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Daily Headlines: February 1, 2012

Education Equality And Choice: Creating A Positive Future
The Hill Blog , DC, January 31, 2012

Last week was a big week for people who care about education reform. National School Choice Week stormed the nation with more than 400 events across all 50 states. More than half the nation’s governors issued proclamations supporting the week. The week shone a light on school choice in all its forms and got people talking about educational options for our children.

Investment In Collaborative Education Is An Investment In Our Future
Times of Trenton , NJ, February 1, 2012

Collaboration, not competition, is the key to teacher success in Finland . Collaboration is not about warm, fuzzy feelings. It’s about improving the craft, developing good teachers into great teachers, using test data fairly and instilling in students the love of learning.


Now We Know About Charter Schools in AZ
Nogales International, AZ, January 31, 2012

When my wife, April, and I first studied charter schools in Arizona back in 1997, they had 222 campuses, a 3.3 percent market share, and heaps of criticism from folks who had never set foot inside of one. Fifteen years later they have 524 campuses, a 12 percent market share, and still plenty of critics.

Charter Bill Would Serve Status Quo, But Not Students
Redding Record Searchlight, CA, February 1, 2012

Struggling business owners might occasionally daydream of getting a law passed to block inconvenient competition. Too bad for them: They lack the political clout of California’s teachers unions, which can actually pull off such a stunt.

Teachers Union Files Grievance Over Plan to Extend Middle-School Day in Denver
Denver Post, CO, February 1, 2012

The Denver teacher’s union has filed a class-action grievance in anticipation of a budget plan that Denver Public Schools is expected to announce Wednesday that would extend middle school hours.

Teacher Fight Heating Up in Connecticut
Wall Street Journal, February 1, 2012

For years, Connecticut didn’t adequately respond to a carrot held out by the federal government, failing to pass and implement strong enough laws to win hundreds of millions of dollars in Race to the Top education funding.

Edison Collegiate High Prepares And Challenges Top Students
News-Press, FL, January 31, 2012

Edison opened the doors of this public charter school in Lee County two years ago to broaden the minds and possibilities for teenagers in Southwest Florida.

Charter Amendment Could See First Vote Thursday; Lobbying Intensifies
Atlanta Journal Constitution, GA, January 31, 2012

The lobbying intensified Tuesday over a proposed constitutional amendment that could re-establish the state’s power to approve and fund charter schools over the objections of local school systems.

Eliminating Tenure For Teachers Would Strip Them of Due Process
Honolulu Star-Advertiser, HI, February 1, 2012

Teachers want to work beside an excellent teacher helping students learn and preparing them to succeed in life. This is why bills being heard by the Legislature this week are so puzzling.

Chicagoans Deserves To Know Who Paid For Protesters At School Hearings
Chicago Sun Times, IL, January 31, 2012

It seems a select group of ministers have been providing human props by the busloads for public hearings in support of Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s school reform agenda — specifically his plans for a longer school day, school closings and “turnarounds.”

Educators Say Funding Key To Reducing Dropouts
Chicago Tribune, IL, February 1, 2012

Gov. Pat Quinn is pushing state lawmakers to raise the age students can legally drop out of school from 17 to 18, a move aimed at improving graduation rates but one that local educators say won’t accomplish much unless the state also provides the money to keep at-risk students in school.

House Panel Backs Bill To Give School Districts Flexibility On Some Regulations
Louisville Courier-Journal, KY, January 31, 2012

A bill that would allow school districts to bypass some statewide regulations and experiment with new educational models won unanimous support in the House Education Committee Tuesday.

Charter Schools Will Get Their Day
State Journal, KY, January 31, 2012

A bill to allow charter schools in Kentucky will get a hearing before the House Education Committee next week for the first time in years.

Overcrowding Remedy in Jefferson Parish Public Schools Could Force Hundreds of Student Transfers
Times-Picayune, LA, January 31, 2012

A plan to ease crowding at the largest elementary school in Jefferson Parish, the 1,125-student Estelle Elementary in Marrero, could set off a chain reaction shifting hundreds of students among five West Bank sites for 2012-13 and creating the school system’s only campus spanning pre-kindergarten through eighth grade. The corresponding goal of easing congestion at two East Jefferson elementary schools could add four more campuses to the shuffle.

Jefferson Parish School Board to Consider Contract with Teach for America
Times-Picayune, LA, January 31, 2012

Less than a year after laying off 54 veteran educators, the Jefferson Parish School Board is considering hiring almost three dozen Teach for America graduates over objections from the teachers union.

Planned Science-Centered School In Portland Seeks Charter OK
Portland Press Herald, ME, February 1, 2012

Baxter Academy hopes to use Google sharing platforms to collaborate with other charter schools.

Maine’s Schools of Education Continue to Fail Our Teachers, Students
Portland Press Herald, ME, February 1, 2012

Most programs here don’t instruct aspiring teachers in proven methods of teaching kids how to read.

School, Fuller Surveys Need Outreach, Options To Have Credibility
Gloucester Times, MA, February 1, 2012

But if school officials and the mayor’s office want the surveys to be taken seriously, they must all try to reach out to as many Gloucester residents and taxpayers as possible. And they have to seriously represent the school district’s present lineup — as well as viable options for the future, including choices the School Committee itself may not want to pursue.

Diversity in St. Paul School Choice Mix
Star Tribune, MN, January 31, 2012

St. Paul administrators and school board members indicated Tuesday that they will work to ensure student diversity in high-demand schools by reserving spots for applicants from neighborhoods with low income, poor English language skills and low test scores.

