Daily Headlines: April 3, 2012
Center for Education Reform’s Report Tallies a National Average of 2.1
Examiner Blog, DC, April 2, 2012
The Center for Education Reform’s newly released report, The Essential Guide to Charter School Law: Charter School Laws Across the States, 2012, is the center’s 13th annual analysis of charter school-related legal policy and issues.
FROM THE STATES
House Panel Planning Vote On Charter Schools
Montgomery Advertiser, AL, April 3, 2012
A House committee is set to hold two meetings this week on charter school legislation, but it’s unclear whether any significant changes will be made to the bill.
School Voucher Effort Falters In Legislature
Juneau Empire, AK, April 3, 2012
An effort to amend the Alaska Constitution to allow public money to go to religious schools stalled in the House of Representatives Monday, as supporters acknowledged they didn’t have enough support to pass it.
Oakland Charter School Accused of Fraud May Close
San Francisco Chronicle, CA, April 3, 2012
A controversial Oakland charter school with a history of rigid rules, harsh discipline and the second highest test scores in the state faces closure after an investigation found evidence of fraud and multiple violations of state laws.
Tuesday Churn: School to Work
Education News Colorado, CO, April 2, 2012
Colorado Succeeds, the business-oriented education reform group, is out with a new paper asserting that the state’s schools are failing to produce enough qualified graduates to meet workforce needs.
Mixed Results in DPS Efforts
Denver Post, CO, April 3, 2012
A study of Denver’s 36 newest schools shows great progress in certain areas but mediocrity in others.
Voters Will Have The Last Word On The Constitutional Amendment
Macon Telegraph, GA, April 1, 2012
The 2012 General Assembly ended its session late Thursday and not a minute too soon. Sometimes called the most dangerous 40 days of the year, referring to the period of time the General Assembly is in session, this year’s gathering
Atlanta Journal Constitution, GA, April 2, 2012
In the cheating hall of fame, Atlanta may stand out, but it probably doesn’t stand alone.
Nearly 200 school districts across the country have such suspicious test score patterns that the odds of them occurring by chance are worse than one in 1,000. And in 33 of those districts, the odds are worse than one in a million.
State Seeks Still More Tests For Students — And Star Ratings For Schools
Chicago Tribune, IL, April 3, 2012
Joining a wave of states embarking on controversial reforms, Illinois is moving to overhaul how students are tested and schools judged, with the proposed “star” rating system just one element of a dramatic plan aimed at shaking up a decade of status quo.
Charter Backers Race For Fall Debut
The Journal Gazette, IN, April 3, 2012
Proponents of the Urban League’s charter school expressed confidence Monday they will be ready to welcome students this fall, though several critical details have yet to fall into place.
Senate To Decide Voucher, Charter, Tenure Bills
Shreveport Times, LA, April 3, 2012
The Senate Finance Committee Monday cleared the way for a Wednesday vote on legislation creating a statewide voucher program and the possibility of numerous new charter schools to go to a full Senate vote.
Louisiana Lawmakers Debate School Vouchers’ Ripple Effect On Local Budgets
Times-Picayune, LA, April 2, 2012
As expected, the Senate Finance Committee gave its blessing Monday to Gov. Bobby Jindal’s proposal for charter school expansion and to use the state’s public-school financing formula to pay private-school tuition for certain low-income students. But the vote did not come without considerable discussion about the measure’s effects on local school coffers.
School Vouchers Are No Cure For Public Education
The Daily Advertiser, LA, April 3, 2012
After years of slashing money for education, Gov. Bobby Jindal now proposes bills revising teacher tenure, creating new charter schools, and providing “scholarships” — AKA vouchers — to students in low performing schools.
Legislature Doesn’t Have Education’s Silver Bullet
Opelousas Daily World, LA, April 2, 2012
While much has been said about accountability regarding traditional public schools, I think it is time for accountability in areas outside of the education arena.
The Right Help For Low-Income Students
Baltimore Sun, MD, April 2, 2012
Schools shouldn’t have to pay for private tutors if they aren’t helping children learn
Controversial Choice Plan Nixed
Salem News, MA, April 3, 2012
The School Committee has abandoned a controversial student assignment proposal that limited parental choice and, as a result, drew strong opposition from a number of quarters, including the Salem Education Foundation.
Michigan May Test Teacher Reviews
Detroit News, MI, April 3, 2012
A year-long pilot program to test a new statewide teacher evaluation system may be among the recommendations from a temporary state agency created to propose a new model.
Study: Minn. Charter School Law Among Best in Country
KSTP, MN, April 2, 2012
Minnesota’s charter school law was the first in the country and it’s still one of the best.
Senate, House Committee Irons Out Differences In Teacher Layoff Bill
Pioneer Press, MN, April 2, 2012
A joint House-Senate committee has passed a plan that would end the practice of laying off teachers based on seniority rather than performance.
State Should Approve Charter School Application
Jackson Sun, MS, April 3, 2012
Officials from the Tennessee Department of Education are in town today to conduct an appeal hearing on the proposed Connections Preparatory School charter school application.
Rep. Smith Hails Passage of Bill Allowing Tax Breaks For Scholarships
Portsmouth Herald, NH, April 3, 2012
State Rep. Will Smith, R-New Castle, defended legislation designed to give businesses tax breaks if they contribute to scholarships so children can attend private schools during a Friday morning education reform forum at Exeter Public Library.
