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Daily Headlines: February 16, 2012


As Teacher Merit Pay Spreads, One Noted Voice Cries, ‘It Doesn’t Work’
Washington Post, DC, February 15, 2012

Merit pay for teachers, an idea kicked around for decades, is suddenly gaining traction.

New Analysis Makes Case For Higher Ranking For U.S. Schools
USA Today, February 16, 2012

The idea that U.S. public schools are falling behind the rest of the world is widely accepted, but a new analysis of international data suggests that using rankings to sort global winners from losers is often misguided, exaggerating tiny differences between countries that may be producing nearly identical results.

The Next Race to the Top? Arne Duncan Outlines Vision For Teacher Reform
Christian Science Monitor, MA, February 15, 2012

Education Secretary Arne Duncan launched a $5 billion proposal Wednesday aimed at improving the teaching profession at every level. It would be modeled after the Race to the Top program.

Making a Difference: Public, Charter School Form Partnership
NBC News Video

Rock Center Special Correspondent Chelsea Clinton visits Central Falls , R.I. , where a public school and charter school have formed a unique partnership to better serve their students. Rather than compete with one another, a group of public school teachers are working with teachers from The Learning Community charter school to devise programs that have already raised students’ test scores.

Rick Santorum Suggests Opposition To Public Schooling
CBS News, February 15, 2012

“We didn’t have government-run schools for a long time in this country, for the majority of the time in this country,” he said. “We had private education. We had local education. Parents actually controlled the education of their children. What a great idea that is.”

Rich and Poor: The Education Gap
New York Times, NY, February 16, 2012

There is a rich, diverse mosaic of programs, services and organizations that have intervened to create access to high-quality educational opportunities, provide academic enrichment and skill-building, ensure retention and college completion, and create career awareness and opportunities for African-Americans and other students of color. The decreasing gap is evidence that these efforts have had impact.


Langham Not Sold On Charter Schools
The Wetumpka Herald, AL, February 15, 2012

Republican leaders in the state House and Senate have made the creation of charter schools a priority of the 2012 legislative session.

Leadership High Get a Big School Board Thumbs Up
San Francisco Chronicle Blog, CA, February 15, 2012

The San Francisco school board unanimously voted Tuesday night to renew Leadership High School’s charter status despite a campaign backed by charter school advocates to shut it down.

Charter School Suggests Mediation
Los Altos Town Crier, CA, February 15, 2012

Bullis Charter School invited the Los Altos School District Monday to enter an interest-based mediation to seek a multiyear facilities solution, using a mediator selected jointly by district trustees and charter school board members.

Colorado Teacher-Evaluation Bill Signed Into Law
Denver Post, CO, February 16, 2012

Rules that change how teachers and principals will be evaluated — and how they will earn or lose tenure — were signed into law this morning by Gov. John Hickenlooper.

No Need To Rush School Reforms
Ct Post, CT, February 15, 2012

Gov. Dannel Malloy’s education reform bill, titled “Educational Competitiveness,” is a massive piece of legislation whose size is equaled only by its ambition. It aims to overhaul public education in the state, and tackles everything from issues previous governors were afraid to touch — teacher tenure, the educational cost-sharing formula — to newer, equally controversial measures — teacher evaluations and charter school funding.

Georgia Charter Schools Don’t Outperform Traditional Schools, Report Says
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, GA, February 16, 2012

Charter schools have become less successful than traditional schools in meeting federally mandated annual yearly progress targets, a report to the state Department of Education shows.

Georgia Senate Takes Up Charter School Effort
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, GA, February 16, 2012

With a similar effort stymied in the state House, the chairman of the Senate Education Committee has proposed his own constitutional amendment that would restore the state’s power to approve charter schools.

National Experts: Charter School Employees Should Not Be State Employees
Honolulu Civil Beat, HI, February 15, 2012

A proposal to overhaul Hawaii’s charter school system will go a long way to fixing known problems, but it lacks a key component that could dramatically improve accountability, national experts say.

Bill Would Give New Teachers Chance at Leadership Pay
Magic Valley Times- News, ID, February 16, 2012

A teacher’s work day doesn’t end once students go home. Besides tasks such as lesson planning and grading, some teachers serve in leadership positions such as mentoring other teachers, helping with grant writing or providing input as a committee member.

The Noble Rules
Chicago Tribune, IL, February 16, 2012

Thousands of kids line up every year for a chance to attend one of the excellent high schools run by Chicago’s Noble Network of Charter Schools. There’s a long waiting list for those schools because they have dedicated teachers and safe, orderly environments and they prepare their students to go to college.

Warm Reception For This Statehouse Rally
The Journal Gazette blog, IN, February 15, 2012

A raucous throng of protesters descended on the Indiana Statehouse today. Angry labor union representatives still enraged by the right to work law? Nope – about 1,000 students and parents pushing for more school choice.

Bill To Break Up KC School District Passes Missouri Senate Committee
Kansas City Star, KS, February 15, 2012

Legislation that would permanently dissolve the unaccredited Kansas City Public Schools district, carve it up and require neighboring districts to take over city schools won approval of a Missouri Senate committee Tuesday.

Groups Knock Jindal’s Voucher Plan
The Advertiser, LA, February 16, 2012

Gov. Bobby Jindal scores an “F” in accountability with his plan to expand his New Orleans “scholarships” statewide, a government watchdog group says in a report.

School Board to Weigh Viability of THRIVE
The Advocate, LA, February 16, 2012

A proposal to create an inner-city Baton Rouge public boarding school gets its first test Thursday as backers seek the approval of the East Baton Rouge Parish School Board.

