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Daily Headlines for January 31, 2011

‘A Rosa Parks Moment for Education’
Washington Post, DC, January 31, 2011

Last week, 40-year-old Ohio mother Kelley Williams-Bolar was released after serving nine days in jail on a felony conviction for tampering with records. Williams-Bolar’s offense? Lying about her address so her two daughters, zoned to the lousy Akron city schools, could attend better schools in the neighboring Copley-Fairlawn district.

Seniority Moment
Wall Street Journal, January 29, 2011
Many states and cities are facing teacher layoffs this year as they scramble to balance their budgets. The big debate now underway is whether those layoffs will hit the best teachers, or some of the worst.

Teachers Unions Are the Special Interest Blocking School Choice
Washington Examiner, DC, January 28, 2011
A new spate of documentaries and media coverage have all centered on the role teachers unions play in blocking necessary change and innovation in public schools. At this point in the national discourse, a majority of Americans are convinced that our education system is in crisis and are looking for someone or something to blame.



State Must Give ‘Parent Trigger’ A Chance To Work
Sacramento Bee, CA, January 30, 2011
What options do parents have if their neighborhood school remains among the state’s lowest performers year after year after year? What can they do when approaching teachers or the principal or the school board has won little in the way of improvement

District of Columbia

Would Bringing Back Vouchers Be Good for D.C. Students?
Washington Post, DC, January 29, 2011
Yes, a flourishing range of charter schools offers more choices than in years past. Yes, the reform started by Mr. Fenty and former Schools Chancellor Michelle A. Rhee is starting to take hold. Yet too many parents in the District still have little choice but to send their sons and daughters to failing schools.

Charter Schools Boom As Parents Seek More Options
Washington Examiner, DC, January 29, 2011
Interest in charter schools is growing in the Washington area, as student enrollment grows and a record number of schools are expected to apply to open in the District.


School Gives Extra Hand to Special Needs Children
News Chief, FL, January 30, 2011
Children with specific needs can attend this charter school and receive a smorgasbord of services. Among them are physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy and hippo (horseback-riding) therapy.


Charter School’s Nimble Approach Could Become The Norm
Indiana Business Journal, IN, January 29, 2011
January Indy Met, as the school is called, has the flexibility to make such rapid change because, as a charter school, it is free from state curriculum and staffing regulations, as well as from collective bargaining agreements with its teachers.


Frustration for Champions of Charters
Washington Post, DC, January 31, 2011
A group of Montgomery County parents and education advocates poured hundreds of hours into a 350-page application for a charter school.

New Jersey

Create New Charter Schools By Removing Roadblocks
NJ Biz, NJ, January 31, 2011
Creation of a charter school in New Jersey is no easy task, evident from the stories told over the years by founders of the 73 charter schools now open in the state, as well as other organizers whose proposed schools that never got off the ground.

New York

Bloomberg Presses Cuomo on Teacher Seniority Rule
New York Times, NY, January 31, 2011
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg set up his first major confrontation with Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo on Sunday, publicly demanding that he use his coming state budget to reverse a rule that protects long-serving teachers from layoffs, regardless of merit.

Whittle Starts A City School
Wall Street Journal, January 31, 2011
Former Esquire publisher and Edison Schools cofounder Christopher Whittle is back at his quest to build an educational empire, more than two years after a deal fell through to build a $200 million private school on the West Side.

Success Academy Charter School Must Be Given Available Space in Upper West Side HS Building
New York Daily News, NY, January 31, 2011
The Panel for Educational Policy will write a new chapter in the history of the school wars tomorrow with a vote on allowing one of the city’s best charter operators to open shop on the upper West Side.

North Carolina

Empirical Evidence Suggests That The K-8 School Option Is the Smarter Choice for Children
Chatham Journal Weekly, NC, January 31, 2011
There is a proposal to reorganize the Chatham County Schools to eliminate the five existing K-8 schools so all students in the county would attend an elementary (K-5) school and then a middle (6-8) school.


School Choice Is Gaining Political, Popular Force
Philadelphia Inquirer, PA, January 31, 2011
So why so much momentum now? Several factors have helped policies with largely conservative origins gain much broader traction, say observers and activists. One is leadership. President Obama’s strong support of most of the choice agenda, though not vouchers, has empowered the movement and expanded its acceptability.

Rhode Island

Groups Urge RI Governor to Expand Charter Schools
Boston Globe, MA, January 29, 2011
Education advocacy groups are pressuring Gov. Lincoln Chafee to expand charter schools, something he hasn’t supported.


Law, Culture Crush Charters
in Virginia

Washington Examiner, DC, January 29, 2011
The governor says he supports charter schools. The state revised its charter law last summer. The school districts are in the country’s forefront. So why does Virginia have only four charter schools?


Catholic Schools Making the Grade, Report Shows
Green Bay Press Gazette, WI, January 30, 2011
The Green Bay Area Catholic Education system for the first time compared test scores from 10 local Catholic schools with scores from area public schools. Catholic educators say the comparison showed students at the parochial schools are generally more proficient or advanced in math, reading and language arts than their peers at public schools.

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