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Daily Headlines for September 5, 2012

Suits Challenge Classrooms That Segregate Boys, Girls
Wall Street Journal, September 5, 2012

Public-school students in some parts of the country this year are going back to very different classrooms than they are used to: ones with both boys and girls.

What The Democrats Won’t Say About Education
Washington Examiner, DC, September 4, 2012

Although Democrats talk a lot about economic inequality, one of its most powerful remedies, school choice, will be missing from speeches at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte , N.C.

The Left’s Education Divide
American Spectator, September 5, 2012

At the Democratic convention, a choice between children and teachers unions.

What Democratic Platform Says On Education
Washington Post Blog, DC, September 4, 2012

Here are portions of the Democratic Party’s 2012 platform that discuss education and school reform. The platform was approved Tuesday by convention delegates meeting in Charlotte, N.C. , to formally nominate President Obama to seek re-election. You can read the education portion of the Republican Party’s 2012 platform here.

FROM THE STATES

CALIFORNIA

USC Charter School Opens in Downtown
Daily Trojan, CA, September 4, 2012

USC Hybrid High School, a new independent charter school developed by the USC Rossier School of Education, opened Tuesday at the World Trade Center in Downtown Los Angeles to 100 students.

Another Look at Charter Schools’ Results
San Jose Inside, CA, September 4, 2012

I take great pride in the work we have done the last few years to change the conversation when it comes to the achievement results from publicly funded schools. The status quo was unacceptable: 50 percent of San Jose ’s students scored below grade level proficiency on math and language arts on California Standards test, and there was an achievement gap of at least 30 percent.

Hurdles Cleared, Charter School Opens Downtown
Stockton Record, CA, September 5, 2012

Brandishing crib notes and a microphone, TEAM Charter School Director Dillon Delvo led his new students Tuesday morning in a pledge laden with audacious ambitions for the children who were taking it.

LAUSD Proposes New Teacher-Evaluation System, Negotiating With UTLA
San Gabriel Valley Tribune, CA, September 4, 2012

Under a court order to demonstrate that they’re trying to devise a new teacher evaluation system, Los Angeles Unified officials said Tuesday that they’ve presented formal proposals and continue to negotiate with union leaders.

Oakland School Aims To Help Black Boys
San Francisco Chronicle, CA, September 4, 2012

In the first hour of the first day of school Tuesday, the sixth-grade Oakland boy was sure he was in trouble for goofing off.

A Democrat Serious About School Reform
Victorville Daily Press, CA, September 4, 2012

Gloria Romero is that rarest of all political birds, a pro-labor Democrat who seeks to reform education in California . Ms. Romero is a Barstow native, and served as California’s Senate majority leader from 2001 to 2008. But term limits meant her legislative career would be over in 2010, so she opted to become chairman of the State Senate’s Education Committee, where she pushed reforms to increase teacher and school accountability.

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA

High-Performing Teachers In Low-Income D.C. Schools To Get Fastest Raises
Washington Post, DC, September 5, 2012

High-performing D.C. public school teachers who work in high-poverty schools will be able to accelerate through the pay scale to reach top compensation levels more quickly under a “career ladder” announced Tuesday.

FLORIDA

Low-Income Parents Deserve A School Choice, And Other Opinions
Florida Times Union, FL, September 4, 2012

What is a low-income family to do with failing schools and the inability to move to a better school system?

Pasco Superintendent Accuses Charter School Of Trying To ‘Cherry-Pick’ Brightest Students
St. Petersburg Times, FL, September 5, 2012

Pasco schools superintendent Heather Fiorentino on Tuesday accused a well regarded charter school of attempting to “cherry-pick” only the brightest students to attend its classes.

Dispute Between Pasco , Charter School Goes To Mediation
Tampa Tribune, FL, September 5, 2012

After six months of contract talks failed, the Pasco County School District and a charter school will turn to a mediator to settle a dispute over how the school determines which students to enroll.

