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Daily Headlines: May 29, 2012

Experts: Remedial College Classes Need Fixing
Associated Press, May 28, 2012

Each year, an estimated 1.7 million U.S. college students are steered to remedial classes to catch them up and prepare them for regular coursework. But a growing body of research shows the courses are eating up time and money, often leading not to degrees but student loan hangovers.

Why Romney, Obama Are Education Twins
Washington Post, DC, May 27, 2012

Poor Mitt Romney. He appoints a splendid group of education policy advisers, smart people with great ideas. Then he learns that he has to give a speech explaining how he differs from President Obama on schools when those same advisers have spent their careers making that nearly impossible.

Column: Romney Stubs Toe In Flawed Education Pitch
USA Today, May 28, 2012

In its planning, Mitt Romney’s recent foray into a west Philadelphia charter school was the kind of well-timed incursion that has made Navy SEALs legendary. He went to that Democratic stronghold to talk about the nation’s troubled public schools, the soft underbelly of President Obama’s support in urban America.

FROM THE STATES

Charter Schools Draw Students Seeking Smaller Classes
Daily Courier, AZ, May 28, 2012

Charter schools generally appeal to parents who want smaller class sizes, and they have 24 to chose from in Yavapai County, said Mariela Bean, director of public relations for the Humboldt Unified School District.

Don’t Try To Stifle School Competition
NW Times, IN, May 27, 2012

The Gary politicians arguing against allowing more charter schools in that city are missing the point. Competition should make all schools better — the traditional public schools as well as private and charter schools.

Recruiting, Retaining Teachers The Topic For Task Force
Radio Iowa, IA, May 29, 2012

A task force of Iowa teachers and administrators has begun meeting to discuss ways to retain the best teachers and raise teacher pay. Iowa Department of Education director Jason Glass says most teachers who want to grow professionally take “exit ramps” out of the classroom and become a school administrator — or leave the professional entirely.

Law Allows School Innovation But Does Little To Offer Choice
Lexington Herald Leader, KY, May 29, 2012

One interesting piece of legislation that passed this year’s Kentucky General Assembly was House Bill 37. Sponsored by House education chair Carl Rollins, D-Midway, it allows individual schools and entire districts to apply for “school or district of innovation” status if 70 percent of the school employees agree.

The Mirage of Vouchers
The Advocate, LA, May 28, 2012

The state has launched Gov. Bobby Jindal’s new program to fund private and religious schools with state money.

School Climate Will Vouch For School Performance
Alexandria Town Talk, LA, May 28, 2012

More than anything else, “what it’s like” inside a school has everything to do with whether any learning gets done. This is true for all classrooms — public, private, parochial, military and, yes, even online programs that replace traditional classrooms.

New Orleans Charter Schools Are Producing Success Stories
Times Picayune, LA, May 27, 2012

As far back as middle school, Tanara Thomas had her future mapped out: Finish high school, attend Delgado Community College for two years and then transfer to LSU. Growing up in one of the poorest neighborhoods in a city with tremendous high school dropout rates, these goals were ambitious, if not unrealistic.

Orleans Model in Baton Rouge
The Advocate, LA, May 28, 2012

The national attention that New Orleans has gained for its innovations in public education are deserved, according to new state Superintendent of Education John White.

Three Charters On Table For City School Board Action
Monroe Free Press, LA, May 28, 2012

When the city school board meets Tuesday morning it will have three charter school applications on its agenda, one from The Neville Alumni, one from Tab-N-Action, Inc and a third from a non-profit led by Latoya Jackson and Natalie Williams.

Gov. Snyder Backs Plan For Teacher Evaluation Pilot, But At $4 Million Instead of $6 Million
Michigan Live, MI, May 29, 2012

Gov. Rick Snyder supports a blue-ribbon panel’s recommendation for a year-long pilot to study teacher evaluation plans, but wants to cut the group’s $6 million request for the project to $4 million.

St. Louis District Will Open Two Schools To Handle Influx From Closing Charter Schools
St. Louis Post-Dispatch, MO, May 27, 2012

When the school year ends for students from Imagine charter schools this week, they can say goodbye to classmates with the hope that they may see many of them at their new school in August.

Why We Need School Choice in New Hampshire
Union Leader, NH, May 27, 2012

Everyone in the United States already has school choice … if they can afford it. The rich and upper-middle class go to private schools or select schools in wealthy suburbs. Middle-class parents can afford many private schools, or home- school their children. What the new education bill will do is extend those same choices to lower-income families.

Facebook’ Fund Releases Wish List for Newark Public Schools and Charters
New Jersey Spotlight, NJ, May 29, 2012

The Foundation for Newark’s Future, the fund created from Mark Zuckerberg’s $100 million gift to Newark public schools, will soon commit approximately $15 million to the city’s charter schools — nearly doubling its overall outlay so far.

Small Schools Work, And That’s No Game
Albuquerque Journal, NM, May 28, 2012

Perhaps charter schools keep student populations low to game the state funding formula, since staying around the 200-pupil mark gets an extra $573,000.

Questions on NY Teacher Evaluations Answered
Wall Street Journal, May 26, 2012

Each of New York ‘s approximately 700 school districts has to have a state-approved teacher evaluation process in place by Jan. 17 or risk losing out on its share of an $805 million increase in state aid from Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s administration. The Associated Press got answers to some of the central questions about the evaluations.

