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Daily Headlines for March 13, 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.


In defense of Common Core
Editorial, Los Angeles Times, CA, March 13, 2014
What matters most is whether the new curriculum standards are an improvement. They are.

Why the New York Charter School Fight Is Way Off-Base
Opinion, Wall Street Journal, March 12, 2014
It’s a gripping drama, but one that misses the true story about improvements in public-education outcomes—and the grass-roots reform movement that has made such positive changes possible in New York and across the country.



School voucher bill pulled from Senate floor, avoiding fatal vote
Alaska Dispatch, AK, March 12, 2014
Senators said the body was divided on Senate Joint Resolution 9, meaning it was short of the two-thirds majority vote needed to ask the public to amend the Alaska Constitution to allow public funds to go to private and religious schools.


Arizona lawmakers renew push to dump Common Core education standards
Arizona Star, AZ, March 13, 2014
Unable to kill outright the Common Core program, state senators now are moving to let schools opt out of the national education standards.


L.A. school board approves amended contract for Supt. John Deasy
Los Angeles Times, CA, March 13, 2014
The L.A. Unified schools chief’s performance will now be based on measures that require him to increase enrollment and revenue.

Oakland’s charter schools are delivering on their promise
Opinion, Oakland Tribune, CA, March 12, 2014
Oakland charter middle and high schools are renewing the promise of a high-quality public education and changing what is possible for students of all demographic backgrounds to achieve in their lives.

School success part of broader strategy to target urban poverty in Los Angeles Promise Zone
Hechinger Report, March 13, 2014
Classes for parents offered at the charter school are all part of the plan there and at other schools in some low-income neighborhoods of Los Angeles to connect students’ families and other community residents with the help they need to find housing, health care, counseling and job training.


Succeeding and failing at same time in Sheridan schools
Opinion, Denver Post, CO, March 11, 2014
The tiny school district of Sheridan, just outside Denver, has a lot of the classic problems educators struggle to overcome.


Bill Would Make Thousands More Low-Income Florida Students Eligible for Scholarships
Sunshine State News, FL, March 13, 2014
Thousands more Florida students from low-income families could have access to private schools if lawmakers approve a bill to expand the state’s tax-credit scholarship program.

Duval Superintendent Nikolai Vitti wants open enrollment for all public schools
Florida Times-Union, FL, March 12, 2014
Parents in Duval County may soon be able to freely pick their child’s public school for the next school year, regardless of neighborhood or school feeder pattern, thanks to a new proposal by Superintendent Nikolai Vitti to open enrollment for all Duval’s public schools.

Lawmakers balk at three-year delay on school standards
Herald Tribune, FL, March 12, 2014
Local school districts likely will not get a three-year delay they want in moving to new school standards, a new statewide assessment test and other accountability measures.


House committee votes down anti-Common Core bill
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, GA, March 12, 2014
The House Education Committee rejected anti-Common Core legislation Wednesday, likely dealing a death blow to its chances of being passed this session.


Number of Illinois school districts in financial distress doubles
Chicago Tribune, IL, March 12, 2014
A disturbing number of Illinois school districts are in poor to dire financial shape, with 121 getting low or dismal ratings in the state’s annual financial report card for schools.


Bill to enhance authority of principals approved
The Advocate, LA, March 13, 2014
Despite a rift in the education community, a state Senate panel approved a bill Wednesday that supporters said would give Louisiana’s top-rated principals new authority.


A strong pick to run schools
Opinion, Boston Globe, MA, March 13, 2014
THE SEARCH for a new Boston school superintendent will easily uncover candidates with more charisma than interim superintendent John McDonough. But so would leafing through a phone book. Undoubtedly, there are more accomplished educators out there.

City kids take fall in charter school limitation battle
Column, Boston Herald, MA, March 13, 2014
In the real-life lottery yesterday at the City on a Hill charter in Roxbury, there were just 100 openings for 940 applicants. But not a single parent, and only one applicant, showed up.

Education reform has worked for Mass.; it’s time for the next round
Editorial, Boston Globe, MA, March 13, 2014
EDUCATION REFORM has been one of Massachusetts’ greatest success stories of recent decades. It has put the state’s students at the very top in the nation by virtually all measures of achievement. It’s played a major role in attracting high-paying jobs, because employers recognize that Massachusetts’ commitment to educating students continues.

School finance issues influence debate on charter cap lift
WWLP, MA, March 12, 2014
With the press on from charter school advocates to lift or eliminate the cap on charter enrollment in poorly performing school districts, the battle brewing over the issue in the Legislature appears to have as much, if not more, to do with the distribution of state education aid than the merits of charter schools.


2 state school board members come out against EAA expansion
Detroit News, MI, March 12, 2014
Two members of the State Board of Education issued a statement Wednesday saying legislation to expand the Education Achievement Authority should not move forward because it creates an “unregulated marketplace” that is damaging to school performance.


