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Home » Daily Headlines » Daily Headlines for February 6, 2014

Daily Headlines for February 6, 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. 


Ravitch unloads on school ‘deform’
Washington Post, DC, February 5, 2014
Diane Ravitch, the education historian who has led a de facto national movement against current education policies — including standardized testing, charter schools, vouchers and teacher evaluations tied to student test scores — said Tuesday evening that “the White House’s obsession with data is sick.”



In Alabama, school choice is commonplace and constitutional
Commentary, The Huntsville Times, AL, February 5, 2014
On Thursday, February 6, a state judge will hear arguments in a case challenging the Alabama Accountability Act, an education reform measure passed by the state legislature last year, and in particular two school choice programs it created.

Report reveals special education graduation rate gap
Dothan Eagle, AL, February 5, 2014
A new report from the U.S. Department of Education shows significant gaps between the graduation rate for all students and the graduation rate for special education students in Alabama.


Education ‘voucher’ amendment passes Senate Finance Committee
Anchorage Daily News, AK, February 5, 2014
The Senate Finance Committee moved the proposed school-voucher constitutional amendment Wednesday with three members withholding a recommendation to the full Senate.


Charter schools to state DOE: ‘Stop withholding dollars’
KPHO, AZ, February 5, 2014
This school year, some 3,200 Valley-area charter school teachers haven’t been paid what they should have. So said a Maricopa Co. superior judge this week.


Dispute over new rules for Santa Rosa charter schools
Press Democrat, CA, February 5, 2014
Santa Rosa City Schools is overhauling enrollment policies for the district’s four dependent charter schools to try to increase diversity, but the officials at the first school affected are crying foul that their input was not sought before changes were made.

How a ‘Sacrificial Lamb’ Charter School Plans to Fight Back
Voice of San Diego, CA, February 5, 2014
Right now in San Diego, more than 1,000 families are on waiting lists to enter charter schools. Many of these families live in lower-income neighborhoods with under-performing schools. Others believe their children would thrive in a nontraditional learning environment.

With hostility over, parent-trigger school strives to improve
Hechinger Report, February 6, 2014
The alleged vandalism incident, as described in a police report filed by the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Victor Valley station, gives a glimpse into just how contentious the parent-trigger process became in the small Mojave Desert town of Adelanto, Calif., a city of 32,000 people about 90 miles northeast of Los Angeles.


Lawyer Brad Miller rejects label of charter school crusader
Loveland Reporter-Herald, CO, February 6, 2014
Colorado Springs lawyer Brad Miller said Tuesday he thinks the Thompson School District community has widely mischaracterized him as a charter-school crusader, when, in reality, he plans to support Thompson in any endeavor and without bias.


A nurturing environment for my children
Letter, Journal News, DE, February 6, 2014
In honor of the recent observed National School Choice Week (Jan. 26-Feb. 1), I’d like to share why I chose charter school education for my children. Both of my daughters – one in sixth grade and one in kindergarten – attend Odyssey Charter School, and both are thriving.


A bad deal for D.C. charter schools
Editorial, Washington Post, DC, February 5, 2014
A COMPREHENSIVE new study on school funding in the District validates the long-held suspicion that public charter school students have not been funded equitably compared with their peers in the traditional school school system.


Bill targeting at-risk middle school students gets early approval
Tallahassee Democrat, FL, February 6, 2014
Florida lawmakers are working to create an “early-warning system” for middle-school students at risk of falling off track.

Lawmaker bemoans lopsided PECO spending
Florida Current, FL, February 5, 2014
A long simmering dispute buried within Gov. Rick Scott’s proposed education budget that involves Public Education Capital Outlay dollars and charter schools boiled over a bit on Wednesday.

State education policies called racially discriminatory
Florida Current, FL, February 5, 2014
A state senator, a civil rights attorney and the mother of a young student said Wednesday theFlorida Department of Education is sending a bad message to public school children and their teachers by having lower achievement goals in reading and math for minority students.


Local Group Plans to Petition School Board for Charter School
WJBF, GA, February 5, 2014
A group of Columbia County teachers and local fine arts directors sent a letter of intent to the Columbia County Superintendent this past week. They plan to petition the school board in hopes of building Columbia County School for the Arts, a K -12 school that would infuse all aspects of fine arts including music, dance, and foreign language.


