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Home » Daily Headlines » Daily Headlines for February 10, 2014

Daily Headlines for February 10, 2014

Click here for Newswire, the latest weekly report on education news and commentary you won’t find anywhere else – spiced with a dash of irreverence – from the nation’s leading voice in school reform. 


Are Parents to Blame for Poor Schools?
Opinions, New York Times, NY
February Room for Debate asks whether educators are shirking their responsibility by expecting parents to be more demanding.

Preschool is important, but it’s more important for poor children
Washington Post, DC, February 9, 2014
But an unbounded entitlement would not reduce children’s early gaps in learning. It could even exacerbate disparities. The issue is how, not whether, to invest more in preschool, mindfully preventing learning disparities before they emerge.

School choice has improved student performance
Opinion, Miami Herald, FL, February 8, 2014
U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan has been sounding the alarm that, despite our recent efforts at educational reform, most American schools are still falling behind. Duncan rightly argues that if our children are not learning we have to change the way we do things.



In Alaska, charter schools straddle the line between public, private education
Alaska Dispatch, AK, February 8, 2014
Charter schools are officially public schools, receiving public funds that come through local school districts. While the schools have to meet district and state educational standards, the methods they take to get there can be unconventional. At Academy, the emphasis is on small class sizes and holistic learning — students are required to study tae kwon do, for example, for both the physical and mental demands of the sport.

School vouchers move step closer to ballot box
Juneau Empire, AK, February 9, 2014
Giving Alaskans the option to vote on whether or not the state should provide families with vouchers to attend private schools moved one step closer to becoming reality Friday.


This school plan for urban core might get an A+
Editorial, Arizona Star, AZ, February 10, 2014
Some Arizona charter schools are among the best in the country. Others have been a dismal failure. Most lie someplace in between, OK but not great.


White students get better teachers in L.A., researcher testifies
Los Angeles Times, CA, February 8, 2014
Black and Latino students are more likely to get ineffective teachers in Los Angeles schools than white and Asian students, according to a new study by a Harvard researcher. The findings were released this week during a trial challenging the way California handles the dismissal, lay off and tenure process for teachers.


Support growing for more charter schools in Bridgeport
Connecticut Post, CT, February 10, 2014
An outspoken Hartford magnet school principal, a Rhode Island education reform advocate and a longtime city teacher who also happens to be the mayor’s ex, all want the same thing: open the state’s next charter school here.


Charter school’s commercial avoids F grade
Tampa Bay Times, FL, February 10, 2014
The ad, nevertheless, is just the type of thing that stirs up critics of charter schools, which use tax dollars but are run independently of government districts.

Final details could snag new Pasco charter school
Tampa Bay Times, FL, February 8, 2014
Plans for Pepin Academies to open a new charter school in Pasco County next fall are not yet a done deal. Confusion reigned in the days after the Pasco School Board appeared to have approved Pepin’s 15-year contract, as district officials tried to reconstruct exactly what board members left undone.

Legal opinion penned by Crist puts him on one side of controversial charter school issue, at odds with Democrats
Florida Times-Union, FL, February 8, 2014
An opinion on charter-school funding by then-Republican Attorney General Charlie Crist is at odds with a portion of the Democratic base whose help he now needs to become the next governor.

Woodville proposes charter middle school
Tallahassee Democrat, FL, February 9, 2014
Parents in Woodville have been trying for years to open a middle school closer to home.


Good, bad in new Ga. teacher evaluations
Augusta Chronicle, GA, February 9, 2014
Georgia’s new teacher evaluation system might be an improvement over the old one, but it’s not likely to work exactly as intended and critics warn it might even turn into be a magnet for lawsuits.


Panel releases recommendations on what to do with shuttered schools
Chicago Tribune, IL, February 8, 2014
An advisory committee looking at what to do with Chicago schools that were closed last year is recommending that the city consider using the buildings for other district or city agency uses before putting them up for sale.


