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Daily Headlines for February 8, 2011

Starving Charters
Wall Street Journal, February 8, 2011
Look quickly and you might think that charter schools have it easy, given the celebrated documentary “Waiting for ‘Superman,'” the efforts of reformers like Michelle Rhee and Joel Klein, and the support of the Obama Administration. That’s why a report out Tuesday is a needed corrective: It demonstrates how government policies regularly discriminate against charters.

U.S. Plan to Replace Principals Hits Snag: Who Will Step In?
New York Times, NY, February 8, 2011
The aggressive $4 billion program begun by the Obama administration in 2009 to radically transform the country’s worst schools included, as its centerpiece, a plan to install new principals to overhaul most of the failing schools.

A Question of Vouchers
National Journal, February 7, 2011
Is there a place for vouchers in the current elementary and secondary education system? Is it appropriate to debate school vouchers as part of a broader discussion of No Child Left Behind? What could policymakers do to broaden the issue beyond the District of Columbia? Can the question of vouchers be a positive force in driving the education debate as a whole, or is it merely a distraction?

FROM THE STATES

California

A Test Of Parent Trigger Law
Long Beach Press-Telegram, CA, February 7, 2011
A legal battle now under way in the Compton Unified School District presents a disturbing glimpse into much of what is wrong with California’s dysfunctional education system. It also offers hope for change.

Separate Study Confirms Many Los Angeles Times Findings On Teacher Effectiveness
Los Angeles Times, CA, February 8, 2011
A University of Colorado review of Los Angeles Unified teacher effectiveness also raises some questions about the precision of ratings as reported in The Times

Colorado

“Recess,” Charter Facilities Bills Advance
Education News Colorado, CO, February 8, 2011
Compromise and significant amendments got two high-profile bills out of the House Education Committee Monday, and another controversial measure was dealt off to a different panel.

Florida

The Trend Lies In Favor Of Charter Schools
The Bradenton Times, FL, February 8, 2011
Manatee County’s district administrators and school board members “tried something new” by holding a workshop to review annual reports from representatives of charter schools and allowed them to reestablish their mission and vision with the new school board members today during a workshop.

Indiana

Indiana House Wades Through Amendments Over Charter Schools
Evansville Courier & Press, IN, February 7, 2011
The Indiana House worked late Monday night on a measure that would ease the path for charter schools to get the state’s green light.

Maine

Group Touts Plan For Charter Schools In Maine
Portland Press Herald, ME, February 8, 2011
A charter school bill would set up schools that would get public funds but have more flexibility.

Maryland

More Charters, More Choices
Baltimore Sun, MD, February 7, 2011
Montgomery County is rightly proud of its public school system, which is widely regarded as one of the best in the state. Perhaps that’s why, nearly eight years after state lawmakers passed a law allowing for the establishment of charter schools – alternative institutions that receive public funds but operate independently – the Montgomery County school board has yet to approve a single application to open one.

New York

Charter School Advocates Converge On Albany
NY1, NY, February 7, 2011
More than 2,000 city parents, students and teachers arrived by the bus load Monday in Albany. Their message to lawmakers: the charter school lobby is here to stay.

Ohio

Kasich Asked To Pardon Mom In School-Enrollment Fraud
Columbus Dispatch, OH, February 8, 2011
Kelley Williams-Bolar is a single mother with hopes of becoming a schoolteacher. Several national political-activist groups have asked Gov. John Kasich to pardon Kelley Williams-Bolar, the Akron mother who spent 10 days in jail for fraudulently enrolling her daughters in a school district where they were not residents.

Kasich Creates Cabinet Post For Education
Columbus Dispatch, OH, February 8, 2011
In a seeming attempt to take greater control of education policy in Ohio , Gov. John Kasich created a cabinet-level schools position yesterday that answers directly to him.

Oklahoma

Bill To Strip Power From Oklahoma Board Of Education Approved By Senate Committee
The Oklahoman, OK, February 8, 2011
Oklahoma’s Senate Education Committee on Monday voted 12-5 in favor of a Republican-backed bill that would transfer control of the state Education Department from the board to the state schools superintendent.

Texas

Should Performance Dictate Teachers’ Pay
Houston Chronicle, TX, February 8, 2011
Pay for Texas public school teachers should be connected to appraisals of their work and other factors instead of the 60-year-old salary schedule based on seniority, former U.S. Education Secretary Rod Paige and other school reformers said Monday.

VIRTUAL EDUCATION

Louisiana Virtual Charter Academy to Open Fall 2011
Centre Daily Times, LA, February 8, 2011
LAVCA, sponsored by the Community School for Apprenticeship Learning (CSAL), expects to serve over 1,000 students in grades K through 10 from all around the state. The charter school was recently authorized by the Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education.

UM Students Work
With Online School

Montana Kaimin, MT, February 8, 2011
The Montana Digital Academy started last year and is housed in the UM College of Education . The school offers a variety of courses, most of which are not offered in rural Montana high schools, and has about 1,400 enrolled students.

Day Schools Exploring Online Learning
Jewish Week Blog, CA, February 7, 2011
Jewish day schools may soon be making more use of students taking online courses in secular subjects as a means of reducing tuition costs while accessing a wide range of academic topics for students.

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