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Daily Headlines: May 25, 2012

Romney Faces Tough Questions On Education Proposals
Boston Globe, MA, May 25, 2012

Mitt Romney struggled to find support for his education proposals while campaigning at an urban school Thursday, one day after declaring education the “civil rights issue of our era.’’

Mitt’s Education Gambit
Boston Herald, MA, May 25, 2012

In a direct assault on the education establishment, Mitt Romney this week outlined a sweeping education reform plan that includes charter schools and federally funded vouchers to “expand parental choice in an unprecedented way.”

Romney, in West Philadelphia, Dismisses Value of Small Classes
Philadelphia Inquirer, PA, May 25, 2012

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney brought his plan to improve the American educational system to a West Philadelphia charter school Thursday, and suggested class size mattered little to pupils’ achievement.

Hecklers Mar Romney’s Visit To Inner-City Charter School In Philadelphia
Washington Post Blog, DC, May 24, 2012

When Mitt Romney came to an inner-city charter school here Thursday to promote his new education agenda, he received something of a history lecture about the persecution of blacks in America and the struggles of African American children to meet the academic achievements of their white counterparts.

Try Competition
Augusta Chronicle, GA, May 25, 2012

America has tried everything to improve its educational system, and has failed. Everything. Except what works best.

$700 Million In Federal Education Grants Coming
Cincinnati Enquirer, OH, May 24, 2012

National education groups said this week that they’re putting their money where their mouths are when it comes to improving teacher effectiveness.

FROM THE STATES

Birmingham High Submits Plans To Fix Problems, Keep School’s Charter
Los Angeles Daily News, CA, May 24, 2012
Birmingham High officials have promised to rework admissions and disciplinary policies, enhance training and improve communication with LAUSD in an effort to prevent a revocation of the school’s charter.

Inspire School of Arts and Sciences in Chico Graduates Its First Seniors
Chino Enterprise-Record, CA, May 25, 2012

Inspire School of Arts and Sciences, a charter school founded by Ron Pope and teachers Criss Pearson and Liz Metzger, celebrated the commencement of its first senior class Wednesday night.

West Contra Costa Charter Schools Get Mixed Reception at Board Meeting
Contra Costa Times, CA, May 24, 2012

One West Contra Contra school district charter school received conditional approval for five more years of operation Wednesday evening, while a second was told it was in hot water with a key charter advocacy agency.

Parents Fight New School on Denver’s North High Campus
Denver Post, CO, May 25, 2012

Denver Public Schools Superintendent Tom Boasberg has a problem that, a decade ago, would have been hard to imagine: northwest Denver parents in an uproar, fighting what they perceive as a threat to the neighborhood schools they champion.

Are Charter Schools Bad At Special Ed?
Washington Post Blog, DC, May 24, 2012

Critics say public charter schools have an unfair advantage over regular public schools because they are less likely to have students with learning disabilities. That is not always true. Consider one D.C. charter management organization, DC Prep, with more than 1,000 students.

D.C. Teacher Evaluation Formula Could Change
Washington Post, DC, May 24, 2012

Standardized test scores, which weigh heavily in the annual evaluations of some D.C. teachers, could diminish in importance under new guidelines issued by the District’s state education agency.

Charter School Needs A Chance To Prove Itself
Des Moines Register, IA, May 25, 2012

The Des Moines Public Charter School opened its doors in August 2010 to give struggling middle-school students a fighting chance. Unencumbered by state and local bureaucracies, the thinking went, it could develop an innovative program tailored to those students’ needs, and the lessons could be shared with other schools.

Montgomery County’s Wrong Education Priorities
Washington Post, DC, May 24, 2012

AMONG MAJOR suburban school systems in the Washington area, Montgomery County stands out for paying its teachers the highest salaries, by far, and providing superb benefits. Now, faced with a choice between plumping up teacher pay even more or devoting more resources to the classroom — cutting class sizes, say, or restoring staff — Superintendent Joshua P. Starr has decided on the former.

