Daily Headlines for May 31, 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.

NATIONAL COVERAGE

Tea Party Groups Mobilizing Against Common Core Education Overhaul
Washington Post, DC, May 30, 2013

Tea party groups over the past few weeks have suddenly and successfully pressured Republican governors to reassess their support for a rare bipartisan initiative backed by President Obama to overhaul the nation’s public schools.

Rotten To The Core
Washington Times, DC, May 30, 2013

President Obama wants to be involved in drafting the curriculum in our local schools. It’s part of an initiative called “Common Core,” the brainchild of state educational bureaucrats crying out for more centralization. This administration is more than happy to advance this because it means a larger role for the federal government.

Ex-D.C. School Chief Rhee Urges Action To Fix Education ‘Crisis’
Detroit News, MI, May 30, 2013

America must face the fact that education needs to be fixed, school reform advocate Michelle Rhee said Thursday during her keynote address at the Detroit Regional Chamber’s Mackinac Policy Conference.

STATE COVERAGE

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA

Gray Administration Wants To Establish Unified Lottery For D.C. Public And Charter Schools
Washington Post, DC, May 30, 2013

The Gray administration is seeking to establish a unified enrollment lottery for the city’s traditional and charter schools in time to determine admissions for the 2014-15 school year, officials said Thursday.

GEORGIA

Mixed Marks On State Charters’ First Report Card
Columbus Ledger-Enquirer, GA, May 30, 2013

The first performance assessment of Georgia’s state-run charter schools is out, and it’s hard to say whether it’s good news, bad news or really no news at all.

Charter Council Projects Budget Shortfall Because Of Tax Payment
Cherokee Tribune, GA, May 30, 2013

The Georgia Charter Education Foundation Local Governing Council for Cherokee Charter Academy has projected a shortfall for this year’s budget due to an unanticipated property tax payment.

INDIANA

IRT Managing Director Exits For Charter-School Role
Indianapolis Star, IN, May 30, 2013

Indianapolis Repertory Theatre managing director Steven Stolen is taking a new job as regional director for charter school company Rocketship Indiana.

LOUISIANA

Senate Panel Rejects Teacher Review Delay
The Advocate, LA, May 30, 2013

A bill that would delay the major impact of Louisiana’s new teacher evaluations for one year failed in a state Senate panel Thursday.

MASSACHUSETTS

Time To Lift Limits On Charter Schools
Boston Herald, MA, May 31, 2013

Today, Massachusetts leaders face another moral dilemma as they consider legislation that would lift the cap on charter public schools in the commonwealth’s lowest-performing school districts. Thus far, the courage Robert Kennedy referred to is sorely lacking.

MICHIGAN

Education Key To Michigan’s Economy
Detroit News, MI, May 31, 2013

It’s not a new message: If Michigan is going to compete in an increasingly competitive global economy, schools here must do a much better job preparing their students. But it’s an important message, and education reformer Michelle Rhee emphasized it once again Thursday morning.

Detroit Charter School Students Told To Teach Themselves
MichiganLive, MI, May 30, 2013

Nicole Conaway, a teacher at Catherine Ferguson Academy for Young Women since 2006, says the new format is failing, teachers aren’t allowed to teach, and students are essentially left to fend for themselves without guidance.

MISSOURI

KIPP Charter School Wants To Build On Success
St. Louis Post-Dispatch, MO, May 31, 2013

For four years, they went to school from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., then completed two hours of homework each night. They attended classes on Saturdays. Their school years started in July, cutting one month off their summers.

NEW JERSEY

Charters Aren’t Causing Newark’s School Budget Woes:
Star-Ledger, NJ, May 31, 2013

In recent weeks, Newark Superintendent Cami Anderson has come under fire over a $57 million budget shortfall, projected for the school district next year. The blame should not rest on Anderson. Outdated state policies make it challenging for her to enact real reform that would solve the troubled school district’s systemic problems.

State Schools Takeover: All Quiet on the Camden Front
New Jersey Spotlight, NJ, May 30, 2013

For all of the melodrama that went with Gov. Chris Christie’s March announcement that the state planned to take control of Camden public schools, the culmination of those plans is generating fewer decibels and taking place more behind the scenes.

NEW YORK

Mandating Teacher Evaluations Is A King-Size Job For State Education Commissioner
New York Daily News, NY, May 31, 2013

Now is the time for state Education Commissioner John King to step up for New York City’s 1.1 million school children.

State Education Officials To Reveal New Teacher Evaluation System Saturday
New York Daily News, NY, May 31, 2013

The new state-imposed system to evaluate teachers and principals comes after competing plans from the city and unions were reviewed in the wake of the city losing $260 million in state funding.

NORTH CAROLINA

Charlotte Secondary School Hopes To Add Charter High School
Charlotte Observer, NC, May 31, 2013

A south Charlotte property company has filed a rezoning application with the city so that a charter middle school can add a high school.

PENNSYLVANIA

Mindless Matrix: Master’s Degrees And Master Teachers
The Intelligencer, PA, May 31, 2013

In addition to inflation increases, teachers receive salary increases for experience (vertical steps) and advanced education (horizontal steps). The current Council Rock matrix is illustrative. The most egregious abuse occurs in the additional compensation teachers are paid for worthless master’s degrees and educational credits.

Erie School Board Denies Charter For 2nd Time
Erie Times-News, PA, May 31, 2013

The founder of a proposed charter school is considering taking his case to the state Charter Appeal Board after the Erie School Board again denied the application for the school.

SOUTH CAROLINA

New Charter High School Readies To Open This Fall
Sun News, SC, May 30, 2013

Coastal Leadership Academy officials on Thursday welcomed guests to their new building, which was a countertop and surfacing warehouse a mere three weeks ago.

Bill Would Force Closure Of Failed Charter Schools
WACH, SC, May 30, 2013

South Carolina senators have advanced a bill making it easier to shut down a failing charter school.

SOUTH DAKOTA

Changes Ahead For Education
Rapid City Journal, SD, May 30, 2013

No Child Left Behind is finally being left behind. South Dakota is joining other states in adopting new education initiatives, new curriculum, new standardized tests and school accountability standards, and new methods for teacher and principal evaluations.

TENNESSEE

Metro Nashville Tries To Reduce School Hopping
The Tennessean, TN, May 31, 2013

Metro officials are exploring ways to reduce the number of students who exit their schools midyear as a spat rages over the departure of kids from Nashville’s charter schools prior to spring TCAP testing.

UTAH

Dixie Montessori Academy: State-Approved Charter Proceeds Despite School District Opposition
St, George Dixie Press, UT, May 30, 2013

More than a year away from opening its doors, the Dixie Montessori Academy charter school has already drawn support and opposition from educational peers in its quest to offer Washington County students and parents a new option.

WASHINGTON

Look To Colorado For Education-Reform Advice
Seattle Times, WA, May 30, 2013

Colorado is briskly reforming its public-education system. Washington state should take note.

WISCONSIN

Voucher Expansion Deal Appears Close
Wisconsin Radio Network, WI, May 31, 2013

A deal appears very close on an expansion of taxpayer-funded private school vouchers in Wisconsin. Statements from Republican leaders on Thursday indicated a deal was still in the works, but Senator Luther Olson, a Republican who had problems with the original proposal to expand private school vouchers to nine districts beyond Milwaukee and Racine, said he got a handshake from Governor Scott Walker.

ONLINE LEARNING

Data Support Disruption Theory As Online, Blended Learning Grow
Forbes, May 30, 2013

When Disrupting Class hit the bookstores five years ago, it contained a prediction that stunned many: by 2019, we said, 50 percent of all high school courses would be delivered online in some form or fashion.

Separate And Unequal Treatment For Cyber-Charter Students
Patriot News, PA, May 30, 2013

My child is a second-class student. This school year, the budget for my child’s public education is almost a third lower than the education budget for his peers in our school district. That’s because my child attends a public cyber school.

Key to Virtual High School Student’s Success Is Flexibility
Daily Commercial, FL, May 30, 2013

Anna White can’t say much about her high school because it doesn’t exist. There is no bricks-and-mortar building, since the school only exists in cyberspace.

Daily Headlines for May 30, 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.

NATIONAL COVERAGE

In Raising Scores, 1 2 3 Is Easier Than A B C
New York Times, NY, May 30, 2013

Educators, policy makers and business leaders often fret about the state of math education, particularly in comparison with other countries. But reading comprehension may be a larger stumbling block.

GOP Talks Up School Choice As Good Policy And Good Politics
Washington Times, DC, May 29, 2013

A Republican Party still reeling from the November elections is hoping that advocating for school choice can help the GOP recapture moderate voters, arguing that the issue provides a natural link between their limited-government philosophy and the average voter’s desire for good local schools.

Jeb Bush: ‘We Embrace School Choice Across The Board’
Detroit Free Press, MI, May 29, 2013

It was a speech that hit many of the right notes for a potential Republican presidential candidate. Kicking off the Mackinac Policy Conference today, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush talked about the need for education reform free of the constraints imposed by teachers unions.

Public, Charter Schools Team Up In Cleveland
CBS Evening News, May 29, 2013

For years, public schools in Cleveland had some of the worst test scores in America; only 7 percent of their students went on to college. But a unique partnership between traditional schools and high-performing charter schools is turning that around.

Education Is For Parents Too
Washington Post, DC, May 29, 2013

There was none on this exact point. A record 69 percent of Hispanic high school graduates in the class of 2012 enrolled in college that fall. But this was the only bright spot in the Pew survey.

STATE COVERAGE

CALIFORNIA

Did New Charter Fake Community Outreach?
Riverdale Press, CA, May 30, 2013

Arturo Toscanini Charter School doesn’t plan to open its doors before September 2014, but community leaders have already given it poor marks for community outreach.

LAUSD Submits Amended Application For No Child Left Behind Waiver
Long Beach Press-Telegram, CA, May 29, 2013

In response to concerns raised by federal regulators, Los Angeles Unified and eight other school districts have filed an amended application for a waiver from a federal law requiring that all students be proficient in English and math by 2014.

COLORADO

District, Union Clash Over Market-Based Salary Plan In Douglas County
Denver Post, CO, May 30, 2013

Douglas County School District administrators and teacher union representatives are at odds over a recently approved plan that injects $15.7 million into pay raises, bonuses and other compensation next school year.

CONNECTICUT

Education Reform Aims To Give Districts Some Room
The Day, CT, May 30, 2013

An education reform bill that passed the Senate 33-0 Wednesday builds on a 2012 law that strengthened statewide teacher evaluation requirements but provides some flexibility for local school boards.

Charter School Celebrates All Seniors Going To College
WTNH, CT, May 29, 2013

It’s a pretty impressive number, 100 percent of graduates at a New Haven high school will be going to college. This is the fourth year in a row the charter school is celebrating their students’ successes.

DELAWARE

Del. Budget Panel Discusses Charter School Funds
Star Democrat, DE, May 29, 2013

Members of the legislature’s budget-writing committee have rejected a Democratic lawmaker’s request to stop allowing charter schools to keep unspent student transportation funds.

FLORIDA

Pasco’s Dayspring Academy Charter School Seeks To Expand
Tampa Bay Times, FL, May 29, 2013

Pasco County’s oldest and most academically successful charter school is seeking an expansion. Dayspring Academy, co-founded by state Sen. John Legg and others in 2000, has informed Pasco school district officials of its intent to apply to open new campuses in Holiday and Hudson in 2014.

GEORGIA

About 1 In 3 Georgia Charter Schools Outperform Districts
Athens Banner-Herald, GA, May 29, 2013

Roughly one out of every three schools chartered by the state scored better in Georgia’s new ranking than the districts those schools are located in, the State Charter Schools Commission learned Wednesday.

ILLINOIS

Teachers Union Files Suit To Halt Closings
Chicago Tribune, IL, May 30, 2013

The Chicago Teachers Union filed a lawsuit Wednesday that seeks to keep 10 schools from being shuttered, the third such action aimed at reversing the Board of Education’s approval last week of closing 49 elementary schools and a high school program.

