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Daily Headlines: June 11, 2012

NATIONAL COVERAGE

Vouchers Breathe New Life Into Shrinking Catholic Schools
Wall Street Journal, June 9, 2012

It had been years since Principal Kathleen Lowry pulled extra desks from the dusty attic of St. Stanislaus, the only Catholic school left in this port city. But after Indiana began offering parents vouchers in the spring of 2011 to pay for private tuition, she had to bring down 30 spare desks and hire three teachers’ aides.

Obama Urges Congress to Back Education Package
Wall Street Journal, June 9, 2012

U.S. President Barack Obama used his weekly radio address to the nation to urge Congress to pass a series of economic proposals that will help put teachers back in the classroom.

We’re Not ‘Throwing Money’ At Schools
Athens Banner-Herald, GA, June 9, 2012

We hear the phrase “throwing money at it” in lots of settings. It implies indiscriminate spending, a rejection of “real” solutions and irresponsibility. It is almost always used in Monday-morning quarterbacking, and frankly, as a way to avoid serious discussion of the issues.

FROM THE STATES

ARKANSAS

Federal Judge Strikes Down State’s School Choice Law
Arkansas News, AR, June 8, 2012

A federal judge on Friday struck down the state’s school choice law, but an attorney for the families who filed the lawsuit that led to the ruling said later his clients will appeal because they feel the judge went too far.

Fate Of Two Charter Schools Up In Air
KTHV, AR, June 11, 2012

The Arkansas Department of Education and Board will decide the fate of two charter schools and possibly changing a facility for one charter school.

ARIZONA

Cave Creek Board To Vote On District-Run Charter Schools
Arizona Republic, AZ, June 10, 2012

The Cave Creek Unified School District could become the first in the Valley to operate its own charter schools.

CALIFORNIA

Los Angeles Teachers And School District Reach Pact To Spare Jobs
Los Angeles Times, CA, June 9, 2012

Los Angeles teachers union agrees to 10 furlough days in upcoming school year, preventing thousands of layoffs. The deal will shorten the school year by a week.

New Los Banos Charter School Gets Money Boost
Merced Sun Star, CA, June 11, 2012

Los Banos’ newest educational institution was recently infused with cash, advancing its preparation for an August debut as Merced County’s first independent Waldorf-inspired public charter school.

Embattled School Gets New Improvement Plan, Position
Victorville Daily Press, CA, June 10, 2012

The legal battle may still be playing out in court, but the “Parent Trigger” push to overhaul Desert Trails Elementary School has already led to the creation of a school improvement plan and a new position to help carry it out.

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA

SIMMONS: Post-Brown Council Must Revisit School Governance
Washington Times, DC, June 10, 2012

The council used to have a separate education panel, but dismantled it when education governance was restructured to grant the mayor unprecedented control with the Public Education Reform Amendment Act of 2007. Since then, said Mr. Smith, the voices of parents and the community at large have been further stifled.

FLORIDA

Florida’s Education Reforms Are Gaining National Acclaim
Florida Times-Union, FL, June 10, 2012

As a matter of economic security, education reform should be America’s No. 1 strategy for securing our future.

Balance Sought Between Overcrowded, Sparse Classrooms
Palm Beach Post, FL, June 11, 2012

Achieving a better balance of the student population has proven to be elusive because of everything from geography to parent perception, and in particular programs like school choice and No Child Left Behind that allow students to switch schools, officials say.

Backtracking on Florida Exams Flunked by Many, Even an Educator
New York Times, NY, June 11, 2012

Bill Vogel, the superintendent of schools in this suburb of Orlando, has always been vigilant about preparing his district for the state tests.

IDAHO

Charter Experts Say Success Comes Down To Business Model, iTunes-style Customization
Idaho Press-Tribune, ID, June 10, 2012

Jackie Collins, principal of the Idaho Arts Charter School and former economics teacher, sees charter schools as a free-market solution to the challenges faced by public education.

Attention on Education Reform Shifts to Idaho
Idaho Press-Tribune, ID, June 11, 2012

The failed multimillion dollar campaign to boot Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker from office is on its way to Idaho. We don’t know what form it will take, but you can imagine that some of the messages tried in Wisconsin will also be attempted here, all in an effort to return Idaho’s education system to a status quo that empowers labor unions and puts their interests ahead of schoolchildren.

