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Daily Headlines: December 14, 2001

More School Hours Don’t Guarantee Better Test Scores
Washington Times, DC, December 13, 2011
Time isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Students who spend more hours in the classroom aren’t guaranteed higher test scores, and many nations that outpace the U.S. on standardized reading and math assessments keep their children in school for much less time, according to a report from the National School Boards Association.

STATE COVERAGE

Arizona Non-Profit Schools’ Ties To For-Profits Raise Flags
Arizona Republic, AZ, December 13, 2011
Damian and Vanessa Creamer run the largest online public school in Arizona , Primavera Online High School . The charter school is a non-profit, but it pays a for-profit company for help.

L.A. Unified’s Grade-School Game
Los Angeles Times, CA, December 14, 2011
Getting your child into the L.A. Unified elementary school of your choice involves a lot of planning, patience — and luck.

L.A. School Board Ends Preference Practice At Charter Schools
Los Angeles Times, CA, December 14, 2011
Campuses will no longer be allowed to offer admission in exchange for volunteer work or other services.

Rocketship Charter’s 20-School Plan Is An Exciting Opportunity
San Jose Mercury News, CA, December 13, 2011
The battle over Rocketship charter schools at Wednesday’s Santa Clara County Board of Education meeting will be mainly about money and control.

D.C. Explores Using Grants To Create ‘Community Schools’
Washington Examiner, DC, December 13, 2011
The D.C. Council is moving forward with legislation to transform at least five at-risk public schools into “community schools,” providing adult-education classes and hosting health clinics on evenings and weekends.

Florida’s Richest Charter School Management Firm
Miami Herald, FL, December 14, 2011
Academica has become Florida’s largest and richest charter-school management company, running more than 60 schools just in Miami-Dade and Broward counties

Hillsborough School Board Approves 10 Charter School Plans
St. Petersburg Times, FL, December 14, 2011
As many as 10 new charter schools could open in Hillsborough County, including a high school that will recruit students from the successful Learning Gate Community School in Lutz.

Florida Charter Schools Failing Disabled Students
NPR, December 14, 2011
Tres Whitlock is stuck in a public school where he feels ignored. He wants out.
The 17-year-old would-be video game designer researched his options online and found his perfect match – Pivot Charter School.

Fulton, Acclaimed Charter School In Tiff Over Contract
Atlanta Journal Constitution, GA, December 14, 2011
Fulton County’s superintendent has recommended that the school system deny a request to renew a 10-year contract with a charter school acclaimed for its academic achievement but whose financial management has been questioned.

Online Learning A Godsend
Augusta Chronicle, GA, December 13, 2011
Around this time of year, it is always nice to give thanks for those things we are truly grateful for in life.

Parent Redouble Efforts Against Charter School In Belmont Cragin
Chicago Tribune, IL, December 13, 2011
Parents from Northwest Middle School, which successfully ended a bid by Christopher House last year for a charter school in the Belmont Cragin neighborhood, submitted 700 petitions Tuesday against the group’s latest effort.

New Orleans Public Schools Are Better Than Before Hurricane Katrina, Parents Say In Survey
Times Picayune, LA, December 13, 2011
About two-thirds of public school parents feel the city’s post-Katrina school system is an improvement over what existed before, according to a new survey commissioned by Tulane University researchers.

Jefferson Schools Superintendent Seeks Employee Input, But Union Objects To The Process
Times Picayune, LA, December 13, 2011
Saying he wants to give teachers and other employees a greater voice in decision-making, Jefferson Parish schools Superintendent James Meza has formed two advisory councils to meet with him several times a year.

Let Students Stay Near Homes — But Offer Choice As Needed
Boston Globe, MA, December 14, 2011
‘YOU LIVE here, you go there.’’ That sums up the school-assignment process for most students in Massachusetts. Many Boston families can only look on with envy. For them, school assignments are determined by a jumble of zones, geocodes, algorithms, sibling preferences, and waiting lists.

Charter School Model Has A Downside: Burnout
Boston Globe, MA, December 14, 2011
IN “OLD-SCHOOL thinking’’ (Metro, Dec. 8) Yvonne Abraham uses charter schools as models to suggest that the Boston Teachers Union get on board with teachers working an extended day without additional compensation. She feeds into the battle of charter schools vs. district schools without addressing the issue that is facing all public school educators – burnout.

Charter Schools “Lose” Too Many Students
South Coast Today, MA, December 14, 2011
That said, we caution against initiatives that risk creating a two-tiered education system — one for a select few who receive a disproportionate share of resources and the other for everyone else. We have a major concern that the charter school system in Massachusetts is creating such a two-tired system.

Charter Cap Problematic
Port Huron Times Herald, MI, December 14, 2011
With all due respect to state Sen. Phil Pavlov, the campaign to remove the cap on Michigan’s charter schools has not quieted its critics.

Nashua School Board Blasts $15.5k Plan To Hire Charter School Consultant
Nashua Telegraph, NH, December 13, 2011
Several Board of Education members blasted a proposal by administrators to spend $15,525 to hire a consulting firm to help with the development of a district-sponsored charter school.

Hebrew Charter School Faces Opposition
Edison Sentinel, NJ, December 14, 2011
With the resubmission up in the air for a charter high school for students in Edison and New Brunswick, parent Gina Alcaide said it brings back concerns of what happened to the Edison School District about two years ago.

