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Daily Headlines for October 19, 2012

Rising Charter School Enrollment Seen As Challenge For Catholic Schools
Catholic News Service, October 18, 2012

For the first time, more children are enrolled in charter schools than in Catholic schools, reported the Lexington Institute, a think tank in Arlington , Va. , that focuses on the role of federal government in education reform, tax reform and national security.

FROM THE STATES

CALIFORNIA

Laverne Prep Wins By Landslide
Victorville Daily Press, CA, October 19, 2012

LaVerne Preparatory Academy will be the charter school transforming Desert Trails Elementary, winning the parent vote by a landslide late Thursday night, drawing cheers and hugs from the small crowd of parents and children gathered just outside the school.

Gates Foundation-Funded Education-Reform Group To Close
Los Angeles Times, CA, October 19, 2012

Communities for Teaching Excellence, the national organization based in L.A. , plans to close next month after its board voted to shutter it and the Gates philanthropy ended financial support.

Once Failing Highland Park School Making Strides
Bell Gardens Sun, CA, October 18, 2012

School officials last week held a ribbon cutting ceremony to celebrate the opening of three new buildings on the Northeast Los Angeles area campus. The event happened to coincide with the release of the state’s Academic Performance Index (API) reports that showed Burbank had increased its score by 100 points, far above the average increase across the district and the state.

Landmark California School Law Wins Key Court Ruling
Modesto Bee, CA, October 19, 2012

The Adelanto case, and Romero’s role, also underscore one very intriguing political development – a divide between the education establishment, including the powerful California Teachers Association, and some Democratic political figures, such as Romero, who see poor schools as a civil rights issue.

Big Money In Play In Oakland School Board Campaigns
Oakland Tribune, CA, October 18, 2012

Local school board races are often low-budget, low-profile affairs, and until now, Oakland has been no exception. But this year, two new political action committees have thrown themselves into the election, infusing once-lethargic races with energy — and cash.

COLORADO

School Choices Grew Out Of Community Desires, Changed Laws
North Denver Tribune, CO, October 18, 2012

Education discussion in NW continues to brew, and with greater frequency, boil. The neighborhood gentrification, which picked up speed in the late 1990s, brings a wave of kids and their educated middle-class parents who seek improvement in the quality and choices of schools.

New Tool Helps Families Match Students To Schools
9NEWS, CO, October 18, 2012

Colorado is one of the few states nationwide to offer the “open-enrollment” form of public-school choice. Open enrollment allows students to attend any school they choose to, regardless of where they live, provided the school has space.

DELAWARE

Capital School District Followed State Law In Dealing With Academy Of Dover, Superintendent Says
Dover Post, DE, October 18, 2012

Capital School District Superintendent Michael Thomas said Wednesday night that building principals followed state law when it came to dealing with students who showed up at their doors despite dual enrollment at a charter school.

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA

D.C. Losing De’Shawn Wright, Deputy Mayor For Education
Washington Post, DC, October 18, 2012

De’Shawn Wright, the D.C. deputy mayor for education, who has played a key role in decision making about the future of the city’s public schools, is leaving his post for a job in New York state, Mayor Vincent C. Gray (D) announced Thursday.

District Suit Alleges Woman Lived In Md. , Sent Daughter To D.C. School
Washington Post, DC, October 18, 2012

D.C. officials have filed a civil suit against the mother of a teenager who allegedly lived in Maryland while attending D.C. public schools for free, Attorney General Irvin B. Nathan announced Thursday.

FLORIDA

Clay School Board Gives Proposed Charter School More Time
Florida Times Union, FL, October 19, 2012

The Clay County School Board will waive its own policy to give a proposed performing arts charter school extra time to provide additional information proving it will meet state standards.

GEORGIA

Chair Denies Improper Act On Charter Vote
Marietta Daily Journal, GA, October 19, 2012

Lithia Springs activist James Bell filed a complaint with the state attorney general last week alleging the Douglas County Board of Education and Superintendent Gordon Pritz acted improperly by using public resources to take a public stand on a ballot question.

Charter Battle Not Just Politics
Cherokee Tribune, GA, October 19, 2012

For those who have been following the debate regarding Amendment One — the Charter Amendment — and wondering why everyone is so upset, I wanted to give you some final thoughts. For those of us in the thick of it, it’s a passionate subject that goes to the basic instinct of parents, what’s best for our kids and who is best to decide that.

GEORGIA

Gwinnett Education Officials: Public Schools Have Improved
Atlanta Journal-Constitution, GA, October 18, 2012

Having been warned about lobbying against the charter school amendment on taxpayer time, Gwinnett school officials are trying a new tact: touting the success of the state’s public schools.

INDIANA

More Kids Using Vouchers to Attend Private Schools
WIBC, IN, October 18, 2012

Alex Damron with the Department of Education says more than 9,000 students took advantage of the “Choice Scholarships” this school year. Students are eligible for a voucher if they meet certain income requirements, regardless of whether their public school is failing by the department’s standards.

Don’t Put Private Sector Before Public Education
Indianapolis Star, IN, October 18, 2012

As a retired classroom teacher with 30 years’ experience, I am concerned with the direction public education seems to be headed in Indiana . A free public education is one of the principles on which our country has been based, but the interests of the for-profit world seem to be impinging more and more into the classroom.

LOUISIANA

Superintendent Raps 4 School Systems
The Advocate, LA, October 19, 2012

School systems in St. Martin and three other parishes have failed to comply with a state law that bans the use of seniority in teacher layoff decisions, state Superintendent of Education John White said Thursday.

