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Daily Headlines: February 23, 2012


Shame Is Not the Solution
New York Times, NY, February 23, 2012

LAST week, the New York State Court of Appeals ruled that teachers’ individual performance assessments could be made public. I have no opinion on the ruling as a matter of law, but as a harbinger of education policy in the United States , it is a big mistake.

Why Common Core Standards Will Fail
Washington Post, DC, February 22, 2012

Virginia, take a bow. While Maryland , 44 other states and the District are spending billions of dollars to install new national standards for their schools, Virginia has stuck with the standards it has. Mounting evidence shows Virginia is right, and the others wrong.

When Schools Weren’t Public – Or Any Good
Philadelphia Inquirer, PA, February 23, 2012

Indeed, when it comes to education, we all owe something to our state and federal governments. So let’s work hard to make them better, instead of pretending that life was better without them. The little red schoolhouse wasn’t red, but it was little – and lousy.

GOP Debate: Gingrich Blasts L.A. Teachers Union
Los Angeles Times, CA, February 22, 2012

Rick Santorum, asked by an audience member about No Child Left Behind, said he supported President George W. Bush’s signature education reform law that is now reviled by conservative voters out of loyalty to his party.

Charter School Segregation Target of New Report
Huffington Post, February 22, 2012

Charter schools often promise to bring greater equity to education, but a new brief starts with the assumption that they fall short in delivery — and provides recommendations to fix the alleged injustice.

Grading Teachers
CNN Blog, February 23, 2012
The National Center for Teaching Quality says that more states are moving to include student test scores in teachers’ performance evaluations. Teachers we’ve spoken with don’t object to being evaluated, but some question whether tying teacher performance to student standardized test scores is the best way to do it.


Parents Fail in Bid to Turn California School into a Charter
Wall Street Journal, February 22, 2012

School-district officials in a Southern California town rejected an attempt by parents to convert their low-performing elementary school into a charter school, the second time an effort to use California ‘s new “Parent Trigger” law has been blocked.

Santa Cruz Parents Protest Charter Petition: Montessori School Would Start With 65 Students In 2013
Mecury News, CA, February 22, 2012

Dozens of public school parents and children gathered in front of a Santa Cruz alternative school campus Wednesday to protest a charter proposal expected to come before district trustees in coming months.

23,000 Parents Partake In Streamlined Denver School-Choice Program
Denver Post, CO, February 23, 2012

Last winter, Denver Public Schools unveiled a new school-choice system and asked parents to do a little homework and then select the schools they preferred for their kids.

Ben Degrow: Let’s Pay Teachers To Be Effective, Too
Summit Daily News, CO, February 23, 2012

Colorado is one key step closer to distinguishing teachers who effectively help students learn from those who don’t. But we certainly haven’t overcome every obstacle to delivering top-notch instruction.

Our View: Education Reform Shouldn’t Be Turf War
Norwich Bulletin, CT, February 22, 2012

The debate on proposed educational reforms began this week at the General Assembly and will likely continue throughout most, if not all, of the legislative session.

Teachers Unions Say “No” To Malloy’s Tenure Plan
Connecticut Mirror, CT, February 22, 2012

The state’s teachers unions may have reached agreement on how their members should be graded weeks ago, but on Tuesday, union leaders came to the state Capitol complex to display buyer’s remorse.

SIMMONS: Closing All City Schools Is The Only Remedy
Washington Times, DC, February 22, 2012

Won’t hurt me a bit, though I do want you to think about the kids, because I’m beginning to think D.C. schoolchildren and taxpayers would be a lot better off if D.C. officials sold off or rented out all city-owned school buildings and dished out vouchers to all of the city’s school-age children. Sounds extreme, eh?

Welcoming the Literacy Initiative
St. Augustine News, FL, February 22, 2012

In advance of a major Movement early literacy initiative to be announced in the months to come, Carol Jenkins Barnett, the vice chair of The Movement; Mo Abety-Gutierrez from The Children’s Trust, and I and many others traveled to Bonita Springs to participate in the 12th annual Celebration of Reading.

School District, Charter System at Odds
News Chief, FL, February 23, 2012

It has taken awhile but apparently the Polk County School Board has finally noticed it has a problem.

Pulling the Trigger for Failure
Miami Herald, FL, February 22, 2012

Pushing the learning bar ever higher for public school students and making schools and educators accountable for their students’ failing grades have been guiding posts in Florida’s education landscape for more than a decade.

