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Daily Headlines: February 22, 2012

Muslim Families Turn To Home-Schooling
Washington Times, DC, February 21, 2012

Her parents’ solution – to home-school their daughter – was a radical step in 1987, but one that a rising number of Muslim-Americans are embracing today, shaking off the stigma that taking their children out of the public school system would increase the community’s isolation and cultural distance from the American mainstream.


Campaign for Adelanto Charter School Falls Short
Los Angeles Times, CA, February 22, 2012

School officials in the High Desert community of Adelanto say there weren’t enough signatures under the parent trigger law to mandate a charter conversion.

Teacher Seniority Rights Remain Intact In Oakland’s Public Schools
Oakland Tribune, CA, February 21, 2012

Seniority rules and teacher transfer rights will remain intact in Oakland Unified this year, despite the superintendent’s call for a change.

New Charter School Gains State Approval
The Coloradoan, CO, February 22, 2012

A new Fort Collins charter school will open its doors in August to offer “guaranteed postsecondary and workforce readiness.”

Wells Fargo’s $1.2 Million Loan to Stone Creek Charter School Violates TABOR, State A.G. Rules
Denver Post, CO, February 21, 2012

A national banking company is walking away from a loan to a local school that violates the Colorado Constitution.

Teachers Are Focus of Marathon Legislative Hearing
Hartford Courant, CT, February 21, 2012

Scores of people testified to the General Assembly’s Education Committee Tuesday about teachers and proposed education reforms, but it was a 17-year-old Norwalk High School student who riveted lawmakers’ attention.

Malloy’s Teacher Performance Plan Gets Mixed Grades
Connecticut Post, CT, February 22, 2012

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy took aim at teachers who “don’t belong” in the classroom, saying his education reform plan would provide a fairer way to judge the performance of educators.

Beware The Myths Muddying The Debate On Education Reform
Hartford Courant , CT, February 21, 2012

The problem, for example, isn’t teachers in our public schools, it’s the folks who keep talking about how teachers are the main problem. The problem isn’t that the governor wants to eliminate tenure. Malloy wants — justifiably — to link it to whether a teacher is helping children learn.

Neighborhood Preference Would Undermine Charter Schools
Greater Greater Washington , DC, February 21, 2012

Kwame Brown and Tommy Wells recently suggested that charter schools give special admission preference to families in the immediate neighborhood. While this may sound like a good idea at first, it would undermine the ability of many charters to be as successful as they are.

SCF’s Charter Plans Get Sarasota School Board OK
Herald Tribune, FL, February 21, 2012

State College of Florida’s plans to open a charter school at its Venice campus cleared another hurdle Tuesday when Sarasota County School Board members voted 4-1 to approve the college’s charter application.

Charter School Proposal Pitched in Orfordville
Janesville Gazette, FL, February 21, 2012

A Parkview graduate who runs a charter school company in Florida says he can keep Newark and Footville schools open and run them for about $4,000 less per student.

Attacked From Left, Charter Schools Fight for Right to Funding
Sunshine State News, FL, February 22, 2012

The perennial push to funnel construction funds to charter schools is running into another brick wall of political opposition erected by school districts and a liberal advocacy group.

House Set To Vote Again On Charter Constitutional Amendment
Atlanta Journal-Constitution, GA, February 21, 2012

Charter school supporters plan a second attempt Wednesday at persuading the Georgia House to approve legislation asking voters to restore the state’s power to approve charter schools.

Dems, Rural Republicans May Flip On Charter School Debate
Macon Telegraph, GA, February 22, 2012

Metro Atlanta Republicans in the state House are scheduled to find out Wednesday if they have whipped enough of their rural colleagues back into line or attracted enough stray Democrats to win a vote that could let the state create charter schools.