SD 227 Officials: No Further Legal Action Against Charter School
Southtown Star, IL, May 29, 2013

Legal action and heated arguments over funding have marked the relationship between Rich Township High School District 227 and Southland College Prep Charter High School since before the charter school in Matteson opened nearly three years ago.

Chicago Simmers Over School Closings. Is That Bad For Mayor Emanuel?
Christian Science Monitor, MA, May 29, 2013

The Chicago Teachers Union said it was filing a lawsuit protesting the school closings, adding to two filed by parents last week. Critics say they suspect Mayor Emanuel is paving the way for charter schools.

INDIANA

Nearly $5 Million To Be Returned To Indiana Public Schools From Voucher Program
Evansville Courier & Press, IL, May 30, 2013

Indiana’s voucher program could return just under $5 million to the state’s schools this year — nearly $800,000 more than last year, the state’s top school finance officer said Wednesday.

LOUISIANA

State School Board May Stop Landry/Walker Merger 2 Months Before New School Year
Times-Picayune, LA, May 29, 2013

Inching past the 11th hour, a committee of the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education voted Wednesday to consider delaying or stopping an unpopular merger between the West Bank high schools L.B. Landry and O. Perry Walker, two months before students are supposed to start.

Teacher Evaluation Change Clears Committee
The Advocate, LA, May 29, 2013

A bill that would prevent public school teachers from facing sanctions before their job evaluations are complete won approval Wednesday in the Louisiana House Education Committee.

MARYLAND

Staffing Frederick Classical Charter School
Frederick News-Post, MD, May 30, 2013

The Frederick Classical Charter School, by definition and intent, differs from the standard-model Frederick County Public Schools elementary school. FCCS’ curriculum, teaching methods and educational environment are designed to promote learning via a classical three-stage “trivium” consisting of grammar, logic and rhetoric.

Give Consumers Control Of School Spending
Baltimore Sun, MD, May 29, 2013

It’s easy to bash Baltimore schools for wasting federal money on extravagant chicken dinners when that money was supposed to serve some of the neediest children in the state, but this type of behavior, in a slightly more tame fashion, is routine (“Audit faults schools over federal funds,” May 23).

Baker Addresses Community About Prince George’s Schools Plan
Washington Post, DC, May 29, 2013

Prince George’s County Executive Rushern L. Baker III apologized Tuesday for surprising residents and state lawmakers with his plan to take over the county’s struggling schools but said he does not regret offering the proposal.

NEW HAMPSHIRE

Derry Charter School Hits Its Target Of 30 Students For First Year
Union Leader, NH, May 30, 2013

There will be a full house at the Next Charter High School when it opens its doors for the first time this fall.

NEW YORK

Why Charter School Myths Are Spreading
New York Daily News, NY, May 30, 2013

With Bloomberg on his way out, opponents hope this is a moment to slow a transformational education reform movement

Teach-Eval Final Debate
New York Post, NY, May 30, 2013

The state’s education boss is set to impose a new evaluation system for city teachers and principals by Saturday — now that a last-ditch deadline for a deal has come and gone.

NORTH CAROLINA

N.C. House Dems Blast Voucher Plan
New & Observer, NC, May 29, 2013

House Democrats panned the plan to offer parents vouchers send their children to private schools, saying it was an irresponsible use of tax money and a step in dismantling public schools.

OHIO

Charter School To Open In Former Goodyear Headquarters In East Akron
Akron Beacon Journal, OH, May 29, 2013

A charter school operator who touts its extended school days, longer school year and relatively high-performing classrooms is expanding into Akron and plans to open in the former Goodyear headquarters.

PENNSYLVANIA

Know Facts About Local Charter School
Pocono Record, PA, May 29, 2013

As a former administrator at Pocono Mountain Charter School, 2007-2011, I apologize for some facts you have not heard or may have forgotten. First, the teachers at the school work for 40 percent less while traveling from five counties. That’s about $20,000 per teacher savings.

School Officials Blast Education Funding Formulas
Delaware County Times, PA, May 29, 2013

Local school officials and education policy officials voiced concerns about problems with current public education funding formulas during a Pennsylvania House Democratic Policy Committee hearing Wednesday.

Pittsburgh Public Schools Principals Believe Evaluations Are Helping Teachers To Improve
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, PA, May 29, 2013

An A+ Schools report dated today shows that 49 city principals surveyed believe the district’s evaluation system is helping teachers to improve rather than just being punitive.

TENNESSEE

Ex-Lobbyist: Public Education Endangered
Oak Ridger, TN, May 29, 2013

From school vouchers to charter schools, a former Tennessee Education Association lobbyist painted a verbal portrait of an endangered public education system at a recent “Lunch with the League” meeting.

WASHINGTON

Spady Continues His Pursuit Of Charter-School Success
Everett Herald, WA, May 30, 2013

No name is more synonymous with charter school fights in Washington the past two decades than Spady.

WISCONSIN

Charter Schools, Voucher Plan Hit Snags
Wisconsin State Journal, WI, May 29, 2013

Gov. Scott Walker’s plan to create a statewide charter school board has hit a roadblock as lawmakers are considering removing it from the next two-year budget.

Wait For Test Data Before Expanding Vouchers
Journal Times, WI, May 29, 2013

The state’s Joint Finance Committee was scheduled Wednesday to take up the controversial budget provision that would expand school vouchers to communities beyond Racine and Milwaukee. However, lawmakers have not been able to reach a consensus on what to do and, for the time being, this proposal is at a standstill.

ONLINE LEARNING

Head Of Virtual Charter Group Resigns With School’s Fate In Limbo
Beacon News, IL, May 29, 2013

The woman who headed a nonprofit trying to bring a virtual charter school to 18 school districts in the Fox Valley area has resigned.

Fate Of Charter Appeal Uncertain
Daily Herald, IL, May 29, 2013

When Gov. Pat Quinn signed a one-year moratorium on the establishment of new virtual charter schools into law, suburban administrators expected an end to the appeal process currently under way for one such school.

Daily Headlines for May 29, 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.

Ray Fisman: Do Charter Schools Work?
Twin Falls Times News, ID, May 29, 2013

On June 4, 1991, Minnesota Gov. Arne Carlson signed into law a bill that set in motion one of the most significant — and controversial — education reform movements in modern history. Minnesota’s charter school law allowed educators and other concerned individuals to apply to the state for permission to operate a government-funded school outside of the public education system.

STATE COVERAGE

CALIFORNIA

Parent Trigger Group In Watts Votes For ‘Choice’ School
San Bernardino Sun, CA, May 28, 2013

The third group of parents to successfully use California’s parent trigger law has chosen to turn their Watts school into a “school of choice.”

COLORADO

What Lobato Lawsuit Did For Colorado Schools
Denver Post, CO, May 29, 2013

The Colorado Supreme Court’s decision declaring the state’s education funding system passes constitutional muster was the right call, but it should not be the last word on how Colorado pays for schools.

CONNECTICUT

No Local Charter School For Bridgeport
CT Post, CT, May 28, 2013

There will not be a local charter school in the city next year. By a rare unanimous vote, the nine-member school board on Wednesday rejected an application that would have allowed a plan to create a locally funded charter school, using a Montessori education model, in the former Whittier School on the city’s west side.

DELAWARE

Appeal Over Charter School Bus Funds Prompts Legislative Rule Tweak
Delaware News Journal, DE, May 29, 2013

A Democratic lawmaker urged the budget-drafting Joint Finance Committee on Tuesday to change the rules for funding transportation at Delaware charter schools, arguing the current system lacks transparency and is at odds with other education funding provisions.

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA

Maya Angelou Charter School Wipes Out Zeros For Students
Washington Examiner, DC, May 28, 2013

A student at Maya Angelou Public Charter School can fail to complete any assignment or even not show up at school and still get a 40 percent for the quarter under a new grading policy.

IDAHO

Proposed Charter School Seeking State Approval
Idaho Mountain Express Guide, ID, May 29, 2013

Syringa Mountain School, a charter school proposed for Blaine County, has now filed its petition for approval with the Idaho Public Charter School Commission.

ILLINOIS

Embattled UNO Charter School Leader Steps Aside, Stops Short Of Resigning
WBEZ, IL, May 28, 2013

UNO announces it is shaking up its boards of directors and will adopt tougher oversight and procurement measures amid scandal.

CPS High School Graduation Rates Continue To Rise
Chicago Tribune, IL, May 29, 2013

A week after his hand-picked Board of Education approved the contentious closing of 49 elementary schools, Mayor Rahm Emanuel touted rising graduation rates as a sign that the district is on the right track.

MASSACHUSETTS

Message To Take From High Ratings? Teachers Can’t Do It All
Boston Globe, MA, May 29, 2013

I FIND it curious that the Globe reports as a problem that under the new state teacher evaluation system, 92 percent of Boston teachers are rated as proficient (“Ratings high for most Hub teachers,” Page A1, May 24).

Charter School Support Could Cost Connolly
Boston Herald, MA, May 29, 2013

City Councilor John R. Connolly’s support for charter schools — an issue that could boost his appeal to Boston parents as he runs for mayor — seems to have doomed his shot at netting the backing of the powerful Boston Teachers Union and its 3,500 Hub-voting teachers.

MICHIGAN

EAA Says Tests Show Student Academic Performance Improving
Detroit News, MI, May 29, 2013

The head of the beleaguered Education Achievement Authority touted test results released Tuesday as showing “phenomenal” progress in the state-run recovery district.

NEW YORK

The $20,000 Public School
Wall Street Journal, May 28, 2013

Admitting out-of-district students for a fee isn’t unusual in New York—the state sets the amount—but it typically goes on without public outreach by the school districts.

UFT, PBA Bosses Say Billions Owed In Back Pay For Union Members
New York Daily News, NY, May 29, 2013

The 94,000 members of his union have not had a raise in 4 1/2 years, he says, since the last teachers contract expired in 2009. A teacher earning $54,000 in 2009 might now be pulling down an additional $7,000 annually if the city had signed a new labor pact.

NORTH CAROLINA

White Flight Worries Durham School Leaders
Durham News, NC, May 28, 2013

The percentage of white students in the Durham Public Schools has dwindled to less than 20 percent, and school system leaders say it is a concern.

Vouchers Bill, Which Would Help Send Students To Private Schools, Passes Critical Test
News & Observer, NC, May 29, 2013

A plan to provide taxpayer money for low-income children to attend private schools cleared a significant hurdle Tuesday after hours of arguments about parental choice and the impact on public schools.

Voucher Plan A Bad Idea For North Carolina
Herald Sun, NC, May 28, 2013

The best argument supporters make about a voucher system proposed in the North Carolina House of Representatives is that it would improve public schools by creating competition.

Lawmakers’ Disastrous Path To An Inferior NC Education
News & Observer, NC, May 28, 2013

I am a proud North Carolinian – proud to be a product of public schools, proud to have spent a career in public education, proud to have served as state superintendent of Public Instruction for two terms and proud of the broad-based leadership that made our state’s public schools the envy of many others.

OHIO

Columbus School-Levy Bill Advances In Legislature
Columbus Dispatch, OH, May 29, 2013

After hearing testimony from two Columbus school-board members and others, the Ohio House Education Committee voted 16-3 today to send a bill to the full House that would require a school district property-tax issue on the November ballot.

Fulfilling Its Obligation
Columbus Dispatch, OH, May 29, 2013

Give the Reynoldsburg Board of Education credit for doing what a sponsor of a charter school is supposed to do: hold the school responsible for good academic performance and clean operation, and take action when it doesn’t measure up.

OKLAHOMA

Oklahoma City School Board Votes To Close Charter School
The Oklahoman, OK, May 29, 2013

The Oklahoma City School Board voted 6-2 to close Marcus Garvey Leadership Charter School during a meeting that lasted into the night Tuesday.

