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Daily Headlines for September 7, 2012

Romney’s Radical Vision For Education
Los Angeles Times, CA, September 7, 2012

As schools around the country open their doors for the fall term, here’s a quick end-of-summer quiz: Which major presidential candidate has offered the most radical proposal to change public education?

FROM THE STATES

COLORADO

Douglas County Teacher Union Considers Suing District For Discrimination
Denver Post, CO, September 7, 2012

The Douglas County School Board had every right to dissolve its ties with its teachers union, but it might face a lawsuit for discrimination, a union official said Thursday.

DELAWARE

State: Pencader Should Fix Issues Now, Not Later
News Journal, DE, September 7, 2012

It should be “days, not weeks” before problems identified by the state at Pencader Business and Finance Charter School are fixed, state Education Secretary Mark Murphy said.

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA

Teachers Turn Tables, Rate Principals In Survey
Washington Examiner, DC, September 6, 2012

Since 2009, teachers in DC Public Schools have been rated on a scale running from “ineffective” to “highly effective” on evaluations that determine their pay grade and whether they have a job each year. So, they thought, why not give their principals the same treatment?

GEORGIA

Education Partnerships Awarded $4.5 Million In Grant Money
Atlanta Journal-Constitution, GA, September 6, 2012

Georgia Charter Schools Association and a pair of public charter schools were among the winners of $4.5 million in grants announced this week by the Governor’s Office of Student Achievement.

Charter Amendment Compromises Local Control of Schools
Athens Banner-Herald, GA, September 6, 2012

When public school systems fail today, communities take matters into their own hands.

IDAHO

Idaho School Chief Wants More Money For Teacher Bonus Plan
Boise State Public Radio, ID, September 6, 2012

Idaho’s School Superintendent wants the state to spend 5.1 percent more on education next year. Tom Luna released his proposed budget Thursday for fiscal year 2014. In January he’ll ask lawmakers to approve it.

Schools to Get Merit Pay Proposals Next Week
Magic Valley Times News, ID, September 7, 2012

School employees will have to wait a little longer to find out if they’ll receive merit pay. The Idaho State Department of Education plans to release preliminary data on the pay — part of the Students Come First reforms — to school districts and charter schools early next week.

ILLINOIS

If Chicago Teachers Strike Now, It’s The Union’s Bad Call
Chicago Sun-Times, IL, September 6, 2012

Despite the flame-throwing by the Chicago Teachers Union, a fair settlement is within reach — and it’s largely up to the union to make it happen.

CPS Board President Joins Contract Talks With Teachers Union
Chicago Tribune, IL, September 7, 2012

Chicago School Board President David Vitale sat in on contract talks with the teachers union for the first time Thursday and expressed optimism that a strike can be avoided.

LOUISIANA

Teacher Evaluation Report Criticized
Baton Rouge Advocate, LA, September 7, 2012

The president of the Louisiana Federation of Teachers on Thursday criticized a report that said linking job evaluations for public school teachers to student achievement is a good indicator of how effective teachers will be in the future.

MAINE

Local School Districts Should Have Say Over Student Transfers
Portland Press Herald, ME, September 7, 2012

When state officials grant out-of-district placements, taxpayers get stuck with the bill.

MASSACHUSETTS

Squeezed For Space, Salem Charter School Can’t Expand
Salem Journal, MA, September 7, 2012

Leaders of the city’s charter school for at-risk students will meet with Mayor Kim Driscoll next week, in hopes of moving the alternative school to a new location as soon as possible.

MICHIGAN

Attendance Tops 79% At Schools in Detroit
Detroit News, MI, September 7, 2012

Attendance reached nearly 85 percent on the second day of classes at Detroit Public Schools, an unprecedented level in a district plagued by chronic absenteeism.

Newly Formed Muskegon Heights Charter School Charts Unlikely Course
Detroit Free Press, MI, September 7, 2012

Tony Blankenship stood before his players in the locker room last week and gazed at the happy faces, most of which he did not expect to see in a varsity locker room for another year.

Unions Challenge Effort To Cut Costs
Livingston Daily Press & Argus, MI, September 7, 2012

Efforts by two powerful teachers’ unions could halt a move to rein in costs of the state’s school employee retirement system, currently underfunded by roughly $45 billion, state lawmakers said.

NEW HAMPSHIRE

Lynch Announces N.H. Seeks Waiver From No Child Left Behind
Fosters Daily Democrat, NH, September 7, 2012

The state of New Hampshire today — with strong support from educators at all levels, school districts, local officials and Gov. John Lynch — applied for a federal waiver which would free the state from certain provisions of the No Child Left Behind Act.

NEW YORK

More Field Tests Slated
Wall Street Journal, September 7, 2012

Students in 550 schools around New York state this fall will sit for another standardized test that doesn’t count, as the state again tries to fine-tune future test questions, according to a memo sent to superintendents.

City Courts Investors to Fix Schools
Wall Street Journal, September 6, 2012

Officials in Yonkers , N.Y. , are looking to partner with investors to raise $1.7 billion for renovating the city’s crumbling public schools, in an unusual approach to education funding that is being watched by other cash-strapped school systems.

