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Daily Headlines for April 17, 2013

NEWSWIRE IS BACK! Click here for the latest weekly report on education news and commentary you won’t find anywhere else, spiced with a dash of irreverence, from the nation’s leading voice in school reform.


Teachers Unions Scour Charter Schools For New Memberships
Washington Times, DC, April 16, 2013

Members of the nation’s largest teachers’ unions — the National Education Association and the American Federation of Teachers — are pushing to organize in charter schools in several cities around the nation.

School Choice Is On The March
Washington Times, DC, April 16, 2013

These days, freedom is under fire in many ways. It’s nice to be able to report that in one area, at least, freedom is marching in the right direction: education.



School Board Renews Contract For Ivy Academia Charter
Los Angeles Times, CA, April 16, 2013

The Los Angeles school board Tuesday renewed the operating charter for a Woodland Hills school recently embroiled in controversy.

State’s Budget Fakery Takes A Toll On Charter Schools
Los Angeles Times, CA, April 16, 2013

Because state funding is often deferred for months, charter schools must take out bridge loans to pay the bills. The interest costs come at the expense of pupils.

L.A. Unified Board Ratifies ‘Parent-Trigger’ Partnership
Los Angeles Times, CA, April 16, 2013

The Los Angeles Board of Education on Tuesday ratified a partnership between the school district and a charter school to take control of struggling 24th Street Elementary under a controversial parent-empowerment law.


Denver School Board Election’s Focus On Reform Draws National Interest
Denver Post, CO, April 17, 2013

Denver Public Schools board president Mary Seawell’s announcement this month that she will not seek re-election has created a newfound urgency among school reformers, not just locally but on a national level.


D.C. Charter Board Rejects Request From BASIS To Expand
Washington Post, DC, April 16, 2013

The D.C. Public Charter School Board on Monday rejected a request from BASIS DC to expand, citing concerns about the high number of students who have withdrawn from that school since fall.


Florida: Teachers Sue Over Evaluation System
New York Times, NY, April 17, 2013

Seven Florida teachers have brought a federal lawsuit to protest job evaluation policies that tether individual performance ratings to the test scores of students who are not even in their classes.


Closing The Achievement Gap In Iowa Schools
Muscatine Journal, IA, April 17, 2013

Every child, regardless of zip code, deserves a quality public school education. Unfortunately, for our State’s children growing up in low-income neighborhoods, far too often this is not the case. On average, children in low-income neighborhoods are two to two-and-a-half grade levels behind their peers in higher income areas by the time they get to eighth grade.

Panel’s Education Meeting Has Little Common Ground
Des Moines Register, IA, April 17, 2013

A bipartisan panel assigned to negotiate a compromise on education reform — one of the marquee issues before the Legislature — on Tuesday cataloged the areas of disagreement that divide Democrats and Republicans.


Charter Incomplete Mission
Bangor Daily News, ME, April 17, 2013

The argument favoring charter schools is weak. Jodie Mosher-Towle, in her opinion piece appearing in the BDN on April 8, said, “Charter schools differ from public schools in that they are given increased freedom from regulations to allow school leaders to develop innovative approaches to educating their students.”


In Detroit, Grading Schools Helps Parents Choose
Detroit News, MI, April 17, 2013

As more schools open in Detroit, parents are becoming increasingly savvy about the art of school shopping. The right school can make all the difference in a child’s life. Ensuring parents have factual information about these schools is key to making school choice work for families in the city.


Charter School Advocates Start Online Petition For School Approvals
Nashua Telegraph, NH, April 17, 2013

An online petition asking the state Board of Education to consider applications for new charter schools, despite a funding battle, has gained more than 150 signatures the past few days.


Charter Schools Arrive … at Well-Attended Conference in Atlantic City
New Jersey Spotlight, NJ, April 17, 2013

It’s nothing compared to the annual teachers convention or even the yearly gathering of school-board members from around the state, but New Jersey’s charter schools are starting to make their presence known on the Atlantic City convention circuit.


Same Old Swill
Santa Fe Reporter, NM, April 16, 2013

If Tennessee, or any state or district, truly wants to “reinvent” public education, it needs to experiment not with governance models, but with the variable that matters most: learning models.

ABQ Charter School Ranked Among The Most Challenging In The Nation
KOB, NM, April 16, 2013

An Albuquerque charter school ranks among the most challenging high schools in the nation in a brand new survey from the Washington Post. But the school’s principal says there’s “nothing magic” about what they do at Albuquerque Institute for Mathematics and Science – AIMS, for short.


New South Bronx Charter School Hosts Lottery For Spots In Kindergarten, 1st Grade
New York Daily News, NY, April 16, 2013

April Lily Ruiz-Dentico is fired up for her first day of school. The five-year-old won a spot at Brilla College Prep, a new public charter school in the South Bronx that will open its doors in September. April spent the weekend telling anyone who would listen about her new school.


The Wrong And Right In Education Reform
Richmond County Daily Journal, NC, April 17, 2013

Once again we hear calls for education reform and like many issues there is some right and some wrong in what is being discussed. It is wrong to say our education system is broken. It is right that there are enough problems that we should seek education reform.

