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Daily Headlines for January 17, 2013

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NATIONAL COVERAGE

Teachers Unions Support Obama’s School Safety Initiatives
Washington Post Blog, DC, January 16, 2013

The nation’s two main teachers unions, representing about 4.5 million educators and school personnel, support Obama’s initiatives regarding school safety.

FROM THE STATES

ARKANSAS

School Choice Law Hits Appellate Court
KARK, AR, January 16, 2013

Arkansas’ school choice law is in the limelight in St. Louis. The 8th District Court of Appeals is hearing the case after a federal judge in Hot Springs declared the law unconstitutional.

CALIFORNIA

Help School Districts By Letting Them Raise Their Own Tax Revenue
Los Angeles Times, CA, January 16, 2013

To do so, the state Legislature would need to reduce the voter threshold needed for levying parcel taxes from two-thirds to 55%.

CONNECTICUT

4 New City Charter Schools Proposed
New Haven Independent, CT, January 16, 2013

After two more young men connected to his congregation died of gun violence, Rev. Eldren D. Morrison concluded the need for a new charter school in Dixwell and Newhallville had grown all the more urgent: “the need is between life and death.”

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA

D.C. Principals, Georgetown Launch Leadership Program
Washington Post, DC, January 16, 2013

A group of 25 principals of D.C. public schools this week began a master’s-degree program at , part of an effort to improve the quality of leadership in the city’s schools.

D.C. Leads Nation In Strength Of Charter School Laws, Report Says
Washington Post, DC, January 16, 2013

The District leads the nation in terms of the strength of its public charter school laws and their implementation, according to a new report issued Wednesday by a national group that supports charter schools.

FLORIDA

State, Teachers Union Spar Over Merit Pay
Tallahassee Democrat, FL, January 17, 2013

After two hours of arguments, Judge John Cooper seemed certain of one thing: It will likely be up to an appellate judge or the state Supreme Court to decide ultimate fate of Florida’s law tying teacher pay to student test scores.

Proposed Clay Charter School Faces Denial
Florida Times Union, FL, January 16, 2013

A proposed performing arts charter school in Orange Park has failed for the second time to meet state application standards required to open, according to two reviews by Clay County school district officials.

GEORGIA

Dekalb School Board Tries To Hang On To Jobs
Atlanta Journal-Constitution, GA, January 17, 2013

Members of the DeKalb County school board will ask the state school board Thursday to let them keep their jobs.

INDIANA

School Standards Divide Hoosiers
The Journal Gazette, IN, January 17, 2013

A divide over new national education standards hit the Indiana Senate on Wednesday, with the education panel hearing four hours of testimony criticizing and supporting the measure.

LOUISIANA

Muhammad: Charter Would Be ‘Damaging’
Monroe News Star, LA, January 17, 2013

Monroe City School Board President Verbon Muhammad believes that losing Neville High School to the state’s Board of Elementary and Secondary Education for oversight of its charter would be “further damaging” to the school district.

John White Scores 3.15 Of 4 In First Year As State Superintendent
Times-Picayune, LA, January 16, 2013

State Superintendent John White may push controversial programs, but he’s largely pleasing his bosses, the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education. White earned a preliminary score of 3.15 out of 4 on his first performance review Wednesday.

Activist Says Creationism Is Taught In 20 Louisiana Private Schools That Could Enroll Voucher Students
Times-Picayune, LA, January 16, 2013

Louisiana anti-creationism advocate Zack Kopplin has launched a national database of 300 schools that are partly publicly funded and teach creationism, the belief that all living organisms originate from divine creation, as in the biblical account. The site,creationistvouchers.com, lists 20 such schools in Louisiana.

Time To Reform Public Schools
The Daily Advertiser, LA, January 17, 2013

It looks like the school voucher program is going to be declared unconstitutional.

MARYLAND

Charter Evaluation A Flawed Measure Of Baltimore Montessori’s Success
Baltimore Sun, MD, January 16, 2013

I am writing to share one perspective on the charter renewal process and provide more information about Baltimore Montessori Public Charter School (“Panel urges cutting ties to 6 schools,” Jan. 11). We set out to offer a personalized approach to teaching and learning for kids in Baltimore. How? By embracing the whole child, providing inspiring and challenging work within a very diverse and supportive community.

