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Daily Headlines for March 21, 2012

Education And Security: America’s Schools Must Improve Training In Vital Areas
Anniston Star, AL, March 21, 2012

To the casual observer, defenders of America’s public schools can seem, well, defensive. And for good reason. Critics of public education come from all sides: from parents, from politicians, from editorial boards, and from those who believe charter schools or private academies are wiser choices. If we’re not careful, that constant criticism can make it seem as if all U.S. schools are woefully under-performing and hopeless


Done Right, Charter Schools Could Open The Door To A New World Of Learning
Birmingham News, AL, March 21, 2012

Gov. Robert Bentley says a bill that would legalize charter schools in Alabama “opens the door to a new world of learning.” The bill also opens the door to a battle between business and education groups that support charter schools, and education interests that have fought to keep them out of Alabama .

Another ‘Parent Trigger’ Mess
Los Angeles Times, CA, March 20, 2012

Parents in Adelanto want school reform, but the law that should empower them instead lets them down.

Consequences of Choice in SR Schools
Press Democrat, CA, March 20, 2012

Once upon a time, school choice was something parents discussed only in terms of where their children would go to nursery school and, possibly, college. Everything in between, for the most part, was determined by the family address.

Malloy Having Trouble Getting Past The Teacher Tenure Issue
The Connecticut Mirror, CT, March 21, 2012

It’s been decades since teachers and their unions have been this upset, and it began with a governor with ambitious plans appearing to publicly chide their profession.

D.C. Council Approves Education Bills
Washington Post, DC, March 20, 2012

The D.C. Council approved a package of education bills Tuesday intended to address some of the city’s most vexing issues, including students at risk of dropping out and schools with a shortage of exceptional teachers.

Battles Taught Charter Schools, Opponents To Compromise
St. Augustine Record, FL, March 21, 2012

Two controversial, failed bills that would have allowed Florida charter schools to grab a good chunk of public school construction money and, potentially, some public schools themselves likely will re-emerge next year.

Charter School Targets Migrant Students
Tampa Tribune, FL, March 21, 2012

A new charter school opening on Parsons Avenue this fall will target migrant students, whose families follow crop seasons throughout Florida and into other states.

Lee School District Needs Better Teacher Retention, Burke Says
Press News, FL, March 20, 2012

The Lee County School District spends thousands of dollars each year recruiting, hiring and training new teachers, but in five years about half of them are gone.

County Commission Won’t Yet Consider Resolution Supporting Harrison Conversion
The Ledger, FL, March 20, 2012

County commissioners have dropped consideration of a resolution supporting Harrison Center for the Visual and Performing Arts in its bid for independence as a charter school.

Don McKee: Charter School Legislation Passes — And Now The Battle Is Joined
Marietta Daily Journal, GA, March 21, 2012

After a lot of arm twisting by Republican leaders, the Georgia Legislature has voted in favor of a proposed constitutional amendment allowing the state to create charter schools without local school board approval. The proposal will be on the November general election ballot.

Check Source of Charter Opposition
Cherokee Tribune, GA, March 21, 2012

It is time for everyone to take a step back and evaluate the opposition to the charter school.
The biggest thing we are hearing is the school is taking local funds away from the school districted to them by their zip code.

Idaho House Delays Charter School Facilities Vote
KPVI News 6, ID, March 20, 2012

Republican Rep. Reed DeMordaunt requested that the bill return to committee Tuesday after several lawmakers debated in opposition. DeMordaunt’s bill allows charter schools that raise money for buildings by issuing bonds to get state help in repaying their interest through a program now available to traditional school districts.

District 26 Shuns Charter School Proposal
Chicago Daily Herald, IL, March 20, 2012

A proposal to open a charter school in Cary Elementary District 26 was unanimously rejected Monday by the school board after receiving a failing grade from the district’s administration.

EACS In Talks To Rent School To Charter
The Journal Gazette, IN, March 21, 2012

East Allen County Schools is in negotiations to rent part of the former Village Elementary to a charter school, the EACS board president said Tuesday.

Separate But Effective Schools
Indianapolis Star, IN, March 21, 2012

ISTEP passage rates at the Charles A. Tindley Accelerated School are among the state’s highest, but the school’s leaders and supporters believe they can be higher still.

Ky. Senate Passes Bill To Allow Parents School Choice
KFVS 12, KY, March 20, 2012

A bill that would allow parents to send their children to the schools nearest their homes has passed the Senate.

Survey: More Than Half Call For Change In Schools
The Advocate, LA, March 21, 2012

More than half of state residents believes that fundamental changes are needed to improve public schools in Louisiana, according to survey results released Tuesday by the LSU Public Policy Research Lab.

Jefferson Parish Charter School Principal Not Returning Next Year
Times Picayune, LA, March 20, 2012

Amid controversy over its future, Jefferson Community School is searching for a new leader following Principal Glenn Gennaro’s announcement that he will step down after the current academic year.

The Vouchers to Nowhere?
The Advocate, LA, March 21, 2012

If there were ever a case of false advertising, it is the pitch for a statewide system of vouchers for private school tuition.

War of Words In Education Heats Up
Shreveport Times, LA, March 21, 2012

Verbal sparring and tactics in the dispute over the governor’s education package jumped several notches Tuesday as the leader of House Democrats called for an end to everything intended to intimidate opponents and Republicans called for an apology for another Democrat’s reference to their tactics as being “reminiscent of the brownshirts of the 1930s.”