Detroit Teachers To Sue Amid Tenure Fight
The Detroit News, MI, May 25, 2012

The Detroit Federation of Teachers plans Friday to announce a lawsuit against the Detroit Public Schools that could challenge the state’s new teacher tenure law.

Grain Valley Teachers Go Through Training To Become Principals
Blue Springs Examiner, MO, May 24, 2012

Teachers in Grain Valley have spent the last year improving their leadership abilities and learning new skills they can take back to their own buildings.

State Tries to Right East St. Louis School District
St. Louis Post Dispatch, MO, May 25, 2012

With academic performance in dire need of improvement, Illinois state officials grabbed the helm of the East St. Louis School District a year ago this month in an attempt to right the district.

Urban High Schools Fall Short In Their Reach For Five Stars
Las Vegas Review-Journal, NV, May 24, 2012

Not one comprehensive urban high school earned five stars under Clark County School District ‘s new ranking system, the School Performance Framework, released Thursday.

More Study
News & Observer , NC, May 25, 2012

If you were a public school teacher in North Carolina, you’d rightly be mighty suspicious if you read that state Sen. Phil Berger of Eden, the Republican president pro-tem of that chamber and one of the leaders of the GOP’s quick-on-the-trigger attempts to downsize government, is now about the business of reforming public education.

Bill Aims To Help Bear Grass Charter School
WITN, NC, May 24, 2012

State Senator Clark Jenkins has introduced a bill in the Senate to help Bear Grass Charter School get the facility they need in order to open up by this fall.

Deal In Place For Cleveland School District
Columbus Dispatch, OH, May 25, 2012

Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson reached agreement last night with state legislative leaders on a bill he says will fix the struggling school district.

Calling For Courage To Support Public Education
Tulsa World, OK, May 25, 2012

Do your part and contact your legislator and ask for increased funding for education, then find a program at your local school foundation to support. Our schools cannot excel without your help. Our students cannot excel without your help. Our state cannot excel without your help.

Will Creighton School Become A Charter?
Philadelphia Inquirer Blog, PA, May 24, 2012

Creighton, in the Northeast, was one of four Philadelphia School District schools slated to be turned into a charter in September.

What’s Next For Pennsylvania’s Public Schools?
Patriot News, PA, May 25, 2012

What’s next for our public schools? Already, local districts are slashing programs, furloughing teachers, making students pay for sports, getting rid of tutors, eliminating pre-kindergarten, foreign languages and librarians, and making other changes which West Shore School Board member Ron Candioto said could “chip away at the foundation of what a school district is supposed to do.”

Debate Over Teacher Layoff Criteria Continues
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, PA, May 25, 2012

U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan favors considering multiple factors in making decisions about “everything” in public schools, including determining who will be furloughed.

Philadelphia School Funding Crisis Not High On Harrisburg’s Agenda
Philadelphia Inquirer, PA, May 25, 2012

Still, it’s the worst sort of sophistry to contend that the state is prioritizing education. Hardly a dime of the added money set aside for Philadelphia will reach the classroom, as almost all of the cash is allocated for nonnegotiable pension payments.

Seattle School Board Can’t Hide From U.S. Chamber’s Slap
Seattle Times, WA, May 24, 2012

The thickest pair of rose-colored glasses can’t hide the Seattle School Board’s tendency to devolve into dysfunction. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s report tells Seattle what most of us already know.

VIRTUAL EDUCATION

At Kramer, Stepping Into The “Blended” Age
Washington Post Blog, DC, May 25, 2012

That makes it a pretty good place for DCPS to try blended learning, a mix of on-line and traditional instruction that Chancellor Kaya Henderson hopes can be a game changer.

Texas’ Virtual Schools Are Failing, and Critics Say It’s All Florence Shapiro’s Fault
Dallas Observer Blog, TX, May 24, 2012

Progress Texas doesn’t much like the virtual school movement that has drawn increasing numbers of the state’s grade-school students away from real classrooms, many of them full-time. For one thing, it’s proven ineffective, the group argues in a report released yesterday.