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Daily Headlines for March 15, 2011

Obama Urges Education Law Overhaul
New York Times, NY, March 15, 2011
President Obama called on Monday for an overhaul of education legislation enacted in the Bush administration, telling an audience of teachers and students that Congress should change the No Child Left Behind Act before the start of the next school year.

No Child Left Behind: Why Congress Will Struggle To Hit Obama’s Deadline
Christian Science Monitor, MA, March 14, 2011
President Obama wants No Child Left Behind revised by the fall. The Senate is working toward a bipartisan compromise, but House Republicans want to shrink the federal role in education.

FROM THE STATES

California

L.A. School Board To Decide Who Will Run New Schools
Los Angeles Times, CA, March 15, 2011
Various groups are vying to run the 7 new high schools and 6 other campuses. The board is under pressure from Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa to reward charter schools.

Colorado

Concurrent Enrollment Smoothes High Schoolers’ Path To College
Denver Post, CO, March 15, 2011
In evolving attempts to smooth the path to college, the number of students enrolled in college classes concurrent with their high school studies is growing.

Florida

Bills on Fast Track in Fla. Legislature
The Ledger, FL, March 14, 2011
The paint is barely dry on teachers’ protest signs but debate over a controversial bill to end tenure and tie salaries to student test scores is nearly over, with lawmakers moving towards final passage this week.

Illinois

Vouchers Bubble Up Again In Springfield
Progress Illinois, IL, March 14, 2011
The voucher battle is bubbling up once again in Springfield. Last week, the Senate Education Committee voted 7-3 to approve SB 1932, legislation that would authorize carving out what it calls a pilot program for vouchers within the Chicago Public Schools system.

Maryland

End Maryland School Boards’ Power To Kill Charter Schools
Washington Examiner, DC, March 14, 2011
When the Maryland State Board of Education overturned the Montgomery County School Board’s unanimous denial of two charter school applications in January, it accused local school board members of harboring “personal biases” against charter schools. Judging by the fact that Montgomery has not approved a single charter school application since 2003, odds are that the folks in Annapolis are right.

Michigan

Charter Decision On Failing DPS Schools May Be Bobb’s Call
The Detroit News, MI, March 15, 2011
At the moment, control over a proposal to turn 41 failing Detroit public schools into charter schools belongs with the elected Board of Education. But that authority may be short-lived.

New Jersey

Charter Schools: Where Are They And Why
Princeton Packet, NJ, March 14, 2011
Some 15 years ago charter schools were created in New Jersey to encourage innovation and improvement in public schools. With that purpose in mind, the Legislature exempted charters from some regulations and practices that are common in our public school systems; the law encouraged charters to try changes in organization and curriculum that promote student learning.

New York

Students’ English Misses the Mark
Wall Street Journal, March 15, 2011
More than a third of New York City students who entered first grade in 2003 identified as English language learners couldn’t pass an English-language proficiency test last year when they were in the seventh grade, according to Department of Education data.

North Carolina

Keeping Charter Cap Not Good For Kids
The Daily Advance, NC, March 14, 2011
Here we go again! Elizabeth City-Pasquotank school officials are drafting a resolution to oppose Senate Bill 8, the legislation that lifts the cap on the number of charter schools in North Carolina.

Pennsylvania

Corbett Wants To Grade Schools, Pay Teachers On Merit Basis
Pittsburgh Tribune -Review, PA, March 15, 2011
When Gov. Tom Corbett released his budget proposal, no one was surprised that it rolled back government spending. And with education making up a third of the state budget, it made sense that public schools and colleges would take a hit.

Despite Money Loss, York City Schools Still Fielding Charter Requests
The York Dispatch, PA, March 15, 2011
The York City School Board moved another step closer to expanding its charter school offerings on Monday, just days after learning state charter school reimbursement money is likely gone next year.

Vouchers Can Provide Positive Educational Experiences
Delaware County Daily Times, PA, March 15, 2011
An opponent of school vouchers recently wrote in a letter to the Daily Times that “limiting our neighbors’ opportunities based on the color of their skin has been supported by the governing bodies of Pennsylvania for a long, long time.”

Tennessee

Rutherford Schools Cut Off Talks With Teachers Union
The Tennessean, TN, March 15, 2011
At least one Middle Tennessee school district stopped annual negotiations with its local teachers union, waiting for an upcoming Senate vote on a proposed bill to end collective bargaining for teachers statewide. Another district is being sued for refusing to recognize its teachers union.

Washington

U.S. Education Secretary Backs Gregoire’s Single-Agency Plan
Seattle Times, WA, March 14, 2011
U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan spoke to Washington lawmakers and top officials via video conference on Monday, saying the state’s education system is illogical and has an organization plan that isn’t a viable business plan.

VIRTUAL EDUCATION

Charter, Virtual Schools On The Horizon for Fond du Lac
Fond du Lac Reporter, WI, March 13, 2011
Fond du Lac schools are taking a leap into the future. Plans to develop a charter school for Grades 3-5 -based in science, technology, engineering and math – are moving ahead.

Rolling Out The Online Classes
KJCT8, CO, March 14, 2011
After a year-long trial, Mesa County School District 51 is ready to roll out online classes.
Made up completely of local teachers and mentors, the Grande River Virtual Academy is touted for it’s 21st Century learning opportunity. Already, many colleges use online classes as a part of their curriculum.

Willis Academy Billed As Chandler’s 1st Hybrid School
The Arizona Republic, AZ, March 14, 2011
Students can take classes online but also in person under a new program being offered through Chandler public schools.

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