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Daily Headlines for February 26, 2013

NEWSWIRE IS BACK! Click here for the latest weekly report on education news and commentary you won’t find anywhere else, spiced with a dash of irreverence, from the nation’s leading voice in school reform.

Report: Low Graduation Rates Mean Billions In Missed Income For Dropouts, State Budgets
Washington Post, DC, February 25, 2013

High school dropouts are costing some $1.8 billion in lost tax revenue every year, education advocates said in a report released Monday.

Teachers Not Gung-Ho On Guns At School
USA Today, February 26, 2013

The online survey of 10,661 teachers and administrators from all 50 states, due out Wednesday, was conducted in late January by the School Improvement Network.

FROM THE STATES

ALASKA

Three ‘Maybes’ And Two ‘Maybe Nots’
Juneau Empire, AK, February 26, 2013

The discussion on school choice or education vouchers has me wondering if, maybe, I should embrace this idea.

ARIZONA

Online Tool Shows How Proposed Performance Funding Affects AZ Schools
Capital Times, AZ, February 26, 2013

A new online tool is designed to help parents, students, teachers and school leaders around Arizona see how newly-proposed performance funding will benefit their local schools.

CALIFORNIA

Black Students’ Learning Gaps Start Early, Report Says
Los Angeles Times, CA, February 26, 2013

African American pupils are far less likely to take college prep classes and more likely to miss school because of suspensions, a group finds, calling for strong intervention.

Parents Claim Families Breaking Residency Rules To Enroll Kids In Popular Studio City School
CBS Los Angeles, CA, February 25, 2013

Some parents claim families are breaking residency rules in order to enroll their children in a popular Studio City charter school.

FLORIDA

Cape Charter Schools Asking For Lee Co. Money
NBC2 News, FL, February 25, 2013

Cape Coral Charter Schools’ top boss is asking for what he calls a “fair share” of district money. Monday night he took his case to city leaders in hopes they’ll back him.

IDAHO

Why Idaho May Be Headed For A Fight Between School Districts And Charter Schools
Boise State Public Radio, ID, February 25, 2013

Tuesday lawmakers in Idaho’s House Education Committee hear from the public and vote on a bill to give more money to charter schools.

ILLINOIS

Chicago Public Schools Under The Wire With Increasing Charter Schools
Examiner.com, February 25, 2013

During President Obama’s recent visit to Chicago he spent much time, publicly touting the ways, and even the possible means, to address the physical safety of the nation’s children, “When a child opens fire on another child, there is a hole in that child’s heart that government can’t fill.

INDIANA

FWCS Draws Line On New Charters
The Journal Gazette, IN, February 26, 2013

With one member objecting, the Fort Wayne Community Schools board Monday approved a resolution in opposition to any new charter schools planning to conduct classes within the district’s boundaries.

State’s Voucher Bill Devalues Sacrifice
The Journal Gazette, IN , February 26, 2013

The Indiana school voucher program is unfair to thousands of Hoosier parents who are getting hosed.

LOUISIANA

KIPP Leaders Track Recent 70-Student Loss
The Lens, LA, February 25, 2013

KIPP’s New Orleans enrollment has dropped by 70 students, with an estimated half of those moving out of the area and others moving to other local schools.

MAINE

LePage Voucher Plan For Low-Income Pupils Is Met With Concerns
Portland Press Herald, ME, February 26, 2013

Some lawmakers say Maine is already cutting school funding, so it doesn’t make sense to siphon off more money.

MARYLAND

Montgomery County Teachers Union Might Fight State About Evaluations
Maryland Gazette, MD, February 25, 2013

Montgomery County’s teachers union might be preparing to fight the Maryland State Department of Education regarding the department’s new requirements for teacher evaluations.

Board Members Seek Input, Expertise During Process To Open Carroll’s First Public Charter School
Carroll County Times, MD, February 26, 2013

Board members from the nonprofit Sustainable Futures, Inc. made a request for expertise at its first public meeting Monday night. The group is working on an application to open a Montessori public charter school in Carroll County, the first of its kind.

MASSACHUSETTS

Renaissance Charter School On Probation
Boston Globe, MA, February 26, 2013

State officials placed the Boston Renaissance Charter School on probation Monday, formally putting the school on notice that it must improve student academic performance or risk closure when its charter comes up for renewal in two years.

Committee Approves A Plan That Would Restrict Choice
Boston Globe, MA, February 25, 2013

After a year of deliberations, a special committee convened by the mayor proposed a new student-assignment system in Boston that would allow more children to attend school in their own neighborhoods while still allowing an element of choice.

