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Daily Headlines for November 18, 2013

Click here for Newswire, 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.

NATIONAL COVERAGE

New York’s stalled pre-K initiative could get federal jump-start
Journal News, NY, November 17, 2013
Stalled efforts in New York and other states to provide universal prekindergarten for 4-year-olds would get a jump-start under a new congressional proposal.

Vouchers must be monitored to ensure school integration, U.S. says
Times-Picayune, LA, November 17, 2013
The U.S. Justice Department says Louisiana’s private school voucher program must be monitored to make sure it doesn’t make public school segregation worse. To that end, it wants the state to submit extensive student and school demographics each year.

STATE COVERAGE

CALIFORNIA

‘Parent trigger’ foes seek a shiny new lock
Opinion, Sacramento Bee, CA, November 16, 2013
California’s landmark parent empowerment law is one of the most innovative education policy reforms to come along in years. Letting parents take control of their children’s failing school is simply unheard of – revolutionary, divisive, status-quo-shattering and fraught with peril.

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA

Let’s celebrate D.C. learning gains, but let’s also keep things in perspective
Column, Washington Post, DC, November 17, 2013
It’s no surprise that news of big increases in D.C. public school scores on the much-respected National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) tests has been greeted with as much suspicion as applause. Those who care about D.C. schoolchildren have been disappointed too many times by gains that were not sustained.

School voucher group under fire for ‘untimely information’
Washington Times, DC, November 17, 2013
The Government Accountability Office has criticized the group that administers the District’s school voucher program, saying the agency provides “incomplete and untimely information” about schools to participating families, and calling for both internal improvements and a helping hand from outside agencies.

FLORIDA

Charter school oversight needs to come from St. Johns County school board

St. Augustine Record, FL, November 17, 2013
Last week The Record reported on concerns by local school officials that a new law could change the way charter schools are regulated in Florida.

IDAHO

Idaho’s top school isn’t for everyone
Coeur d’Alene Press, ID, November 16, 2013
The Coeur d’Alene Charter Academy is not a school for everyone. Three of the leader’s own children tried it, but returned to a traditional high school.

KANSAS

With competition around, Kansas City Public Schools plan recruitment fair
Kansas City Star, KS, November 17, 2013
Kansas City Public Schools are stepping up efforts to recruit families, hoping to get a jump on charter school competition and head off potential student transfers. A recruitment fair Dec. 7 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Paseo Academy, 4747 Flora Ave., will put all of the district’s schools, services and partners on display, spokeswoman Eileen Houston-Stewart said.

LOUISIANA

Magnet proposal irks board members
The Advocate, LA, November 17, 2013
Superintendent Bernard Taylor is once again looking to leverage the popularity of the East Baton Rouge Parish school system’s magnet program to attract more middle-income students to its schools.

MASSACHUSETTS

Officials on edge over charter school
The Daily Item of Lynn, MA, November 16, 2013
There will be a public hearing in City Hall Chambers on the Fenix Charter School, which is seeking to open in Lynn and will likely only heighten the already tense relationship school officials have with the alternative education systems.

Salem Academy turns 10
Salam News, MA
November 18, 2013
Charter school embraces culture where ‘it’s cool to be smart’.

State orders Boston to release teacher ratings
Boston Globe, MA, November 18, 2013
The Secretary of State’s Office has ruled the Boston public schools wrongfully withheld overall ratings of teacher performance at individual schools this summer in violation of the state’s public records law and ordered officials to release the data.

MICHIGAN

Proposed legislation upsets school board members
Press & Guide, MI, November 28, 2013
Dearborn Public School trustees expressed growing frustration at more possible state dictates and asked residents to call the legislators sponsoring the bills.

MISSOURI

How should teachers’ effectiveness be evaluated?
Springfield News-Leader, MO, November 17, 2013
While today’s approach is more subtle, teachers in Missouri are on the cusp of again being evaluated by student performances.

NEW MEXICO

Educators blast evaluation software program
Albuquerque Journal, NM, November 17, 2013
Teachscape, the $3.76 million software program at the heart of the state’s new teacher evaluation system, has become one of the most contentious aspects of the much-maligned process.

NEW YORK

At Forums, New York State Education Commissioner Faces a Barrage of Complaints
New York Times, NY, November 18, 2013
He has been shushed, booed, called imperious and mocked as the incomprehensible teacher who bleated on and on in Charlie Brown’s classroom.

Charter school leaders seek dialogue with de Blasio
Newsday, NY, November 17, 2013
Charter school leaders say they’re seeking an open dialogue with New York Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio and hoping he’ll reconsider his proposals to curb their growth and start charging rent to those the city decides can afford it.