MASSACHUSSETTS

Charter Students Join New Schools
Boston Globe, MA, January 17, 2013

In the wake of last week’s closing of the Gloucester Community Arts Charter School, more than 20 teachers received pink slips, while parents scrambled to find new schools for their children.

Sturgis Charter School Holds Lottery For Next Year
Bourne Courier, MA, January 16, 2013

Sturgis Charter Public School selected 180 9th graders for the 2013-14 school year in a lottery last week. The school received 563 Grade 9 applications, an increase of 35 percent over the previous year.

Achievement Gap Plan Includes “Hard Work”
North Adams Transcript, MA, January 17, 2013

The school district’s efforts to close its achievement gap is being handled in an egalitarian manner: Everyone in each building, from students on up, must work harder, officials say.

MICHIGAN

Judge To Hear Arguments In Dispute Between DPS, Emergency Financial Manager
Detroit News, MI, January 17, 2013

A judge will hear oral arguments Feb. 20 in a dispute between the Detroit school board and Emergency Financial Manager Roy Roberts over control of academics and finances in the state’s largest district.

Snyder’s Education Push Puts Spotlight On Lansing Schools
Lansing State Journal, MI, January 17, 2013

If Lansing educators thought they dodged a bullet when an education reform measure died last month in the Legislature, Gov. Rick Snyder gave them new reason Wednesday to be worried.

MINNESOTA

Minnesota Schools Still Separate, Still Unequal
Twin City Daily Planet, MN, January 16, 2013

Minnesota was the first state in the nation to allow charter schools in 1991. While still technically public schools, charter schools are only subject to a selection of the rules and regulations that apply to most public schools.

MISSISSIPPI

Miss. Senate Approves Expanded Charter School Bill
Sun Herald, MS, January 16, 2013

A bill to expand charter schools in Mississippi easily cleared the Senate on Wednesday, and attention shifts to the House for the second year.

Charter Schools Pass Senate
Desoto Times, MS, January 17, 2013

Charter school legislation passed the Mississippi Senate Wednesday 31-17, with one DeSoto County state senator voting for it and the other against it.

NEW HAMPSHIRE

State Board Of Education Panel Reaffirms No New Charter School Dollars Available
Union Leader, NH, January 17, 2013

The chairman of the state Board of Education on Wednesday reaffirmed the board’s ban on approving any new charter schools in New Hampshire until the Legislature provides additional funding.

Academy For Science And Design Charter Renewed For Five Years
Nashua Telegraph, NH, January 17, 2013

Students and staff at the Academy of Science and Design can breathe easier, after the state Board of Education voted to renew its charter for another five years.

NEW MEXICO

School Choice Improves Educational Outcomes
Las Cruces Sun-News, NM, January 17, 2013

School Choice Week is right around the corner. This year’s celebration includes a special cross-country “whistle stop” train tour with stops in 14 cities from coast-to-coast, including Albuquerque. Our celebration takes place on Saturday, Jan. 26 at the Albuquerque Museum in Old Town. More information is available on the Rio Grande Foundation’s website. Please come out to support school choice in New Mexico!

NEW YORK

Deadline Imminent For City Teacher Evaluation System
NY 1, NY, January 1, 2013

Today is the deadline for the city to figure out how to rate its school teachers, but as of last night there is still no deal in place between the city Department of Education and the United Federation of Teachers.

A Stubborn Union Blocks Reform
New York Daily News, NY, January 17, 2013

If Gov. Cuomo makes good on his promise, New York City schools will forfeit hundreds of millions of dollars in state aid Friday — all because the United Federation of Teachers and the Department of Education will have failed by Thursday’s midnight deadline to agree to a plan to evaluate teachers on student performance and other important measures.

