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Daily Headlines for June 22, 2012

Standardized Testing Must Be Put In Its Place
Times and Democrat, SC, June 22, 2012

Measuring student performance; OUR OPINION: No Child Left Behind has taken us too far in wrong direction

Houston’s YES Prep Charter Schools Win Broad Prize
Associated Press, June 21, 2012

A Houston-based charter organization serving predominantly minority and low-income students won the first Broad Prize for Public Charter Schools and will receive $250,000 to boost college readiness among low-income students.

FROM THE STATES

County School Districts: No Student Transfers Allowed This Fall
Carroll County News, AR, June 21, 2012

As of today, Carroll County students this fall will have to attend the school district within whose boundaries they reside, officials say, and transfers to other districts will no longer be allowed.

CALIFORNIA

Board of Education Final Vote Tally Favors Charter School Backers
Modesto Bee, CA, June 22, 2012

A school board race that pitted charter school opponents against their supporters has finally been decided. Final election results released Thursday show that charter school operator Penny Schwinn edged out union-sponsored Heather McGowan by fewer than 300 votes for the Area 5 seat on the county Board of Education .

Inspire Charter School to Get More Space on Chico High Campus
Chico Enterprise-Record , CA, June 22, 2012

Inspire School of Arts and Sciences won’t be getting a new home this year, but it will be getting more space, based on a decision made Wednesday.

GEORGIA

Georgia Wants To Tweak Rules For Teacher Evaluation System
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, GA, June 21, 2012

Give second-grader Sam a hard time about his math or tell him to stop talking during class and he just might have something to say about that on his teacher evaluation, if a new federal system is fully adopted in Georgia.

ILLINOIS

Parents, Students From Other Cities Join Chicagoans In Claiming School ‘Reforms’ Violate Minority Students’ Rights
Chicago Sun Times, IL, June 21, 2012

Parents and students from seven cities are joining those in Chicago in filing civil rights complaints against school closings, phase-outs and other “rampantly horrible” reform upheavals they contend have disproportionately victimized minority communities, school activists said Thursday.

Emanuel Allies Press Attack In Teachers Union Battle
Chicago Tribune, IL, June 22, 2012

Advocates close to mayor behind ads slamming union leaders but deny or decline comment on coordination with City Hall

INDIANA

Russ Pulliam: On the Road to Success
Indianapolis Star, IN, June 22, 2012

Venson Williams, 16, might have been another victim of the public education crisis. His parents were divorced, and his mother struggled financially. Often the youngest in his classes, he was unusually quiet in his first years in school.

Meetings Provide Information About Indiana’s Newer Education Options
Evansville Courier & Press, IN, June 21, 2012

Parents were in a fact-finding mode as they gathered inside Evansville Christian School , 4400 Lincoln Ave. , Thursday evening to explore some of Indiana ‘s newer education options.

IOWA

Iowa Is Denied Education Law Waiver
Des Moines Register, IA, June 22, 2012

Iowa was denied a waiver from the federal government’s No Child Left Behind law, Gov. Terry Branstad announced Thursday.

LOUISIANA

St. Tammany Is Likely To Join Group Lawsuit Over School Voucher Program
Times-Picayune, LA, June 21, 2012

The St. Tammany Parish School Board approved 13-0 Thursday night a resolution that authorizes a lawsuit against the state over its recent passage of Act 2, more commonly known as the voucher program. The motion came up at a special board meeting at the C.J. Schoen Administrative Complex in Covington . Board members Bob Womack and Ray Alfred were absent.

Louisiana Illegally Fired 7,500 Teachers, Judge Says
New York Times, NY, June 22, 2012

As much as some may wish otherwise, there is no starting from scratch when rebuilding a city, or a school system.

MASSACHUSETTS

Mass. Senate Backs Teacher Evaluation Bill
Boston Herald, MA, June 21, 2012

The state Senate has approved a bill that would place performance ahead of seniority in determining public school teacher layoffs in Massachusetts.

MICHIGAN

GAO Report: Charter Schools Underserve Special Needs Students
Grand Rapids Press, MI, June 21, 2012

Charter schools serve fewer special education students than traditional schools according to a Government Accountability Office, though Michigan educators said countywide, specialized programs and parental choices likely make for the difference.

Ems Smart To Charter School Districts
Detroit News, MI, June 22, 2012

Chartering entire districts will allow schools to separate business of educating kids from oppressive debt

NEW HAMPSHIRE

Lynch Changes Wording In School Choice Veto
Union Leader, NH, June 22, 2012

Supporters of legislation to set up a school scholarship program that would help students attend private and religious schools say Gov. John Lynch has acknowledged he mistakenly concluded that some of the scholarships would be available to families regardless of their income.

NEW JERSEY

Strengthen Bill To Revise Teacher Tenure In New Jersey
Salem Sunbeam, NJ, June 22, 2012

A bill that would make teacher tenure harder to get and easier to lose, advanced in the state Senate this week, though it leaves intact the controversial practice of laying off excess teachers based on seniority.

Taking an Incremental Approach to Tenure Reform
New Jersey Spotlight, NJ, June 22, 2012

Over the past eighteen months, as Sen. Teresa Ruiz’s tenure reform bill has run the gauntlet of legislative hearings, lobbying by interest groups, and input from stakeholders, New Jersey has been harshly schooled in how much can be accomplished in the arena of education reform. Just call us “incrementalist.”

Shalom Academy To Appear Before Teaneck Zoning Board Tonight
The Record, NJ, June 21, 2012

Shalom Academy is expected to appear before the Zoning Board tonight to request use and parking variances to build a Hebrew-immersion charter school on the second floor of a commercial building.