Network of all-boys NYC public schools growing
Wall Street Journal, November 17, 2013
Once seen as sexist and outdated, the all-male educational model had been resurrected to serve New York City’s poorest boys, a group feared to be more likely to go to prison than college.

NORTH CAROLINA

Student 6 battles the achievement gap in CHCCS
Herald Sun, NC, November 17, 2013
Porras is a sophomore at East Chapel Hill High and one of about 20 of her peers working to help bridge the achievement gap in the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools by teaching teachers the reality of many of their minority students when it comes to education.

OHIO

Ohio school-choice movement hinges on whether parents are capable of parenting
Akron Beacon Journal, OH, November 15, 2013
Parents. How good are they? The 15-year-old school choice movement has prevailed in Ohio, shifting more than $1 billion in state taxes and more than 150,000 students to charter and private schools on this premise: Parents are capable of making good decisions about the education of their children.

State school board business is private business, too
Akron Beacon Journal, OH, November 17, 2013
Sometimes the private business of state school board members overlaps into their roles deciding policy for Ohio.

PENNSYLVANIA

3 charter schools apply to open in city next fall
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, PA, November 15, 2013
In a district already expecting to spend $54.9 million on charter schools in 2014, Pittsburgh Public Schools has received applications from three new charter schools for next fall and a request to expand an existing one.

Allentown School District bombarded with applications for new charter schools
The Express Times, PA, November 16, 2013
Two new Allentown charter schools have been proposed, at a time when district officials are already concerned about the thousands of students and millions of tuition dollars they are losing to existing cyber and charter schools.

Corbett ads defend his education record
Philadelphia Inquirer, PA, November 17, 2013
The radio ad is called “Looking out.” As inspirational music plays in the background, a female voice declares that Gov. Corbett believes deeply in public education and that his administration is funneling more state dollars into classroom instruction than ever before.

SRC remains leaderless, does most business as usual.
Philadelphia Inquirer, PA, November 18, 2013
For four weeks now, the body that runs the troubled Philadelphia School District has been leaderless.

Unchartered territory
Editorial, Philadelphia Daily News, PA, November 18, 2013
PARENTS considering sending their kids to charter schools – or Pennsylvania lawmakers who are considering sending charter-school bills out of committee for a vote – should answer the following questions:

SOUTH CAROLINA

District’s choice process is fairer
Editorial, Greenville News, SC, November 17, 2013
The Greenville County School District has made a wise and equitable decision by abandoning a first-come, first-served policy for public school choice slots at the district’s schools.

Report: SC charter schools have inadequate access to facilities, amenities

Island Packet, SC, November 17, 2013
Public charter schools are made to be different. They create a unique school environment, develop different teaching methods, and allow parents and teachers to be innovative, advocates say.

TENNESSEE

Brainerd High raises the bar: Emphasis on academics breathes new life into the school
Times Free Press, TN, November 18, 2013
Brainerd’s perpetual poor performance landed the school in the state’s crosshairs. After finishing in the bottom 5 percent of all Tennessee schools academically, Brainerd is now operating within a federal school turnaround effort called the iZone. That effort brought new money to Brainerd, but also mandated changes.

Charter schools prompt concerns about money in Tennessee
WRCB-TV, TN, November 17, 2013
Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools officials say they’re under financial siege from rapidly multiplying charter schools. And the state’s three other large school districts — including Hamilton County — fear they’re next.

WASHINGTON

Charting a new course for Washington public schools
Daily Sun News, WA, November 15, 2013
“To have been in a charter school is to believe in a charter school,” says Dr. Shelley Redinger, superintendent of Spokane Public Schools.

WISCONSIN

School voucher advocate, community activist face off for Assembly seat
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, WI, November 17, 2013
A special election Tuesday to fill a south suburban Milwaukee Assembly seat pits a Republican school voucher advocate against a Democratic community activist and newcomer to the district.

ONLINE LEARNING

Board gets face time with East Ridge’s ‘blended learning’ program
Woodbury Bulletin, MN, November 17, 2013
An East Ridge High School program that supporters say offers a new dimension of learning but critics say departs too greatly from a traditional classroom experience got a full hearing Thursday at District 833 School Board.

Flipped” math classroom a hit in Fulton
Valley News Blog, NY, November 16, 2013
Two Fulton Junior High School math teachers presented on their new system to teach seventh- and eighth-graders math at the Nov. 12 school board meeting.

Lawmakers: Some virtual charters should be exempt from district report card ratings
Milwaukee State Journal, WI, November 18, 2013
The performance of Wisconsin virtual charter school students would no longer affect their school district’s overall state report card rating if more than half of the virtual school’s enrollment is from outside the district, under legislation proposed last month.