Option Proposed For Review Holes
The Advocate, LA, October 19, 2012

Public school teachers who get poor evaluations even though their students scored well could get special consideration, state Superintendent of Education John White said Thursday.

MISSISSIPPI

Parents Could Seek Charters At 35 Miss. Schools
WSLS, MS, October 18, 2012

Maybe you saw it on the big screen in “Won’t Back Down.” Parent takeovers of failing public schools could be coming to Mississippi .

MISSOURI

New Charter Schools Opening In St. Louis For 2013 School Year
KSDK, MO, October 18, 2012

Three new public charter schools will open in the City of St. Louis beginning next school year, Mayor Francis Slay said Thursday.

With Vote Looming, Support Endures For Student Transfer Program
St. Louis Post-Dispatch, MO, October 19, 2012

When a class at Clayton High set out to study race at its school, students inevitably touched on the effectiveness of the region’s voluntary transfer program.

MARYLAND

Teachers Should Know How They Are Graded
Maryland Impendent, MD, October 19, 2012

The Calvert County Board of Education last week announced three additional early dismissal days would be added to the school calendar next year in order to allow teachers extra time to learn how they would be evaluated under the new federal Race to the Top guidelines.

NEW JERSEY

Newark Teachers Contract, a Game-Changer for NJ’s Often-Troubled School District
New Jersey Spotlight, NJ, October 19, 2012

Pay for performance and peer reviews are radical changes — but they also show what can be done with $50 million in private funding

NEW MEXICO

APS Seeking Race to the Top Grant
Albuquerque Journal, NM, October 19, 2012

Albuquerque Public Schools is throwing its hat in the ring for a federal Race to the Top grant that could bring in up to $40 million in extra funding.

NEW YORK

Shameful Attack
New York Post, NY, October 19, 2012

I’ve been teaching in New York City public schools for six years — three in a traditional district school, and three at a Success Academy charter school. During this time, I’ve witnessed the annual protest brigade against Success public schools, and I thought I’d seen it all. But charter opponents took their extreme tactics to a new low last week.

PENNSYLVANIA

West Mifflin Area School Director: Give Us Charter School Pay Rate
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, PA, October 19, 2012

West Mifflin Area school director Phil Shar wants his district to sue the state Department of Education, claiming the district is owed hundreds of thousands of dollars for educating Duquesne students over the past five years.

Pa. House Skips Vote On Charter-School Bill
Philadelphia Inquirer, PA, October 19, 2012

The clock ran out on the Pennsylvania General Assembly’s two-year legislative session Wednesday with a big surprise: It failed to pass changes in charter-school law that had been supported by the Corbett administration and the Senate and House leadership.

House Failure To Pass Charter School Bill Disappoints York County Lawmakers
York Dispatch, PA, October 18, 2012

Frustration lingers for some York County lawmakers and educators after a charter school bill that would have addressed their concerns about funding and accountability died in the House.

TENNESSEE

Metro School Board To Weigh Legal Options Over Great Hearts
The Tennessean, TN, October 19, 2012

The Metro school board has apparently split from city attorneys in its rift with the state over Great Hearts Academies as board members weigh their next move after the state’s decision to withhold education funds.

Nashville Festival Lets Parents Learn School Choices
The Tennessean, TN, October 19, 2012

Parents began showing up as soon as Metro schools’ First School Choice Festival began Thursday afternoon and continued arriving into the night, with an estimated 1,000 people there at any one time.

TEXAS

Candidates Discuss Education Vouchers During Debate
Victoria Advocate, TX, October 18, 2012

Texas educators are opposed to issuing private school vouchers, Alex Hernandez Jr. said, and that’s why he is, too. His opponent, Rep. Geanie Morrison, however, said it was too soon to decide.

UTAH

Union Leaders Urge Teachers To Fight For What’s Right
Salt Lake Tribune, UT, October 18, 2012

Utah teachers must continue to fight. It was a message state and national teachers union leaders shared with those who attended the Utah Education Association’s (UEA) annual convention Thursday, an event that often attracts between 3,000 and 4,000 people.

WASHINGTON

Education Reform Opposition Slams Propositions
Spokesman Review, WA, October 19, 2012

The latest campaign commercial from opponents of Idaho’s education reform ballot measures focuses on Proposition 2, the teacher merit-pay measure, suggesting that Idaho ’s schools superintendent wants to “treat children like widgets.”

Separating Education From Creating Schools
Kitsap Sun, WA, October 18, 2012

It’s time for Washington State to join 42 other jurisdictions in expanding educational opportunities for our children. Please support the creation of charter public schools and vote Yes on I-1240.

‘Yes’ on I-1240, Charter Schools
Bellevue Reporter, WA, October 18, 2012

Few things are more important than education. Our children’s’ futures – and ours, too – hangs in the balance.

WYOMING

Committee Shapes Wyoming Teacher Evaluation System
Casper Star-Tribune, WY, October 19, 2012

A statewide system of evaluating teachers should have a balance of local and state control, according to an advisory committee to the Wyoming Legislature working to develop a framework for educator evaluations.

ONLINE SCHOOLS

Cumberland Valley Allows Cyber Charter School Students To Join Extracurricular Activities
Patriot News, PA, October 18, 2012

Cyber charter school students can now participate in extracurricular activities and interscholastic athletic programs in the Cumberland Valley School District .

DPI Planning ‘In-Depth’ Study of Virtual Schools
Fond du Lac Reporter, WI, October 18, 2012

The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction plans to conduct an “in-depth review” of Wisconsin virtual schools during the 2012-13 school year, fulfilling a recommendation made two and a half years ago following a nonpartisan audit.