Autonomous Schools
Columbia Tribune, MO, March 20, 2012

The concept of “autonomous” elementary schools is being sold by Columbia Public Schools officials as an alternative to charter schools. Either model advertises independence from the parent school system, but the two are apples and oranges.

Missouri Baptist May Lose Ability To Sponsor Charters
St. Louis Post-Dispatch, MO, March 21, 2012

The Missouri Board of Education on Tuesday notified Missouri Baptist University that its authorization to sponsor charter schools could be in jeopardy.

St. Louis Public Schools Get Offers For Vacant Buildings For Sale
St. Louis Post-Dispatch, MO, March 21, 2012

St. Louis Public Schools has begun selling and accepting offers from a wide range of groups interested in transforming vacant school buildings from neighborhood eyesores into functioning facilities.

City Schools Consider ‘Procomp’ Teacher-Pay System
Portsmouth Herald, NH, March 21, 2012

The School Board discussed the pros and cons of performance-based salaries for teachers as part of a four-hour retreat held Tuesday.

Gov. Chris Christie, Teacher Deserve Credit For Civil Exchange
Star-Ledger, NJ, March 20, 2012

Gov. Chris Christie clearly relishes his take-no-guff tough-guy reputation. Whether suggesting someone “take the bat out” on state Sen. Loretta Weinberg, calling the Assembly speaker a liar or, most recently, a Navy SEAL who interrupted him a “jerk” and an “idiot,” Christie is quick to go on a name-calling offensive when he feels he’s been challenged.

Ratings Battle Takes a Turn
Wall Street Journal, March 20, 2012

A state labor board on Tuesday ordered a mediator to intervene in a fight over New York City teacher evaluations that ultimately led Mayor Michael Bloomberg to threaten to close 33 low-performing schools.

Follow Steps To Evaluation
Plattsburgh Press Republican, NY, March 21, 2012

For parents and taxpayers pushing for school reform and debating the merits of teacher-evaluation systems, the state has unveiled an important new tool to simplify the solicitation of opinions.

Prosecutor Picked to Target Cheating by Teachers
Wall Street Journal, March 20, 2012

New York has a new anti-cheating czar. The state said Tuesday it hired Tina Sciocchetti, an assistant U.S. attorney for the Northern District of New York, to lead a new investigative unit dedicated to preventing cheating by teachers and investigating egregious cases.

Success Charter Eyes Spanish-Speaking Students, Amid Controversy
The Brooklyn Paper, NY, March 21, 2012

A controversial charter school slated to open in Williamsburg this fall guarantees that one in five of its students will be English language learners — but school opponents in the neighborhood’s Latino Southside say that ratio is too low.

Albany Boosts Private Schools
Wall Street Journal, March 20, 2012

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and state lawmakers have proposed increasing public funding for religious and private schools, potentially reversing years of cuts and handing the Roman Catholic Church a political victory.

Mayoral Hopefuls All Make Time for Teachers’ Union Leader
New York Times, NY, March 21, 2012

Michael Mulgrew, the president of the New York teachers’ union, has not been the most popular figure at City Hall under Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg. They have been at odds over almost everything, like Mr. Bloomberg’s push to close underperforming schools and his insistence on putting charter schools in district school buildings.

Realtors: School Choice Plan May Be Affecting Wake Co. Real Estate Market
NBC17, NC, March 20, 2012

Because specific schools are not connected to specific neighborhoods anymore, real estate agents say they are finding some buyers more reluctant to commit as a result of the school situation.

Cleveland Mayor Has Kasich’s Ear On Schools
Columbus Dispatch, OH, March 21, 2012

Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson is heading to Columbus today to try and sell state legislators on his plan for overhauling his city’s school system.

Change of Plea Expected In Charter Case
Philadelphia Inquirer, PA, March 21, 2012

Instead of going to trial next month on federal charges of stealing taxpayer money intended for a Northwest Philadelphia charter school, one of the school’s founders has signaled he intends to alter his plea.

TN Schools Work Hard To Close Achievement Gap
The Tennessean, TN, March 21, 2012

Clovercroft Elementary’s fourth- and fifth-graders arrived this year with the highest math scores in Williamson County and few problems with any other subject.

No Need To Hide Teacher Performance Information
Jackson Sun, TN, March 21, 2012

We understand the sensitive nature of teacher evaluation data that lies behind legislative efforts to close such information to the public. Should the data be restricted, it would be an unprecedented closure of public information.

TN Lawmakers Move To Cloak Teacher Ratings
The Tennessean, TN, March 21, 2012

Tennessee lawmakers want to close the door on teacher performance to parents and the media, keeping all aspects of educators’ new evaluations confidential.

Spring Branch ISD Embraces Popular Charter Schools
Houston Chronicle Blog, TX, March 20, 2012

An innovative partnership just forged between the Spring Branch ISD and the KIPP and YES Prep charter school systems will put about 750 middle school students into charter programs.

Local Schools: Seeds
Richmond Times-Dispatch, VA, March 21, 2012

For many years, school systems in Virginia operated under boards appointed by city councils or county boards of supervisors. In 1992, the commonwealth allowed localities to elect their school boards.

Pulaski Presents Plan For Charter School
Green Bay Press Gazette, WI, March 21, 2012

Pulaski School District school officials are considering a new charter school that would provide project-based learning for seventh-graders to high school seniors.

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