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Daily Headlines for July 18, 2012

Obama Proposes $1B For Science, Math Teachers
Associated Press, July 18, 2012

The Obama administration unveiled plans Wednesday to create an elite corps of master teachers, a $1 billion effort to boost U.S. students’ achievement in science, technology, engineering and math.

The Sheepskin Effect and Student Achievement
Center for American Progress, July 17, 2012

Most certainly, the U.S. teacher labor market could be more efficient. Although teachers with master’s degrees generally earn additional salary or stipends-the so-called “master’s bump”-they are no more effective, on average, than their counterparts without master’s degrees.

Obama May Please NEA Officials If Not All Teachers
Lewis Town Sentinel, PA, July 18, 2012

Officials of the largest U.S. teachers’ union, the National Education Association, have made it very clear they support President Barack Obama’s bid for re-election. So plain is their intent that the NEA’s annual convention in Washington was an “Obama love fest,” in the words of an Associated Press reporter.

FROM THE STATES

CALIFORNIA

State Board Of Education Weighs Cost Waiver For Clayton Valley Charter High School
Oakland Tribune, CA, July 17, 2012

The Mt. Diablo Unified School District hopes state education trustees will side with it Wednesday, when the state board reconsiders a waiver of extra costs to run the new Clayton Valley Charter High School .

Charter Expert Teams with LAUSD on Future Is Now Project
Los Angeles Daily News, CA, July 17, 2012

Charter pioneer Steve Barr plans to partner with Los Angeles Unified to create technology-based academies at middle and high schools in Silver Lake , Fairfax and Venice , officials said Tuesday.

MOU Between PUSD and Plumas Charter Approved
Plumas County News, CA, July 18, 2012

When Plumas Unified School District held its regular board meeting July 11 in Quincy, the big issue of the night was the memorandum of understanding (MOU) between PUSD and Plumas Charter School (PCS), which the board eventually approved.

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA

How Unions Got Vince Gray Elected
Washington Examiner, DC, July 17, 2012

As Washington D.C. plays the Mayor Vincent Gray will-he-or-won’t-he-resign game, it is instructive to look back at one of the reasons why he got the job in the first place: Teachers unions and their hatred of former D.C. Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee.

Washington Latin Charter Expected To Move Into Old D.C. School Building
Washington Post, DC, July 17, 2012

Washington Latin Public Charter School, a standout in the city’s independent public education sector, would move into a shuttered D.C. public school building in Petworth under a deal city officials proposed this week.

FLORIDA

Education Commissioner Defends FCAT, Charter Schools
Sun Sentinel, FL, July 18, 2012

Florida’s top state education leader defended standardized testing and charter schools as he spoke Tuesday to a South Florida crowd that was often critical of both.

Royal Palm Beach Oks Charter School Enrollment Increase
Palm Beach Post, FL, July 17, 2012

To accommodate a lengthy wait list, the Royal Palm Beach Village Council Tuesday night unanimously agreed to allow Western Academy Charter School to increase the maximum number of students it can enroll to 485, up from 360.

Time To Rethink How We Pay Teachers
Hernado Today, FL, July 18, 2012

It was a brouhaha that left many students and parents in Florida ‘s capital city without a beloved principal. But for folks well beyond Tallahassee — and even Florida — it ought to serve as a wake-up call for re-thinking our society’s upside-down patterns in compensating educators.

Accountability Is Still Key To Schools
Florida Times Union , FL, July 18, 2012

There was much celebrating in Duval County last week as the school district was the only one to add A-rated schools and reduce F-rated schools.

GEORGIA

Is Louisiana The Future Of Georgia’s Education System?
Atlanta Journal Constitution Blog, GA, July 18, 2012

If you want to see where Georgia conservatives want to take education in this state, look five hundred miles west to Louisiana , where Gov. Bobby Jindal is implementing a voucher program intended to move hundreds of thousands of students out of public schools and into privately run schools at taxpayer expense.

ILLINOIS

405,000 Students
Chicago Tribune, IL, July 18, 2012

You already know that an independent arbitrator has failed, after 75 days of cogitation, to break the impasse over a new contract for Chicago teachers.

INDIANA

Mayor Greg Ballard Intends To Revoke The Project School’s Charter
Indianapolis Star, IN, July 17, 2012

Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard’s office on Tuesday notified The Project School that it intends to revoke its charter and ordered the school to cease operations.

