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Daily Headlines: May 15, 2012

Charter Schools: Segregation or Choice?
CNN Blog, May 14, 2012

More than 2 million kids are enrolled in charter schools, 32% of which are African American – and of that 32%, more than half attend schools comprised mostly of minority students. This morning, CNN education contributor Steve Perry explains the lack of diversity, saying “We had to convince white people to come to a very good school in the hood.”

Strong Commitment To D.C. School Voucher Plan Would Be A Welcome Sign
The Oklahoman, OK, May 15, 2012

EDUCATION hasn’t been a major theme so far in the race for the presidency. But Republican contender Mitt Romney cracked open the schoolhouse doors a bit recently with the contention that President Barack Obama has been weak when it comes to the Washington , D.C. , voucher plan. Romney’s absolutely right.

FROM THE STATES

Testing a Charter
Los Angeles Times, CA, May 15, 2012

The Times’ editorial on Academia Semillas del Pueblo in El Sereno underscores the primacy of standardized testing and its reputed ability to measure student learning.

Colorado Legislature Veered Away From Major Education Bills During 2012 Session
Denver Post, CO, May 15, 2012

From the standpoint of K-12 education, the almost-finished 2012 legislative session was notable as much for what didn’t happen as what did, education observers say.

Malloy to Sign Conn. Education Bill Today
Norwich Bulletin, CT, May 15, 2012

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy is scheduled to sign Connecticut’s new, wide-ranging education overhaul bill into law.

DCPS, Union Reach Accord On Teacher Retirement
Washington Post Blog, DC, May 14, 2012

It took nearly two years, but it appears that DCPS is finally prepared to comply with the early retirement provision of the contract it signed with the Washington Teachers’ Union (WTU). The 2010 collective bargaining agreement says that teachers with good evaluations and 20 years of service who lose their jobs in the annual “excessing” process are eligible for early retirement with full benefits.

Manatee Approves All-Girls Charter School
Herald Tribune, FL, May 14, 2012

Parents will have a new choice for their daughter’s education after Manatee County School Board members Monday night gave final approval to what will be the only regular single-sex school in Sarasota and Manatee counties.

Bus Costs Could Rise for Palm Beach County Charter Schools
Orlando Sentinel, FL, May 14, 2012

The Palm Beach County School District could save between $250,000 and $350,000 with a plan to make charter schools pay more money to use district buses and other transportation services, administrators say.

Parents Sign Petition Against Use of FCAT
Miami Herald, FL, May 15, 2012

The petition, gaining traction in parts of Florida and around the country, urges education administrators to rely less on standardized tests and use other measures to evaluate students, schools and teachers

Georgia Teacher Training Programs Will Be Graded
WABE, GA, May 14, 2012

At the beginning of next year, Georgia’s teacher training programs will be able to see how they stack up nationally. The National Council on Teacher Quality and U.S. News & World Report are teaming up to rank every education program at colleges and universities across the country.

Marshall Academy Looking At 2 Sites, May Use Both
The Journal Gazette, IN, May 15, 2012

Fort Wayne Urban League leaders say they are confident their new charter school will be open this fall – but it may be operating in two buildings.

Charter Schools And The Pitfalls of Sponsor-Shopping
Indianapolis Star, IN, May 15, 2012

The charter school movement is booming in Indiana and particularly Indianapolis, which Mayor Greg Ballard wants to establish as a mecca for innovative public education.

Des Moines Charter School Council Weighs Ways To Save
Des Moines Register, IA, May 15, 2012

The Des Moines Public Charter School’s advisory council is considering a hiring freeze, a shorter academic year and a reduction in the director’s salary to help chip away at an estimated $250,000 shortfall for the coming school year.

Teachers Face New Evaluations
Daily Comet, LA, May 14, 2012

For teachers all over Louisiana, the reality that their jobs are about to change is sinking in.

School Rebate Bill Goes to Senate
The Daily Advertiser, LA, May 15, 2012

Over strong objections of the Jindal administration and Superintendent of Education John White, a Senate committee advanced legislation that would grant rebates to people or businesses who contribute to improving public schools.

Crowding Balto. Co.’s Classrooms
Baltimore Sun, MD, May 15, 2012

Incoming Baltimore County school superintendent Dallas Dance needs to add increased class sizes and overtaxed facilities to his ‘to do’ list of things to improve the system

What The Waiver Will, Won’t Change
Milford Daily News, MA, May 15, 2012

Districts with schools in level 4, the second-to-lowest level, will go on a three-year timeline to develop a turnaround plan. Such schools will have that three years to show accelerated change for student outcomes and effectiveness of programs before the commissioner will re-evaluate the schools.

City on a Hill to Apply to Create Two More Charter Schools: in Boston, New Bedford
Boston Globe, MA, May 14, 2012

City on a Hill Charter Public School plans to seek state approval to create two charter high schools, one in Boston and one in New Bedford, that would each replicate the organization’s flagship high school in Roxbury.