Guidelines to curb school suspensions being drafted
Boston Globe, MA, February 10, 2014
Massachusetts is taking public input over the next few weeks as it crafts guidelines aimed at keeping students in school by reducing suspensions and expulsions.


A ‘maker’ charter school? More study is needed
Crain’s Detroit Business, MI, February 9, 2014
Could West Michigan be the site of the nation’s first elementary or high school based on the “maker movement” — the trend that encourages people to marry the latest technology with traditional skills to physically build projects?

Just 29, Ohio native launches charter school in Detroit
Detroit News, MI, February 10, 2014
The kindergartner is among 40 students attending Detroit Achievement Academy, a new charter school for kindergarten and first-grade students on the city’s west side. The project-based school is the brainchild of Kyle Smitley, 29, an entrepreneur who left a lucrative children’s organic clothing business in San Francisco to move to Detroit and open the school in September.


Head of St. Paul charter school should go, authorizer says
Pioneer Press, MN, February 8, 2014
St. Paul’s Concordia University is urging the school board at a charter school it oversees to replace its beleaguered superintendent.


Plan unveiled to gradually privatize public schools
Column, Winona Daily News, MN, February 10, 2014
“If I was going to write a bill to privatize public schools,” the Senate staffer told our small group, “this is what it would look like.”


Transfer funds hurt troubled districts as they accumulate elsewhere
St. Louis Post-Dispatch, MO, February 10, 2014
The 2,200 transfer students have fanned out across the St. Louis region in search of a better education than they were getting in the troubled Normandy and Riverview Gardens school districts.


Agassi fund gives big boost to charter schools
Las Vegas Review Journal, NV, February 8, 2014
Outside Las Vegas, Andre Agassi’s legacy is defined by his eight Grand Slam tennis titles. But in his hometown, Mr. Agassi’s reputation as an education reformer is rapidly redefining his celebrity.


Four Newark neighborhood schools will become charters in updated ‘One Newark’ plan
Star-Ledger, NJ, February 8, 2014
North Star Academy, TEAM and BRICK charter schools have agreed to operate grades K-4 in three Newark neighborhood schools, while Newark Legacy Charter School will run grades pre-K through 5 in a fourth district building, Newark officials have announced.

Newark Superintendent Cami Anderson deserves support, not vilification
Editorial, Star-Ledger, NJ, February 9, 2014
Superintendent Cami Anderson is answering decades of failure in Newark with an ambition and urgency that’s long overdue.


Raising the bar helps graduation rates climb
Albuquerque Journal, NM, February 10, 2014
Alone, those educational initiatives might not have made a dramatic impact upon a struggling school. But when put together, they and other initiatives are the major reasons two Albuquerque high schools saw their graduation rates jump 10 points last year, according to their principals.


Charter schools scramble for space after mayor’s moves
New York Post, NY, February 10, 2014
Seeing the writing on the blackboard, new charter schools are scrambling to find private space as Mayor de Blasio moves to keep them from using city-owned public-school buildings in the future.

Sending city students to Catholic schools isn’t a perfect plan, but it will help some of them
Opinion, Buffalo News, NY, February 9, 2014
Good intentions sometimes come with unintended consequences. Such is the case with a proposal to move students from their failing Buffalo schools into Catholic schools.

The war on charter kids
Opinion, New York Post, NY, February 8, 2014
Mayor de Blasio’s assault on the city’s dynamic, overwhelmingly successful charter schools has turned out to be swifter and more punishing than even his campaign rhetoric suggested.

With tightened restrictions, charter schools may leave New York City
Fox News, NY, February 10, 2014
After New York City spent years building a thriving charter school community, Bill Phillips, president of Northeast Charter Schools Network, says Mayor Bill de Blasio is showing how to take it down.


StudentFirst charter school dreams fade in startup turmoil
Charlotte Observer, NC, February 8, 2014
On a January morning in 2013, Phyllis Handford and Sandra Moss donned blue blazers and pitched their vision to a crowd of west Charlotte leaders. For years they’d been trying to turn their small private school, StudentFirst Academy, into a charter that would reach more students.

