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Daily Headlines for June 28, 2012

Class Struggle
Wall Street Journal, June 27, 2012

Much has been written about the choice we face just 19 weeks from now, when we will select the next president. But while we discuss the almost polar opposite views of Barack Obama and Mitt Romney on spending, regulation, taxes and health care, we shouldn’t lose sight of another very important issue: education.

School Choice Works and Is Constitutional
USA Today, June 27, 2012

Wednesday marks the 10th anniversary of one of the most important U.S. Supreme Court decisions since Brown vs. Board of Education. In Zelman v. Simmons-Harris, the court upheld the constitutionality of a school choice program in Cleveland for low-income children long ignored by the educational establishment.

Voters Aren’t Buying School Choice Snake Oil
USA Today, June 27, 2012

Despite mounting anger and frustration over the glacial pace of school improvement, voters consistently turn thumbs down on plans to give parents wider choice. The results have emboldened reformers to try an end run around their will. In the process, they’ve made a travesty of the separation of church and state.

FROM THE STATES

CALIFORNIA

Challenges Await San Francisco Schools Chief
Wall Street Journal, June 27, 2012

Richard Carranza will become superintendent of the San Francisco Unified School District in July at an especially challenging time.

COLORADO

Douglas County School Board Breaks Union Mold
Denver Post, CO, June 28, 2012

The Douglas County school board is a rarity in urban and suburban school districts.
Unlike the Jefferson County school district, Colorado’s largest, with a majority of the board recruited and endorsed by the teachers union, the Dougco board is dominated by independent-minded conservative Republicans.

CONNECTICUT

State Board Of Education Approves Guidelines For Teacher Evaluations
Hartford Courant, CT, June 27, 2012

The State Board of Education approved guidelines Wednesday for a new system that will tie student performance to teacher evaluations.

FLORIDA

Proposed Charter School Policy Changes Causing Controversy Among School Leaders
WMBB, FL, June 27, 2012

A list of proposed charter school changes is causing controversy among school leaders. Tuesday, the Bay District School Board decided to table advertising those changes.

GEORGIA

Cherokee Charter Academy OKs $7.7M budget
Cherokee Tribune, GA, June 28, 2012

Cherokee Charter Academy’s Local Governing Council approved the school’s Fiscal Year 2013 $7.7 million budget at its meeting Wednesday morning.

IDAHO

Heritage Community Charter School Puts an End to High School Program
Idaho Press Tribune, ID, June 28, 2012

The Heritage Community Charter School board voted Tuesday to discontinue its high school pilot program, according to a note released by acting principal Jean Taylor.

ILLINOIS

Dropout Recovery Charter School Idea To Return To Rockford
Rockford Register Star, IL, June 27, 2012

Organizers behind a green career-focused charter school for high school dropout recovery will pitch their plan again to the Rockford School Board next month.

INDIANA

Competing for Students
Indianapolis Star, IN, June 28, 2012

When Indiana entered into its school choice experiment more than a decade ago, supporters hailed charter schools as innovative laboratories capable of spurring competition and improvement.

State Creates Loan Fund For Charter School Building Projects
Post Tribune, IN, June 27, 2012

State officials hope a new loan fund will ease the difficulties that charter schools experience in financing building projects.

LOUISIANA

Moving Pupils Is Foolish
Alexandria Town Talk, LA, June 28, 2012

Do we really want to roll the dice on a separate public school system that will take much-needed resources from public schools? Charter schools are at best a short-term fix.

MAINE

$500,000 Loan Could Boost Charter School’s Bid
Portland Press Herald, ME, June 28, 2012

But critics of the Baxter Academy plan in Portland raise questions about the school’s financial viability.

Mayoral Math and the Battle for Baxter Academy
Bangor Daily News, ME, June 27, 2012

On June 18, the mayor of Portland came out swinging against the Baxter Academy for Technology and Science, one of the first schools eligible to receive a charter from the state.

MASSACHUSETTS

House Passes Teacher Evaluation Bill With No Debate Or Roll Call
Metro West Daily News, MA, June 17, 2012

Without debate or a recorded vote, the House on Wednesday morning approved legislation that gives teacher performance and evaluations greater weight in public school personnel decisions.

MICHIGAN

Chartering Failing School Districts Might Backfire
Detroit News, MI, June 28, 2012

Last week, the school bell rang for the last time in many of Michigan’s public schools. But for students in at least two Michigan school districts, the school they left behind will not be the same one to which they return.

MINNESOTA

School Ratings Are No Trick — Just Progress
Minneapolis Star Tribune, MN, June 27, 2012

Charlie Weaver was substantially off-target in his criticism of the state educational rankings (“State schools score better — like magic,” June 24).