Patrick Says Grants Will Help Schools Innovate
Boston Globe, MA, February 16, 2012

The money will fund planning for 29 schools to explore converting to the so-called innovation school model, which gives local educators more control over programs and school schedules, similar to charter schools. “We have to deal with [the] persistent achievement gap, which has been with us for a long time,’’ Patrick said.

Proving Themselves By Performing
Boston Globe, MA, February 16, 2012

Four years ago, education officials blocked the opening of a for-profit SABIS Educational System charter school in Brockton. Will SABIS meet the same fate this month when it tries to bring its proven educational model to Lowell or expand its presence in Springfield? SABIS has earned the right to expand in Massachusetts. While the for-profit business model may offend some local sensibilities, SABIS students in Holyoke and Springfield consistently outperform peers from similar socioeconomic backgrounds.

Teachers Union Stands For Its Members’ Interests, Not Students’
Press Herald, ME, February 16, 2012

Real education reform requires unions to stop sheltering underperforming teachers.

State High Court Hears School Transfer Case
St. Louis Post-Dispatch, MO, February 16, 2012

The Webster Groves School District asked the Missouri Supreme Court on Wednesday to stem off what the district described as a potential deluge of students transferring from failing schools.

Charter School Hits Bumpy Road Trying To Buy Vacant City School
St. Louis Beacon, MO, February 15, 2012

But in the contentious atmosphere of traditional public schools and charters, nothing flows as smoothly as it might otherwise.

Missouri Lawmaker Seeks Funding For Religious Schools
St. Louis Post-Dispatch, MO, February 16, 2012

Republican Scott Rupp, of Wentzville, is sponsoring legislation to abolish language in the Missouri Constitution that prohibits public funding for religious groups to operate schools.

The New Haven Experiment
New York Times, NY, February 16, 2012

I lost patience with teachers’ unions when union officials in New York City defended a teacher who had passed out in class, reeking of alcohol, with even the principal unable to rouse her.

Cuomo Wants Teacher-Evaluations Settlement Today; Talks ‘Collegial’
Journal News, NY, February 16, 2012

Talks continued in earnest Wednesday as state education officials and the New York State United Teachers union try to beat today’s deadline to reach a compromise on a new teacher-evaluation system.

English Language Learners Line Up for New Success Charter School
New York Daily News, NY, February 16, 2012

Officials at a charter network that wants to open a new elementary school in Southside Williamburg say they have attracted a large pool of English Language Learners.

Turnover Rate Soars Among CMS Principals
Charlotte Observer, NC, February 16, 2012

More than one-third of principals in Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools have changed jobs or left the district during the first half of this school year, with the numbers expected to rise through the spring.

No Debate: For-Profit Public Education Is Wrong
Daily Advance, NC, February 15, 2012

Last summer, John Hood, president of the John Locke Foundation, wrote eloquently about a conservative vision of public education, a vision in which parents of all income levels are given more choices about where and how to educate their children.

Success Amid Crisis in Chester
Philadelphia Inquirer, PA, February 16, 2012

The school’s hallmark, however, is its partnership with parents and guardians, which encourages them to be intensely and productively engaged in their children’s educational experience. Also crucial is the support of Widener’s faculty and students.

New Hope Supporters Turn Out For Rally Against Possible Charter Loss
York Dispatch, PA, February 16, 2012

If New Hope Academy were to close, Olga Ortiz would move out of York City.

Charter School Planning New Building
Charleston Post Courier, SC, February 16, 2012

Charleston Development Academy long ago outgrew its home in one of the city’s oldest housing projects, and it’s launching a new fundraising campaign for a building.

Haslam Loses Republican Support On Class-Size Bill
The Tennessean, TN, February 16, 2012

When Gov. Bill Haslam sought to dismantle collective bargaining by teachers unions, Republicans lined up to support him.

Utah Bill Would Give Public Education Money Directly To Student ‘Savings Accounts,’ Not Schools
Huffington Post, February 15, 2012

Funding for public education could go directly to the pockets of students, instead of to schools, under a proposal in the Utah legislature.

Wash. to Focus on Achievement Gap for NCLB Waiver
Seattle Times, WA, February 15, 2012

Washington’s application for a waiver from the requirements of the federal No Child Left Behind Law will focus on efforts to close the achievement gap between kids of different races, state education officials said Wednesday.


Virtual Schools, Brick-And-Mortar Challenges
Charlotte Examiner, NC, February 15, 2012

Alternatives abound, yet the state controlled K-12 schools dominate the average American childhood. Now add to the list of suitors for your education dollar – virtual charter schools.

Merrill Schools Gear Up For Big Changes
Wisconsin Rapids Tribune, WI, February 15, 2012

Those changes include the transition of Pine River Elementary School to become the Head Start Early Childhood center, and the opening of two charter schools, Bridges Virtual Academy and Maple Grove Charter School .

Editorial: Digital Learning Challenge For School District
The Northwestern, WI, February 16, 2012

The financial challenges facing the Oshkosh Area School District are documented and daunting. While facilities and infrastructure needs are pressing we argue the district is dangerously close to falling into an academic chasm no amount of bricks and mortar will repair.

Online Schools’ Legality Eyed
Des Moines Register, IA, February 16, 2012

The state attorney general’s office will issue an opinion on the legality of online schools set to open this fall under the auspices of two Iowa school districts, a spokesman said Wednesday.

Online School Advocates Sue Over Funding Cuts
The Olympian, WA, February 15, 2012

Advocates of online learning programs have sued Washington state in a bid to piggy back on the recent state Supreme Court ruling that said the Legislature had failed to meet its constitutional duty to fully pay for basic education.

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