Troubling indications that there’s teacher shortage coming in North Carolina
Editorial, News & Observer, NC, February 9, 2014
This is the type of person North Carolina’s Republican lawmakers are going to drive out of the teaching profession: A seventh-grade science teacher at Weldon Middle School in Halifax County said of some recent unexpected time off, “I was depressed with all the snow because I missed my kids so much.”


Philly schools consider universal enrollment model
Philadelphia Inquirer, PA, February 9, 2014
When it’s time to enroll in school in Philadelphia, students face a bewildering array of choices: Neighborhood public school? Cyber school? Charter? Private or religious school? What about a specialty district school focused on science? Performing arts? International affairs?

CONTROL ISSUES: Is the state using charter rules to help kill Philly’s school district?
Editorial, Philadelphia Daily News, PA, February 10, 2014
LAST WEEK, the School District of Philadelphia confirmed what it feared back in November: It is facing an extra $25 million in unbudgeted costs associated with increased enrollment in charter schools. Charters have enrolled 1,600 more students than allowed by their agreements with the district.


Fair educates parents on charter schools, activities
Memphis Commercial Appeal, TN, February 8, 2014
Durant was one of hundreds of parents who attended a fair Saturday at the University of Memphis to learn about Shelby County’s 56 charter schools and how they compare to the rest of the public school system on state assessment tests.

GOP schools bill could limit lobbying by Nashville, Williamson, other districts
The Tennessean, TN, February 10, 2014
Republican lawmakers have introduced legislation to put a new check on local school districts’ efforts to lobby the state legislature in a move critics contend is intended to mute opposing education viewpoints.

Will Pinkston, shrewd but polarizing, is a force on Metro school board
The Tennessean, TN, February 9, 2014
He’s a key ally to Director of Schools Jesse Register. He’s also the chief messenger on the school district’s No. 1 preoccupation in recent months: that the rapid growth of publicly financed, privately led charters has reached a financial tipping point here. Pinkston even coined a phrase for those who dispute the math: “charter zealots.”


Three reasons why independent charter schools are outperforming traditional public schools
Milwaukee Courier, WI, February 8, 2014
On average, students attending the collection of independent charter schools in Milwaukee are outperforming their peers in traditional public schools.


A new antidote for snow days: ‘e-learning days’
USA Today, February 9, 2014
For a small but growing number of students across the country, the words snow day no longer necessarily mean a day of sleeping late and goofing off.

At Ed-Tech Conference, Midwestern Educators Will Explore The Flip
St. Louis Public Radio, MO, February 10, 2014
Rapid-fire changes in technology have the potential to turn education on its head, and Lodge McCammon thinks that can be a good thing.

Baltimore County schools begin technology initiative
Baltimore Sun, MD, February 8, 2014
From sprawling Los Angeles to tiny Talbot County on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, educators are experimenting with the next wave of technology in schools: a tablet or laptop in every student’s hand. The results have drawn national attention — for both their embarrassing failures and their successes.

‘Fail factory’ teacher churns through 475 students per year
New York Post, NY, February 9, 2014
Students failing any of those subjects get dumped on Pajares, who signs them up for an online course they can do in a computer lab or at home. Students can snag full credit without attending class.

Hartford schools ponder virtual academy
Herald Palladium, MI, February 8, 2014
Berrien Springs schools is offering to operate a virtual academy for Hartford schools. The Hartford school board heard a presentation on the idea Thursday night from Dallas Bell, representing Berrien Springs schools.

Maine commission should say ‘no’ to virtual charter schools
Editorial, Portland Press Herald, ME, February 10, 2014
For-profit companies should not get the state’s scarce public education money.

Exit interview: Florida Virtual School’s Julie Young on innovation and disruption in education
Orlando Business School, FL, February 7, 2014
The Florida Virtual School isn’t just a school. It’s an innovation, a pioneer in public education established 17 years ago that helped make Florida’s performance-based funding model — the Virtual School only gets paid when a student passes a class — into a national pioneer.