Schools Object To Charter; Cite Lack Of Innovation And High Profit For Owner
State Port Pilot, NC, April 17, 2013

Local education officials have expressed formal opposition to a proposed new charter school in southeastern Brunswick County.

Charter School Applicants Field Questions
Lexington Dispatch, NC, April 17, 2013

Proponents of a proposed charter school in Davidson County met a flurry of questions from interested parents on Tuesday in Lexington.

Teacher Tenure Bill Moves Swiftly Through House Committee
News & Observer, NC, April 17, 2013

A bipartisan House bill that would change the state’s teacher tenure law moved swiftly through the House Education committee Tuesday. The bill would allow veteran teachers to keep tenure, though they would lose it with two consecutive years of poor performance. Teachers with four years experience who are rated “highly effective” would be granted tenure.

Proposal Of Vouchers For Special Needs Students Moves Forward
News & Observer, NC, April 16, 2013

Arguments over a bill that would give tax money to private schools that enroll children with disabilities offered a preview of the debate brewing over a broader measure that would give private school vouchers to thousands of students.


More Than 1,500 Rally At Ohio Statehouse For School Choice
Streetsboro Gateway News, OH, April 17, 2013

Mike Pecchia recalled the “tears of joy” running down the cheeks of a single mother after her four children enrolled in a safer, better school, thanks to state voucher programs.

Columbus Schools Could Face Takeover Under Plan
Columbus Dispatch, OH, April 17, 2013

Columbus City Schools would sit directly in the path of a state takeover under an amendment to the state budget bill proposed yesterday.


Superintendent Says Oklahoma City Charter School Fails Academically, Fiscally
The Oklahoman, OK, April 17, 2013

A northeast Oklahoma City charter school has mismanaged money and failed to provide adequate academic progress to students, according to a letter from the superintendent of Oklahoma City Public Schools.


Network Charter School In Eugene Will Have A New Director
Register-Guard, OR, April 17, 2013

Network Charter School is losing its most visible advocate, but gaining an intriguing new leader at a time when the school faces increased scrutiny from the Eugene School District.


Smithson-Craighead Middle School Sues To Stay Open
The Tennessean, TN, April 16, 2013

Smithson-Craighead Middle School and the parents of two students there are asking a judge to stop the Metro school board-ordered closing of their school.

Ex-Memphis Mayor Partners With Church For Third Charter School
Memphis Commercial Appeal, TN, April 16, 2013

Willie Herenton plans to break ground this week on a new charter school he is building with a church partner in Hickory Hill, giving the former Memphis mayor’s proposed charter network a third location.

Tennessee Charter School “Authorizer” Bill Struggling In Senate Committee
Times Free Press, TN, April 16, 2013

A bill creating a statewide charter school “authorizer” for Hamilton County and four other school systems is struggling in Tennessee’s Senate Finance Committee.


Districts Could Lose Aid Under Voucher Plan
Wisconsin Radio Network, WI, April 16, 2013

A new report from the state’s Legislative Fiscal Bureau shows nine Wisconsin school districts could each lose up to $1.4 million in state aid under Governor Scott Walker’s proposal to expand private school vouchers. The maximum losses would occur if 110 students in each district take tax-funded vouchers to go to private schools.


Maine Legislative Democrats Conflicted on Virtual Schools
MPBN News, ME, April 16, 2013

Justin Alfond, one of the Legislature’s top two Democrats, took a hard line on virtual charter schools. “I stand here today, urging the committee to put a moratorium on virtual public charter schools,” Alfond said.

Opinions Heard Once More Ahead Of Virtual School Deadline
The Recorder, MA, April 16, 2013

Six people praised the Massachusetts Virtual Academy as the best fit for their children and four Greenfield residents expressed concerns about the school department’s cyber school future during a Greenfield School Committee public hearing Tuesday.

Virtual School Cap Passes; Charter Schools Delayed
Leaf Chronicle, TN, April 16, 2013

The Tennessee House has approved a proposal that caps enrollment in virtual schools.
The House voted 66-29 Tuesday to pass the administration bill that allows beginning online schools an enrollment of 1,500 with the ability to expand as long as they meet performance requirements. If they fail to do so for three consecutive years, then the state education commissioner could choose to cap enrollment or direct the local school board to close the school.

D202 Opposes Plan For Online Charter School
Chicago Tribune, IL, April 16, 2013

Plainfield school officials lined up Monday with neighboring districts to reject a proposal for an online charter school.

East Aurora, Naperville District 203 Vote Down Virtual Charter
Beacon News, IL, April 17, 2013

Four more school boards unanimously voted down a proposed Fox Valley virtual charter school Monday night: those at East Aurora, Naperville 203, Plainfield and Burlington Central 301.

Arizona’s Online Public Schools Deserve Equal Funding
Arizona Capitol Times, AZ, April 16, 2013

Fairness is among the first lessons we teach our children. Wait your turn, share your toys, obey the rules. So why is this value absent when it comes to funding children’s public education? I can’t fully answer that question.

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