Lawmakers Keep On Defensive Over Redistricting Bills
Cherokee Tribune, GA, February 22, 2012

Under the provisions of the proposed bill, Cherokee County voters will vote by post for six school board members and choose a chairperson elected countywide. The school board now has seven representatives elected countywide and the board elects its own chair and vice chair.

School Closing Foes, Board Members Set For Showdown
Chicago Tribune, IL, February 21, 2012

Wednesday’s vote on reform package poised to draw hundreds of activists, parents, union leaders

In Praise of a Longer School Day
Chicago Tribune, IL, February 22, 2012

I’m puzzled by all the controversy over the longer school day in Chicago. We did it at Howe Elementary School, and it has been an amazing success.

Brizard Signs Off On Plan To Remake Crane As Medical High School
Chicago Journal, IL, February 21, 2012

After months of intense fighting between officials and activists about whether or not to close the Near West Side’s Crane High School, Chicago Public Schools CEO Jean-Claude Brizard has signed on to a plan to keep the school open.

Iowa Poll: Majority Support Iowa Education Reform Proposals
Des Moines Register, IA, February 22, 2012

The creation of more charter schools is the only education reform policy piece included in the governor’s plan that has middling support from respondents.

Charter Schools Grow in Prince George’s County
Washington Post, DC, February 21, 2012

Over the past few years, Prince George’s County has quietly amassed the largest cluster of charter schools in the Washington suburbs.

Charter School Conversion Could Be Answer For Poor Academic Performance
Times Herald, MI, February 22, 2012

A bill moving through the Michigan State Senate could give parents and teachers at failing public schools the power to convert their school to a charter school.

Gov. Rick Snyder: Highland Park School District Faces Shutdown Without Intervention
Detroit Free Press, MI, February 22, 2012

The Highland Park school district is on the brink of financial collapse and could shut down as early as next week without emergency intervention, Gov. Rick Snyder said Tuesday.

Charter Schools Offer Alternative To Mediocre Schools
Jackson Clarion Ledger, MS, February 22, 2012

Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves and legislative Republicans are taking heat this week for trying to give the charter school concept an honest try. But a look at the status quo in Mississippi public education suggests that the concept is an alternative worth empowering.

Charter Schools: Go Slow, Get It Right
Jackson Clarion Ledger, MS, February 22, 2012

Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves said Monday that he does not think the charter school proposal he supports is a panacea for improving education, but a “tool in the toolbox” to help give parents an option.

Charter Schools’ Numbers Decline in Nevada As Reviews Toughen
Reno Gazette Journal, NV, February 21, 2012

A national study showed that the number of charter schools in Nevada declined last year, but local educators say those that remain open are more stable and financially secure because of a tougher review process.

Education Tax Credit Provides School Choice for Every Child
Fosters Daily Democrat, NH, February 22, 2012

There is a real need for school choice in New Hampshire. HB1607 is a bill that’s been introduced that will begin the process of offering school choice to children in New Hampshire. HB 1607 establishes an education credit against the business profits tax so that businesses can awards scholarships to students to defray the educational expenses of attending an independent school.

Principals’ Opposition To Teacher Evaluation Grows
The Journal News, NY, February 22, 2012

Eighteen high school principals from northern Westchester and Putnam counties have joined the growing ranks of school administrators who are publicly opposing the state’s new teacher evaluation system.

Charter vs. Catholic schools: New Research Says Charters Are Siphoning Students From Parish Schools
New York Daily News, NY, February 22, 2012

Emotional students and teachers packed up years’ worth of belongings as their beloved school, St. Augustine , closed its doors forever last June. A charter school moved into the building.

State Audit of Richard Allen Schools Results in $929,850 in Findings for Recovery
Dayton Daily News, OH, February 21, 2012

Richard Allen Schools were the subject of an in-depth Dayton Daily News report last year that examined questionable oversight of how the schools are run and how their money is spent.

School Reforms Repeat Mistakes of Past Efforts
Forest Grove News-Times, OR, February 22, 2012

The governor’s plan is a classic ‘trust me,’ top-down approach by those who have no personal experience in the classroom.

