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Daily Headlines: May 4, 2012

Charter Schools Not Coming To Dekalb
Times-Journal, AL, May 3, 2012

State Sen. Shadrack McGill was one of 12 Alabama senators who voted to quash a bill legalizing charter schools.

Having Good School Choices
Lompoc Record, CA, May 4, 2012

The facts are that all LUSD parents have a choice of schools. It’s just that the majority of Lompoc parents are happy with their home school. If they are not, they can fill out a school-of-choice request, and if there is space at their chosen school and the child’s behavior and attendance records are good, it is rarely denied.

Bringing Real Reform To Schools
CT Post, CT, May 3, 2012

Here’s why parents should be concerned about Governor Malloy’s proposed education reform bill SB24: If it passes, a teacher’s salary will be determined by level of professional certification, which will in turn be determined largely by standardized test results.

Deal Signs HB 797 at Cherokee School
Marietta Daily Journal, GA, May 4, 2012

Charter school supporters gave the governor an enthusiastic welcome Thursday when he stopped in Cherokee County to sign charter school funding legislation into law. Gov. Nathan Deal made an appearance at Cherokee Charter Academy to sign House Bill 797, which was passed by the General
Assembly this year.

CTU’s Reckless Strike Talk Is Bad For Chicago’s Kids
Chicago Sun Times, IL, May 3, 2012

For much of the last year, while parents, community leaders and policymakers have been focused on bringing much-needed improvements to the Chicago Public Schools, the teachers union has been not-so-secretly planning to hold our city — and our schoolchildren — hostage by calling for a strike.

Charter School Vote Determines Future of the School
WOI, IA, May 3, 2012

Des Moines’ first charter school opened up in December of 2010, less than a year and a half ago. But it could soon close its doors. The school district will make that decision within the next month.

Plan Gives Rebates For Helping Public Schools
Daily Advertiser, LA, May 4, 2012

Since the state is giving rebates to people and businesses for contributing to fund scholarships to private schools, it should also be willing to grant rebates for contributing to improve public schools, says Rep. Katrina Jackson,

Charter School Awaits State Acceptance
Kennebec Journal, ME, May 3, 2012

The Cornville Regional Charter School will be ready for classes in September in the former Cornville Elementary School with 50 students in kindergarten through grade 6. All they need now, board chairman Justin Belanger said, is acceptance of their charter by the Maine Charter School Commission.

Meaningful Step Toward Reform
The Star Democrat, MD, May 4, 2012

The 2012 Maryland General Assembly session made some changes affecting education in the state. The proposed legislation dealing with maintenance of effort and teacher’s pension funding grabbed the headlines. There were other developments, however.

Dayton Vetoes Overhaul of Teacher Tenure Rules, A Top GOP Priority
Minneapolis Star Tribune, MN, May 3, 2012

With a veto of a proposal to upend school teacher tenure rules, Gov. Mark Dayton wiped out one of Republicans top priorities Thursday.

House Says Performance, Not Seniority, Should Govern Teacher Layoffs
St. Louis Post-Dispatch, MO, May 3, 2012

The Missouri House’s Republican leadership pushed through one of its priorities today, passing a bill aimed at ending some job protections for veteran public school teachers.

St. Louis Public Schools Looks To Expand To Take In Imagine Students
St. Louis Post-Dispatch, MO, May 4, 2012

For decades, St. Louis Public Schools has closed dozens of school buildings as thousands of students left the district for suburban and charter schools.

Teaching Colleges Balk At Ratings
St. Louis Post-Dispatch, MO, May 4, 2012

An effort to rate the nation’s teacher preparation programs isn’t making many friends in Missouri or Illinois.

New Charter School Likely To Open On S. Broadway
Eagle Tribune, NH, May 4, 2012

The Birches Academy of Academics and Art announced it will move into the second floor of that building, pending approval from the town’s Planning Board and finalizing the lease. The board will consider the proposal Tuesday.

Christie Tells School Choice Advocates He’s Fighting ‘Bullies’
Jersey Journal, NJ, May 4, 2012

Gov. Chris Christie held back no punches yesterday in Jersey City, saying at a national pro-school choice summit that he’s standing up to the “bully” of “entrenched interests” of the “educational establishment.”

Gov. Christie Pushes School Choice At Education Summit
Vineland Daily Journal, NJ, May 4, 2012

Gov. Chris Christie renewed his call Thursday for lawmakers to pass school choice legislation this spring and heaped more criticism on those who oppose his efforts, at one juncture using civil rights-era imagery to emphasize his point.

Cheated No More: It’s Time To Act
Asbury Park Press, NJ, May 3, 2012

Everything should be on the table: The way in which the district is funded. Its accounting and budgeting process. Its academic program. Whether it might benefit from charter schools. How best to engage the community, restore trust in school officials and improve transparency. How to optimally assess academic progress. And how to bring discipline to the schools.

St. Nicholas Houses Residents Remain Less Than Thrilled About Geoffrey Canada’s Charter School
New York Daily News, NY, May 4, 2012

The racket of construction on a new Harlem charter school is considerably quieter now than it has been, but the complaints coming from residents are still plenty audible.