Seminole Rejects 1 Charter-School Application, Considers 2 Others
Orlando Sentinel, FL, September 4, 2012

A new, financially struggling private school in Longwood that hoped to get tax dollars by becoming a charter operation was rejected Tuesday by Seminole County school officials, who said state law would prohibit the change.

A Ringside Seat For Debate Over School Choice
Florida Times Union , FL, September 4, 2012

It was an extraordinary moment in a job that is full of them. One morning during WJCT’s “First Coast Connect,” public schools advocate and former news anchor Deborah Gianoulis said that proponents of school choice want to “dismantle” public education.

GEORGIA

Georgia PTA Reiterates Opposition To Charter Schools Amendment
Atlanta Journal-Constitution, GA, September 4, 2012

The Georgia PTA has reiterated its opposition to the hotly debated proposed constitutional amendment on charter schools.

ILLINOIS

New Opportunities
Lake County News Sun, IL, September 4, 2012

Lake County educational opportunities took another step Tuesday with the opening of the LEARN Public Charter School at Naval Station Great Lakes.

Public Gives Opinion On Greentek Charter School
WREX, IL, September 5, 2012

Community members get a chance to discuss what could be Rockford ‘s newest charter school. But not before school board members and administrators got to ask some questions of their own. Board representatives had two hours worth of questions before the public could even speak.

With CPS Strike Looming, Parents In The Dark
Chicago Tribune, IL, September 4, 2012

With a possible teachers strike just five days away, Chicago Public Schools parents are being given only a sparse outline of the district’s plan for students if there is a walkout.

Revealed: The Chicago Teachers Pact
Chicago Tribune, IL, September 5, 2012

We interrupt preparations for a Chicago schools strike — union members chanting, “Enough is enough,” district officials conjuring alternative activities for children — with a bulletin:

LOUISIANA

Board To Look At Teacher Evaluations
The Advertiser, LA, September 4, 2012

After more than a month of delays, the Lafayette Parish School Board could approve a new layoff policy to comply with the state’s new teacher evaluation system.

MASSACHUSETTS

Lawrence Schools Need Overhaul, And Union Shouldn’t Have Veto Power
Boston Globe, MA, September 5, 2012

There’s finally some hope for Lawrence’s perpetually troubled schools. The state, which pays close to 90 percent of school costs there, has taken over the district; Jeff Riley, who has proved his mettle in other education reform efforts, has been appointed to lead the turnaround; Riley has developed a bold plan that, in June, was approved by Commissioner of Education Mitchell Chester.

Hub School Officials Counter Union Contract Proposal
Boston Herald, MA, September 4, 2012

Negotiators for the Boston Teachers Union are huddling tonight to come up with a response to a contract proposal they received from city school officials this morning aimed at resolving a two-year impasse with Hub teachers.

Lighthouse Charter Moves Into New Harwich Digs
Cape Cod Times, MA, September 5, 2012

Although the Lighthouse school gets some money from the state, it has to use money from its operating budget, along with fundraising, to pay those expenses. Towns also send money to the charter schools to pay for their students who choose to attend.

MICHIGAN

Court Fights Loom Over School Pension Law, Pay Deductions
Detroit News, MI, September 5, 2012

Michigan’s teachers went back to school Tuesday and their labor unions went back to court, temporarily blocking full implementation of a new law affecting school employee retirement benefits hours after Gov. Rick Snyder signed it.

NEW JERSEY

‘Choice’ Program Benefits Students
Cherry Hill Courier Post, NJ, September 5, 2012

Last year, 19 public school districts in Camden , Gloucester and Burlington counties opened their doors (and empty seats) to accepting a limited number of students from other towns who wanted the chance at a better education.

Governor Expands School Choice Program, and So Does Ocean City
Ocean City Gazette, NJ, September 5, 2012

Gov. Chris Christie is doubling New Jersey’s Interdistrict Public School Choice program, signed into law in 2010, by expanding it to over 6,000 students in 107 school districts.
Ocean City, which was one of 56 school districts selected to participate for the 2011-2012 school year, is entering its second year of the growing program.