LOUISIANA

Charter Staff Ready For Students
Opelousas Daily World, LA, July 17, 2012

In just two weeks, Acadiana’s only charter school will open for the first day of classes at full capacity. The J.S. Clark Leadership Academy ‘s staff excitedly is preparing for that first bell on Aug. 1.

Law Isn’t Ally Of School Board When It Comes To Busing Issue
American Press, LA, July 17, 2012

The old quip suggests that a man who represents himself on legal issues has a fool for a client. The same might be said for a client that ignores sound legal advice from respected counsel.

Voucher Lawsuit Set For Oct. 15 Court Hearing
Daily Comet, LA, July 17, 2012

An Oct. 15 date has been set for arguments in a lawsuit by teacher unions and local school boards challenging the constitutionality of Gov. Bobby Jindal’s statewide voucher program.
Voucher lawsuit set for Oct. 15 court hearing

PAR Urges State To Set Rules
The Advocate, LA, July 18, 2012

The state needs clear rules for private and parochial schools that fail to offer quality education for voucher students, the president of the Public Affairs Research Council of Louisiana said Tuesday.

MAINE

Board OKs Two Charter Schools, One in Portland
Portland Press Herald, ME, July 18, 2012

The opening of a science-oriented high school in the city is reset to 2013 amid a time crunch and mayoral skepticism.

MARYLAND

Roots Of The Achievement Gap
Baltimore Sun, MD, July 17, 2012

Baltimore City schools CEO Andrés Alonso was merely stating the obvious when he said recently that Baltimore students’ disappointing scores on this year’s state standardized achievement tests in reading and math were due in large part to the fact that so many students are chronically absent or truant.

MASSACHUSETTS

Charter School Issues Cry Out For Oversight
Gloucester Daily Times, MA, July 17, 2012

The allegations cited by an undefined number of parents and teachers at the Gloucester Community Arts Charter School certainly deserve the highest priority of the school’s Board of Trustees. And the comments by school officials Monday indicate they are getting precisely that.

Archdiocese, City Spar Over Buildings
Eagle Tribune, MA, July 17, 2012

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston is refusing to sell several churches and schools it has closed in Lawrence to buyers who would open charter schools in the buildings, fearful that the new schools would compete with the last of the Catholic schools still operating in the city.

NEW JERSEY

South Jersey Districts To Take Part In Educator-Evaluation Projects
Philadelphia Inquirer, PA, July 18, 2012

Six South Jersey school districts will take part in the state’s expanding teacher evaluation program, and one has been selected for a new pilot program to evaluate principals, education officials said Tuesday.

NJ Adds School Districts to Test New Teacher, Principal Evaluations
New Jersey Spotlight, NJ, July 18, 2012

As a new tenure reform bill awaits Gov. Chris Christie’s signature, his administration is moving ahead slowly with the system that could provide the centerpiece of the reforms: a new teacher evaluation system.

New Jersey Now Has A Uniform Standard For Evaluating Charter Schools
Philadelphia Inquirer, PA, July 18, 2012

When New Jersey approved nine new charter schools on Monday, it also announced a new accountability system aimed at setting uniform standards to evaluate the success of charters over time.

Arts-Oriented High School Denied A Charter Because It Lacked An Adequate Building, Letter Shows
Jersey Journal, NJ, July 18, 2012

DREAM Preparatory Academy , a planned arts-oriented high school in Jersey City , was denied final approval by the state after it failed to show the state it had a building ready to house the school, according to a letter state officials sent to the school.

Regis Academy Charter to Appeal Rejection
Cherry Hill Courier Post, NJ, July 18, 2012

The organizer of Regis Academy Charter School , denied final approval by state officials, on Tuesday said he’ll fight that decision.

NEW MEXICO

Superintendent Questions Reform Of Teacher Evals
Albuquerque Journal, NM, July 18, 2012

Albuquerque Public Schools Superintendent Winston Brooks believes the state’s draft teacher evaluation rule relies too heavily on standardized testing and puts districts on a rushed timetable for developing assessments for subjects other than math and reading….

NEW YORK

Student Test Scores Jump in New York
Wall Street Journal, July 17, 2012

Test results for third- through eighth-graders across New York state improved this year even amid concerns about the length of the standardized exams and reports of erroneous questions, according to data released Tuesday by the state Education Department.