Bronx Parents Feel Strapped For School Options In Their Neighborhoods, Lottery Gives Some Last Hope
New York Daily News, NY, May 3, 2012

The auditorium was emptying out after a lottery for a new charter school set to open in September. Parents held tickets, praying theirs would be the next number called.

Status Quo Unacceptable
Buffalo News, NY, May 3, 2012

So, they’re gone. The experts from Johns Hopkins University , who were going to help turn around two of Buffalo ‘s most troubled schools, abandoned the effort this week, unable to plan their strategy because of the wretched inability of adults in the school district to agree on a teacher evaluation system.

Charters The Only Hope For Many
Philadelphia Inquirer, PA, May 4, 2012

A moratorium on city charter schools, as proposed by Jerry T. Jordan, president of the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers, would be a tragedy (“Charter expansion threatens Pa. schools,” April 25). Charters are the only hope for many of the kids trapped in Philly’s failing and violent schools.

Private Interests Vs. School Reform: It’s Time To Fight
Philadelphia Daily News, PA, May 4, 2012

LAST WEEK, the Philadelphia School District announced plans to completely overhaul itself and close more than 40 public schools next year. By closing the schools, for what it describes as considerable financial, academic, and safety concerns, the district claims that it will be able to restructure in ways that are more effective and efficient.

Crisis Opens A Window To School Reforms
Philadelphia Inquirer, PA, May 4, 2012

In short, they want to blow the district up. They’ll do it by closing public schools en masse, enrolling about 40 percent of all students in charters by 2017, and busting the district up into 20 to 30 networks, which would operate largely independently and be run by an assortment of nonprofits, charter operators, and former principals and teachers. And what fiscal savings can the district expect from this unprecedented reorganization? Approximately nothing.

It Pays to be Superintendent
Philadelphia Inquirer, PA, May 4, 2012

Former Philadelphia Superintendent Arlene C. Ackerman became a poster child for bad buyout deals when the district was forced to shell out nearly $1 million last year to end her contract.

2 Charter Schools Set To Open In Shelby County , 12 Others Wait For 2014
Commercial Appeal, TN, May 4, 2012

Of the 14 charter schools in limbo since the Shelby County unified school board rejected their applications in November, two intend to open this summer.

The Need For Charter Schools
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, WI , May 4, 2012

May 6 to 12 is National Charter School Week, and my 12-year-old son recently reminded me why it’s a good thing that Wisconsin has over 200 charter schools. My son was smoothly helping his little sister with her multiplication tables, leading me to suggest that he would make a great teacher someday.

Teacher Evaluations Altering Kids’ Educations
Appleton Post Crescent, WI, May 3, 2012

Testing is nothing new. Teachers have used tests to measure student performance for centuries. Under the new requirements, however, teachers will be the ones tested based on student performance. If a child scores higher, so does the teacher. If the child scores lower, so does the teacher. Furthermore, Wisconsin’s new law requires teacher evaluations to be made public.

VIRTUAL EDUCATION

Virtual Charter School Seeks State Response
Charlotte Observer, NC, May 4, 2012

With more than 200,000 students enrolled nationwide, online public schools are becoming a legitimate alternative to the brick-and-mortar schools where most present-day adults grew up.

Parental Involvement Key To Student Achievement
The Tennessean, TN, May 4, 2012

Recent discussions on proposed state legislation mandating parental involvement in schools have focused on the issues surrounding penalizing children, and parents of students, who find it challenging to complete homework.

Snyder, Flanagan Clarify School Bill
Detroit Free Press, MI, May 4, 2012

Gov. Rick Snyder and state Superintendent Mike Flanagan issued a joint news release late Thursday, pledging that the state will enforce a controversial bill that recently passed the Legislature — and awaits Snyder’s signature — that would allow an expansion of the number of cyber charter schools that can open in Michigan and the number of students who can enroll in them.

Commentary: Blended Learning Transforms Teaching
Education News Colorado, CO, May 3, 2012

Education in Colorado is getting ready to experience a dramatic revolution. In 10 years, every teacher will use technology tools to help deliver, assess and guide instruction. This week, Sal Khan of the Khan Academy is speaking at the University of Denver .

New Century Technology High School Creating New “Virtual School”
WAAY, AL, May 3, 2012

The Huntsville City School Board revealed plans to implement a “virtual school” at New Century Technology High School Thursday. The school is designed for homeschoolers in an effort to bring them back into public education.

Teacher Friction Emerges As Layoffs Loom
Las Vegas Review-Journal, NV, May 4, 2012

Friction. Nathan Warner can’t help but notice it building between Clark County School District teachers. It brews in brief moments between classes and in the teachers’ lounges. It started early Wednesday morning after the district sent a mass email to staff about layoffs needed to offset the cost of teacher pay increases.

Alternatives to Traditional Schools
Mountain News, CA, May 3, 2012

She enrolled him in California Virtual Academies of Los Angeles, an online charter school that uses the Internet to provide real-time electronic classroom teaching using home computers.