PENNSYLVANIA

New Pa. Bills For City School Shortfall
Philadelphia Inquirer, PA, May 29, 2013

As the Philadelphia School Reform Commission prepares to vote on a doomsday budget with massive cuts, a state senator Tuesday announced legislation that would funnel more funds to the schools by giving the city new powers to crack down on delinquent taxpayers.

SOUTH CAROLINA

Pickens County Youth Leadership Academy Prepares For Larger Class Next Year
Greenville News, SC, May 28, 2013

As the first year at the Youth Leadership Academy comes to a close, leaders are hard at work preparing for the charter school’s second year where they will welcome a larger sixth grade class in light of demand.

TENNESSEE

Study Highlights Chattanooga Region’s Education Gap
Times Free Press, TN, May 29, 2013

A child’s shot at success in Hamilton County Schools is largely based on where he gets on the bus each morning.

TEXAS

IDEA Public Schools Reach New Graduation Milestone
San Antonio Business Journal, TX, May 28, 2013

IDEA Public Schools celebrated the seventh-consecutive year whereby 100 percent of its senior class plan to attend college in the fall.

VIRGINIA

24 Virginia Schools Apply For Third-Grade Testing Waivers
Washington Post, DC, May 28, 2013

Two dozen Virginia elementary schools, including one in Alexandria, have applied for waivers from the state Board of Education to free schools from mandatory state testing requirements in science and social studies for third-graders so they have more time to develop reading skills.

WASHINGTON

Gates Foundation Funds Group To Help Charter Schools
Seattle Times, WA, May 29, 2013

In November, Washington became the 42nd state to allow the independent public schools. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has now pledged nearly $800,000 to start a charter-school incubator for help with planning.

WEST VIRGINIA

State Rolls Out Teacher Evaluation System
Charleston Daily Mail, WV, May 29, 2013

Educators across West Virginia are going to spend the summer preparing for a new method of evaluating teachers.

Failing Education Strategies Need To Be Abandoned
Journal News, WV, May 29, 2013

No Child Left Behind, the federal school reform law launched with much fanfare, proved to be an enormous flop. Now that West Virginia has been formally excused from complying with NCLB, the question is whether its state-engineered replacement will be any better.

WISCONSIN

School Voucher Talks ‘At An Impasse’ With Committee Set To Vote
Green Bay Press-Gazette, WI, May 28, 2013

Green Bay School District officials remain hopeful an expansion of the private school voucher program to Green Bay will be removed from state budget talks.

ONLINE LEARNING

Florida Virtual School: Terrorism Stems From ‘Low Self-Esteem’
Washington Times, DC, May 28, 2013

A Florida virtual school that offers classes on Christianity and Islam is under fire for claiming that one reason that terrorists attack is due to low self-esteem — and that fundamentalist Christians are akin to fundamentalist Muslims in that respect.

Blended Learning Academy To Start Next School Year At East Hall
Gainesville Times, GA, May 29, 2013

Around 60 students will be the introductory class to what is currently being described as a blended learning academy, beginning next school year at East Hall High School.

Purcell’s New Method Of Teaching Math
Cincinnati Enquirer, OH, May 28, 2013

Purcell Marian High in East Walnut Hills plans to try it in a big way next year. It will be one of the few traditional high schools in Greater Cincinnati mandating that every math class – from algebra to calculus – become a blended-learning class.

Technology And The Classroom: Girls Face Greater Challenges Balancing Digital Learning With Social Lives
Mercury News, CA, May 28, 2013

It might be tolerable if online drama only played out after school. Now, the already complex dynamics of girls’ friendships are even more complicated by increased technology in the classroom.

Daily Headlines for May 28, 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.

NATIONAL COVERAGE

Caution and the Common Core
New York Times, NY, May 28, 2013

The rigorous Common Core learning standards that have been adopted by 45 states represent a once-in-a-generation opportunity for the United States to improve public schools nationally, bringing math, science and literacy education up to levels achieved by high-performing nations abroad.

Some States Push Back Against New School Standards
Associated Press, May 28, 2013

Some states are pushing back against a set of uniform benchmarks for reading, writing and math that have been fully adopted in most states and are being widely put in place this school year.

STATE COVERAGE

CALIFORNIA

‘Miracle’ L.A. School Board Triumph: She Thought Of Her Students
Los Angeles Times, CA, May 27, 2013

‘Fifth-grade teacher’ was underdog candidate Monica Ratliff’s ballot designation. It resonated with voters, who propelled the 43-year-old to victory over heavily favored Antonio Sanchez.

GEORGIA

New Magic Johnson Dropout Recovery Program Opens In Savannah
Savannah Morning News, GA, May 26, 2013

A new charter school program designed to get dropouts to graduate has opened in Savannah.

ILLINOIS

Legislation Requiring Younger Students To Attend Class Clears House
Southern Illinoisan, IL, May 28, 2013

Students would be required to start school sooner under a proposal endorsed by the Illinois House Monday.

How to Save UNO
Chicago Tribune, IL, May 28, 2013

The United Neighborhood Organization, one of the most influential community groups in Chicago and one of the largest charter school operators in the city, has been lurching through a crisis of its own making.

LOUISIANA

After Voucher Ruling, Online Course Plan Pared
The Advocate, LA, May 27, 2013

A state program to offer public school students online courses provided by colleges or private companies is being scaled back.

MARYLAND

Middle-Class Parents Closely Watching Changes In Prince George’s Public Schools
Washington Post, DC, May 26, 2013

With Maryland’s second-largest school system poised for a leadership overhaul and a reconfigured school board next week, one of the major challenges facing County Executive Rushern L. Baker III (D) is how to convince the county’s middle class that his approach to fixing the schools will be successful enough to lure their children back into the public schools.

New Report Card System Frustrates Montgomery County Parents
Washington Post, DC, May 27, 2013

Montgomery County sent home a new elementary school report card this year, with ES as the top mark, officially representing “exceptional” work. But parent Chuck Thomas thinks there is a different meaning for ES. “Elusive Secret,” he said. “That is probably more accurate.”

School System May Override Charter’s Hiring Picks
Frederick News-Post, MD, May 28, 2013

Frederick County Public Schools officials may force a new charter school to hire teachers of the county’s choosing instead of the school’s preferred candidates, according to the school’s president.

MASSACHUSETTS

Common Core Education Is Uncommonly Inadequate
Wall Street Journal, May 28, 2013

Unfortunately, Massachusetts dropped its own standards in 2010 to join 44 other states (and the District of Columbia) in adopting the flawed standards of the Common Core.

School Choice A Boon For Local Districts
Metro West Daily News, MA, May 26, 2013

With the cost to educate students steadily rising every year, several area school districts are utilizing School Choice funds to make improvements in their districts and avoid cuts to staff and programs.

MICHIGAN

Michelle Rhee’s Message Is Kids Come First, But Is Michigan’s?
Detroit Free Press, MI, May 26, 2013

Depending on whom you ask, Michelle Rhee is either the Joan of Arc of the education reform movement — a relentless warrior whose inspiration is divinely and exclusively about the kids — or the devil.

NEW JERSEY

Perseverance At A Newark School Following Midyear Teacher Turnover
Hechinger Report, May 28, 2013

More than half the instructional staff of 66 was new in the fall at Quitman, a long-struggling school in Newark’s impoverished Central Ward.

NEW MEXICO

Praise For Charter Schools
Albuquerque Journal, NM, May 28, 2013

There is an old saying that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. If that is the case, then charter schools in Albuquerque have a lot to be proud of.

Data Show Why N.M. Needs Education Reform
Albuquerque Journal, NM, May 25, 2013

Nationally, the education establishment has loved to hate the federal No Child Left Behind act since it was adopted in 2001. More than a decade later, the same attitude unfortunately applies to New Mexico implementing the necessary reforms to make NCLB’s rigid standards go away in favor of new ways to boost and measure student achievement.

NEW YORK

Teacher Evaluations, Down The Rabbit Hole
New York Daily News, NY, May 26, 2013

The New York City public schools and the United Federation of Teachers have been locked for months in a battle over the design of a new teacher evaluation system. The main bones of contention: the role that student test score improvement, or lack thereof, will play in evaluating individual educators, and what the consequences of those evaluations will be.

NORTH CAROLINA

Let’s Help Parents Open School Doors
Fayetteville Observer, NC, May 28, 2013

When it comes to who should be the ultimate decision maker and most accountable for a child’s education, the answer is not only obvious, but has been reaffirmed year after year: a strong majority of voters believe parents should ultimately have the decision-making power regarding how to best educate a child, according to a recent Survey USA poll. That’s accountability at its best.

Support Rural Charter Schools
Durham News, NC, May 27, 2013

Public charter schools in rural North Carolina present an opportunity for more school choice options and economic development in the state’s 85 rural counties.

PENNSYLVANIA

Fresh Thinking For City Schools
Philadelphia Inquirer, PA, May 27, 2013

The headlines coming out of the School Reform Commission meeting a couple of weeks ago were predictable: five charter-school renewals approved, one denied; protesters urging the SRC to halt charter-school expansion; others decrying the closing of public schools. All this against the backdrop of another multimillion-dollar funding shortfall and the specter of a “doomsday” budget.

A Tough Sell For Tax Increases To Help Phila. Schools
Philadelphia Inquirer, PA, May 26, 2013

Mayor Nutter and City Council are about to enter the backstretch of the budget season debating a menu of tax increases, offered to bail out the struggling schools, that are both unpopular and politically challenging.

Blame The Charter Schools
North Penn Reporter, PA, May 27, 2013

In response to a recent Sound Off attempting to explain how charter school funding will not impact the North Penn School District, the author’s theory sounded good in principle, but contains a flaw.

Pittsburgh Student Allowed To Transfer Schools For AP Courses
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, PA, May 28, 2013

Policy provides students the opportunity to take advance classes elsewhere

TENNESSEE

Williamson County-Created Bill Gives Top-Rated Schools Flexibility
The Tennessean, TN, May 27, 2013

The next step in the implementation of the High Performing School Districts Flexibility Act — a bill drafted by Williamson County Schools to free Tennessee’s top-performing school districts from certain statewide mandates — is for Williamson and other such districts to formally declare their status.

TEXAS

Legislature Oks Bills Expanding Texas Charter Schools, Cutting High-Stakes Tests
Dallas Morning News, TX, May 26, 2013

Opening the door to a new wave of independent charter schools in Texas, the Legislature voted Sunday to gradually lift the longtime limit on the number of charter school operators in the state and to give the Texas Education Agency new authority to clean up troubled schools.

Logjam Breaks On Texas Education Reforms
Star-Telegram, TX, May 27, 2013

With just hours to spare, a political logjam that threatened to block Texas’ biggest education reform in years appeared to break late Sunday to allow its passage.

Charter School Bill Is Step In Right Direction
Austin American Statesman- TX, May 26, 2013

On May 17th, the Texas House passed Senate Bill 2, a massive charter-school reform bill that will, among other measures, increase the number of public, open-enrollment charter schools in the state by 10 per year, starting in 2014-2015.

UTAH

Utah International Charter School Seeks Diverse Students For Inaugural Year
Deseret News, UT, May 27, 2013

For three years, advocates for education reform and underserved populations have been quietly plowing the ground for the Utah International Charter School.

WASHINGTON

Mom Launches Effort To Open A Charter School In Tacoma
KING 5, WA, May 27, 2013

Calyn Holdaway of Gig Harbor wants to open a charter school in Tacoma.
“I recognize that there is a lot of opposition and I am not afraid of that.” said Holdaway.

WISCONSIN

We Must Resist Private School Voucher Expansion
Sheboygan Press, WI, May 28, 2013

Voucher advocates mask their reasons for expansion with statements such as, “parents should have greater choice” or “we want reform from the status quo.” On the surface, it is difficult to argue against those premises, but if you peel back the voucher onion, there are many issues to make your eyes water.

ONLINE LEARNING

Bill Would Revise Charter School Law
New Castle News, PA, May 28, 2013

A state lawmaker has proposed that all special education services for cyber school students be funneled through the state’s regional educational intermediate units.

