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Newswire: January 3, 2012

2012 in Review — What’s In and What’s Out

                           In                   Out
Indiana-style comprehensive ed reform Tinkering around the edges
Eva Moskowitz’s tidal wave of Success Small surf for New Jersey charters
Maine’s baby step forward for charters Georgia court’s giant step back
D.C.’s Scholarship boom Booming voices against vouchers
Virtual learning Virtual loathing
Parent Revolution Compton
Courage to buck system for kids Cowardice to leave town to avoid vote
Reform lifelines for kids sinking in failing schools Reform wavering
Florida’s Teacher performance impact D.C.’s no-impact Impact
Leaving no child behind Racing to the top and leaving some kids behind

Glossary for the Reform Neophyte

Indiana did it all, from vouchers to charter expansion to teacher evaluation, which far too few other states have copied.

Success Academies battled hard and won fights to open schools in diverse neighborhoods, while Hudson River neighbor continues to turn away high quality charter applications.

Maine became first charter law to be enacted in more than five years, while the Georgia High Court tried to put one out of business.

Congress re-approved Washington, D.C.’s opportunity scholarship program, yet many in education still bad mouth this lifeline to families who want out of zip-code assignment.

Virtual learning is soaring nationwide while critics who fear the future cry tears of woe.

California’s Parent Revolution fought the law, lost (Compton), re-evaluated and now are working to help parents in general help themselves.

Lawmakers challenged collective bargaining (eg Idaho, Wisconsin) and challenged the status quo, while some of their colleagues fled the state to avoid a vote (Wisconsin and Indiana)…and their responsibilities.

States and cities (Detroit and New Orleans, included) are trying different ways to rescue kids drowning in schools that fail, while others (eg Pennsylvania, New Jersey) have spent years twiddling collective thumbs over reforms that should have passed, but didn’t.

Florida uses concrete value added to evaluate all teachers, which is resulting in student achievement gains, while D.C. pays better teachers more but achievement remains stagnant.

Congress is finally gearing up to re-write NCLB and preserve accountability, while the Education Department is giving states a pass.