Charter Schools OK in More Areas
Tampa Bay Weekly, FL, February 22, 2012

An application by Inland Southeast Clearwater Development LLC to build a charter school at 21810 U.S. 19 North had ramifications far beyond the property in question. It led to an easing of restrictions on where charter schools can be built throughout the city.

Charter Schools Rally for Construction Funds
WCTV, FL, February 22, 2012

500 charter school students, parents and teachers were in Tallahassee trying to find the cash to keep the movement growing.

Georgia House Passes Charter School Bill
Atlanta Journal Constitution, GA, February 22, 2012

The charter schools battle moved to the state Senate on Wednesday after the House passed legislation that would allow the state to create the schools.

APS Educators To Learn Their Fate
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, GA, February 23, 2012

Educators implicated in the Atlanta school cheating investigation have been ordered to attend a meeting today to discuss employment, one of several signs the district is gearing up to get guilty teachers off the payroll after months of delay.

Group Seeks To Advance Public Education
Cherokee Tribune, GA, February 23, 2012

Cherokee Citizens for the Kids started out as an organization to speak out about issues affecting public schools, and now the group is gearing up to have a bigger voice with state legislators on proposed charter school legislation and school district funding.

House to Hear Proposal to Lift Charter School Cap
Magic Valley Times-News, ID, February 23, 2012

On Wednesday, the House Education Committee voted to print and move to the full House legislation that would lift Idaho ’s cap on the number of new charter schools that can form each year. Currently, only six charter schools can open in Idaho every year, with a limit of one within the boundaries of each existing school district.

Chicago Shake-Up Targets 17 Schools
Wall Street Journal, February 23, 2012

This city’s school board voted Wednesday to shake up the teaching staffs at 17 low-performing public schools, handing Mayor Rahm Emanuel a victory in his battle with the teachers union and highlighting an increasingly aggressive stance on education overhauls by a number of Democratic mayors nationwide.

Teachers Union: Closing Schools Builds ‘Huge Gulf of Ill Will’
Chicago Tribune, IL, February 23, 2012

Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis said tonight that Chicago Public Schools board members “betrayed democracy” by unanimously voting earlier in the day to close or overhaul 17 under-performing schools despite an outcry from parents, neighborhood activists and teachers.

Charter School Group Makes Pitch to District 26 Residents
Chicago Daily Herald, IL, February 22, 2012

A public hearing Tuesday served as a litmus test on a proposal to open a charter school in Cary Elementary District 26 in the next school year.

Iowa Senate Panel Passes Education Reform Bill
Des Moines Register, IA, February 23, 2012

A Senate panel on Wednesday approved a school reform package favored by Democrats, meaning both the Senate and House will have versions of Gov. Terry Branstad’s signature education overhaul to debate in coming weeks.

Iowa Schools: Evaluating Our Educators
Des Moines Register, IA, February 23, 2012

Teachers in Iowa ’s public schools will likely face some form of annual evaluation under legislation being discussed by state lawmakers, but educators say they are hesitant to endorse the proposal because of the increased time and paperwork involved.

Highland Park Board Must Solve Deficit
Detroit News, MI, February 23, 2012

A few members of the Highland Park school board have gotten what they wanted — freedom from state control. But with the district unable to meet its payroll Friday, it’s unclear how joyous of a victory this is for the board. On Tuesday, Gov. Rick Snyder pulled the district’s emergency manager, following a court ruling last week. Now, it’s up to the district to figure out its mess.

Minnesota Teachers Must Prove They Can Do The Math
Star Tribune, MN, February 22, 2012

Want to teach in Minnesota? Better prove that you can read, write and do math really well first. A law signed on Wednesday by DFL Gov. Mark Dayton requires would-be teachers to pass a college-level basic skills test before they can lead a classroom.

Senate OKs Charter Schools
Desoto Times, MS, February 23, 2012

The Mississippi Senate on Wednesday approved legislation allowing for the establishment of public charter schools. Senate Bill 2401 will allow public charter schools to operate in areas where schools fail to meet minimum state standards.

Don’t Trap Students In New Districts
Columbian Missourian, MO, February 23, 2012

One such example is living a few blocks from one school but — for the greater good of the community at large, or at least the priorities set by Columbia Public Schools — being bused across town.