Charter group wants to open kindergarten to 8th-grade school
Chicago Daily Herald, IL, February 5, 2014
The Elgin Math and Science Charter School Initiative will conduct a community forum Tuesday to answer questions about the group’s charter school proposal.


Report warns of achievement gap for low-income students
Topeka Capital -Journal, KS, February 5, 2014
A new report by a national foundation highlights gains in reading skills among children, but says Americans should be concerned that students from lower-income families are making slower strides.


Kentucky Board of Education considers standardizing evaluation of teachers and principals
Lexington Herald-Leader, KY, February 5, 2014
Kentucky has as many teacher and principal evaluation systems as there are school districts, state education officials said Wednesday.


Charter School Model Spreads Across Louisiana
WWNO, LA, February 5, 2014
New Orleans will soon become the first city with an all-charter school district, but the education landscape looks much different across the rest of Louisiana. Many parishes have few or no charter schools, but that’s starting to change.

Charter school plan rankles Iberville school superintendent
The Advocate, LA, February 5, 2014
The construction of what is expected to become the first charter school in Iberville Parish has the parish’s school superintendent on edge and voicing concerns about what he sees as a potential threat to the public school system.

Gov. Bobby Jindal looking at tweaks to teacher tenure law
Shreveport Times, LA, February 5, 2014
Gov. Bobby Jindal signaled Wednesday that he’s willing to make changes to his 2012 law that made it tougher for teachers to reach the job protection status of tenure.

Louisiana’s Education Reform May be Due for a ‘Do Over’
Opinion, WWNO, LA, February 5, 2014
It’s been nearly two years since Louisiana’s Legislature passed a package of highly-controversial education reforms. Since then, there has been confusion at the local school level and angst for teachers — especially over changes to teacher pay and tenure under a new evaluation process.


City teachers upset about mail clause in proposed contract
Baltimore Sun Blog, MD, February 5, 2014
On any given day, a teacher’s mailbox is usually chock full of messages: leaflets advertising professional development, discount coupons for office supplies, publications from curriculum companies, and book club invitations.


Snyder pitches funding for new teacher evaluations, ‘distressed’ districts
Detroit News, MI, February 5, 2014
Michigan is one step closer to creating a statewide teacher evaluation system after Gov. Rick Snyder called for $27.8 million in the next state budget to fund evaluator training, a new tool and changes to state data systems.


Teacher pay raise passes House
Desoto Times, MS, February 6, 2014
Mississippi House members voted 86-26 Wednesday to pass House Bill 504 which raises teacher pay by about $4,250 over four years.


NM must build on its school-reform successes
Editorial, Albuquerque Journal, NM, February 6, 2014
New Mexico has made important K-12 education strides in the past three years, improving the statewide graduation rate from 63 percent in 2011 to 70.3 percent last year, slashing the Anglo-Hispanic graduation gap in the largest district from 19.8 percentage points in 2008 to 10.5 percentage points in 2013, and ranking No. 1 in the nation for Hispanic student participation and success on Advanced Placement tests.


The Bill comes due for charters
Opinion, New York Daily News, NY, February 6, 2014
Bill de Blasio’s campaign against charter schools is underway. Last week, Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña announced plans to “reprogram” $210 million in charter school capital funding for other, not yet specified priorities.

The Troubling Teacher Union Strategy
Huffington Post, February 5, 2014
America’s teacher unions are embracing a strategy that could diminish their profession and, over time, undermine education. By engineering a no-confidence vote in New York State Education Commissioner John King and retreating from prior commitments to high standards and accountability, the union risks losing public support for schools.

Waiting for Super Andrew
Editorial, New York Post, NY, February 6, 2014
‘There is room for everybody,” public charter schools and public traditional schools alike, Lt. Gov. Robert Duffy said Tuesday, speaking for the governor.


Teachers go red for tenure
Gaston Gazette, NC, February 5, 2014
As president of the Gaston County chapter of the N.C. Association of Educators, Gibson encouraged local teachers to support a statewide initiative called Day of Action.


Parents question teachers about attendance options for students
Mail Tribune, OR, February 5, 2014
About 180 community members packed an hourlong forum Tuesday evening to hear teachers describe options they will have for their children enrolled in a Medford school if a strike is called.

Portland Public Schools teachers vote to authorize a strike, walkout set for Feb. 20
The Oregonian, OR, February 5, 2014
Portland Public Schools teachers have authorized the first strike in the history of Oregon’s largest school system and set a walkout date: Feb. 20.


