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Daily Headlines for March 11, 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.


Education reform: It’s positive, optimistic and Republicans can make it work if they seize the issue
Column, Washington Examiner, DC, March 10, 2014
A bigger issue waiting to be seized by Republicans is education reform. In New York, a battle has erupted between Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a sudden proponent of at least partial school choice when it comes to charter schools, and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, who has pledged to close charter schools and return mostly poor and minority children who are succeeding in them to failing public schools.

Teach for America tests out more training
Washington Post, DC, March 10, 2014
Teach for America, which places thousands of freshly minted college graduates in teaching jobs in some of the toughest schools in the country, is rethinking its training program in light of complaints from its own members that they need more preparation for the classroom.



Panel questions charter student transit
Juneau Empire, AK, March 11, 2014
A provision in Alaska Gov. Sean Parnell’s omnibus education bill that provides for transportation for charter school students raised questions Monday in the Senate Education Committee.


Divisive Arizona school plan advances in Legislature
The Republic, AZ, March 11, 2014
The Arizona Legislature will soon decide whether to dramatically expand the state’s nation-leading efforts to give parents control over where to spend their child’s taxpayer-generated education funds.


Fayetteville Catholic aims to build top charter school
Arkansas Catholic, AR, March 11, 2014
From its humble beginnings in a dairy barn, Haas Hall Academy in Fayetteville has been the Cinderella story on the educational scene and the name that is synonymous with the academy and its success is Dr. Martin W. Schoppmeyer Jr


The watchdog at L.A. Unified
Editorial, Los Angeles Times, CA, March 11, 2014
LAUSD’s inspector general post, created by legislation, is set to end this year. It should not only be renewed but strengthened so it can continue its important work.


Bill would give charters a say in override elections
Chalkbeat Colorado, CO, March 10, 2014
A bill introduced Monday would give charter schools a greater voice in planning of tax override ballot measures proposed by their districts.


A charter school’s philosophy
Opinion, Stamford Advocate, CT, March 11, 2014
This is going to be a bad news-good news piece. First, the bad news. We regularly hear how the United States isn’t preparing enough low-income students for college and the careers of the future. What’s more depressing is in Stamford, that problem is very real. Roughly half of Stamford’s low-income elementary school children are below grade level in reading, writing and math.


Academy marches on amidst teacher scandal
Ocala Star-Banner, FL, March 11, 2014
Francis Marion Military Academy continues to march along at its new home off Southwest 20th Street in Ocala, though it is a journey over rough terrain.

Private gain, public drain
Editorial, Miami Herald, FL, March 10, 2014
Florida’s legislative leaders are eager to amp up the state’s school-voucher program, which gives tax credits to businesses that fund disadvantaged children’s scholarships to private schools. Greased with political support and PAC money, a proposal to increase the $286 million program by $120 million over four years is wending its way through committees with few signs of a hitch, which is bad news for public-school supporters.


IPS Likely to Convert Some Schools to Charter-Like Structure
WIBC, IN, March 11, 2014
The Indianapolis Public Schools would convert some of its lowest-performing schools to a charter-like structure under a bill poised for approval this week by the General Assembly.

Most local Indiana teachers rated at least effective
Courier Journal, IN, March 10, 2014
When a principal strolls intoDan Haskell’s classroom at North Harrison High School these days, he knows that it is him — not his students — who are being graded.


A pause on policies?
Editorial, The Advocate, LA, March 10, 2014
Down at the State Capitol, much of the legislative session may be taken up with education bills.

Nonprofit seeks to start a sixth charter school in Lafayette
The Advocate, LA, March 10, 2014
A local nonprofit group has submitted a charter school application to the Lafayette Parish School Board to open a career and technical high school in 2015.

Schools, education groups present options at ‘school choice fair’ in Baton Rouge
Times-Picayune, LA, March 10, 2014
“School choice” has been the educational buzzword in Louisiana in recent years, and there are certainly a lot of choices for a parent looking for a school for their child: public schools, parochial schools, private schools, charters, homeschooling.


At least 59 percent of administrators, teachers returning to New Bedford High
South Coast Today, MA, March 11, 2014
At least 123 of 208 teachers and administrators will return to their jobs at New Bedford High School next year despite a turnaround plan crafted by Superintendent Pia Durkin that calls for replacement of 50 percent.


Parents, teachers speak against proposed special education changes in Michigan
Detroit News, MI, March 11, 2014
At a public hearing in Detroit, parents and educators expressed anger, dismay and confusion Monday about proposed changes to how special education students are taught in Michigan.


School choice still a work in progress
Opinion, Tahoe Daily Tribune, NV, March 10, 2014
Choice has been a fundamental American right since this country’s revolution against King George and the British. School choice, however, is still a work in progress. The basic public education model involves a system of taxpayer financed disembodied bureaucracies which build schools, hire teachers and establish zoning lines to create transportation efficiency and manage classroom capacity.


Charter cap trap: A restriction to repeal
Editorial, Union Leader, NH, March 11, 2014
Current state law limits the percentage of students who can transfer from their existing public school to a charter school within one school year. The cap is set at 10 percent per grade. It should be zero. A bill up for a vote in the House this week would achieve that change.


NJ lawmakers holding hearing today on Newark school reorganization plan
Star-Ledger, NJ, March 11, 2014
Many lawmakers have already voiced criticism of Newark Superintendent Cami Anderson’s school reorganization plan, with one legislative committee approving a bill intended to prevent the proposal’s school closings.