Lawmakers Should Drop Out Of Charter Involvement
Philadelphia Daily News, PA, February 22, 2012

WHEN the School Reform Commission next votes to approve new charter schools, it’ll review one application that carries two familiar names – State Reps. Bill Keller and John Taylor.

Chester’s Last Hope Hangs In The Balance
Philadelphia Inquirer, PA, February 22, 2012

That’s where schools come in. Since Chester Community Charter opened 13 years ago with 97 students, the city’s parents have brought nearly 3,100 of their children to the school, or 60 percent of the city’s K-8 students. The school gives parents their own report cards grading their support for their children’s education. Its students learn in nine modern buildings and have achieved Adequate Yearly Progress on state tests for three consecutive years.

Research Study Gives Good Marks To Phila.’s School Turnaround Effort
Philadelphia Inquirer, PA, February 22, 2012

Philadelphia’s nationally watched school turnaround effort gets high marks from a research study to be released Wednesday.

Killing Vouchers
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, PA, February 22, 2012

Nowhere is President Obama’s allegiance to public-sector unions — to the detriment of the people they serve — on more stunning display than in his bid to defund what’s hailed as one of the best school-voucher programs in the country.

Limits Needed On Charter Schools
Commercial Appeal, TN, February 22, 2012

I can understand wanting to put charter schools in failing school districts (Feb. 20 DeSoto Appeal article, “Governor, attorney general work on lawyer bill”). Those children deserve to have a good public school option.

Council Should Approve Uplift Charter School Proposal
Dallas Morning News, TX, February 22, 2012

Not often is the Dallas City Council presented with a proposition that has all winners and no losers. When such an opportunity arises, the City Council shouldn’t let it slip away.

Bill Could Mean Donations To Elementary Schools
Salt Lake City Tribune, UT, February 21, 2012

Utahns might soon be able to give money to elementary schools when they file their income tax returns, if a bill that gained initial Senate approval Tuesday becomes law.

The Overdue Split Among Democrats On Education Reform
Seattle Times, WA, February 21, 2012

The Washington Education Association’s rigid anti-education-reform stance puts the Democratic Party at risk. A longterm political relationship hits a rough patch.

Special-Needs Scholarship Would Subsidize Student Transfers
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, WI, February 21, 2012

Some students with disabilities in Wisconsin next school year could attend a private or a public school outside their home district with the help of a taxpayer-funded subsidy worth more than $13,000 per pupil, according to a proposed bill scheduled for a vote Wednesday in the Assembly’s Committee on Education.

Waiver Application For NCLB Relief Rankles Voucher-School Advocate
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Blog, WI, February 22, 2012

The state Department of Public Instruction on Wednesday will submit its application to get Wisconsin ’s schools relief from certain mandates of the unpopular No Child Left Behind federal law, but one element of the application has irritated voucher-school advocates.


Santorum’s Children Went To A Cyber Charter School
Washington Post Blog, DC, February 21, 2012

Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum has said some pretty provocative things about public education on the campaign trail recently, declaring that it is not the job of government to educate children but rather the responsibility of parents.

North Penn School Board Rejects Charter School Application
Journal Register, PA, February 21, 2012

North Penn Solicitor Jack Dooley listed the reasons the board rejected the charter school and also issued a 20-page legal opinion. Dooley said the first reason is the charter school was a cyber charter, which must receive its charter from the state, not the local school board.

Virtual Charter Schools Plan Cut
Hattiesburg American, MS, February 22, 2012

The Mississippi Senate is expected today to debate a bill to expand charter schools in the state, Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves said Tuesday, hours after the bill was approved in committee.

Senate Committee To Consider Online School Issue Thursday
Des Moines Register Blog, IA, February 21, 2012

The state Senate’s government oversight committee will meet Thursday to discuss online academies and Internet schools.