School Districts Save Money Through Cyber School
The Sentinel, PA, May 27, 2013

In the constant battle to balance budgets, school district officials often identify one particular cost they believe should be addressed through reform — cyber school funding.

Online Learning Needs A Statewide Focus
Richmond Times-Dispatch, VA, May 26, 2013

Take for example the Virginia Virtual Academy. As a program of Carroll County Public Schools, the Virginia Virtual Academy offers Virginia students in grades K-8 an exceptional learning experience with individualized learning approaches online.

Charter Class Of Seniors
Augusta Chronicle, GA, May 27, 2013

Congratulations to the Class of 2013! “Lucky 13” is our first graduating class of seniors from Georgia Connections Academy, our state’s free public virtual charter school.

Georgia Parents, Students And Teachers Get Access To 70,000 Online Resources
Athens Banner-Herald, GA, May 27, 2013

The Internet age came a step closer to education in Georgia this month as the state put online its catalog of 135 digital courses and 20,000 instruction resources.

State Bans New Online Charter Schools For 1 Year
Chicago Tribune, IL, May 27, 2013

New law follows rejection by several school districts in western suburbs of nonprofit’s proposal for online program

Move Cautiously On Virtual Teaching
Mississippi Daily Journal, MS, May 27, 2013

More and more parents choose to home school their children. National statistics show the number of home schooled children grows about 7 percent each year.

Legislature OKs Expanding Virtual Course
My Fox FW, TX, May 28, 2013

The state Legislature has passed a wide-ranging overhaul of high school standardized testing and curriculum standards, while also dramatically increasing the number of charter schools in Texas.

Daily Headlines for May 24, 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.

Is K-12 Blended Learning Disruptive?
Forbes, May 23, 2013

Today the Clayton Christensen Institute published its fourth major paper on K–12 blended learning, titled “Is K–12 blended learning disruptive? An introduction to theory of hybrids.” Clayton Christensen joined Heather Staker, who has authored all four of our papers, and me in writing this paper, which takes a different approach from our past discussions of blended learning.

STATE COVERAGE

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA

D.C. Opens A Door For Charter Schools
Washington Post, DC, May 23, 2013

A LAW on the books in the District since the mid-1990s gives charter schools first priority to vacated public school buildings.

FLORIDA

Special Events Boost Charter Schools
Sun Sentinel, FL, May 24, 2013

For the city-run charter schools in Pembroke Pines, raising money to keep them running is an uphill battle.

ILLINOIS

Ex-Judge: Charter-School Operator UNO Needs ‘Robust’ Policy Against Conflicts
Chicago Sun Times, IL, May 23, 2013

The United Neighborhood Organization needs to adopt “robust conflict-of-interest” policies in the wake of a scandal that’s jeopardized tens of millions of dollars of state funding for UNO’s network of charter schools in Chicago, a retired federal judge hired by the politically influential group urged Thursday.

LOUISIANA

Slaughter Charter School Shows Gains
The Advocate, LA, May 23, 2013

The Slaughter Community Charter School made academic progress in its second year of operation, the school’s director told parents attending an awards program Thursday.

Move To Stop Common Core In Schools Fails
Alexandria Town Talk, LA, May 24, 2013

Senators on Thursday rejected a tea party-backed move to prevent implementation of a new course of study known as Common Core standards in public schools.

MAINE

Maine Panel Rejects Two LePage Education Bills
Portland Press Herald, ME, May 23, 2013

The panel votes not to support student transfers out of struggling schools or more than 10 charters.

MASSACHUSETTS

Boston Teachers Receive High Ratings
Boston Globe, MA, May 24, 2013

The Boston Public Schools has rated 92 percent of all teachers as proficient or exemplary under a new evaluation system, according to a School Department analysis that officials held up as evidence that most students are receiving quality instruction in the classroom.

MICHIGAN

Is Teacher Merit Pay What’s Best For Michigan?
Michigan Radio, MI, May 23, 2013

As the 2012-2013 school year winds down, one of the issues occupying the attention of state lawmakers is teacher pay. In essence: what should determine teacher salaries in Michigan?

32 New Michigan Charter Schools Set To Open In Fall 2013
Michigan Radio, MI, May 23, 2013

This fall, 32 new charter schools are scheduled to open in Michigan. According to MAPSA, there are currently 232 charter public schools in Michigan with over 100,000 enrolled students.

Grand Valley State University Is Growing Its Charter Schools
Grand Rapids Press, MI, May 23, 2013

Six of 32 new charter schools scheduled to open this fall, including Covenant House Academy Grand Rapids, will be authorized by Grand Valley State University (GVSU).

Detroit School Reform Agency Embellished Bid To Get $35M In Funds
Detroit News, MI, May 24, 2013

Education Achievement Authority officials overstated their authority to take over failing schools across Michigan in a bid to win a $35.4 million federal grant — six weeks before they began operating in September.

MISSOURI

Only A Few Students Defy A School’s High Turnover Rate
St. Louis Post-Dispatch, MO, May 24, 2013

Nikiya Phillips was all jitters, as most 12-year-olds would be, before delivering the speech this week at her sixth-grade promotion at Cote Brilliante Elementary School.

NORTH CAROLINA

The Tipping Point: Arapahoe Charter, Pamlico Schools, And ‘Choice’ In Rural NC
WUNC, NC, May 24, 2013

This is a story about choice. And it starts in the lunch line at Arapahoe Charter School in Pamlico County when students choose between pizza and french fries.

NORTH DAKOTA

Standardized Testing Not The Best Way To Educate Students
Williston Herald, ND, May 24, 2013

We support accountability. There has to be some standard to ensure students are taught the basic requirements before they move on. For generations, a handful of schools across the country moved students through without giving them an education. So finding a way to ensure all students receive a good education is important. But the AYP standards are clearly not the right way to do it. When more than half the schools in North Dakota failed to make adequate progress, it’s a sign that something is wrong.

OHIO

Columbus Schools Proposals Go Before Lawmakers
Columbus Dispatch, OH, May 24, 2013

State lawmakers spent time today getting details about a plan to create an independent auditor for Columbus City Schools and share the district’s property taxes with charter schools.

PENNSYLVANIA

Charters Join Phila. School District In Seeking Aid
Philadelphia Inquirer, PA, May 24, 2013

The drumbeat for more money for Philadelphia’s taxpayer-funded schools continued to rumble across the city Thursday. At a West Philadelphia rally, leaders from more than 20 city charter schools, who at times have been at odds with the district, joined its campaign to obtain more state and city aid to cover a looming $304 million shortfall.

VIRGINIA

Home Schooling On The Rise In Virginia
Fairfax Times, VA, May 24, 2013

Across the United States, a growing number of parents like Wilson have chosen home schooling as an alternative to public schools. In Virginia, the number of home-schoolers has increased by more than 50 percent over the past decade, according to the Virginia Department of Education.

WASHINGTON

Tacoma School Board To Hold Off On Charter Start-Ups
Bellingham Herald, WA, May 24, 2013

The Tacoma School Board opted out of the charter school business Thursday night — at least for now. Board members, who voted 4-0 with one member absent, said they might reconsider their decision in the fall. But they said there are too many unknowns for them to meet the July 1 deadline established by the state Board of Education for school districts to apply to become charter authorizers.

WISCONSIN

Voucher Program Expansion Should Not Be In Budget
Green Bay Press-Gazette, WI, May 23, 2013

Two years ago the Joint Finance Committee tried to include the Green Bay School District in the expansion of the voucher school program. The inclusion wasn’t part of Gov. Scott Walker’s 2011-13 budget proposal; the committee added it late in the process. It was eventually removed after loud, bipartisan opposition.

Dollars Grease Skids For School Choice
LaCrosse Tribune, WI, May 24, 2013

Wisconsin has long played a pivotal role in the national movement to redirect taxpayer dollars to private, often parochial, schools. And money — much of it from out-of-state — has played a huge part in that process.

ONLINE LEARNING

Rising Cyber-Charter Costs Fuel Push For Statewide Reform
Philadelphia Notebook Blog, PA, May 23, 2013

Even as funding for Pennsylvania public schools has dwindled, the cost of sending students to independent, online charter schools has risen in more than three-quarters of Pennsylvania’s 500 traditional school districts.

Fayetteville Contracts With A+ Online Learning Program
News Democrat, NC, May 24, 2013

In order to compete with the growing trend of students choosing an online education over public schools, Fayetteville-Perry’s Board of Education approved the purchase of a five-year contract with A+ Online Learning for under $28,500 at the May 16 board meeting. Superintendent Raegan White said the contract will help Fayetteville-Perry compete with online universities,

APS Drops Digital Academy Sponsorship
West Side Leader, OH, May 23, 2013

The charter school started by the Akron Public Schools (APS) in 2002 to capture some of the students leaving to study online will no longer be associated with the APS.

Canon Online Academy Students Graduate From Program
Canon City Daily Record, CO, May 23, 2013

Families of middle school and high school students have a number of options to get a solid education and enter college or join the workforce.

Daily Headlines for May 23, 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.

NATIONAL COVERAGE

Grading Charter Schools Isn’t as Easy as It Would Appear
Valley News, VT, May 23, 2013

Numerous studies have used this lottery method to analyze the impact of charter schools on standardized test scores, and by and large they report similar findings: Charters in rural or suburban areas don’t do any better than public schools, while in urban areas they are associated with greater test score improvements in math and language.

Parent Trigger Laws Are Likely to Fire Blanks
Huffington Post Blog, May 22, 2013

If turning around a persistently low-performing school were easy, we would not have persistently low-performing schools. In truth, schools that languish at the academic bottom are more often an ongoing source of frustration for the hard-working teachers, parents and students who attend them and the districts that manage them.

STATE COVERAGE

ARIZONA

Goldwater Report Says Red Tape Could Be Holding Back Arizona Charter Schools
Arizona Business Journal, AZ, May 22, 2013

Charter school advocates warn against government red tape in a report released today by the Goldwater Institute.

CALIFORNIA

Monica Ratliff’s Election To L.A. School Board Is ‘Huge Upset’
Los Angeles Times, CA, May 22, 2013

The fifth-grade teacher’s low-budget effort defeats Antonio Sanchez, who had $2.2 million spent on his behalf and was endorsed by the mayor’s reform coalition.

Refining ‘Parent Trigger’
Los Angeles Times, CA, May 22, 2013

Under California’s “parent trigger” law, parents at underperforming public schools can force dramatic changes in management if half or more sign a petition. It’s a well-intentioned law that school reformers have applauded, but it is desperately in need of certain fixes. The most recent example involves a rule that was intended to bring more openness to the process — but which in practice appears to disenfranchise some parents.

DELAWARE

Delaware Budget Writing Panel Approves $2M In New Spending For Charter School Programs
Washington Post, DC, May 22, 2013

Members of the legislature’s budget writing committee have approved $2 million in new spending for Delaware charter schools.

FLORIDA

Rowlett Charter Plan Opposed By District Officials
Bradenton Herald, FL, May 23, 2013

Dozens of parents, teachers and administrators gathered Wednesday at Rowlett Magnet Elementary School to debate the merits of becoming a charter school.

Palmetto Bay Will Reconsider 1,400-Student Charter School
Miami Herald, FL, May 22, 2013

The Palmetto Bay Village Council has agreed to reconsider a proposal for a charter school at Franjo Road and Southwest 180th Street.

ILLINOIS

CPS Approves Largest School Closure In City’s History
Chicago Tribune, IL, May 23, 2013

Months of argument and anguish over Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s push for sweeping school closings came to a climax Wednesday as his hand-picked Board of Education voted to shut 49 elementary schools and transfer thousands of children to new classroom settings.

Charter Schools: Another Option
WIFR, IL, May 23, 2013

In tonight’s “Classroom Victories” report, 23 News Education Reporter, Lauren Kravets takes us to a Rockford Charter school to show us how kids are preparing for their future.