Battle to End Teacher Seniority in Minnesota Begins
Star Tribune, MN, February 1, 2012

Parents, teachers and education activists squared off at the Capitol Tuesday over a Republican proposal that would transform the way Minnesota school districts conduct teacher layoffs by scrapping seniority, the sacred tenet of most teachers unions.

Mo. Senators Hearing Testimony on School Changes
St. Louis Post-Dispatch, MO, January 31, 2012

Administrators of Catholic schools threw their support Tuesday behind a proposal that would allow students in failing public schools to receive scholarships for private schools subsidized by state tax credits.

Public Needs Control Over Chart
Home News Tribune, NJ, January 31, 2012

On Thursday the Assembly Education Committee is scheduled to consider a bill that would require public approval of charter-school applications. The proposal received bipartisan backing in the last legislative session but ultimately stalled.

E.B. Board Argues State Erred In Granting Charter
East Brunswick Sentinel, NJ, February 1, 2012

To the township Board of Education, it all comes down to the state commissioner of education needs to follow his own rules.

NY Group Sets Cost of Teacher Fight at $1.7B
Utica Observer Dispatch, NY, January 31, 2012

As some local school districts are nearing agreements with their unions to create tougher evaluations for teachers and principals, an interest group said failure to enact the new evaluations will cost schools $1.7 billion statewide.

Time To Address Tenure Failings
Press-Republican, NY, February 1, 2012

The continuing debate statewide and nationally over teacher tenure underscores the fact that it is a longtime controversy that sorely needs to be addressed.

Stop Burning NY’s Special-Ed Dollars
New York Post, NY, February 1, 2012

It’s time to shake up New York’s shameful special-education system — and the way to do it is with a school-choice program for students with special needs and other disabilities.

Let Schools Choice Process Play Out, Tata Says
News & Observer, NC, February 1, 2012

Wake County Superintendent Tony Tata marked his one-year anniversary Tuesday by urging parents to be patient with the new student assignment plan while also saying plans are being developed to change school bus service.

Durham School Board Fights New Charter
News & Observer , NC, February 1, 2012

Durham leaders are taking a stand against a new charter high school planned for the Research Triangle Park area, saying it will siphon money from traditional public schools and lead to further racial segregation.

Bus Stop
Columbus Dispatch, OH, February 1, 2012

Kids who ride school buses operated by First Student Inc. to charter and private schools in Columbus should thank the State Highway Patrol trooper who showed recently that he’s looking out for their well-being.

Panel Says School Voucher Expansion Proposal Seeing Little Support
Aurora Advocate, OH, February 1, 2012

A bill that would expand the school voucher program to more students and allow them to use those vouchers at more schools is not going forward, according to panelists at a recent event here.

A Barresi Takeover of Hale High School Is Troubling
Tulsa World, OK, February 1, 2012

If Oklahoma Superintendent of Public Instruction Janet Barresi has any tricks up her sleeve that concern Tulsa Public Schools, we wish she would give administrators, teachers and parents a heads-up.

East Tennessee Teachers Share Mixed Feelings On New Evaluations
Knoxville News Sentinel, TN, February 1, 2012

his year, Gorman and thousands of teachers across the state are going through their own learning curve as they adapt to the new teacher evaluation model required this year under the state’s First to the Top Act. They are expressing their concerns with the system, which is based on observations and student data.

Good News, Bad News For State’s Teachers’ Unions
Knoxville News Sentinel, TN, February 1, 2012

Gera Summerford, president of the Tennessee Education Association and Gatlinburg teacher, was a bit agitated by the education plans Gov. Bill Haslam unfolded in his State of the State address Monday.

Issaquah District Settles on New Teacher Evaluations
Sammamish Review, WA , January 31, 2012

Hoping to take the lead in implementing a coming change in state law, Issaquah School District officials have settled on a teacher evaluation system that could end up being a model for all of Washington .

New Charter School Coming to Cheyenne
KGWN, NE, January 31, 2012

Cheyenne’s first charter school will be opening this fall. Ricardo Flores Magon Academy will be enrolling 120 students k-2nd grade, and will be adding a grade every year until they reach 8th grade.


The Country’s Most Ambitious Digital Learning Project
Huffington Post, January 31, 2012

Educators from coast-to-coast will celebrate the nation’s first Digital Learning Day on Wednesday.

‘Cyber’ Charter Backers Say Lifting Cap Would Make Room For Thousands Of Students, While Critics Point To Profits, Progress
MILive, MI, January 31, 2012

Principal Stephanie Hargens had nearly 6,100 applications from students hoping to attend Michigan Virtual Charter Academy , and had to turn most away due to enrollment restrictions.

Online Charter School Hosting Trivia Challenge
Democrat Herald, OR, January 31, 2012

Oregon Connections Academy, the online charter school based in Scio, is offering Quiz Bowl Trivia Challenge — a free, online technology and science trivia game — on Wednesday, Feb. 1.

New Tools Entering Schools
Statesman Journal, OR, January 31, 2012

At Scotts Mills Elementary School, where chalkboards still can be found in some classrooms, a teacher recently was hired via Skype. At Bethany Charter School, the oldest building in the Silver Falls School District , students are using Flip video cameras to broadcast school news.

Francis And Hager: Ariz. Must Take Advantage Of Digital Learning
Arizona Republic, AZ, February 1, 2012

So is the world of education. Through digital learning, no longer are learning and discovery tethered to the bricks and mortar of a classroom.

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