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Daily Headlines for February 22, 2011

Jonah Goldberg: Public Unions Must Go
Los Angeles Times, CA, February 22, 2011
A crucial distinction has been lost in the debate over Walker’s proposals: Government unions are not the same thing as private sector unions.

State Budget Fights Fire Up Union; Obama Involved
Associated Press, February 20, 2011
Organized labor is trying to re-energize and take advantage of the growing backlash from the wave of anti-union sentiment in Wisconsin and more than a dozen other states.

FROM THE STATES

California

Once-mighty UTLA Loses Political Muscle
Los Angeles Times, CA, February 18, 2011
In a series of missteps, the teachers union has lost influence in L.A. Unified elections and in negotiations with board members backed by Mayor Villaraigosa.

Indiana

Herron Teachers Are Non-Union By Choice
WTHR, IN, February 21, 2011
While some workers spent the day demanding their union rights, others went to work without any representation.

Michigan

Detroit Schools’ Cuts Plan Approved
Wall Street Journal, February 22, 2011
The state of Michigan approved a plan for Detroit to close about half of its public schools and increase the average size of high-school classrooms to 60 students over the next four years to eliminate a $327 million deficit.

Missouri

Debate on St. Louis Public Schools Oversight Should Begin Now
St. Louis Post-Dispatch, MO, February 21, 2011
If lawmakers are serious about improving education, they will settle on a few less-flashy reforms that actually could make a big difference. Rethinking how troubled school districts are governed should be high on their list.

New Jersey

Reforming Teacher Tenure / A Reasonable Start
Press of Atlantic City, NJ, February 21, 2011
But having said that, holding teachers more accountable, making tenure harder to get and creating financial incentives for excellence in the classroom are reasonable goals that would improve schools anywhere.

North Carolina

Educators Debate Bill For Private-School Tax Credit
Star News, NC, February 19, 2011
Word of a proposed state tax credit for families opting to take their children out of public schools for a private school education has had both educational sectors in a dither this month.

Free the Charters: Assessment Holds Them Down
Southern Pines Pilot, NC, February 19, 2011
Unless charter schools are permitted a radically different means of assessment in any new proposals put forth, they won’t be much different than regular public schools. They may have smaller class sizes, serve a particular niche, or offer a distinct twist to the curriculum. But in the end, if they are assessed the same way, then they must operate the same way.

Oklahoma

Oklahoma Senate Approves Bill To Shake Up Board of Education
The Oklahoman, OK, February 22, 2011
Senate Bill 435, which would replace the Oklahoma Board of Education’s six appointed members with the governor, attorney general and secretary of state, passed on a party-line vote Monday. It now goes to the Oklahoma House.

Education Changes Inevitable
Enid News, OK, February 20, 2011
There’s a phrase on the lips of just about every legislative leader at the state Capitol this session, and that phrase is “education reform”.

Rhode Island

Charter Schools To Hold Student Lottery Earlier
Providence Journal, RI, February 22, 2011
Some charter schools will hold their admissions lottery earlier this year and parents are advised to call the schools to get the latest information.

Tennessee

Parents Should Have Option To Choose Nontraditional Schools
The Tennessean, TN, February 19, 2011
A vast majority of Tennesseans believe their public school system needs changing, as found by a recent Vanderbilt University poll. Thankfully, state leaders don’t have to play a guessing game to determine which reforms would best serve Tennessee’s children.

Texas

Texas Charter Schools Eye Permanent School Fund
Texas Tribune, TX, February 20, 2011
It took seven years for Houston-based Harmony Public Schools , the state’s largest charter network and one of its best academically, to secure a bank bond in 2007 to buy and remodel buildings on its 33 campuses.

An Entrepreneurial Model Of Education
Houston Chronicle, TX, February 19, 2011
As young Teach for America (TFA) teachers in inner-city Houston, Levin and Feinberg co-founded the Knowledge Is Power Program (KIPP) charter schools in 1994. The most famed of the nation’s high poverty/high achievement public schools, KIPP now has 18 campuses in Houston, and 99 nationwide. KIPP and Harmony rank among the best charter schools in the nation, but they might not be the best in Houston.

VIRTUAL EDUCATION

PACyber Charter School Satisfies Students, Teachers, Parents
abc27 News, PA, February 21, 2011
You don’t have to wait for the future of education. For many midstate parents, the future is now – and it’s here in this Harrisburg hub of the Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School .

Digital Learning: The Future Is Now, But Change Is Slow
Orlando Sentinel, FL, February 19, 2011
‘Every year another group of 5-year-olds is coming in who’ve had technology since infancy. We’re not asking them to power down to come into this building.’

Customizing Student Learning Through Online Education
Minneapolis Star Tribune, MN, February 18, 2011
Having served as many as 900 students per year, BlueSky Online School is one of the largest online charter school in Minnesota. As a 100% online school, it has pioneered quality online education tailored to students’ unique needs.

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