IOWA

Broken Schools Or A Broken System?
Des Moines Register, IA, May 23, 2013

So now it appears that Iowa may finally be pushed to enter the school reform race, due to public exposure of failing public schools and falling achievement scores that are a threat to our national reputation. The statistics reflecting student performance in the Iowa are alarming and indicate that performance on all fronts is grim.

Iowa’s Top Education Official To Leave The State
Des Moines Register, IA, May 23, 2013

Iowa’s top education official and a leading advocate for school reform is leaving the state.

LOUISIANA

Department Of Education’s Fairness, Impartiality And Intent Brought Into Question
American Press, LA, May 22, 2013

News that the state Department of Education did not properly monitor certain accountability measurements of charter schools for the past four years should raise a red flag.

Test Results Up Overall; Voucher Schools Flat
Alexandria Town Talk, LA, May 23, 2013

A state Education Department analysis of the latest standardized test results for public school students in grades three through eight shows the state continues to make incremental overall improvement with a long way to go.

Recovery School District’s New Orleans Schools Are Top Gainers In Test Results
Times-Picayune, LA, May 22, 2013

The Recovery School District’s standardized test scores in New Orleans grew faster than any other public school system in Louisiana this spring, according to data released Wednesday. The percentage of third- through eighth-graders who scored at or above their grade level rose six points to 57 percent.

MAINE

Help Maine Charter Schools Succeed Before Adding More
Bangor Daily News, ME, May 23, 2013

Gov. Paul LePage is correct that public charter schools have the potential to become a new tool to engage teachers, students, parents and community members in finding innovative ways to improve public education in Maine.

MARYLAND

Federal Audit Finds City Schools Misspent Stimulus, Title I Funds
Baltimore Sun, MD, May 21, 2013

The Maryland State Department of Education may have to pay back up to $540,000 in federal money intended to help the state’s poorest schools after a scathing audit found that Baltimore City was one of two school districts that misspent the funds, using the money for dinner cruises, makeovers and meals.

MASSACHUSETTS

Extended Time Doesn’t Guarantee A Better School Day
Boston Globe, MA, May 23, 2013

I AGREE with Scot Lehigh that with “longer charter [school] days come impressive academic results” (“Will the city’s new mayor be pro-charter?” Op-ed, May 10)

MICHIGAN

Taxpayers To Get Bill For Pontiac School Mess
Detroit News, MI, May 23, 2013

The meltdown of the Pontiac School district is about to show up on the tax bills of property owners in several Oakland County communities.

MISSOURI

Gordon Parks School Must Prove It Merits Staying Open
The Kansas City Star, MO, May 22, 2013

Gordon Parks Elementary School won a reprieve Tuesday in Cole County Circuit Court from a state order to abruptly close this week.

NEW YORK

New York’s Public School Paradox
City Journal, May 22, 2013

When he came into the mayor’s office in 2002, Michael Bloomberg made reforming New York City’s schools one of his principal goals.

The Arrival of the Rockland Academy of Excellence Charter School to East Ramapo in Rockland Sparks Debate
Rockland Times, NY, May 23, 2013

The arrival of the Rockland Academy of Excellence to East Ramapo in Rockland has sparked debate from the community of East Ramapo. They say you can tell the strength of a person by the way they love their children and Rockland loves their children.

New Charter School Opening In Downtown Brooklyn
Brooklyn Daily Eagle, NY, May 23, 2013

Brooklyn Prospect Charter School said on Tuesday that it will open its first elementary school this September in Downtown Brooklyn (District 13). Starting with kindergarten, the school will take up the upper three floors of 80 Willoughby Street, alongside St. Joseph High School for girls.

NORTH CAROLINA

Passions High Around School Voucher Bill
WRAL, NC, May 21, 2013

In a packed room, the House Education Committee heard Tuesday from supporters and opponents of a plan to give taxpayer-funded scholarships for low income students that attend private schools.

Voucher Debate Must Start At Accountability
Fayetteville Observer, NC, May 23, 2013

Applause, please, for the N.C. House Education Committee, which did what a legislative committee should do – on Tuesday, it listened to both sides of a hot issue and jumped to no conclusions.

PENNSYLVANIA

LESSON PLANS: Teachers Must Face The Part They Play In School Problems
Philadelphia Daily News, PA, May 23, 2013

CONTENTIOUS contract negotiations, like those involving the School District and the teachers’ union, are usually at heart a battle of narratives – between management, which is often in financial crisis, and labor, whose narrative is about protecting beleaguered workers from being exploited. They are rarely a celebration of hard data and facts about hiring, compensation and policies.

RHODE ISLAND

Gist by the Numbers: Achievement Gap Failing to Improve
Go Local Pov, RI, May 23, 2013

Test scores are up. So are graduation rates. But the gap between white students and those who are minorities, have disabilities, or are not native English speakers has either stagnated or worsened in the four years that Deborah Gist has been at the helm of the Rhode Island Education Department.

SOUTH CAROLINA

SC Senate Defeats Tax Credits For Private School Tuition
The State, SC, May 22, 2013

A proposal to give tax breaks to parents of students who are home-schooled or go to private schools was defeated in the S.C. Senate Wednesday, despite predictions from Republicans that the vote would be close.

TENNESSEE

Smithson Craighead Middle School Won’t Get Reprieve, Will Close
The Tennessean, TN, May 23, 2013

U.S. District Court Judge Kevin Sharp released a 19-page memorandum Wednesday dissolving a class-action lawsuit filed by two parents after Metro Nashville Public Schools decided in November to close the school because of lagging academic performance.

TEXAS

Charter School, Testing Bills Will Pass Or Die Together
Austin Statesman, TX, May 22, 2013

The fates of two major education bills that would reduce standardized testing and allow more charter schools have become inextricably linked, and it appears they will either cross the legislative finish line together or not at all.

VIRGINIA

Mayor Disbands School Reform Task Force
Richmond Times-Dispatch, VA, May 23, 2013

A little more than 16 months after chiding Richmond schools Superintendent Yvonne W. Brandon for “celebrating mediocrity” and, two months later, berating the School Board for passing an unbalanced budget, Mayor Dwight C. Jones has disbanded his school reform task force.

WISCONSIN

Expansion Of School Vouchers Will Dismantle Public Education
Wisconsin State Journal, WI, May 23, 2013

According to Murphy’s Law, if you tinker around with something long enough, it will eventually break. That describes the governor’s and certain legislators’ proposal to expand school vouchers in Wisconsin.

ONLINE LEARNING

Michigan’s Charter Options To Grow
Detroit News, MI, May 23, 2013

Thirty-two new charter schools plan to open this fall in Michigan, including three cyber academies as well as “blended-learning” schools in Novi and Beverly Hills, where charters are making their first appearance.

Kobler To Lead Shift Toward ‘Technology-Rich’ Classrooms
Lawrence Journal World, KS, May 23, 2013

The Lawrence school district is gearing up for the next phase of its venture into a new kind of classroom teaching, in which students rely as much on computers and online material as they do on textbooks and teachers to guide instruction.

Daily Headlines for May 22, 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.

NATIONAL COVERAGE

The College ‘Preparation Gap’ In A Single Graphic
Washington Post Blog, DC, May 22, 2013

An annual national survey of school curriculum concludes that there is a “large gap” between how high school teachers perceive their graduating students’ readiness for college and what professors expect freshmen to know.

Common Core Clash: AFT President Fires Back At State Education Officials
Washington Post, DC, May 21, 2013

The head of a major teachers union fired back Tuesday at state education officials who had dismissed her call for a moratorium on stakes associated with new standardized state tests in public schools.

Education Reform Is Only Part Of Answer To Student Achievement
Seattle Times, WA, May 21, 2013

But don’t expect state money, or reforms, or anything politicians in Olympia do will make Johnny do his homework. He will do it when he knows he can’t get out of it, and it will take people more powerful than politicians to convince him of that.

STATE COVERAGE

ARIZONA

AZ Grading System Hurts 3 Edge Schools
Arizona Star, AZ, May 22, 2013

Edge High School in Tucson takes in students from difficult backgrounds – about one out of 10 is homeless, many are parents or pregnant, some are sixth- or seventh-year seniors – and helps them graduate.

Desegregation Plan, Competition From Charter Schools Add To Tucson School District’s Financial Woes
KJZZ, AZ, May 21, 2013

School is out for summer, but Arizona school districts are looking ahead to the fall when they will face another year of lean budgets.

CALIFORNIA

Ratliff Holding Slim Lead In LAUSD Race
Los Angeles Times, CA, May 22, 2013

The race for an open seat on the Los Angeles Board of Education was close in early returns with Monica Ratliff ahead despite financial support and union backing that made her opponent, Antonio Sanchez, a heavy favorite.

COLORADO

Overhauling School Funding
Daily Camera, CO, May 22, 2013

It wasn’t the most attention-grabbing bill coming out of the legislature this year, but the most sweeping change to school funding in Colorado may be near.

CONNECTICUT

Against Proposed New Charter School
CT Post, CT, May 21, 2013

I am a parent of two children currently enrolled at Waltersville School. I have witnessed firsthand how underfunded the Bridgeport Public School District is.

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA

D.C. Council Must Stop Micromanaging Public Schools
Washington Post, DC, May 21, 2013

ONE OF THE FIRST things D.C. Council member David A. Catania (I-At Large) did after taking over the newly constituted education committee was host a dinner aimed at establishing a new tone of collaboration for those involved in D.C. public education.

Meridian Continues To Examine Allegations Of Test-Tampering
Washington Post, DC, May 21, 2013

Meridian Public Charter School officials have said that are continuing to examine allegations of test-tampering at the school and have not yet disciplined any staff members.

FLORIDA

Florida Teacher Evaluation System Still Needs Tweaks, Panel Decides
Florida Times Union, FL, May 22, 2013

If Florida continues to base its teacher evaluations solely on student academic growth and observations from a principal, that might lead educators to “teach to the test.”

ILLINOIS

Teachers, Perpetual War Doesn’t Help Students
Chicago Tribune, IL, May 22, 2013

We point this out on a day when the Chicago public school system will make a gut-wrenching decision. The school board is set to vote Wednesday on whether to close 53 elementary schools. Chicago teachers and parents have been protesting, trying to save those schools.

LOUISIANA

Benjamin Mays Prep Families Still Await Orleans Parish School Board Takeover Answer
Times-Picayune, LA, May 21, 2013

Families at the Recovery School District charter school Benjamin Mays Prep continue to hope that this school year isn’t the last for the Desire-area elementary — but they got no answers Tuesday from the Orleans Parish School Board, one month after a parents’ group came to the board asking to be taken over. The Recovery School District is shutting down the school for poor academic performance.

MAINE

Maine Educators Object To Evaluation Emphasis
Kennebec Journal, ME, May 22, 2013

Teachers and school administrators took issue Tuesday with the weight given to student assessments in proposed regulations for teachers’ and principals’ evaluations.

MARYLAND

Montgomery Schools React To New Innovation, Intervention Plan
Maryland Gazette, MD, May 22, 2013

Montgomery County Public Schools Superintendent Joshua P. Starr said he believes there is no one-size-fits-all approach to school and student success.

Montgomery’s First Charter School Operates Under The School Board’s Radar
Maryland Gazette, MD, May 22, 2013

Community Montessori Charter School faced an initial rejection and then much scrutiny from Montgomery County school board members two years ago when applying to be the first public charter school in the county.

MASSACHUSETTS

Charter Schools In Boston Score Higher On Key Tests
Boston Globe, MA, May 22, 2013

Boston charter schools outperform other public schools on three popular barometers of achievement — the MCAS, the SAT, and the Advanced Placement exams — but tend to have lower four-year graduation rates, according to a study being released Wednesday.

Charter Idea Backed
Republican –American, MA, May 21, 2013

A string of political, business, philanthropic and educational heavyweights turned out Tuesday night to back a proposed new charter school.

MICHIGAN

Plan Makes Test Data Main Factor In Teacher Pay
Daily Press & Argus, MI, May 22, 2013

Teachers are responsible for producing well-rounded students but don’t control whether students come from stable homes or eat or exercise enough.