Education Smashup Looms
Worcester Telegram, MA, May 15, 2012

Despite the successes of education reform, unacceptable achievement gaps leave too many children behind. Highly effective teachers have proved they can close these gaps. In order to guarantee that these effective leaders and teachers are in every school and classroom we need to dramatically change how we operate our education human resource systems.

Making Longer School Days Affordable
WBUR, MA, May 14, 2012

Does more school make a better school? You can make a pretty persuasive argument that it does.
Research by Harvard and MIT found that Boston’s best charter schools are getting some pretty impressive results. And one of the reasons why? Charter school students spend a lot more time in school — more than eight hours a day, on average. That’s two hours more than at Boston’s traditional public schools.

Support Public Schools Instead of Making Quick Fixes
St. Louis Post-Dispatch, MO, May 14, 2012

Everybody wants a ”fix.” Be it the ”Turner” fix or the ”Nicastro” fix … any quick fix will do. And therein lies the problem.

Nashua Private Schools Offer Support For Statehouse Bills That Could Ease Tuition Burden
Nashua Telegraph, NH, May 15, 2012

While supporters of an education tax credit program argue it will offer low- and middle-income families more choice, the average annual credit of $2,500 would only cover a fraction of the cost of tuition for some local private schools.

Teacher Tenure Has Classroom Benefits
Daily Record, NJ, May 15, 2012

On Friday the Daily Record editorial stated “Unmotivated teachers, incompetent teachers and abusive teachers don’t deserve the shield of tenure.”

Mediator Can Resolve Fight Over Teacher Evaluation, State Panel Rules
New York Daily News, NY, May 14, 2012

The teachers union is using a state panel’s ruling in their favor as a cudgel against the city while they fight to block the closing of 24 schools.

Scott Stringer Flunks the Test on Teacher Evaluations
New York Daily News, NY, May 15, 2012

High -fives all around at the United Federation of Teachers as Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer on Monday became the first Democratic mayoral contender to call for scrapping teacher performance ratings based on errors in this year’s state standardized tests.

Big Hurdles Hold Up New Way For State To Grade Schools
Columbus Dispatch, OH, May 15, 2012

Few argue that Ohio needs a more-demanding way of rating schools and districts on annual state report cards.

City Schools Must Act Boldly
Youngstown Vindicator, OH, May 15, 2012

A decade ago, KnowledgeWorks came to Youngstown with an audacious idea: Youngstown high school students could not only graduate on time and be prepared for college, but they could also master college material and earn college credits — all while in high school.

Plan for Schools Can Be Improved
Philadelphia Inquirer, PA, May 15, 2012

There are enough questions about a radical plan to restructure the Philadelphia School District to make everyone involved apprehensive. The district needs dramatic action to achieve more than incremental progress toward academic success. But too much drama risks damage rather than improvement.

For City Schools, A Century of Struggle
Philadelphia Inquirer, PA, May 15, 2012

Speaking of the Philadelphia School District recently, Mayor Nutter said, “If we don’t take significant action now, the system will collapse.” That “significant action” could include widespread school closings, many more charter schools, and increased local control of the remaining district schools.

Teacher Evaluations
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, PA, May 15, 2012

Charles McCollester’s article “Union Busting Won’t Help” (May 8 Perspectives) should be required reading for all school directors (particularly those representing the Pittsburgh Public Schools) and all school superintendents and administrators.

Bill Broadens Options For Charter School Students
Greenville News, SC, May 15, 2012

Gov. Nikki Haley came to Greenville Tech Charter High on Monday to sign into law a bill broadening the options of charter schools and their students and formalizing the passage of one of state Superintendent of Education Mick Zais’ signature issues.

Memphis City Schools Teachers Get Test Results
Memphis Commercial Appeal, TN, May 14, 2012

About 80 percent of Memphis City Schools’ 6,400 teachers scored well enough on their new evaluations to be fairly confident about their jobs.

AISD Board Approves Abilene High Teacher Appraisal Tool
Reporter News, TX, May 14, 2012

A new appraisal tool developed by Abilene High School educators aims to make it easier for educators to chart their progress and, if needed, learn how they can improve.

State Dropped Ball In Filing Paperwork
Green Bay Press-Gazette, WI, May 15, 2012

We are hopeful the poor report card Wisconsin received from the federal government on its No Child Left Behind waiver application is correctable. At the least, we expect Department of Public Instruction officials to do some extra credit.

VIRTUAL EDUCATION

Virtual Public School Coming to Victoria
Victoria Advocate, TX, May 14, 2012

A virtual public school is coming to Victoria to give parents information about an alternative, free schooling option for third- through 10th-graders.

Brewer Vetoes Arizona Online-Education Bill
Arizona Republic, AZ, May 14, 2012

Gov. Jan Brewer on Monday vetoed a bill that would have enacted sweeping changes to the state’s online-education system.

Arizona Online Students Make Largest Class To Date
MyFox Phoenix, AZ, May 14, 2012

Tempe’s Rio Salado College will be awarding degrees to its largest graduating class in history. The online school, part of the Maricopa County Community College District, will hold a commencement ceremony in Phoenix on Friday for 623 students.