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Daily Headlines for August 14, 2012

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Teachers Who Excel: A Lesson From Miss Smoot
Christian Science Monitor Blog, MA, August 13, 2012

Nothing is more important in K-12 education than the quality of a teacher. But how do we make great teachers? We could start with someone like Jane Smoot.

FROM THE STATES

ALASKA

Only 3 Juneau Schools Meet AYP Standards
Juneau Empire, AK, August 14, 2012

Auke Bay Elementary School , Juneau Community Charter School and Johnson Youth Center were the only three schools among 14 in Juneau to meet AYP in all categories during the 2011-12 school district, according to data released Monday by the Alaska Department of Education and Early Development.

CALIFORNIA

Charter Schools Benefit Communities
Santa Maria Times, CA, August 14, 2012

It’s no surprise many charter schools are popping up across the nation. One is planned in San Miguel in SLO County , and Orcutt Academy opened a couple years ago. There are also several smaller, home-study based charter schools in the Santa Maria Valley .

COLORADO

Thompson School District Staff Trains On New Evaluation System
Loveland Reporter Herald, CO, August 13, 2012

Nearly 200 Thompson School District employees — teachers, administrators and support staff — came together Monday to prepare for the first full school year of the Colorado Integration Project.

Global Village Academy Charter Proposed For D-11
Colorado Springs Gazette, CO, August 13, 2012

A group of community leaders is seeking to open a charter school in Colorado Springs School District 11 that blends language immersion and military traditions.

Cañon City School District Online Academy To Host Open House To Promote
Cañon City Daily Record, CO, August 13, 2012

The beginning of the 2012-13 school year also marks the start of the second year of the Cañon Online Academy.

FLORIDA

36 Apply For Charter Schools In Palm Beach County, As Popularity Grows
Palm Beach Post, FL, August 13, 2012

A growing number of applicants are clamoring to open charter schools in Palm Beach County , hoping to take advantage of a state Legislature that looks favorably on the alternative public school option.

ILLINOIS

Third Of CPS Schools Roll Out Longer Days
Chicago Tribune, IL, August 14, 2012

Students were back at their desks in more than a third of Chicago ‘s public schools Monday, taking on additional classes scheduled to fill the longer school day that created so much tension in teacher contract talks over the summer.

INDIANA

1st Classes For All-Boys Charter
Fort Wayne Journal Gazette, IN, August 14, 2012

A group of freshman students sat with their desks in a circle Monday, trying to get to know their fellow classmates at the Smith Academy for Excellence.

More School Choice For NWI Parents
Post-Tribune, IN, August 13, 2012

As schools open across Northwest Indiana , parents have more school options for their children than ever before, all with state tax dollars.

Gary School Chief Has Plans For Charter School
Post-Tribune, IN, August 13, 2012

New Gary Community School Corp. Superintendent Cheryl Pruitt told an assembly of teachers Monday she plans to ask the School Board to authorize the creation of a charter school within the next 60 days.

LOUISIANA

Parents Question Neville’s Future As Charter
Monroe News Star, LA, August 14, 2012

A small group of parents assembled at Neville High School Monday night to learn about the school’s future as a charter school — a future that was put on hold after the Monroe City School Board failed to approve the school’s contract last week.

Education Debates Continue
The Advertiser, LA, August 14, 2012

Local private schools accepting state taxpayer dollars as part of the Louisiana Scholarship Program use a wide range of curricula when it comes to teaching the origins of man and the universe.

When State Pays Church, We’re On A Slippery Road
The Advertiser, LA, August 14, 2012

Five schools in Lafayette Parish — Lafayette Christian Academy, John Paul the Great Academy, Immaculate Heart of Mary School, Holy Family Christian School and Gethsemane Christian Academy — are participating in the Louisiana K-12 Scholarship Program, meaning local students from poorly performing public schools can use vouchers to attend one of those five schools instead.

MASSACHUSETTS

Partnership Between New Bedford Elementary School And Friends Academy Had Successful First Year
South Coast Today, MA, August 14, 2012

An innovative partnership between Friends Academy and the city’s Hayden-McFadden Elementary School paid dividends in its first year, boosting teachers’ comfort with technology and starting to improve students’ performance in the classroom, according to a school official.

MICHIGAN

Muskegon Heights Charter Schools Have Less Than Half Of Desired Enrollment
The Muskegon Chronicle, MI, August 13, 2012

Enrollment at Muskegon Heights charter schools climbed to nearly 600 after an enrollment fair Saturday and school officials say they are prepared for an onslaught of unregistered students on the first day of school.

MISSISSIPPI

Merit Pay: Discipline Dictates Learning
Clarion Ledger, MS, August 14, 2012

As school begins for the 2012-13 term, teachers and administrators are setting the tone for what the learning atmosphere will be at their schools. It boils down to discipline and control, and it’s a critical factor in the education process.

MISSOURI

In Missouri’s School Performance Reports, KC Gets A Better Score
Kansas City Star, MO, August 14, 2012

The state’s annual performance reports for districts, released Tuesday, gave the unaccredited district two additional points, including a bonus for improvement on state performance tests.