MISSOURI

Questions Of Accountability And Fairness Remain After Charter School’s Reprieve
Kansas City Star, MO, May 21, 2013

The lofty promise that is Gordon Parks Elementary School has won a reprieve, at least temporarily.

NEW JERSEY

Diegnan’s Charter School Bill
New Jersey Spotlight, NJ, May 22, 2013

Assemblyman drops bill, which called for central review board and local approval for new and expanded charters

N.J. Charters Look At Teacher Evaluations
Philadelphia Inquirer, PA, May 22, 2013

Following a parallel but very different path from their school-district brethren, New Jersey’s charter schools are finalizing plans for how they will evaluate teachers and principals.

OHIO

Bill Would Have Columbus Schools Share Levy Money With Charters
Columbus Dispatch, OH, May 21, 2013

State lawmakers drew attention to academic failures of the Columbus school district and to its ongoing data scandal tonight in the first talks over a bill that, if passed, could share district tax money with charter schools.

OKLAHOMA

Evaluating Teacher Training Programs Complex
The Oklahoman, OK, May 22, 2013

Regarding “Study shows need to better prepare teachers” (Our Views, May 10): I take exception to your endorsement of the study by the National Council on Teacher Quality evaluating the effectiveness of teacher training programs, and your recommendation that lawmakers “carefully review its findings on Oklahoma programs.”

Oklahoma Lawmakers Should Resist Push To Repeal Common Core
The Oklahoman, OK, May 22, 2013

IN a triumph of irrationality over reason, House Speaker T.W. Shannon abruptly announced that lawmakers might try to repeal Common Core academic standards in the legislative session’s final days.

PENNSYLVANIA

Nonprofit’s Study Critical Of Phila. Teacher Policies
Philadelphia Inquirer, PA, May 22, 2013

The Philadelphia School District shells out too much for the health care of its teachers, who tend to be absent too often. Teacher pay ought to be revamped to keep strong performers, and effectiveness, not start date, should guide layoff decisions.

SOUTH CAROLINA

SC House Bill Would End ‘School Choice’ For Student-Property Owners
The Herald, SC, May 21, 2013

A decades-old form of “school choice” is under fire from lawmakers who say it is not fair to all S.C. families.

TEXAS

Bill To Create District To Improve Unacceptable Schools Dies In The Texas House
Dallas Morning News Blog, TX, May 21, 2013

A bill to create a district of underperforming schools with the goal of improving their ratings was killed in the House on Tuesday by a technical maneuver.

WASHINGTON

Catholic Schools Update To Compete With Charter Schools
Seattle Times, WA, May 21, 2013

A number of Catholic schools in Western Washington are embracing educational innovations in an attempt to update their curriculum and to better compete with the charter schools that will open here in the next few years.

WEST VIRGINIA

No Child Left Behind Waiver Will Bring Major Changes To Schools
Charleston Daily Mail, WV, May 22, 2013

They might not be immediately noticeable to students, but major changes are coming to education in West Virginia.

ONLINE LEARNING

iCademy Is New Online K-12 Charter School From LSSU
Second Wave, MI, May 22, 2013

Charter schools are nothing new for Upper Peninsula universities; they are located all over the state. But the latest one chartered by Lake Superior State University is different.

Reynoldsburg Takes Over Charter E-School
Columbus Dispatch, OH, May 22, 2013

The Reynoldsburg school board is taking over the charter e-school that it placed on probation last year.

Moratorium Bill In Springfield Could Halt Local Virtual Schools
Kane County Chronicle, IL, May 22, 2013

A proposed virtual school that could affect some Kane County schools would be delayed for a year if Gov. Pat Quinn signs into law a moratorium on charter schools like it.

Let’s Look At What Online Charter Schools Are Really Selling
Naperville Sun, IL, May 21, 2013

Sometimes it’s a hard sell. A K12-managed Illinois Virtual Charter School at Fox Valley — which was recently proposed by Virtual Learning Solutions, a non-profit company that as its name implies resists tangibility — was denied by all 18 of the school districts involved.

Daily Headlines for May 21, 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.

NATIONAL COVERAGE

State Education Chiefs Oppose Delay In High-Stakes Test Repercussions
Washington Post, DC, May 21, 2013

A small group of state education officials is pushing back against a call by teachers unions for a moratorium on using standardized tests for evaluating students or teachers until states have completely implemented Common Core standards, a new way of teaching math and reading in grades kindergarten through 12th.

Cul-de-Sac Poverty
New York Times, NY, May 21, 2013

In 2011, the suburban poor outnumbered the urban poor by three million; from 2000 to 2011, the number of poor people soared by 64 percent in the suburbs, compared with 29 percent in cities.

Should We Let Wunderkinds Drop Out Of High School?
Associated Press, May 21, 2013

Examples of tech geniuses who lack college degrees are well-known — Bill Gates, Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg among them. But Karp left high school after his freshman year, with his mother’s blessing, at the tender age of 14.

GOP Fear of Common Core Education Standards Unfounded
Washington Post, DC, May 21, 2013

Modern conservatism comes in two distinct architectural styles. The first seeks to build from scratch, using accurate ideological levels and plumb lines, so every wall is straight and every corner squared.

STATE COVERAGE

ALABAMA

Lawmakers Approve Tax Credits For Students In Failing Schools
WIAT, AL, May 21, 2013

State lawmakers finalized big changes in the way parents in Alabama can decide where their children go to school. In the final hours of the 2013 Regular Session of the Alabama Legislature, state lawmakers rejected an executive amendment to the Alabama Accountability Act which impacts students who are enrolled in failing schools.

CALIFORNIA

Ask The L.A. Mayor Candidates: Would You Try To Take Control Of L.A. Schools?
Los Angeles Times, CA, May 20, 2013

During separate video interviews with the Los Angeles Times last month, candidates for L.A. mayor Eric Garcetti and Wendy Greuel responded to questions from individual voters.

Charter School Proposal Drawing Criticism
San Diego Union-Tribune, CA, May 20, 2013

The former site of Escondido’s East Valley library branch would become a charter school campus under a proposal the City Council is scheduled to consider Wednesday.

COLORADO

ABCs of the New School Finance Act
Colorado Statesman, CO, May 20, 2013

On Tuesday, May 21, Gov. John Hickenlooper is scheduled to sign Senate Bill 13-213, the new public school finance act passed by the General Assembly earlier this month. And then the real work begins: getting Colorado voters to approve a $1 billion income tax hike that will restore much of the funding cut over the last few years.

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA

Gray Releases 16 D.C. Public School Buildings For Reuse By Charters
Washington Post, DC, May 20, 2013

The District plans to allow public charter schools to enter into long-term leases for a dozen old public school buildings, some of which are traditional public schools that are slated to close by next year, Mayor Vincent C. Gray said Monday.

ILLINOIS

Source: Fewer Than 5 Schools To Be Spared
Chicago Tribune, IL , May 21, 2013

Pressured for months by teachers, community leaders and aldermen, Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s hand-picked school board is nonetheless expected on Wednesday to approve closing all but a few of the 53 elementary schools the administration wants to shut down.

IOWA

Branstad Wants Education Accountability
Quad City Times, IA, May 20, 2013

Gov. Terry Branstad said Monday he thinks lawmakers are “close, very close” on an education reform package but warned he needs to see changes in teacher accountability provisions to sign off on the bill.

LOUISIANA

State Monitoring Of Charter Schools Falls Short, Report Finds
Times-Picayune, LA, May 20, 2013

The promise to the public for New Orleans’ many independent charter schools is that although they have broad freedom to operate and educate as their leaders see fit, the state is keeping its eyes open for fraud and abuse.

MAINE

Innovative Schools Turning Lives Around In New England
Kennebec Journal, ME, May 21, 2013

Among them is a school in Deer Isle, Maine, which has developed a marine studies program.

MASSACHUSETTS

Expansion Rejection Is Unfair, Charter School Says
Boston Globe, MA, May 21, 2013

The highly ranked Mystic Valley Regional Charter School in Malden is vigorously objecting to the denial of its request to expand by 400 students, contending that it has been singled out by the state for issues that are ignored at other charter schools.

MICHIGAN

Grand Rapids Schools Adopts Teacher Evaluation Policy
Grand Rapid Press, MI, May 20, 2013

Like public school districts across the state, Grand Rapids schools is improving its teacher evaluation system.

NEW JERSEY

Charter Schools Chart Course for Teacher Evaluations
New Jersey Spotlight, NJ, May 21, 2013

Following a parallel but very different path from their district school brethren, New Jersey’s charter schools are finalizing plans for how they will evaluate their teachers and principals.

Charter School Critics Keep Coming Up Short
Star-Ledger, NJ, May 21, 2013

We were reminded of this cartoon when a new charter school study was released by Mathematica, showing that over a three-year period, KIPP charter students gained an average of 11 months’ learning in math and eight months in reading than district school peers.

NEW MEXICO

APS To Manage Charter’s Budget
Albuquerque Journal, NM, May 21, 2013

The Albuquerque Public Schools board is taking over the finances of 21st Century Public Academy charter school, after a unanimous vote Monday morning.

NEW YORK

Recognizing ‘Master Teachers’
Albany Times Union, NY, May 21, 2013

Top teachers in New York have long been eligible for their share of awards and plaudits, including Teacher of the Year honors and a national certification that brings higher pay.

Quinn’s School Folly
New York Post, NY, May 21, 2013

New York City is a regular Lake Wobegon, where all the kids are above average — at least according to Christine Quinn. The mayoral hopeful has announced that she wants to expand by 8,900 the number of seats in New York’s gifted and talented programs. Why stop there? Why not just put all the students into a gifted and talented program and pretend they’re all geniuses?

NORTH CAROLINA

Revamped Voucher Plan Debuts In House Committee Tuesday
News & Observer, NC, May 20, 2013

House lawmakers will consider a revamped plan to provide taxpayer dollars to help send public school students to private schools.

Proposed Board Splits Charter Advocates
WUNC, NC, May 21, 2013

Charter schools have been around in North Carolina for about a decade and a half, and for most of that time, the relationship between charters and traditional public schools has alternated between frosty and hostile.

OHIO

Legislature May Ditch Takeover Proposal For Columbus Schools
Columbus Dispatch, OH, May 21, 2013

As hearings start this week on a Columbus school-district reform bill, an earlier proposal allowing for a state takeover of the state’s largest district is likely to vanish.

Added Scrutiny Of Charter Schools In City And State Is Overdue, But Finally Coming
Youngstown Vindicator, OH, May 21, 2013

State and local education leaders are committing themselves to beefed-up monitoring of Ohio’s ballooning network of charter schools.

PENNSYLVANIA

Wanting Public Money, But Not The Accountability
Observer-Reporter, PA, May 21, 2013

More and more, it appears that Pennsylvania’s charter schools want to have it both ways. They want generous servings of public dollars while, at the same time, avoiding the accountability that comes with being the recipients of taxpayer beneficence.

A New Kind Of College ‘Signing Day’
Philadelphia Inquirer, PA, May 21, 2013

With cheerleaders, mascots, and thunderous applause, thousands of students from Mastery Charter Schools gathered for a giant pep rally Monday, but the event had nothing to do with sports.

Don’t Lay Off By Seniority: If We Want First-Rate Schools, We Must Keep The Best Teachers
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, PA, May 21, 2013

In the fall of 2010, Dominique, known by her students as “Ms. D,” voluntarily transferred to teach in one of Philadelphia’s most challenging high schools. She wasn’t alone. The principal had articulated a vision of building an excellent school by recruiting a dream team of passionate, hard-working teachers.

Corbett Asks For ‘Modifications’ To Pa.’S Proposed Regulations On School Standards
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, PA, May 21, 2013

Gov. Tom Corbett is recommending changes to a set of education regulations that have been criticized by both Democrats and conservatives.