ILLINOIS

Teachers Union: More Than 75 Percent Voted To Authorize Strike
Chicago Tribune, IL, June 11, 2012

The Chicago Teachers Union will announce Monday that more than the required number of members voted last week to authorize a teachers strike, the union vice president said Sunday.

INDIANA

Parochial Ranks Fade As Charters Grow
Fort- Wayne Journal-Gazette, IN, June 10, 2012

Recently I spoke to another principal of a Catholic school that was closing its doors. Once a light of the neighborhood this school will close for good.

LOUISIANA

With Vouchers, Lawmakers Should Have Asked Sooner
Times Picayune, LA, June 10, 2012

First the good news: Before it adjourned for the year Monday, the Legislature finally started asking some tough questions about Gov. Bobby Jindal’s fast-tracked plan to divert public money, including locally generated property taxes, away from school districts and toward private schools, out-of-district charter schools and other alternative providers.

Educational Relationships
Monroe Start News, LA, June 10, 2012

In Louisiana, there long has been a relationship between public education and parochial schools.

LAE to Challenge Voucher, School Funding Plans
Shreveport Times, LA, June 10, 2012

A new statewide voucher program that shifts public school funds to private schools and the funding plan that shuffles money to pay for it are unconstitutional, members of the Louisiana Association of Educators said Saturday.

School Reform: Out-of-State Firms Reap Millions
Shreveport Times, LA, June 10, 2012

The Louisiana Department of Education is spending more than $132.9 million with two out-of-state companies for standardized tests.

MARYLAND

Arundel School Must Comply With Still-To-Be-Negotiated Charter Or Be Dissolved
Baltimore Sun, MD, June 10, 2012

Chesapeake Science Point allowed to expand high school program but is put on two years’ probation

MASSACHUSETTS

Teacher Seniority Still Impedes School Improvement
Boston Globe, MA, June 9, 2012

In Boston, it doesn’t matter if you’re a gifted new teacher with exquisite subject expertise and the ability to enliven material for even the hardest-to-reach students. You might even be the top teacher in the state. If someone with more seniority comes along with designs on your job, you’re still toast.

Group To Apply To Run Charter High School
Eagle Tribune, MA, June 11, 2012

A non-profit organization hopes to open the city’s first charter high school – YouthBuild Charter Academy – next year.

State Ed Officials Should Step In, Review Charter School
Gloucester Times, MA, June 10, 2012

The departure of popular Gloucester Community Arts Charter School principal Jody Ziebarth under disputed circumstances some 10 days ago has now raised a series of questions and red flags regarding the stability of the school.

MICHIGAN

Teachers Union Faces Layoffs
Detroit News, MI, June 11, 2012

Fewer schools, fewer students, fewer teachers. That’s the reality facing the Detroit Federation of Teachers as the clock ticks down toward June 30, when the union’s contract with Detroit Public Schools expires.

Some Coaches Say Schools Of Choice Program Robs Athletics Of Community
Detroit News, MI, June 11, 2012

Michigan’s schools of choice program, which was established in 1996, has received mixed reviews from high school coaches and administrators. Some coaches say it has ruined high school sports by eliminating the community aspect of their teams. But many administrators say the program offers a variety of academic opportunities to students who would otherwise do without.

NEW JERSEY

N.J. Bill Making Evaluations Key To Teacher Tenure May Soon Be Introduced
Star Ledger, NJ, June 10, 2012

More than a year after state Sen. Teresa Ruiz began gathering evidence on how to overhaul the state’s century-old teacher tenure law, a bill that would link the job protection to regular evaluations may soon be fast-tracked in Trenton.

School Choice Thrives in NJ
Daily Journal, NJ, June 11, 2012

When Superintendent Anthony Moro drove to Trenton on nearly two years ago, he knew the survival of his elementary school would be determined by the paperwork on his front seat.

OHIO

Legislating in Ohio for the Kids — Yeah, Sure: Brent Larkin
Cleveland Plain Dealer, OH, June 9, 2012

When it comes to charter schools, Republicans who control the Ohio House don’t lie all the time. Only when their lips move.

State May Add Schools For Gifted
Columbus Dispatch, OH, June 11, 2012

Should Ohio have special schools for smart kids? Advocates for gifted students say a new proposal for regional schools would ensure the students have access to more rigorous courses and learning opportunities that keep them challenged and engaged.