Cardinal Dolan and teachers union clash on bill that would give tax credits for school donations
New York Daily News, NY, March 11, 2014
Dolan joined a group of business and labor leaders to push for a bill that would provide dollar-for-dollar tax credits to those who donate money to educational institutions, but the state’s teachers union says it’s a ‘thinly veiled voucher bill’ that would hurt public schools.

Cuomo panel recommends ending relationship with inBloom
Journal News, NY, March 11, 2014
New York should end its relationship with a non-profit group creating a statewide education database, according to a report Monday from a panel created by Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

Reality bites Bill
Opinionm, New York Daily News, NY, March 11, 2014
New York City should be within shouting distance of broadening prekindergarten schooling now that Mayor de Blasio appears headed toward facing defeat on his tax-the-rich plan.

A war on children
Editorial, New York Post, NY, March 11, 2014
Mayor de Blasio now promises to help charter students whose schools he took away only a few weeks ago. But the Charter War he’s been waging isn’t ending — it’s escalating.


My kids are thriving at Shelby’s charter school
Column, Shelby Star, NC, March 10, 2014
This is a message for all my fellow Cleveland County residents who may not know about the magic that is happening in our hometown: Shelby’s first-ever charter school. If you do know about it, I am offering an account of our family’s experience there so far.

N.C. charter advisers give StudentFirst a month to save the school
Charlotte Observer, NC, March 10, 2014
RALEIGH State charter officials Monday gave StudentFirst Academy a month to present a detailed financial and educational plan that will help them decide whether the west Charlotte school should remain open next year.

Survey asks teachers to grade impact of education changes
Winston-Salem Journal, NC, March 11, 2014
How has state education reform affected the way teachers feel about their jobs? We’ll know in June. The N.C. Teacher Working Conditions Survey opened Monday, asking teachers across the state to anonymously rate their feelings toward things like school leadership, facilities and student conduct.


About 1,000 Cleveland third graders – 40% of them – required to go to summer reading school
Cleveland Plain Dealer, OH, March 10, 2014
About 1,000 Cleveland school district third-graders read so poorly that they’ll need to spend half their summer break in summer school to try to catch up and meet state standards.


Oklahoma lawmakers should hold off on tweaking third-grade reading law
Editorial, The Oklahoman, OK, March 11, 2014
WHEN Oklahomans finally know how many third-grade students will be retained under the state’s new reading law, no one will be happy. The number, whatever it is, will be heartbreaking. The number, whatever it is, will be far too many. The number, whatever it is, will be regrettable. Make no mistake, however, that children learning to read is no game of numbers.


Missing link to quality charter schools
Opinion, Bucks County Courier Times, PA, March 11, 2014
The theory behind public charter schools is simple: greater flexibility in exchange for increased accountability will produce more high-quality options for families. What’s proven to be the challenge is the “accountability” part of this equation.

New money, new plans for 2 troubled Phila. schools
Philadelphia Inquirer, PA, March 11, 2014
But the Blaine-Kelley transformation model is different, and also departs from the existing Promise Academy district turnaround model.


State Superintendent Wants To Create District For Failing Schools
WLTX, SC, March 10, 2014
Year after year South Carolina ranks in the bottom in the country when it comes to education.
Superintendent Mick Zais says it’s time for change and the his new proposal could mean taking away power from school districts.


Kingsport BOE: Bills attack on local control of schools
Kingsport Times News, TN, March 10, 2014
The city’s school board has gone on record opposing a proposed Tennessee law that could quash the ability of school systems to pay dues for professional organizations of school board members, superintendents, principals and others if the organization lobbies the General Assembly.


Even at charters, school choice limited
Commentary, San Antonio Express-News, TX, March 10, 2014
Charter proponents do a disservice by misrepresenting what Texas data actually say when comparing charters to traditional public schools, as Victoria Rico did in the Express-News (“Charter Schools: Do they add up to a better system? Despite social ills, students succeed,” Opinion, Jan. 16).

Fix the process for closing schools
Opinion, Houston Chronicle, TX, March 11, 2014
The parents, teachers and community members of Jones High School, Fleming Middle School and Dodson, N.Q. Henderson and Port Houston elementary schools were not given adequate time to present alternatives to closure. Then, under the guise of soliciting community input, the administration announced six hastily orchestrated meetings at the affected schools. Even so, 900 students, parents and community members attended these meetings to voice their opposition.


Teachers union says districts can bear loss of waiver money
The Olympian, WA, March 11, 2014
As state lawmakers consider measures that aim to keep Washington’s waiver from the federal No Child Left Behind Act, the state teachers union is working to convince them that losing the waiver wouldn’t be a big deal.

While the adults argue, education achievement gap remains
Column, News Tribune, WA, March 11, 2014
It was coincidental that Kati Haycock was in the area last week in the midst of legislative debate over two important education reform issues. Coincidental, perhaps, but not inconsequential.


Education reform requires engagement
Opinion, Idaho Press, ID, March 11, 2014
Creating the learning environments that mirror how technology is used outside the classroom is not a matter of simply giving teachers and students the latest hardware and software. Rather, creating the learning environments our students need and deserve requires that school systems undertake a fundamental cultural shift.

“Flipping” classrooms might work in county
Editorial, Island Packet, SC March 10, 2014
Latest educational trend may be helping Beaufort County students succeed or it could be just another education fad.

Hilliard schools to provide tablets for all
Columbus Dispatch, OH, March 11, 2014
Classes to go digital: In three years, every student will have a computer for learning