City School’s Big Strides Catch Federal Eye
St. Louis Post-Dispatch, MO, February 23, 2012

A top official from the U.S. Department of Education sat inside the library at Columbia Elementary School on Wednesday taking notes on how the school had transformed from a place parents wanted to abandon to one where students last year made double-digit gains on state exams.

New Evaluation System Would Place Heavier Burden On State, School Principals
Press & Sun-Bulletin, NY, February 22, 2012

An agreement to rework New York ‘s teacher-evaluation system would require a lot of work for school districts, administrators and unions in a short amount of time.

Group Measures Charter Potential
Greenville Daily Reflector, NC, February 23, 2012

Members of Youth Investments Inc. held the first of four public meetings at the Winterville Library on Tuesday to gauge interest in a potential charter school in Pitt County.

Self-Help Wants City Incentives For Charter School Project
Herald Sun, NC, February 22, 2012

He also acknowledged that the request could draw extra scrutiny because Self-Help is looking to make the 1910-vintage building the new home of the Maureen Joy Charter School.

Williams-Bolar Becomes New Voice For School Choice
Akron Beacon Journal, OH, February 22, 2012

The Akron mother whose residency dispute with the Copley-Fairlawn school district morphed into an unusual criminal conviction and an international media spectacle last year will step back into the spotlight this Sunday as a champion of school choice.

Oklahoma City Education Leaders Say They Will Fight State Takeover of Schools
The Oklahoman, OK, February 23, 2012

The superintendent of the Oklahoma City School District and the city’s school board president announced Wednesday they would fight any takeover of struggling schools by state officials.

TPS Seeks To Avoid State Takeover of Low-Performing Schools
Tulsa World, OK, February 23, 2012

Tulsa Public Schools is hoping to fend off a state takeover of any low-performing schools with its first official response to the Oklahoma State Department of Education.

Pocono Mountain Charter School Legal Fight Revived By State Ruling
Pocono Record, PA, February 23, 2012

The Pennsylvania Department of Education’s Charter School Appeal Board voted 6-1 not just to rescind the vote, which upheld the charter school’s appeal of its charter revocation, but to reopen the record to allow new information.

Legacy Charter School Enrollment Falls 17 Percent
Greenville News, SC, February 23, 2012

More than 130 students have left Legacy Charter School since the beginning of the school year, according to figures from the school and Greenville County Schools.

A Path Worth Taking
Memphis Flyer, TN, February 23, 2012

We in the TPC have researched “best practice” school systems and successful and innovative programs all over the country. In our pursuit to achieve educational innovation and excellence, two models of system administration and governance have emerged.

Plan To Help Charter School Sails Through Dallas Council
Dallas Morning News, TX, February 22, 2012

The Dallas City Council agreed in an 11-4 vote Wednesday to help the charter school nonprofit Uplift Education issue low-interest, tax-exempt bonds to expand in the city.

Controversial Public Ed Riders Stripped From Budget Bill
Salt Lake Tribune, UT, February 22, 2012

The proposed changes included recommendations to gradually force school districts to absorb more of the cost of charter schools and make significant funding changes for an elementary school arts program.

Charter School: Two Thumbs-Up
Richmond Times-Dispatch, VA, February 23, 2012

Eleven months ago, the independent accounting firm Goodman & Co. gave the Patrick Henry charter school in Richmond a clean bill of health. The external audit found no “deficiencies in internal control that we consider to be material weaknesses.” It said the school’s financial statements “present fairly, in all material respects,” the school’s financial position, and do so in conformity with standard accounting practices.

Teacher Issues In Home Stretch
Bellingham Herald, WA, February 23, 2012

The Tacoma Public Schools committee charged with resolving one of the thorniest issues left from the September teacher strike is in the home stretch, headed for its March goal to deliver a new system for teacher transfers and reassignments.


Companies Looking to Expand Online Public Education in Iowa
Des Moines Register, IA, February 23, 2012

Two national private companies could significantly impact the classroom experience for kindergarten through 12th-grade students across Iowa.

If Parents Want An Online School, Let Them Pay For It
Des Moines Register, IA, February 23, 2012

Schools should teach students how to think. That involves learning that takes place during multiple interactions between teachers and students throughout any given day. Children learn from the comments other students make in class. How can these interactions take place online?

Senate Considers Online Ed Bills
GPB, GA, February 23, 2012

The Georgia Senate will consider two pieces of legislation Thursday having to do with online education.

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