Charter Schools Face A New Test
Times Union Blog, NY, May 27, 2012

Our opinion: More students with special needs will be attending charter schools, not just traditional public schools. Finally, we’ll get a fair comparison of academic performances.

Tuition Tax Credits
New York Times, NY, May 28, 2012

Thank you for exposing the tuition tax credit scam (“Public Money Finds Back Door to Private Schools,” front page, May 22). Tuition tax credits, also known as tax code vouchers, violate the spirit, if not exactly the letter, of the First Amendment and comparable provisions in at least 38 state constitutions.

New Charter School Proposed for Brentwood
Newsday, NY, May 28, 2012

Some local leaders have expressed opposition to the concept of a proposed charter school for English-language learners in Brentwood.

Charter Schools Could Take Funding Away From Cumberland County’s Traditional Schools
The Cumberland Fayetteville Observer, NC, May 27, 2012

County school system stands to lose millions of dollars in local, state and federal money if two charter schools open in the county next year.

Grand Bargain
Columbus Dispatch, OH, May 27, 2012

With a deal hammered out on Thursday, one of the boldest experiments in education reform ever seen in Ohio is poised to be launched after final approval by the General Assembly in June.

Camden Charters At A Loss For Sites
Philadelphia Inquirer, PA, May 29, 2012

More than a dozen alternative school operators have been scouring Camden over the last year with the hope of opening charter schools in the city this fall. But at least three charters that were supposed to open this September have requested a “year of planning” because they could not secure a location in time.

Special-Needs Education Is Battleground For Charter Schools, Other Districts in Pa.
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, PA, May 29, 2012

Charter schools, the vanguard of the educational choice movement, haven’t drawn their shares of special-needs students, especially those with the most challenging disabilities. The result: Public school officials fear they are being left with the most challenging students, but with dwindling resources to educate them.

Cutting Spending Isn’t Enough For Schools
Philadelphia Inquirer, PA, May 28, 2012

More than 1,000 people took to the streets Wednesday in Center City to protest a School Reform Commission proposal to address an overwhelming budget deficit that includes drastic cuts, including possible layoffs for more than 2,700 blue-collar workers.

Howard Gardner School Prepares For Charter Status
Scranton Times-Tribune, PA, May 28, 2012

The private school will become taxpayer-funded this summer as it becomes Scranton ‘s first and Lackawanna County ‘s second charter school. An appeal is ongoing, but it will not prevent the school from opening, said Vincent Rizzo, director of the school.

New Charter School Law Welcomed By Some; District Officials Fret Details
Hilton Head Island Packet, SC, May 28, 2012

Local charter school leaders say a new state charter school law is good news, but Beaufort County School District officials are worried about its ramifications, particularly when it comes to athletics.

Charleston Charter School for Math and Science Celebrates Milestone
Post and Courier, SC, May 28, 2012

If it weren’t for the Charleston Charter School for Math and Science,Will Puthoff thinks he probably would’ve been expelled or in jail by now.

Nashville Charter School Advocates Push Their Vision
The Tennessean, TN, May 29, 2012

A trio of wealthy, politically connected businessmen with past ties to the for-profit education industry and a history of supporting local private schools has launched a political action committee aimed at stocking the Nashville school board with members favorable to bringing more charter schools.

Picking The Best Schools Leader
Memphis Commercial Appeal, TN, May 29, 2012

The unified school board should not discount a national search for someone to lead the merged schools.

Clover Hill Academy Slated For Former High School Building
Richmond Times-Dispatch, VA, May 29, 2012

Chesterfield County school officials are transforming the former Clover Hill High School into a facility for students, administrators and the public. The envisioned Clover Hill Academy would expand the county’s career and technical education offerings as well as conference and training space that could be used by the community.

Put Charter Schools Plan On Ballot And Pass It
Spokesman Review, WA, May 27, 2012

In Washington, charter schools are like most late library books: overdue without a good excuse. The state ought to have them. Most others do. But voters have said no three times, with the latest rejection coming in 2004. Nonetheless, a new effort is under way, and it better have enthusiastic support because backers will have only about a month to gather signatures before the state is finished processing the initiative, which was filed just Tuesday.

VIRTUAL EDUCATION

Cyber School Enrollment Growing in Somerset County
Daily American, PA, May 28, 2012

The number of students enrolled in cyber charter school programs has increased throughout Somerset County during the past several years, much to the dismay of local school administrators.

For Duquesne, It Is a Tale of Two Schools
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, PA, May 27, 2012

Duquesne School District pays $29,580 per year to the Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School for the tuition of a special-needs student who attends the charter, though his or her designation as learning disabled — rather than retarded or autistic — suggests that costs may not be nearly that high.

Shenandoah Valley Aims for Fall Start to Cyber-Charter School
Standard Speaker, PA, May 28, 2012

The Shenandoah Valley School District could have its own cyber-charter school as early as the fall, according to the superintendent.

School Administrators Given Pay Raises For Special Project Work Tout Accomplishments
The Oshkosh Northwestern, WI, May 28, 2012

North High School assistant principal Jackie Schleicher was paid $4,500 raise to develop an online learning program for the district.