Pleasantech Academy Officials Heading to Trenton to Fight For Their Charter
Press of Atlantic City, NJ, April 2, 2012
Officials with PleasanTech Academy Charter School will head to Trenton on Tuesday to meet with state Department of Education leaders to discuss the extending the school’s charter.
ATC Seeks OK For Kaune Site As Firm Prepares For Legal Fight
Santa Fe New Mexican, NM, April 2, 2012
The Academy for Technology and the Classics plans to ask the Santa Fe school board at a 5:30 p.m. meeting Tuesday to reinstate its charter and allow the school to move to the vacant Kaune Elementary School .
Director of Charter School Planned for Staten Island Promises Stellar Literacy Rates
Staten Island Advance, NY, April 2, 2012
The director of the proposed Staten Island Green Charter School for Environmental Discovery said her school would aim to top the borough in literacy rates, promising 85 percent of students above grade level within two years.
Seven Schools Gain Reprieves
Wall Street Journal, April 2, 2012
New York City has given a stay of execution to seven schools that were slated for closure under a federal program. Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott on Monday said the schools, six in Brooklyn, one in Manhattan , “have strong enough foundations to improve” and had shown significant, if not rapid, progress.
NC Charter School Law Misses The Mark In A National Ranking
North Carolina News Network, NC, April 2, 2012
North Carolina’s law on charter schools received a grade of “C” and ranked 29th among the states. That is according to the Center for Education Reform.
Council Approves Incentive For Renovation of Old School
Herald Sun, NC, April 2, 2012
City Council members voted 5-1 Monday night to contribute a $236,000 business incentive to the proposed renovation of the old Y.E. Smith School, which will become the new home of the Maureen Joy Charter School .
Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson Isn’t Blinking On Schools
Cleveland Plain Dealer, OH, April 3, 2012
Jackson said that his school initiative was going to force a lot of people — members of the Cleveland Teachers Union, Democratic legislators and city taxpayers — to make some very hard decisions. And he wasn’t about to apologize for it.
Tulsa Board Oks New Roles For Old Schoolhouses
Tulsa World, OK, April 3, 2012
The Tulsa school board gave the go-ahead Monday to a few more facility changes in the district’s ongoing efficiency initiative known as Project Schoolhouse.
Chester Fund For Education Appeals Chester Upland Charter Denial
Delaware County Daily Times, PA, April 3, 2012
The Chester Fund for Education and the Arts formally appealed the Chester Upland School District’s denial to allow the nonprofit foundation to open a charter school.
Bad TCAP Scores Could Mean Summer School
The Tennessean, TN, April 3, 2012
Performance on Tennessee Comprehensive Assessment Program tests this year will be factored into grades for the first time, but in Williamson County TCAP also will be one of the tickets to summer school for eighth-graders.
Tennessee Teachers Evaluate Evaluation In Session Run by SCORE
Commercial Appeal, TN, April 3, 2012
Teachers like that their new evaluations make them focus more and concentrate on making sure learning is happening, but they and the principals who supervise them have some real concerns about how trustworthy much of the data is and how they can be sure the process is fair.
Grand Prairie Marketing School Choice Programs To Parents In Other Districts
Dallas Morning News, TX, April 2, 2012
The move took Grand Prairie ISD to a new level in school choice by highlighting its “open enrollment” status and encouraging transfers from families outside the district. Officials already have received more than 100 out-of-district applications for next school year.
Districts Avoid School Finance Lawsuits, Cite Finances
Texas Tribune, TX, April 3, 2012
Four of the lawsuits challenge the state on whether it has given enough money to schools. A fifth lawsuit has also been filed, not by school districts but by a group of parents who support charter schools. It questions how the money that the state gives to schools is spent.
Richmond Schools Consultant Promises To Keep Focus On Students
Richmond Times-Dispatch, VA, April 3, 2012
The former Richmond city manager hired to help solve Richmond Public Schools’ $23.8 million funding gap said students will be the “center of the universe” during his group’s analysis of the school system’s spending.
Reject The Governor’s Power Play
Bennington Banner, VT, April 2, 2012
Three cheers for the Southwest Vermont Supervisory Union decision to ask state lawmakers to “Say ‘no’ to H.440! This is a voice of sanity that Montpelier must heed. Vermont faces critical education issues that demand local consideration. In a power move, endorsed by the House, Governor Shumlin wants to gut the state Board of Education and grab control of education policy.
School Reformers Should Take A Look At Tacoma
News Tribune, WA, April 3, 2012
It’s a buzz phrase that all sides of the education reform debate have now, that any changes must be “research-based.”
Bethlehem Area School District Moving Forward With Cyber Academy
Lehigh Valley Express Times, PA, April 2, 2012
The Bethlehem Area School District hopes to create a cyber academy where within three years all high school students are taking at least one online class.
Iowa City School District Set To Review Requests For Online School Enrollment
Daily Iowan, IA, April 3, 2012
Nicole Cox never planned on giving her young children a traditional school experience.
“I knew from the beginning that I was not going to put my kids in a public education,” the Iowa City mother said. “I feel that it doesn’t provide the best education possible.”