Plan would bring a public charter school to midtown Kansas City
Kansas City Star, MO, March 13, 2014
A move toward collaboration between Kansas City Public Schools and public charter schools is about to be put to the test.


Don’t overlook impact of charter school departures
Letter, Daily Hampshire Gazette, NH, March 12, 2014
Moreover, the city’s cost for each outgoing charter school student is more than double what Northampton receives for each incoming inter-district public school student, resulting in a net loss of more than $1 million this year.


Jersey City schools chief: No ‘One Newark plan’ in Jersey City
The Jersey Journal, NJ, March 12, 2014
A massive and controversial plan to overhaul Newark’s school district by closing some schools will not be replicated here in Jersey City, according to Schools Superintendent Marcia V. Lyles.

Ras Barka- The best thing to happen to NJ school reform
Opinion, New Jersey Spotlight, NJ, March 13, 2014
Unapologetically old school in his attitude toward education, Baraka might actually galvanize NJ’s dispirited reform community into taking action


A Study Seeks to Determine What Makes Prekindergarten Successful
New York Times, NY, March 13, 2014
As Mayor Bill de Blasio prepares to greatly expand New York City’s preschool offerings, much debate has focused on how the expansion should be paid for, and less on what actually constitutes an effective prekindergarten program — one that will, as the mayor says, shrink the achievement gap between children of different racial and economic backgrounds.

Gilded Crusade for Charters Rolls Onward
New York Times, NY, March 13, 2014
To call Eva S. Moskowitz a walking lightning rod is to deeply understate the matter. Electricity all but arcs and leaps off her scalp.

Moskowitz: Charter school booted from ‘not overcrowded’ building
New York Post, NY, March 13, 2014
The Harlem public-school building that critics say is too overcrowded to accommodate a new charter school actually has 15 percent fewer students than anticipated, according to a legal complaint.

State senate makes bid to undo anti-charter school moves
New York Post, NY, March 13, 2014
The state Senate will propose sweeping measures in its budget bill to undo Mayor de Blasio’s ­moves against charter schools, sources familiar with the plan said.

Teachers fleeing city schools to the suburbs is growing: union
New York Daily News, NY, March 13, 2014
It has been one of the worst “brain drains” in the history of city schools says Michael Mulgrew, union president. Resignations among teachers with six to 15 years of experience more than doubled the last five years.

Yes, NYC charter schools are working
Opinion, New York Daily News, NY, March 12, 2014
Critics frequently argue that New York City’s charter schools are no more effective than its traditional public schools. As proof, they almost invariably point to research by Stanford University’s Center for Research on Education Outcomes (CREDO) showing that charter schools and nearby traditional public schools are equally effective on average.


Waiting for Philly charter school lotteries and hoping for a kindergarten slot
Newsworks.org, March 12, 2014
For many Philadelphia parents with kids about to enter kindergarten or first grade, March is a very stressful time. Moms and dads ― hoping their children will be selected to attend charter schools ― worry about how this one month could hold the key to their kid’s future.


Scott scounds the charge for school choice
Editorial, Charleston Post Courier, SC, March 13, 2014
And when Sen. Scott pitches the importance of helping young people through school choice, he often cites his own learning experience as a ninth-grader at North Charleston’s Stall High School.


Senate panel opposes Haslam on teacher licenses
Times Free Press, TN, March 12, 2014
A legislative revolt over the Haslam administration’s attempt last year to tie teachers’ licenses to student achievement spread to the Senate on Wednesday.


Grading the teachers
Pacific Northwest Inlander, WA, March 13, 2014
Washington teachers have adopted a brand-new teacher evaluation system — but it doesn’t have the one thing the federal government wants


Teacher pay still a factor
Charleston Gazette, WV, March 12, 2014
In Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin’s State of the State address in January he said he would work to make starting teachers’ salaries more competitive with neighboring states. He proposed a 2 percent pay raise for all teachers and service personnel. It would be the first across-the-board pay raise for teachers in three years.


120 schools sign up for second year of statewide private voucher program
Wisconsin State Journal, WI, March 12, 2014
In its second year, the state’s new private voucher school program has drawn 120 interested schools, 30 more than last year, the Department of Public Instruction announced Wednesday.


Goshen students learn from home on snow day
WSBT, IN, March 12, 2014
It’s a snow day kids in Goshen don’t have to make up. Bethany Christian Schools did something different on Wednesday. They closed school, but kids still had class in a virtual classroom

Virtual Schools online program OK’d
News-Herald, CO, March 12, 2014
The Lake Havasu Unified School District’s Governing Board said yes to give a Virtual Schools online pilot program a go ahead Tuesday night.