter
News Journal, NY, May 10, 2012

One after the other, students at the Amani Public Charter School pleaded with a pair of state Department of Education officials to keep their school open.

Public School Reform Proposal
The Daily Reflector, NC, May 11, 2012

A public school reform plan from state Senate leader Phil Berger isn’t getting much praise from Democrats.

Oklahoma City Metro-Area Schools Dominate Top Ten Ranking List For State
The Oklahoman, OK, May 11, 2012

Edmond, Norman and some Oklahoma City high schools ranked among best in the state, including Harding Charter Preparatory High School in Oklahoma City , which came in at No. 1 on U.S. News and World Report’s annual rankings of schools in each state.

Charter School’s Turmoil Might Be Easing
Statesman Journal, OR, May 10, 2012

An ongoing battle between Bennett Pearson Academy parents and the charter school’s board had its day in court Thursday, but it might not be the last.

State Board Of Education Favors Reducing Graduate Requirement Tests
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, PA, May 11, 2012

With $23.2 million already invested in developing mandatory state tests for high school graduation, the state Board of Education has voted to move forward with the exams but to require fewer of them.

Budget Expert Masch Leaving School District
Philadelphia Inquirer, PA, May 11, 2012

Michael Masch, the financial guru backed by ex-Gov. Rendell who was sidelined as chief financial officer of the beleaguered Philadelphia School District earlier this year when the School Reform Commission overhauled its leadership structure, will leave his job in three weeks, officials said Thursday night.

State Superintendent of Education Mick Zais: Schools Need More Flexibility, Fewer Regulations
Charleston Post Courier, SC, May 11, 2012

State Superintendent of Education Mick Zais sees too many state and federal regulations limiting local educators’ decision-making ability and stifling their creativity.

Sports For Home-Schoolers
Enquirer Herald, SC, May 10, 2012

The basic rationale behind allowing home-schoolers to participate in extracurricular activities at public schools seems reasonable. But the devil is in the details.

Transition Panel Plans Evaluations To Focus On Effective Teachers
Memphis Commercial Appeal, TN, May 11, 2012

Teachers in the unified school district should expect to be at the top of their craft or taking serious steps to get there, based on guidelines heard Thursday by the group planning how the schools will work.

Teacher Surplusing Would Go In Schools Merger Recommendation
Memphis Daily News, TN, May 10, 2012

The schools consolidation planning commission is weighing a set of recommendations for teacher hiring, retention and evaluation that would do away with the practice of surplusing teachers.

Parent Report Cards Tested Because ‘Schools Can’t Do It Alone’
The Tennessean, TN, May 11, 2012

Educators exasperated by the need for greater parent involvement have persuaded Tennessee lawmakers to sign off on a novel bit of arm-twisting: Asking parents to grade themselves on report cards.

Haslam Officially Ends No Child Left Behind in Tennessee
WRCBTV, TN, May 10, 2012

Governor Bill Haslam officially ended Tennessee’s participation in the federal “No Child Left Behind” program Thursday.

MPS Parents Urge Funding Flexibility For Specialty Schools
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, WI, May 10, 2012

Milwaukee Public Schools specialty school parents want to do more with arts funding

VIRTUAL EDUCATION

Great Bay Elearning Charter School Achieves ‘Excellence’
Exeter News-Letter, NH, May 11, 2012

The Great Bay eLearning Charter School, a leader in both innovation and school reform, has contributed to state efforts that have resulted in New Hampshire winning a national award.

Pennslvania Cyber Charter School Chief Trombetta Exits
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, PA, May 11, 2012

Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School CEO Nick Trombetta has announced he is leaving the school he founded which, at 11,300 students, has grown to become the largest cyber charter school in the state.

Conneaut School District ‘Blending’ Cyber School and Classroom Education
Meadville Tribune, PA, May 11, 2012

What started as an attempt to stem the flow of already-scarce dollars from Conneaut School District’s coffers to cyber charter schools throughout Pennsylvania at an average rate of $10,000 per student is developing into an award-winning cyber school in its own right.

Some Students Choose Virtual School Over Public School
WRBL, GA, May 10, 2012

Some students in Muscogee County are choosing to get their education virtually rather than at school. The Georgia Connections Academy is a free public virtual charter school now offering classes from kindergarten to the 12th grade.

Online K-12 Legislation: What Got Done, What Didn’t
KUNC, CO, May 11, 2012

One issue that saw little traction this past session was oversight legislation for Colorado ’s full-time online K-12 schools. Last fall a report from KUNC radio and an investigation by I-News and Education News Colorado highlighted problems with poor student performance, student turnover and program funding. At the state’s largest online K-12 school, Colorado Virtual Academy , 77 cents out of every taxpayer dollar was going to the school’s for-profit management company, K12 Inc.