NEBRASKA

Nebraska Education Chief Slams Charter School Bill
World-Herald, NE, February 26, 2013

Nebraska Education Commissioner Roger Breed came out swinging Monday against a bill that would allow limited charter schools to be created in Omaha.

NEW MEXICO

Dispelling Charter School Myths
Albuquerque Journal, NM, February 26, 2013

For the next couple of months in this column, I am going to focus on dispelling some of the myths about charter schools. Although charter schools have been in existence in many states for many years, and in New Mexico since 1999, they remain somewhat of a mystery to many people.

NEW YORK

City Revises Figures for Parent Involvement
Wall Street Journal, February 26, 2013

In September, it seemed that the Department of Education wasn’t living up to its promise to get parents more involved in schools: An annual statistical report from Mayor Michael Bloomberg showed steep drop-offs in the number of parents attending meetings and workshops, and administration critics said it reflected deep dissatisfaction among parents.

UFT’s Own Charter In Trouble
New York Post, NY, February 26, 2013

A charter school run solely by the city teachers union could be shut down after state education officials identified a slew of serious academic, financial and management failures.

Citing ‘Urgency,’ Georgia Governor Ousts 6 Members of DeKalb County School Board
New York Times, NY, February 26, 2013

Gov. Nathan Deal removed six members of the DeKalb County School Board on Monday, trying to save the state’s third-largest school system by exercising a relatively new power in Georgia that allows him to supersede the choice of voters.

OHIO

Panel Selects 4 State Superintendent Finalists
Columbus Dispatch, OH, February 26, 2013

A State Board of Education subcommittee yesterday named four finalists for state school superintendent.

PENNSYLVANIA

Pittsburgh Charter And City Schools To Meet
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, PA, February 26, 2013

Pittsburgh Public Schools superintendent Linda Lane is trying to thaw the deep freeze in relations between the school district and charter schools.

Bear Creek Charter Fleshes Out Details Of Project
Times Leader, PA, February 25, 2013

It was another lengthy meeting for the Bear Creek Community Charter School board of trustees on Monday as it continued to drill down on the details of a $10 million new-school project.

Millcreek School Board Rejects Biosciences School
Erie Times-News, PA, February 26, 2013

The members of the Millcreek School Board turned down plans for a proposed new school in Millcreek Township, saying organizers did not have an adequate site and their curriculum was too similar to the Millcreek Township School District’s.

TENNESSEE

Herenton Says School Board Delaying On His Memphis Charter Requests
Commercial Appeal, TN, February 25, 2013

Former mayor Willie Herenton says the school board is purposefully dragging its feet on a decision to allow him to turn Northside High and Orleans Elementary into charter schools.

TEXAS

Not So Fast On More Charter Schools
Austin American-Statesman, TX, February 25, 2013

It was the “say what?” provision in the ambitious bill filed last week by state Sen. Dan Patrick to overhaul Texas’ charter school law: require public school districts to lease unused or underused buildings to charter operators for $1. By week’s end, Patrick, deflecting the backlash by blaming the provision on a clerical error, promised a rewrite.

Trustee: School Vouchers Hurting HCISD Funding
Valley Morning Star, TX, February 25, 2013

When the Harlingen School Board voted recently to oppose vouchers for private school attendance, they said they were trying to protect an already underfunded public school system.

School Districts Expanding Choices Of Students, Parents
Star-Telegram, TX, February 25, 2013

Public school districts are mobilizing to show that “school choice” is more than private-school vouchers and charter school startups.

Grand Prairie School-Choice Program’s Applications Double In Second Year
Dallas Morning News, TX, February 25, 2013

As Texas school funding is squeezed, districts like Grand Prairie ISD are using creative ways to address the problem by expanding educational choice.

WEST VIRGINIA

Teachers Unions Blast Tomblin School Reform Bill
Charleston Gazette, WV, February 25, 2013

West Virginia teachers union leaders swiftly denounced Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin’s sprawling education reform bill Monday, saying the legislation punishes teachers and does little to raise student achievement.

ONLINE LEARNING

Hill Recognized For Support Of Online Learning
Redmond Reporter, WA, February 25, 2013

Members of Washington state’s Digital Public Schools Alliance, who gathered at the state Capitol to lobby on behalf of online public schools, honored state Sen. Andy Hill with their “Pioneer Award” for his work on behalf of digital schools.

‘Flipped’ Classroom Boosts Achievement In St. Charles County Schools
St. Louis Post-Dispatch, MO, February 25, 2013

Not many days will you find April Burton lecturing to her French classroom at Francis Howell Central High School. Instead, she gives students lessons at home, via videos posted online.