NEW YORK

State Puts 16 Borough Schools On New Poor-Performing List
Times Ledger, NY, September 5, 2012

Under a new assessment system, the state Education Department last week identified 16 Queens schools that were failing to help disadvantaged students make progress on state exams.

School District Bets Future on Real Estate
New York Times, NY, September 5, 2012

This tiny farm-country community is having a back-to-school sale, on the schools themselves. Interested in a well maintained, one-owner elementary with playground and orchard view? Or a 1990s charmer, now used for teaching second through fifth grades but convenient to shopping and the Interstate?

NORTH CAROLINA

Wake Adds Magnet Program To Three Schools
News & Observe , NC, September 5, 2012

Wake County parents will have three new magnet schools to choose from next year, and two schools will get new magnet themes.

OHIO

Ohio Welcomes Teach for America
Cleveland Plain Dealer, OH, September 4, 2012

Just as Gov. John Kasich promised in his State of the State address in 2011,Teach for America graduates finally can teach in Ohio . So far, about 50 are assigned for the next two years to several Cleveland charter schools and a handful of area public schools, while other teachers from the organization will be working elsewhere in the state.

PENNSYLVANIA

Criminal Parents? They Just Want A Better Education For Their Child
Philadelphia Inquirer, PA, September 5, 2012

WHAT SHOULD the penalty be for two Philadelphia parents caught sending their child just to a neighboring school district just over the Philadelphia border? In the spectrum of law enforcement, what is the appropriate punishment for these parents trying to get their elementary-school-age daughter a better education in a suburban school district?

Turning Around A Low Achieving School
CBS Philly News, PA, September 5, 2012

With 54% of students performing below or at grade level, new principal Suzanne Gimenez, was one of 26 administrators charged with turning a school around in one of Charlotte-Mecklenburg’s neediest schools.

Pocono Mountain Charter School Opens for 10th Year
Pocono Record, PA, September 5, 2012

Be in uniform. No gum or candy. And no cellphones, except at lunch. Pocono Mountain Charter School Dean of Students Clara Williams read off those rules to a group of students during Tuesday’s first day of classes.

VIRGINIA

Charter School Plan Denied in Rockbridge County
Roanoke Times, VA, September 5, 2012

After about a year of planning and review, the Rockbridge County School Board on Tuesday quashed plans for Virginia’s first rural charter school — which would have been located in a shuttered elementary school west of Lexington .

Mckenna: Charter Schools ‘Clearly’ Constitutional
Spokesman Review Blog , WA, September 4, 2012

Charter schools would be constitutional in Washington state under the system proposed by this year’s ballot initiative, Attorney general and would be governor Rob McKenna said Tuesday.

Maple Grove Starts New Era As A Charter Program
Wausau Daily Herald, WI, September 4, 2012

More than 100 students got their first taste Tuesday of the new hands-on, project-based style of learning now being used at Maple Grove School .

ONLINE SCHOOLS

Profiteers From Away Putting Us In Their Pocket
Morning Sentinel, ME, September 5, 2012

A scathing investigation by Maine Sunday Telegram writer Colin Woodard should cause lawmakers to put the brakes on Maine ‘s virtual school and digital learning programs and ask who these policies are really designed to help.

Schools Now Offer High School Online
The-News-Leader, OH, September 5, 2012

Area high school students now have the option of attending high school online through the school district. Students who enroll in the new “Digital Knights” program can take classes entirely online through the district. If they sign up, the schools will even lend them a laptop computer and allow them to earn a diploma.

Virtual Schools And Real Profits: Industry Shapes State Policies
Atlanta Journal Constitution Blog , GA, September 5, 2012

The Portland Press Herald and Maine Sunday Telegram published an impressive investigation on a trend that we are seeing in Georgia : For-profit online k-12 schools “aiding” legislators in writing laws that create a demand and favorable climate for their product.

Locals Enjoy Online School Option
Santa Maria Times, CA
September California Virtual Academies, a tuition-free online K-12 public school, was just getting off the ground the postcard announced.