St. Louis Schools Show Improvement, But Accreditation Remains Out Of Reach
St. Louis Beacon, MO, August 14, 2012

Missouri’s top educator says the St. Louis Public Schools are a success story that have shown marked progress since being taken over by the state, but they aren’t doing well enough to get out from under the control of Jefferson City just yet.

Imagine School Exiles Swell City Enrollment
St. Louis Post-Dispatch, MO, August 14, 2012

Monday morning was a flurry of activity at the Academy of Environmental Sciences and Mathematics. Kids lugged backpacks. Parents clutched paperwork. School administrators stood curbside to field questions.

NEW JERSEY

Tenure Victory Shows what’s Possible
New Jersey Spotlight, NJ, August 13, 2012

Sponsored by Senator Teresa Ruiz, a Democrat, the tenure reform law will take effect in the 2013 school year. But tenure reform is not a partisan initiative; therefore, members of both parties were on board.

With New Superintendent, Changes Come Fast To Newark Schools
Star-Ledger, NJ, August 14, 2012

When DaShawn Boyd enrolled last fall as a freshman at Bard Early College High School he considered himself a top student. The 15-year-old had earned mostly A’s at Camden Middle School .

NORTH CAROLINA

New Single-Gender Academies Open in Wake
News & Observer, NC, August 14, 2012

In a scene that wouldn’t have been out of place at parochial schools in the past, lines of smartly dressed students started a new school year on Monday in separate boys’ and girls’ schools.

OREGON

Bethel Drops Charter School
Register-Guard, OR, August 14, 2012

While backers ask the district to retain HomeSource, school leaders promise to appeal the revocation

PENNSYLVANIA

Roberto Clemente Charter School Fighting Allentown School Board’s Rejection Of Proposed Expansion
Lehigh Valley Express-Times, PA, August 14, 2012

Eighteen months after the Allentown School Board rejected them, the Roberto Clemente Charter School is still fighting to open its doors to elementary students.

SOUTH CAROLINA

Incorporate Existing Program Into Turnaround Plan
The State, SC, August 14, 2012

IT’S HARD enough to turn around persistently failing schools under ideal circumstances. But the circumstances are never ideal. The schools largely reflect the pathologies of the surrounding neighborhoods, where deep poverty, broken families, high crime rates and a lack of role models conspire to produce children who are agonizingly difficult to teach.

TENNESSEE

6 Nashville Schools Fall Into State’s Lowest 5 Percent For Performance
The Tennessean, TN, August 14, 2012

The Tennessee Department of Education released its list Monday, basing it on student performance on spring standardized testing. It included Bailey, Brick Church , Gra-Mar and Smithson-Craighead middle schools and Buena Vista and Napier elementary schools in Nashville .

TEXAS

Audit Says Charter School’s Operator Broke Law
San Antonia Express-News, TX, August 14, 2012

Local charter school operator Shekinah Learning Institute violated state law when it entered into rental agreements with a church and day care center run by its superintendent, Cheryl Washington, a state audit found.

BACK TO SCHOOL: TLC Academy Offers Parents, Kids Best Of Both Worlds
San Angelo Standard Times, TX, August 13, 2012

TLC Academy will start its fourth school year Monday with an enrollment of 990 students, only 10 students fewer than its enrollment cap of 1,000, and with a waiting list of at least 100 students.

WISCONSIN

14 More Schools To Be Voucher Eligible
Journal Sentinel, WI, August 13, 2012

A year after Republican-backed legislation relaxed rules for entry into the Milwaukee school voucher program and also created a similar program in Racine , 123 private schools have met the state’s requirements to educate students with the help of taxpayer-funded subsidies this fall.

Tougher On Teachers — Unified To Pilot More Rigorous Teacher Evaluation System
Journal Times, WI, August 13, 2012

A few Unified teachers will get a taste this fall of a more rigorous evaluation system.
Racine Unified’s Julian Thomas Elementary School will pilot the state’s new teacher evaluation system this coming school year.

ONLINE SCHOOLS

Virtual Charter Schools On Horizon
Princeton Packet, NJ, August 13, 2012

After successfully opposing a K-2 Mandarin immersion charter school, officials in two local districts are now turning their attention to the world of virtual charters.

Chicago Virtual Charter School Gives Students A Chance To Succeed
Chicago Examiner, August 13, 2012

The Chicago Virtual Charter School (CVCS) is a unique school that blends online learning with brick-and-mortar schooling via curriculum provided by K12, Inc. The curriculum is both mastery based and rigorous, and CVCS currently serves close to 600 students, from grades kindergarten through 12.

Students Log On To Virtual School
The Advocate, LA, August 14, 2012

Some St. Martin Parish students started their first day of classes Monday at home — logged into the district’s new virtual school program that begins this year as a way to help students graduate on time or in some cases ahead of schedule.

Still Waiting For Evidence On IPads In Schools
Post-Bulletin, MN, August 14, 2012

Innovations tried by schools like Rochester have failed to improve achievement. No Child Left Behind, modular scheduling, whole language reading, “New Math,” process science, Writing to Read, outcome-based education — these are all examples of students losing when initiatives fail.

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