Spartansburg Community Considering Charter School
Your Erie, PA, February 5, 2014
Led by the group Save Our Schools, the Spartansburg community is thinking of opening a charter school in the area.


McKee says McLaughlin’s stance on school ‘will not be forgotten’
Valley Breeze, RI, February 6, 2014
Mayor Daniel McKee is accusing state Rep. Jim McLaughlin of reveling in the disruption created by the shutdown of the construction site of the new Blackstone Valley Prep charter school on Broad Street.


Charter school accused of unethical recruiting
WMC-TV, TN, February 5, 2014
While Gordon Elementary’s enrollment has eroded over the years, enrollment at nearby charter schools Klondike Preparatory Academy and Humes Prep is on the rise.


Deion Sanders’ Bitter and Violent Quest to Retake Control of His Crumbling Charter School
Dallas Observer, TX, February 6, 2014
Sure, he was a celebrity, and sure, the school was named after him. But from where Vera Cole sat, Mr. Prime Time couldn’t have been more down to earth.


Pleasant Grove autism charter school filling quickly
Daily Herald, UT, February 5, 2014
Less than a month after breaking ground, a special charter school catering to the educational needs of autistic children has already filled its lower grades.


School turnaround not a quick fix
Tidewater News, VA, February 5, 2014
Franklin City School Board Chairwoman Edna King said that growth is what the Virginia Department of Education is looking for.


Fast-growing school districts seek more money from voters
Seattle Times, WA, February 5, 2014
Several districts in King and Snohomish counties will be asking voters to pass bond measures next Tuesday to accommodate rising enrollment.

Private school for disadvantaged students will become state’s first charter school
KIRO Seattle, WA, February 5, 2014
A non-tuition private school serving students who are homeless or who have suffered abuse or poverty, will become Washington’s first charter school when they open in the fall of 2014.


Stevens Point Area Public School Board’s destructive dysfunction keeps educational initiatives on hold
Editorial, Stevens Point Journal, WI, February 6, 2014
After some four hours of bickering and debating and talking in circles, the Stevens Point Area Public School Board on Monday night finally turned its attention to a proposal for a new expeditionary charter school.


Aspire charters planning to expand ‘blended learning’ model
LA School Report, CA, February 5, 2014
Aspire Public Schools, a nonprofit charter school operator with 12 schools chartered through LAUSD, announced this morning that it will expand its blending learning curriculum to all of its elementary schools in the Los Angeles region by the end of the 2015-16 school year.

‘Blizzard bags’ give kids school work during calamity days
Columbus Dispatch, OH, February 6, 2014
Westerville second-graders woke up yesterday to find that school was canceled again.

Digital Education
Valley Morning Star, CA, February 5, 2014
The school district is currently involved in a digital classroom initiative. This allows students in specific classrooms to use their own digital devices such as iPads and iPhones in class for their school work.

Digital Learning Day Ignites the Blended Flame
Commentary, Ed Surge, February 5, 2014
As part of the 3rd annual Digital Learning Day, educational leaders from all over country descended upon the Library of Congress in Washington D.C. on February 5th.

District to Explore Digital Opportunities
The Missourian, MO, February 5, 2014
Union School District Superintendent Steve Bryant called for the Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry to lobby for the governor’s budget to help promote virtual learning opportunities.

Exploring digital learning is changing education
WEAU 13, WI, February 5, 2014
Visiting a ski-hill during school hours, taking a field trip to a cheese factory or learning stories in several different languages all in one day, all of that was possible for many kids in the area and across the country, as learning communities, businesses and school districts came together for the National Digital Learning Day.

State House passes Aument’s bill rebooting online learning
Lancaster Newspapers, PA, February 5, 2014
The state House on Wednesday passed legislation that embraces the fact that learning is moving beyond the four walls of Pennsylvania’s classroom.

Two Virtual Schools Move Forward, Early Voting Fails
The Free Press, ME, February 5, 2014
This week the Maine Charter School Commission held public hearings for two so-called “virtual schools” after voting unanimously to advance the applications of Maine Connections Academy and Maine Virtual Academy.

Virtual School on Snow Days
Debate, New York Times, NY, February 5, 2014
While snow days conjure images of sledding, sleeping and hot chocolate, they can also compromise education goals. Especially when it snows, and snows. And snows.