RHODE ISLAND

Teachers Blast Gist At Public Forum
WPRI, RI, May 20, 2013

Hundreds of teachers from all over Rhode Island on Monday packed the Cranston West High School auditorium to criticize the policies and initiatives of state Education Commissioner Deborah Gist.

TENNESSEE

Achievement School District Adds High School
Memphis Daily News, TN, May 21, 2013

The state-run Achievement School District ventures into high school territory in August with the start of its second school year.

WISCONSIN

School Board Members Tell Charter School To Show More Diversity
Leader Telegram, WI, May 21, 2013

The Eau Claire school board continued to mull a contract extension for the district’s only charter school, with some board members saying Chippewa Valley Montessori Charter School should do more to diversify its enrollment.

Legislators To Decide Reach Of School Voucher Programs
Wisconsin Public Radio, WI, May 20, 2013

Legislators may soon decide the fate of Governor Scott Walker’s controversial plan to expand taxpayer-funded school vouchers. The expansion has been a divisive issue, especially in the communities that would be directly impacted.

ONLINE LEARNING

Akron Schools Trim Staff, Set Digital Academy Loose Featured
AkronNewsNow, OH, May 21, 2013

Smaller enrollment means the Akron Public Schools will do without 32 staff positions. And ending a sometimes contentious relationship, the Akron district moved to do without sponsorship of the Akron Digital Academy charter school.

BHS Offers Students Broader Range Of Courses Via Online
The Union-Recorder, GA, May 20, 2013

Baldwin High School senior Taylor Martin has enjoyed taking online courses for the last two years to further her knowledge in content areas not offered in the regular high school curriculum. With Georgia Virtual School (GaVS), students are provided that option of online learning.

Daily Headlines for May 20, 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.

NATIONAL COVERAGE

Think Tank Takes: What You Don’t Know About Common Core
Washington Examiner, DC, May 19, 2013

Sol Stern is a nice man. It’s too bad he’s deceiving himself and others about Common Core, an enterprise that essentially nationalizes U.S. education. He and Joel Klein write in the Wall Street Journal, in the latest pro-Common Core PR piece:

Commentary: Common Core Needs More Debate
Detroit News, MI, May 20, 2013

Parents in Michigan, like those across the country, want their children to have the tools they need to excel in school and beyond. The Common Core national curriculum standards were sold as the way to give students those tools.

STATE COVERAGE

ARIZONA

Allsport Academy’s Charter Revoked By Arizona Education Department
Arizona Daily Star, AZ, May 19, 2013

The Arizona State Board for Charter Schools voted last week to revoke the charter of a Tucson school that mixes sports with academics.

COLORADO

Colorado’s Charter Schools: Their History And Their Future
Denver Post, CO, May 20, 2013

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the passage of the Colorado Charter Schools Act, thanks to the hard work of Gov. Roy Romer, state Rep. Peggy Kerns, Gov. Bill Owens, former Lt. Gov. Barbara O’Brien, and many others.

CONNECTICUT

Things Looking Up For Connecticut’s Education Reform Program
New Haven Register, CT, May 20, 2013

The governor’s education reform program, which just completed its first school year, appears out of danger concerning loss of support in the upcoming two-year budget.

DELAWARE

Charter Schools Are My Family’s Best Education Choice
News Journal, DE, May 19, 2013

Earlier this month I had the pleasure of speaking at a rally for Delaware’s charter schools in Dover. I spoke because I feel very strongly about the merits of charter school education and how it can change the trajectory of a child’s life, as I’ve seen with my own family.

Christina Should Find Incentives For Teachers
Delaware News Journal, DE, May 20, 2013

Walking away from a fight is seldom a painless venture, and one the Christina School District might or might not realize with its decision to turn down $2.3 million in federal Race to the Top funds.

FLORIDA

Public Charter Conversions Could Become Popular Option
Bradenton Times, FL, May 19, 2013

If 51 percent of both teachers and households vote in favor of a proposal to convert popular elementary magnet school Rowlett into a public charter school, Manatee School District could see the beginning of a trend.

Florida Plans Increased Scrutiny For Education Schools
NPR StateImpact, FL, May 20, 2013

UCF is the largest producers of teachers in the state; the university’s education school enrolls more than 2,000 students.

INDIANA

Charter School Families In Limbo
The Journal Gazette, IN, May 20, 2013

Mary Staples has been a strong supporter of Imagine MASTer Academy, but she feels she’s in limbo now, pulled between her desire to send her kids to the school and her need to plan ahead. Ball State University decided not to renew the charters for Imagine MASTer Academy and two other Fort Wayne charter schools because of their poor academic performances.

IOWA

State Supports 52 Charter Schools, Giving Parents Options
Des Moines Register, IA, May 19, 2013

The charter school’s 470 students sign a contract pledging to do their best every day. Teachers promise to do the same. And the school gets results — making it a small yet promising part of Maryland’s education reform story.

LOUISIANA

New Nonprofit Helps To Recruit Charter Companies To BR
The Advocate, LA, May 20, 2013

Soon after Chris Meyer came on board in spring 2012 as the first CEO of the fledgling nonprofit New Schools for Baton Rouge, he compiled a list of more than 150 charter management organizations from around the country in hopes of finding some that would be worth recruiting to Baton Rouge.

Incentivize Actual Learning
National Review Online, May 20, 2013

The decision of the Louisiana supreme court to strike down as unconstitutional the funding mechanism of the state’s school-voucher program is a major blow to school-choice supporters, but the biggest problem they face is not the courts. It’s a funding system that pays schools for failure.

MAINE

Funding Isn’t Everything: Education Reform Takes Innovation, Cooperation
Bangor Daily News, ME, May 19, 2013

Education is a big deal. It prepares our children, fuels our economy and accounts for more than a third of our state budget — even more for local town budgets. We must take steps to allow our education system to adapt to changing times, and we must ensure that it serves our children above all else.

MARYLAND

Now’s The Time To Raise The Bar For Baltimore Schools
Baltimore Sun, MD, May 19, 2013

KIPP founder says change of leadership offers opportunity to focus on effective teachers and empowered principals

Baltimore Charter School Advocate Among New Crop Of Casey Foundation Fellows
Baltimore Sun, MD, May 19, 2013

City Neighbors schools founder chosen for leadership program that trains those working with children, families

MASSACHUSETTS

Targeted Districts Have Reason To Be Wary Of More Charter Schools
Boston Globe, MA, May 20, 2013

YOUR MAY 13 editorial “Where district schools falter, state should add more charters” names a number of school districts where it is believed that the current cap should be removed. According to the editorial, “the most telling testimony came from . . . Stanford University’s Center for Research on Education Outcomes” study of Massachusetts charter schools.

MICHIGAN

Michigan Lawmaker, Board Of Education President Spar Over Charter Schools And Financial Oversight
The Grand Rapids Press, MI, May 18, 2013

Political tensions related to public charter schools continue at Michigan’s Capitol, evidenced this week by a squabble involving the Republican chairman of the Senate Education Committee and the Democratic president of the State Board of Education.

What Michigan’s Charter Schools Can Teach the Country
Wall Street Journal, May 18, 2013

Public charter schools now serve 2.3 million children nationwide and enjoy growing bipartisan support. But they are still loathed by teachers unions and traditional public-school officials more interested in protecting their piece of the school-funding pie than in providing students trapped in failing schools with a chance at a decent education.

MINNESOTA

Mpls. Schools To Revive Autonomy Plan Amid Mixed Results In US
Minnesota Public Radio, MN, May 20, 2013

In the latest effort to boost student performance, the Minneapolis school district wants to give more autonomy to individual schools.

MISSOURI

School Choice Advocates Come Up Empty In 2013 Legislature But Vow To Keep Fighting
Missoulian, MO, May 18, 2013

While advocates of school choice struck out again this year in Montana, failing to enact a bill providing tax credits or any public money for private or charter schools, they say they’re not giving up.

1 St. Louis Charter School Closing, 2nd Is At Risk
St. Louis Post-Dispatch, MO, May 19, 2013

One St. Louis charter school is closing and another is at risk. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported that Shearwater High School announced Friday that it would close voluntarily in late June. The school sought to help at-risk students receive diplomas before they turned 22. But officials said many arrived so far behind that staff couldn’t get them caught up in time.

NEW HAMPSHIRE

Attacks Against School Choice Network Misleading And Off-Base
Nashua Telegraph, NH, May 20, 2013

The Network for Educational Opportunity is busy launching a scholarship program that will make a positive contribution to educational excellence in New Hampshire. Soon, we’ll discover the merits of parental choice in the decision of where and how students are educated when an authentic choice is presented.

NEW YORK

Despite Opponents’ Criticism, The Demand For Charter Schools In New York Is Growing
New York Daily News, NY, May 19, 2013

There are 50,000 families on charter school waitlists citywide, 20,000 of those in the Bronx, where last year only one-third of students in public school grades 3-8 could read at grade level

School ‘Project’
New York Post, NY, May 19, 2013

A controversial $100 million charter school will open next month smack in the middle of a rundown, crime-plagued Harlem housing project — a first-of-its-kind arrangement in the nation.

Brooklyn Principal’s 92G Bonus
New York Post, NY, May 20, 2013

Good grades earned him more than just a spot on the fridge. PS 172 Principal Jack Spatola has raked in $92,000 in bonus pay from the city since 2008 for his Brooklyn school’s good performance, making him the top earner under a revamped merit-pay system, data show.

Education, Vision and the Mayor’s Race
New York Times, NY, May 20, 2013

The Democratic candidates for New York mayor, whirling around the boroughs on the debate-and-forum carousel, have been struggling for advantage and the attention of tuned-out voters. But they have had no trouble infuriating the Bloomberg administration, which seems to be getting touchier about criticism as it heads to the exits.

NORTH CAROLINA

Bid For Potential Funding Shift Benefiting Charter Schools Falls Short
Winston-Salem Journal, NC, May 18, 2013

Those who oversee public school district coffers are breathing a collective uneasy sigh of relief, at least for now, after a renewed attempt to funnel more money to charter schools is likely put to bed for this legislative session.

Not Sold On Single-Gender School Plan
Herald Sun, NC, May 19, 2013

Is it worth it? Is it wise? Can a district already so strapped for cash that it has to scrounge to keep teacher assistants on the payroll one more year afford to launch a multi-million dollar experiment to save the boys of Durham?

OHIO

Charter Tax Plan Raises Questions
Columbus Dispatch, OH, May 18, 2013

A proposed state law singles out Columbus City Schools taxpayers to shoulder part of the tax burden for charter schools even though thousands of Franklin County’s charter-school students live in suburban school districts.

OKLAHOMA

Fallout Of Oklahoma School Testing Glitch Continues
The Oklahoman, OK, May 20, 2013

Oklahoma schools Superintendent Janet Barresi said she wasn’t part of the decision-making process to hire the state’s testing company, but she has stepped in to negotiate what happens from now on after the company experienced a technical glitch that affected more than 9,000 test-takers.

PENNSYLVANIA

Charters Ready To Work With District
Philadelphia Inquirer, PA, May 20, 2013

A flurry of media activity has swept the city in the wake of the School District of Philadelphia’s fiscal crisis. This activity has produced some misinformation regarding charter schools. It’s time to set the record straight.

We Can’t Afford Not To Have True Education Reform
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, PA, May 20, 2013

It is disturbing that so few Pittsburgh children attend their feeder schools (“4 of 10 Pupils Attend Assigned Schools,” May 13), and I applaud the district’s effort to improve school quality, but true reform must make a commitment to the quality education found in other places in the world.

Pennsylvania Education Standards Running Into Resistance
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, PA, May 19, 2013

Pennsylvania education standards running into resistance
A new set of educational standards based on Common Core has run into late-in-the-game opposition along unusual political lines

Agency: Charters Ignore Most Records Requests
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, PA, May 17, 2013

Charter schools, funded with about $1.1 billion a year in tax money, ignored citizens’ requests for records about 87 percent of the time and didn’t participate in nearly three of four appeals to the Office of Open Records, agency records show.