Anniversary Celebration Set In Cleveland For Voucher Court Victory
Columbus Dispatch, OH, June 11, 2012

Ohio backers of school choice are marking an important court victory.
Today in Cleveland, the 10th anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court ruling upholding Cleveland ’s school-voucher program will be marked by key individuals who were involved.

School Rating Plan Minds Achievement Gaps
Columbus Dispatch, OH, June 11, 2012

For years, Ohio educators have struggled to close the gaps.
White students perform much better than their black and Latino peers in most of the state’s school districts. Poor students generally do worse than their wealthier classmates.

City Teachers Mistakenly Dig In Against Proposed Concessions
Cleveland Plain Dealer, OH, June 9, 2012

It will take more than two to tango if the Cleveland schools hope to banish a looming $19 million deficit.

PENNSYLVANIA

Education Funds Ruling Splits Court
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, PA, June 11, 2012

Commonwealth Court panel has ruled that the state Department of Education may not withhold state subsidies from a school district for the current school year for a claim made by a charter school alleging underfunding in a previous school year.

Changing the Classroom: Teachers Help Lead Faison K-5 Into Future
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, PA, June 11, 2012

Pittsburgh Faison K-5 in Homewood is the newest school building in Pittsburgh Public Schools, but it is tackling one of the oldest problems faced by school districts: ensuring that all children — no matter their family and neighborhood background — achieve at high levels.

Under Investigation, Delaware Valley High School Gets Mixed Reviews
Philadelphia Inquirer, PA, June 10, 2012

For nearly a decade, the Philadelphia School District has been sending students with discipline problems who are at risk of dropping out of school to the for-profit Delaware Valley High School .

A House Bill Would Reform Charter School Funding
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, PA, June 10, 2012

Charter schools don’t offer interscholastic athletics. They don’t contribute to the cost of competing charter schools. And they can get their own state reimbursement for teacher retirement costs.

Parents, Reconsider Philadelphia School Reform Plan
Philadelphia Inquirer, PA, June 10, 2012

A year ago, I became a reluctant activist. I had never spoken out in the past, but when education funding was slashed, and the School District of Philadelphia threatened to eliminate full-day kindergarten and transportation, I added my voice to other Philadelphia public school parents in condemning the district’s plan.

TENNESSEE

TN Educators Submit Feedback On Evaluation System
The Tennessean, TN, June 11, 2012

The head of an education foundation commissioned by Gov. Bill Haslam to review Tennessee’s new teacher evaluation system says it has identified a key concern teachers have about the testing data used to evaluate them and will propose recommendations to address it.

ONLINE SCHOOLS

New Jersey Hashing Out Stand-Alone Virtual Schools
Lehigh Valley Express-Times, PA, June 10, 2012

No full-time cyber schools are currently operating in New Jersey, but that could change before the end of the year.

Lehigh Valley Public Schools Go On Offensive To Lure Students Back From Pennsylvania Cyber Schools
Lehigh Valley Express-Times, PA, June 10, 2012

There’s a battle being waged for Pennsylvania’s schoolchildren.
Traditional public schools are on the offensive trying to lure back students from cyber and charter schools with their own cyber academics. Public school officials tout better standardized test scores and diplomas from known schools.

Asheville, Buncombe Schools Weigh In On Virtual Charter School
Ashville Citizen Times, NC, June 11, 2012

The Buncombe County school system joined the state Board of Education and a growing list of school districts across North Carolina in a legal battle over a virtual charter school to be run by a for-profit company.

A Dubious Angle On Charter Schools
Jacksonville Daily News, NC, June 9, 2012

Virtual charter schools are being put to the test as a number of school systems in North Carolina oppose a new online school slated to open its doors in August.

District Explores Learning Options
The Advocate, LA, June 11, 2012

The Tangipahoa Parish school system is exploring ways to expand virtual learning opportunities in grades 6-12, but some board members are concerned about the program’s ability to meet the needs of at-risk students.

At Insight, A Graduation Like Any Other — Only The Students Are Just Meeting Each Other
The Oregonian, OR, June 9, 2012

But for all that felt familiar and usual, there was one glaring difference Saturday: Most of the 14 students had never met one another.