Some Choice Schools Receive Many Applicants, Others Just A Few
Press of Atlantic City, NJ, December 13, 2011
More than 100 students who do not live in Hammonton want to attend the public schools there in 2012-13. The district received 117 applications by the Dec. 1 deadline for the expanded state School Choice Program, Superintendent C. Dan Blachford said.

Cobble Hill Has No Need For A Charter School: Brooklyn Parent Of Four Supports Public Education
New York Daily News, NY, December 14, 2011
Over the past few months, parents in my corner of Brooklyn have felt suddenly under assault. Despite having what we consider excellent public schools — and a successful community-based approach to educating our young people — we are fending off an unwanted charter school in Cobble Hill. So far, our concerns seem to have fallen on deaf ears.

Cobble Hill Needs A Charter School: Brooklyn Mom Demands More Choice
New York Daily News, NY, December 14, 2011
When I moved to the neighborhood several years ago, I felt lucky to be zoned for a public school with a great reputation. I thought we were set, and I was relieved because private school is simply too expensive for us.

A Model School?
News Observer, NC, December 14, 2011
On both sides of the debate over a proposed charter school in the Chapel Hill-Carrboro district the language is polite and respectful, and intentions are good. But still the proposal creates tensions, largely because it envisions a different answer to what racially integrated public schooling should look like in 21st century America.

Schools of Choice Need To Be Schools of Quality
Columbus Dispatch, OH, December 14, 2011
Recent news that White Hat Management, the big, Ohio-based, profit-seeking charter-school operator, faces financial problems surely was received as an early Christmas present by many longtime charter opponents, particularly within the Buckeye State.

Mansfield Schools Officially Oppose HB 136
Mansfield News Journal, OH, December 14, 2011
Mansfield City Schools Superintendent Dan Freund told the board of education Tuesday that public education in Ohio, “is in a bare-fisted fight with people who want to take us apart.”

TPS: New Teacher-Evaluation System Cost Estimates Misrepresented
Tulsa World, OK, December 14, 2011
Tulsa Public Schools leaders say the Oklahoma State Department of Education is “mischaracterizing” their new teacher-evaluation system and misrepresenting the costs of expanding its use statewide in advance of consideration by the state Board of Education.

Charter Schools Fulfill Educational Mission For Communities
The Morning Call, PA, December 13, 2011
While there are some charters that may use their limited resources less efficiently than traditional systems, there are clearly many that provide quality alternatives in many areas, including curriculum, missions and financial efficiencies.

Baden Academy Charter School Gets State OK
Beaver County Times, PA, December 13, 2011
For the first time, Beaver County families will have a “bricks and mortar” charter school option for elementary-age children.

New Evaluations More Harm Than Good
The Tennessean, TN, December 14, 2011
I am a third-grade teacher. I have been teaching for 27 years. I am writing specifically in response to the Dec. 2 op-ed “Don’t roll back teacher reforms,” written and endorsed by several area businesses, about the new teacher evaluation plan. I’m also writing in response to the generally negative climate surrounding public education.

Charters Just May Not Be Best Model For Educating Most Kids
The Tennessean, TN, December 13, 2011
It doesn’t surprise me that charter schools really aren’t doing any better than traditional public schools in pulling up test scores.

Charter School Denied
Jackson Sun, TN, December 13, 2011
The Jackson-Madison County School Board voted 6 to 2 to deny Connections Preparatory Academy’s amended charter-school application during a called meeting held Tuesday night.

Parents’ Concerns Deserve Consideration
Austin American-Statesman, TX, December 14, 2011
The deal to establish an unprecedented partnership between the Austin school district and IDEA Public Schools, which operates charter schools in South Texas, appeared to be on a greased track. The school superintendent was pushing hard for the deal, and it looked like she had a school board majority who couldn’t wait to vote for it.

Teacher Evaluations Need An Overhaul, Gregoire Says
Seattle Times, WA, December 13, 2011
Offering a blunt assessment of the state’s failure to get rid of struggling teachers, Gov. Chris Gregoire on Tuesday proposed a tougher statewide evaluation system aimed at weeding out ineffective educators.

Issaquah School District To Pilot Teacher Evaluation Process
Issaquah Press, WA, December 13, 2011
In fall 2013, every Washington public school will implement a state-mandated system to evaluate the performance of teachers and principals.

MPS Board Overhauls School Lineup For Next Year
Journal Sentinel, WI, December 13, 2011
The Milwaukee School Board on Tuesday night changed the district’s lineup of schools for the next academic year, closing several low-performing or under-enrolled programs and moving and expanding some high-performing ones.

VIRTUAL EDUCATION

Virtual Schools Are In Session
Worcester Telegram, MA, December 14, 2011
From working to shopping and paying our bills, the Internet seems to have transformed virtually every aspect of modern life. Now it’s changing the way we educate our children.

Bay Haven Withdraws Virtual School Applications
News Herald, FL, December 13, 2011
Bay Haven Charter Academy officials withdrew their virtual school applications at the last minute Tuesday, which prevented School Board members from denying their applications and removed the charter school’s right to appeal.

CPS Mulls Deal To Expand Virtual Education
Chicago Tribune, IL, December 14, 2011
With an eye toward expanding Chicago Public Schools’ online education offerings, the school board will consider awarding a share of a three-year, $1.9 million contract Wednesday to K-12 Virtual Schools LLC, a lucrative, publicly traded company that educators warn has a history of poor academic performance.

Arizona Taxpayers Funding Firms To Run Online Schools
Arizona Republic, AZ, December 13, 2011
Every year, tens of millions of dollars in state taxpayer money go to for-profit companies to run Arizona’s largest K-12 online schools.

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