Hoping for Change at Queens School Where Chancellor Has Ties
New York Times, NY, September 7, 2012

From the outside, Public School 36 looks like any other utilitarian school building in New York City. Its red brick walls rise three stories over St. Albans, a venerable working-class neighborhood in southeastern Queens .

New Principal Michelle Haynes Is Out to Restore Stellar Reputation of Sisulu-Walker Charter School
New York Daily News, NY, September 7, 2012

City and state’s first charter school, once a magnet for politicians and educational reformers, had slipped slightly in recent years

Can Handpicked Teachers Turn Around An Underperforming School?
The Hechinger Report, September 6, 2012

Glover, principal of what’s momentarily known as Quitman Street Renew School, had a grueling summer interviewing more than 100 candidates for instructional positions, with dozens more weeded out by a recruiter. Fewer than half of the 60 teachers greeting children when they arrive back today were on staff when classes let out in June.

NORTH CAROLINA

New Hanover County To Get Two New Charter Schools
Star News, NC, September 6, 2012

New Hanover County will have two new charter schools next year after the state Board of Education voted Thursday to approve 25 new charter schools across the state.

OHIO

Ohio, Now With 28 New Charter Schools
NPR StateImpact , OH, September 7, 2012

This school year, Ohio students are attending 28 brand-new charter schools. The new schools include some that blend online and classroom learning as well as two overseen by the Ohio Department of Education’s new sponsorship department.

OKLAHOMA

Status Quo Approach Won’t Help Oklahoma Shrink Education Gap
The Oklahoman, OK, September 7, 2012

A new report out from the Brookings Institution is a classic good news-bad news story for this state, and in particular, Oklahoma City . The question for policymakers is what to do with the information.

PENNSYLVANIA

Judge Allows More Time For ‘Complex’ Charter School Fraud Case
Philadelphia Inquirer, PA, September 7, 2012

A U.S. district judge has ruled that a fraud case against charter school mogul Dorothy June Brown and four codefendants is so complex that he will allow more time to begin the criminal trial.

Two New Catholic Schools, Blended From Others, Start The School Year On A Positive Note
Philadelphia Inquirer, PA, September 7, 2012

First thing in the morning on their first day of school, some students at Mater Dei Regional School in Lansdale got a pop quiz – from the archbishop.

RHODE ISLAND

Merger of Education Boards May be Placed on Hold
Go Local Prov, RI, September 7, 2012

Lawmakers are being asked to consider postponing a plan that would merge the Board of Regents for Elementary and Secondary Education and the Board of Governors for Higher Education into an 11-member Board of Education, GoLocalProv has learned.

TENNESSEE

Education Commissioner Kevin Huffman Has Proved Too Impulsive
The Tennessean, TN, September 7, 2012

M.o.” is an abbreviation for the method of operation of a person. When it comes to implementing education reform in Tennessee , Commissioner of Education Kevin Huffman’s m.o. is unmoved by caution or convention. He seems bent on building the plane as he flies it. This practice sets him apart from most prudent reformers in the academic tradition of the United States .

TEXAS

Vouchers Or Other Public Dollars Could Go To Texas Private Schools
Fort Worth Star Telegram, TX, September 6, 2012

You’d think that with all their experience in state government, Gov. Rick Perry and Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst would back causes that have sounder constitutional footing than private school vouchers.

Texas To Seek Waiver From No Child Left Behind Act
Fort Worth Star Telegram, TX, September 7, 2012

Five days into his new job, Texas Education Commissioner Michael Williams announced Thursday that he intends to ask the U.S. Education Department for a waiver from several provisions of the No Child Left Behind Act.

WASHINGTON

Charter School Debate Comes to Gig Harbor
Peninsula Gateway, WA, September 6, 2012

Liv Finne, the director of the Washington Policy Center ‘s Center for Education, and Catherine Ahl, the education chair of the League of Women Voters of Washington, squared off Thursday morning at Cottesmore of Life Care in Gig Harbor in a debate over charter schools.

ONLINE SCHOOLS

Would You Send Your Child To A Virtual School?
Bangor Daily Herald, ME, September 7, 2012

Some Maine students would be served well by virtual schools, either because the online classrooms augment homeschooling lessons, offer the simplest way to educate youth who travel often or have health problems, or suit particular learning styles.

High Tech Learning Accelerates Student’ Progress
Fayetteville Observer, NC, September 7, 2012

Remember blackboards? You know, those slate boards covering the front of the classroom, where teachers and students would stand and write in chalk?

How Indiana Schools Are Blurring The Lines Between Computer & Classroom
NPR StateImpact, IN, September 6, 2012

Indianapolis high school junior Reo Burton spends as much of his school day at a cubicle as he does in a classroom.

Company Seeks To Form Virtual Charter School in Marion
Ocala Star Banner, FL, September 6, 2012

A nonprofit group has applied to open a K-8 virtual charter school in Marion County , though many school district officials are concerned about some of the educational and organizational plans the group listed in its application.

First Year Test Scores Poor Measure Of Online Schools
The Oshkosh Northwestern, WI, September 6, 2012

As a long time online school administrator, I’d like to add context to the recent Gannett Wisconsin Media report (Aug. 26-28) about online schools.

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