Trenton Churches Sue Shuttered Emily Fisher Charter Over Back Rent
Times of Trenton, NJ, June 21, 2012

Two city churches are alleging that administrators at Emily Fisher Charter School, which is shutting down under a state Department of Education order, did not pay rent last month and said they would not pay this month either.

N.J. Tenure Debate Is Near Conclusion
Philadelphia Inquirer, PA, June 22, 2012

It’s good to see Gov. Christie and New Jersey’s powerful teachers’ union finally find common ground on a tough issue — tenure.

NEW YORK

Parents Will Only See Teacher Performance Ratings Because Of A Long, Hard Fight By News Organizations
New York Daily News, NY, June 22, 2012

The powers that be — led by the unions and the Legislature — wanted to keep the vital information secret

Albany Acts to Shield Teacher Data
Wall Street Journal, June 22, 2012

The job-performance reviews for hundreds of thousands of individual teachers across New York would be shielded from the general public under legislation passed by the Legislature and supported by Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

NYC Push For Private School Fingerprinting Mandate
Albany Times Union, NY, June 21, 2012

New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn is calling for a state law requiring that prospective employees of private schools get fingerprinted.

Unions Vs. Charters, When It’s Convenient
New York Daily News, NY, June 22, 2012

The United Federation of Teachers often opposes “colocation” — letting charter schools use space in underutilized public school buildings. The UFT is both wrong and hypocritical.

NORTH CAROLINA

Rough Ride
News & Observer, NC, June 22, 2012

The Wake County school board’s narrow majority of Democrats used its first six months in office to take the new “controlled choice” student assignment plan for a test drive.

State Advisory Committee Says No to Plans For Charter Schools at Fort Bragg and Fayetteville
Fayetteville Observer, NC, June 21, 2012

Proposals for charter schools at Fort Bragg and in downtown Fayetteville were rejected by a state advisory committee Thursday.

School Vouchers + Unethical Lobbying = Bad Policy for N.C.
Charlotte Observer, NC, June 21, 2012

From Belinda Cauthen and Page McCullough, in response to a column by Darrell Allison, president of Parents for Educational Freedom in North Carolina (“N.C. corporate tax credit will give opportunities to poor kids,” June 14):

Tenure Bill Will Damage State Of Education
Ashville Citizen –Times, NC, June 22, 2012

The State Republican-led Senate is sponsoring Senate Bill 795, which would eliminate teacher tenure. The bill will degrade teaching from a dedicated profession to subcontracting jobs filled with corporate dropouts. The bill comes at a time when education budgets are being cut and teachers have not had even a cost of living raise in the past four years.

OKLAHOMA

Oklahoma School Districts Seek Accountability Waiver
The Oklahoman, OK, June 22, 2012

Officials at Union, Jenks and Sand Springs schools have called for largely jettisoning student test performance from education assessments. Among other things, Union Superintendent Cathy Burden thinks student assessments should be based on narratives, portfolios, teacher assessments and other elements. How a “narrative” provides a clearer measurement of student learning than testing is beyond us.

PENNSYLVANIA

True Cost of Schools?
Philadelphia Daily News, PA, June 22, 2012

WHAT IT COSTS to educate our kids and what we actually spend are different numbers … very different, depending on where you’re looking. According to a 2007 “costing-out” study, the state average expenditure was $9,512 per pupil, when it should have been $12,057. Philadelphia’s spending came up $5,000 short per pupil. The city now spends about $7,000 per student. Not exactly progress.

District’s Blue-Collar Union Offers $25M In Concessions
Philadelphia Inquirer, PA, June 22, 2012

Threatened with the layoff of its entire workforce, the union representing 2,700 blue-collar workers in the Philadelphia School District has put more than $25 million in projected savings on the table – but the district has stopped talking.

Creating Options
Daily American, PA, June 22, 2012

It’s difficult to say one type of learning situation is best for everyone. There needs to be a variety of options for children and parents to see what works best.

Education Tax Credit To Expand In New Pa. Budget
Erie Times-Union, PA, June 22, 2012

A nearly $27.7 billion state budget taking shape in the Pennsylvania Capitol includes a substantial expansion of a tax credit available to businesses whose contributions can be used for scholarships to private schools, top state Republican lawmakers and legislative aides said Thursday.

RHODE ISLAND

Students March To Save Prov. Charter School
WLNE-TV, RI, June 21, 2012

Students and teachers from Providence’s Academy for Career Exploration marched as part of a rally to save their high school, at risk of being shut down by the state.

Former US Education Official Rips Commissioner Gist & RI’s Reform Efforts
Go Local Prov, RI, June 22, 2012

A former assistant U.S. Secretary of Education is taking Education Commissioner Deborah Gist to task for implementing reform efforts that focus too heavily on test scores and teacher evaluation and not enough on the burdens imposed by poverty.

ONLINE SCHOOLS

Allentown School District Fights To Win Back Cyber School Students Through Online Schooling
Lehigh Valley Express Times, PA, June 22, 2012

About 300 Allentown School District students have opted out of the traditional classroom setting in favor of cyber schools, which has cost the district about $1.2 million annually.

Dollars for Digital Learning?
Marietta Daily Journal, GA, June 22, 2012

As of July 1, a new law in Georgia will allow high school students to earn credits by taking classes online at Georgia Virtual School with no out-of-pocket costs. Instead, local school districts will now have to pay the online-course fees, though Senate Majority Leader Chip Rogers insists the change will save districts money.