Teachers Union President Michael Mulgrew Is About To Cost The City Millions In State Aid
New York Daily News, NY, January 17, 2013

With hours to go before Gov. Cuomo’s deadline for school districts and their unions to negotiate and have approved rigorous teacher evaluation systems, talks between the city and the United Federation of Teachers are dead in the water.

20% Or More Bad Teachers Clustered At 14 Brooklyn Schools, Study Finds
New York Daily News, NY, January 16, 2013

They’re the unfortunate 14 — Brooklyn public schools with 20% or more bad teachers.

School Bus Strike In New York City Enters 2nd Day
Associated Press, January 17, 2013

A standoff between striking school bus drivers and aides looking for job protections and a city administration that says they just can’t have it has the potential to go on for some time, observers said, as parents scrambled for a second day to figure out alternatives for tens of thousands of students who need to get to school.

OHIO

School Reformer Backs Kasich’s Efforts
Columbus Dispatch, OH, January 17, 2013

A national education leader who has the ears of Gov. John Kasich and other Ohio GOP leaders says the state’s education system has improved, and she hopes this year to help push additional reforms through the General Assembly.

OKLAHOMA

Oklahoma City Public Schools Officials Outline Reasons For Rejecting Charter Schools
The Oklahoman, OK, January 17, 2013

Oklahoma City Public Schools officials have announced why two charter school applications were rejected. The school district’s attorney declined to release the information after the board voted to decline the applications.

PENNSLYVANIA

Hard-Hit Districts Push Back Against Charter Schools
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, PA, January 17, 2013

Western Pennsylvania school districts that are losing students and money to charter schools are fighting back.

Recovery Chief Says Merger Not An Option For Duquesne
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, PA, January 17, 2013

A merger of Duquesne City School District with a neighboring district is no longer being considered, state-appointed chief recovery officer Paul B. Long told a forum on Wednesday.

Pittsburgh Public Schools Recommends Granting Hazelwood Charter School Request
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, PA, January 16, 2013

A Pittsburgh Public Schools review committee has recommended the school board grant a request from Propel Schools to open a charter in Hazelwood this fall, but it is not clear the board would agree when it votes Jan. 23.

Championship Academy Plan Draws Criticism From City Schools Administration
The York Dispatch, PA, January 17, 2013

Championship Academy of Distinction had the second half of its hearing with the York City School Board on Wednesday. The hearing was the board’s last chance to ask questions of founder Cynthia Dotson, who wants to create a fitness and sports-themed charter school based at the YWCA.

TENNESSEE

Rejected Memphis Charter School Operators Plead Their Cases To The State
Commercial Appeal, TN, January 16, 2013

Charter school operators previously rejected by the Unified Shelby County Schools board took their cases to the state Wednesday, explaining why they are qualified to run schools and why the local decision to deny the charters should be overturned.

Giving Students Attending Failing School More Charter School Options Is Key, No Matter Who Approves Charters
Commercial Appeal, TN, January 17, 2013

It looks like the Tennessee General Assembly this session will consider legislation challenging the ability of local school boards to manage their own affairs.

TEXAS

Area School Districts Opposed To Vouchers
Weatherford Democrat, TX, January 17, 2013

As superintendents and school board presidents representing the Aledo, Azle, Brock, Garner, Millsap, Paradise, Peaster, Poolville, Santo, Springtown, and Weatherford independent school districts we know that our public schools are under attack.

ONLINE LEARNING

Cheboygan Area Schools Starting Virtual School In Late January
Cheboygan News, MI, January 17, 2013

Cheboygan Area Schools is taking a preemptive step in the future of education, announcing plans for a virtual school that will begin serving students later in January.

‘Flipped Classroom’ Offers One Solution To Homework Overload
Beacon News, IL, January 16, 2013

Everyone hates homework. Students complain about doing it, teachers hate correcting it, and parents feel helpless when they lack the expertise to help with it.

Colorado Virtual Academy Answers Tough Questions on Operations, Academic Performance
KUNC, CO, January 17, 2013

Officials at Colorado Virtual Academy were in the hot seat Wednesday night as the school’s authorizing district questioned everything from its academic performance to its relationship with the for-profit management company, K12 Inc.