Contenders Vying To Replace Mayor Bloomberg Have Tough Assignment: Learn How To Accelerate Gains Of City’s Improving Schools
New York Daily News, NY, July 18, 2012

Proficiency rates rose this year by 3 percentage points in English and math, and charters especially excelled

Charters Top ‘Old School’ Test Scores
New York Post, NY, July 18, 2012

New York City charter-school students whizzed past their traditional counterparts this year — making greater gains in math and science, new data shows.

NORTH CAROLINA

Six New Charlotte-Area Charters Get Early Nod
Charlotte Observer, NC, July 17, 2012

Six new Charlotte-area charter schools got preliminary approval from a state advisory panel Tuesday, with review of more applications coming Wednesday.

OHIO

Kids Should Be Allowed To Learn At Own Pace
Columbus Dispatch, OH, July 18, 2012

Deciding what to teach children based on how old they are makes no more sense than basing their lessons on how much they weigh, or how tall they are.

OKLAHOMA

TPS Charter School Compact Allows For Better Collaboration
Tulsa World, OK, July 18, 2012

Tulsa Public Schools and its board of education are charting a new course in their relationships with charter schools.

PENNSYLVANIA

Tighten Charter School Law
York Dispatch, PA, July 17, 2012

It’s time for the Legislature to revisit the state charter school law and tighten it to deal with companies profiting at the expense of our school districts.

Charter School Exemptions Make For An Uneven Education
Wilkes Barre Times-Leader, PA, July 18, 2012

GOV. TOM Corporate and the Republican majority in the Legislature continue to prove that, for them, “education reform” is just code for “privatization.”

SOUTH CAROLINA

Be Wary of State School District
Greenville News, SC, July 18, 2012

A proposal by state Superintendent Mick Zais to create a state school district to oversee failing schools in South Carolina has the potential to help those public schools that are struggling, but it would need to be implemented in a very measured way that doesn’t strip control and accountability from local districts for the long term.

Law Gives Some Parents Choice Of School Districts
Anderson Independent Mail, SC, July 17, 2012

A law passed by the South Carolina legislature this session would allow some Anderson County residents to choose which district their children go to school in.

Crawford to Lead Legacy Charter School
Greenville News, SC, July 18, 2012

Fred Crawford, who took over as principal of Greenville Tech Charter High 10 years ago when it was struggling to survive and led it to become one of the highest achieving schools in the state, has been named executive director of Legacy Charter School.

TENNESSEE

Teacher Evaluation System Fails Real-Life Test
Jackson Sun, TN, July 17, 2012

In the “be careful what you wish for” department, we note the following: State lawmakers’ much touted teacher evaluation system created under 2010 education reform legislation gets failing marks. Not so much the teachers, mind you, but the evaluation process itself.

WASHINGTON

Let Parents Choose Schools
Smithfield Herald, WA, July 17, 2012

Parental choice or administrative greed? Which one should take precedent when the education of our county’s children is at stake?

WISCONSIN

State Unveils Tougher Grading System For Students, School Districts
Wausau Daily Herald, WI, July 18, 2012

About half of Wisconsin students achieved what amounts to a passing score under a new, tougher grading system for reading and math tests released Tuesday by the state Department of Public Instruction.

ONLINE SCHOOLS

The ‘Other’ Online Charters Get Ready for New School Year in NJ
New Jersey Spotlight, NJ, July 18, 2012

Two charters that blend virtual teaching with traditional classroom education have been approved by state DOE

State Board Rejects Appeals From Three Virtual Charter Schools in Miami-Dade
Miami Herald, FL, July 17, 2012

They were among the first applications to open full-time, web-based charter schools in Miami-Dade, under a state law passed last year.

Education: Online School Recruiters In Town
WKYC, OH, July 17, 2012

E-schools or virtual schools are skyrocketing in Ohio. In fact, Ohio is number two in the nation for the number of full-time online students.

Bradley County Virtual School Keeps Growing
Cleveland Daily Banner, OH, July 18, 2012

Bradley County’s newest school will open this fall, without any construction costs.

Virtual School’s Scores Disputed
The Advocate, LA, July 18, 2012

A teachers union leader criticized the academic performance of Louisiana’s first all-grades online charter school on Tuesday.