MISSOURI

Gov. Nixon Signs Measure On Charter Schools But Vetoes Bill On Transfers
St. Louis Post-Dispatch, MO, June 28, 2012

School choice advocates won one and lost one Wednesday as Gov. Jay Nixon signed a charter school bill but vetoed a measure that would have eased some school transfers.

NEW HAMPSHIRE

School Choice Veto Override ‘Keeps Kids In School’
Union Leader, NH, June 27, 2012

The Legislature wrapped up its 2012 session on Wednesday with Republicans hailing two major accomplishments, the final passage of bills creating a private scholarship program and establishing stricter voter identification rules.

NEW YORK

Objecting to Teacher Evaluations
Newsday, NY, June 27, 2012

Imagine that the evaluation advocated by columnist Joye Brown in “Limited access to evals useless” [News, June 19] were in place. Would it improve a child’s education?

NORTH CAROLINA

Fight Over Vacant School Building Heads To Civil Court
WNCT, NC, June 27, 2012

A judge ruled in favor of Bear Grass Charter School after they took Martin County Schools to civil court.

OHIO

Cleveland School District Headquarters For Sale To Any Charter School With $19 Million
Cleveland Plain Dealer, OH, June 27, 2012

Any charter school that wants the Cleveland school district’s historic headquarters, speak up now. You get first dibs on it for 60 days — if you have $19 million to spare.

PENNSYLVANIA

The Task Ahead For Phila. School Superintendent
Philadelphia Inquirer, PA, June 28, 2012

It’s easy to see how some Philadelphians may feel left out of the school superintendent search. It’s also easy to appreciate the urgency to fill the position.

Hearings Start On New Hope Charter Appeal Petitions
York Daily Record, PA, June 27, 2012

Court hearings began this week to determine if New Hope Academy Charter School has sufficient signatures to appeal the rejection of its elementary school application to the state.

Feud Between Coatesville Schools And Charter Reaches New Level
Daily Local News, PA, June 27, 2012

The Coatesville Area School District has launched an outreach initiative in response to the decision by the Graystone Academy Charter School to eliminate grades six through eight.

Propel Reapplies for K-12 Charter School in Sto-Rox
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, PA, June 28, 2012

Officials with Propel Schools have reapplied for permission to create a K-12 charter school within the Sto-Rox School District .

Tax-Credit Bill Would Expand School Choice
Patriot News, PA, June 28, 2012

If lawmakers were in any doubt about how dire Pennsylvania’s education crisis has become, they need only look to Harrisburg mother Taisha Bartow and her 5-year-old daughter, Alayaisha.

Improve Teacher Grading System
Citizens Voice, PA, June 28, 2012

If school was the only issue affecting students’ standardized test scores, the tests also would be a direct reflection of their teachers’ performance.

TENNESSEE

Segregation Fear Sinks Charter School
Wall Street Journal, June 27, 2012

Nashville school officials have rejected a proposal to open a charter school in a middle-class part of the city, highlighting a broader national battle over efforts by operators of such publicly financed, privately run schools to expand into more affluent areas.

Political Group Wants Charter Schools Out Of Segregation Case
The Tennessean, TN, June 28, 2012

A pro-charter schools political action group filed an amicus brief Tuesday asking a federal judge to leave charter schools out of an ongoing racial segregation case against Metro Nashville Public Schools.

Charter School Studies Find Good, Bad Results
The Tennessean, TN, June 28, 2012

Tuesday night, the Metro Nashville Public Schools board approved two charter schools while rejecting a plan by Great Hearts Academy to open five new charter schools.

Public School Improvement Slowly Gains Momentum
Jackson Sun, TN, June 27, 2012

Changing the direction of a big ship doesn’t come easily and it takes time. The new course heading for Tennessee public education appears to be gaining momentum.

WASHINGTON

Tacoma Teachers, District Have Displacement Agreement
Bellingham Herald, WA, June 28, 2012

Education: Seniority will play role, but other factors to help find out who stays Displacement: Even though one was part of board, brothers won’t benefit now

Charter-School Supporters Using Costco-Style Strategy
Daily Herald, WA, June 28, 2012

Now, seven well-heeled individuals — they’re not a Super PAC so we’ll call them Super (Rich) Citizens — are following a similar path to erase the state’s ban on charter schools. They’ve put up $1.775 million, so far, toward qualifying Initiative 1240 for the ballot this fall.

ONLINE SCHOOLS

4 More Cyber Charters Set To Open As Lawmakers Debate Charter Funding
Philadelphia Inquirer, PA, June 28, 2012

While debate continues in Harrisburg over a state formula that some say wastes taxpayer money by inflating payments to cyber charter schools, four more schools are set to open in the fall.

City Schools Take On Cyber Rivals With Pittsburgh Online Academy 6-12
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, PA, June 28, 2012

The Pittsburgh Public Schools board has approved a new school, a full-time online program aimed at competing with cyber charter schools that have been draining students and money from the district.