Criticism Flares Around New Pa. Graduation Tests
Philadelphia Inquirer, PA, May 20, 2013

It seemed to hit the Capitol like a brick: a sudden groundswell of criticism over a move by Gov. Tom Corbett and the Pennsylvania State Board of Education to toughen academic achievement standards and tie them to graduation tests for the state’s roughly 1.7 million public and charter school students.

WASHINGTON

Port Townsend Board Delays Decision About Charter Schools
Peninsula Daily News, WA, May 20, 2013

The Port Townsend School Board said it will put off deciding on whether to become a charter school authorizer until next Monday in order to give the district superintendent time to research the issue.

WISCONSIN

Pro-Voucher Group Targets Madison School District
Capital Times, WI, May 20, 2013

Why is EAGnews, the website for a Michigan-based “education reform” group — proudly pro-voucher, pro-charter school, anti-union and basically anti-public schools — blasting local Madison media outlets with alarming press releases about spending in the Madison School District?

ONLINE LEARNING

D.C. Charter School Would Teach All But Math And English Online
Washington Examiner, DC, May 19, 2013

A controversial computer-based learning model is competing with eight other proposals to be one of the next charter schools approved for the District.

Bradley County Has 4 Graduates In Its First Virtual School Class
Cleveland Daily Herald, TN, May 19, 2013

The first class of graduates from Bradley County Virtual School walked across the stage to receive their high school diplomas on Friday.

K12 and Virtual Academy Put Students First
The Gazette, VA, May 19, 2013

An editorial in The Gazette about the online public school Virginia Virtual Academy makes a number of wrong claims. It is children, not online learning provider K12 Inc., who benefitted most from the academy.

Oklahoma Virtual Charter Academy’s First Graduating Class Turns Their Tassels, Earns Their Diplomas
KJRH, OK, May 18, 2013

The first graduating class of the Oklahoma Virtual Charter Academy accepted their diplomas in Tulsa Saturday.

Daily Headlines for May 16, 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.

NATIONAL COVERAGE

Schools Rethink Suspension
Wall Street Journal, May 16, 2013

Damien Valentine was suspended from school for the first time as a seventh-grader in South Central Los Angeles, after arguing with a math teacher who had asked him to change seats.

STATE COVERAGE

CALIFORNIA

La Tijera School May Be Converted To Charter Campus
Los Angeles Wave, CA, May 15, 2013

Interim state administrator La Tanya Kirk-Carter has approved a study that seeks to convert La Tijera School into a dependent charter like City Honors, the district’s top academic institution.

Charter School Needs To Open Up
Los Altos Town Crier, CA, May 15, 2013

When is a public school meeting open to the public and when is it not? That’s the question we’ve been asking since Doug Smith, Los Altos School District Board of Trustees president, found himself unwelcome at two recent Bullis Charter School parent meetings he wanted to attend.

Data Lacking From Teacher Prep Push
San Diego Union-Tribune, CA, May 16, 2013

For the rest of the semester, the students will gradually take over more responsibilities in local classrooms, many of which are in low-performing schools in high-poverty districts.

COLORADO

Denver School Shutdown Creates Tension In Stapleton, Park Hill
Denver Post, CO, May 16, 2013

A plan to shut down an underperforming middle school in Park Hill and replace it with a nearby Stapleton campus has tensions running high among neighborhood parents.

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA

Judge Declines To Block D.C. School Closures
Washington Post, DC, May 16, 2013

Schools Chancellor Kaya Henderson can move forward with plans to close 15 D.C. schools, a federal judge ruled Wednesday, rejecting activists’ claims that the closures violate the civil rights of city children.

FLORIDA

Education Bills To Change State Landscape
St. Augustine Record, FL, May 16, 2013

The biggest battles on the education front in the 2013 legislative sessions have already been fought and largely decided: Educators will get $480 million in pay raises, though not precisely how Gov. Rick Scott had asked, and the Senate killed a bill allowing parents more of a say in the future of failing schools.

ILLINOIS

CTU Files Lawsuits To Stop School Closings
Chicago Tribune, IL, May 16, 2013

The Chicago Teachers Union’s decision to go to court to try to stop the city from closing 53 elementary schools, while not unexpected, makes clear that the Board of Education’s vote on the proposal next week will not put an end to the controversy.

INDIANA

Charter Schools Should Reassess Before Seeking New Start
Journal Gazette, IN, May 16, 2013

School closings are painful and disruptive, but the decisions behind them are never made lightly. Ball State University President Jo Ann Gora’s decision this week to uphold the charter revocations for five Indiana schools, including two Imagine schools in Fort Wayne, appears to come with more deliberation than the initial decision to grant the charters.

BSU Ending Pacts With 3 City Charters, 7 In Indiana
The Journal Gazette, IN, May 16, 2013

Ball State University officials have officially pulled the plug on the sponsorship of seven charter schools across the state, including three in Fort Wayne.

LOUISIANA

LPSS Board Hears Pitch On Charter Schools
The Daily Advertiser, LA, May 16, 2013

Two organizations hope to build a total of four charter schools in Lafayette Parish.

Voucher Funding Formula Modified
The Daily Advertiser, LA, May 16, 2013

Education Superintendent John White says a Louisiana Supreme Court ruling and Senate committee action are forcing a reworking of the plan to fund public schools by taking vouchers out of the formula and funding them separately.

Shakeout From School Voucher Ruling By Louisiana Supreme Court Begins
Times-Picayune, LA, May 15, 2013

The ramifications of a state Supreme Court decision radically disrupting school funding in general and Gov. Bobby Jindal’s voucher program in particular began to become clear Wednesday.

MARYLAND

Baltimore Teachers Union Supports Call To Halt Common Core Consequences
Baltimore Sun Blog, MD, May 15, 2013

The Baltimore Teacher’s Union has called for the district hold off on attaching penalties to schools’ performance on the new Common Core assessments, citing insufficient professional development and resources to implement the new high-stakes curriculum.

MASSACHUSETTS

Probation Is Urged For Charter School
Telegram & Gazette, MA, May 16, 2013

State Commissioner of Education Mitchell D. Chester is recommending that the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education place the Spirit of Knowledge Charter School on probation.

A Good-Hearted Undertaking At Norwell Charter School
Patriot Ledger, MA, May 16, 2013

South Shore Charter Public School is blanketed with paper hearts from all over the world as a result of a student project intended to prove that the world is filled with kindness.

MISSOURI

School District Takeover Bill Goes To Nixon
Kansas City Star, MO, May 15, 2013

Legislation allowing the state to more quickly take over the Kansas City school district is headed to the governor.

NEW HAMPSHIRE

In Education, Money Counts: NH’s Top Schools Often Have The Lowest Amounts Of Poverty
Nashua Telegraph, NH, May 16, 2013

It’s a question that has been tossed around for years, by lawmakers trying to create a balanced budget and by educators lobbying for more funding for schools.

NEW YORK

A Team Approach to Get Students College Ready
New York Times Blog, NY, May 15, 2013

Sheffy’s school is one of three New York City public schools working with an organization called Blue Engine, which recruits and places recent college graduates as full-time teaching assistants in high schools, helps teachers shift to a small-group classroom model with a ratio of one instructor for roughly every six students…

The Bronx Is Burning — With Charter School Applications
New York Daily News, NY, May 15, 2013

Borough not only has the most hopefuls but also dramatically fewer slots. Parents complain of, frankly, poor schools in the mainland borough.

Bensonhurst Public School Sees Major Success From Longer Class Days
New York Daily News, NY, May 15, 2013

Bensonhurst students who are enduring a three-hour longer school day are finally seeing the reward: double-digit increases in test scores.

Charter School Students All From Utica
Utica Observer-Dispatch, NY, May 15, 2013

A Marcy couple hugged each other, eyes filled with tears at the sight of their daughter’s name on the acceptance list.

Thompson Proposes Plan for Teacher Merit Wages
Wall Street Journal, May 16, 2013

Bill Thompson said Wednesday he would create a form of merit pay for some New York City teachers if elected mayor, giving the city’s best teachers incentives to work in struggling schools.

NORTH CAROLINA

Senate Backs Wake Commissioners Takeover Of School Construction
News Observer, NC, May 16, 2013

Wake County commissioners on Wednesday neared their goal of taking possession of more than $1.8 billion in Wake school property, as the state Senate passed a bill that would strip the school board of its authority to own and build schools.

OHIO

Cleveland School District Moves Towards Performance Pay
StateImpact, OH, May 15, 2013

Last night the Cleveland school board unanimously agreed to what city and union officials are hailing as a groundbreaking teacher contract for Ohio. Union members will vote later this month.

House Revises Reading Plan For Ohio Schools
Columbus Dispatch, OH, May 16, 2013

Gov. John Kasich and state legislators last spring created a new reading guarantee designed to identify young students with reading problems, get them help and keep them in the third grade if they do meet certain standards.

PENNSYLVANIA

Corbett To Keep Tomalis In New Post, Same Pay
Philadelphia Inquirer, PA, May 16, 2013

Gov. Corbett made it official Wednesday: Pennsylvania Education Secretary Ron Tomalis is leaving his cabinet post, to be replaced by a suburban Harrisburg school superintendent.

SRC Renews 5 Charters
Philadelphia Daily News, PA, May 16, 2013

THE SCHOOL REFORM Commission voted to approve charter renewals for five schools last night, but four of them were forced to improve their enrollment procedures.

Plan Stresses Attracting Charter-School Students Back To York City Schools
The York Dispatch, PA, May 15, 2013

The state-appointed chief recovery officer for the York City School District doesn’t want to lose any time attracting charter-school students back to the district.

Charters’ Double Dip
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, PA, May 16, 2013

In response to the May 7 letter “Wrong Reform” by Robert Fayfich, executive director of the Pennsylvania Coalition of Public Charter Schools, an important clarification must be made.

School Websites The Latest Venue For Advertisements As Districts Seek Revenue Sources
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, PA, May 16, 2013

With funding tight, expenses ever increasing and limits set on how high taxes can be raised, school leaders find themselves looking for new ways to raise revenues.

RHODE ISLAND

Flynn: Charter School Cost Unfair To Lincoln
Valley Breeze, RI, May 15, 2013

The taxpayers of the town of Lincoln are paying the tuition this year for 68 children enrolled in the Blackstone Valley Prep Mayoral Academy. This is costing the taxpayers $650,488 for this year. This amount will be increasing each year as the charter school expands, and in the next few years could exceed $1 million.

SOUTH CAROLINA

SC High School Graduation Exit Exam Could Be History
The State, SC, May 15, 2013

There also is wide agreement among lawmakers, state education officials and educators that the state should eliminate the test because, they say, it does not adequately measure students’ preparation for college or for today’s work force.

TENNESSEE

Stax Records Left A Powerful Legacy With An Ongoing Impact On Students In Memphis’ Soulsville
Associated Press, May 16, 2013

The academy also is adjacent to the Soulsville Charter School, which sends most, if not all, of its graduates to college every year.

TEXAS

House To Consider Much-Watched Charter School Bill
Beaumont Enterprise, TX, May 16, 2013

The House is set to debate a plan to dramatically expand the number of charter schools allowed to operate in Texas — a sweeping proposal that’s cleared the Senate but could face a tougher road in the lower chamber.

Texas Charter School Bill Would Put End To Nepotism
Dallas Morning News, TX, May 16, 2013

Texas charter schools can hire relatives of board members and superintendents. It’s a unique perk that was meant to foster innovation but has led to abuses of taxpayer dollars.

ONLINE LEARNING

In Maine, Push For Virtual Schools Fades
Press Herald, ME, May 16, 2013

After negative publicity, a task force’s preliminary report omits key digital learning reforms championed by Gov. LePage and Jeb Bush.

State Panel Won’t Consolidate 18 Virtual School Appeals
Daily Herald, IL, May 15, 2013

Administrators, district attorneys, school board members, union representatives and community members packed the meeting Wednesday of the Illinois State Charter School Commission in Chicago to argue against the proposed appeal process for a virtual charter school — and won.