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Daily Headlines for March 20, 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.

NATIONAL COVERAGE

Oregon receives ‘C’ for charter school laws
Statesman Journal, March 20, 2014
Oregon received a “C” for its charter school laws, ranking 26th out of 43 states, according to a report released Wednesday by the Center for Education Reform.

The Never-Ending Controversy Over All-Girls Education
The Atlantic, March 20, 2014
Yet interest in the potential promise of single-sex schooling continues to grow. More than 500 American public schools in the 2011-2012 academic year offered their students single-sex opportunities ranging from separate classes for physical education to entire school days with all activities being either all-boy or all-girl.

U.S. Education secretary praises L.A. program
Los Angeles Times, March 20, 2014
Arne Duncan visits the Hollywood FamilySource Center, which provides students in high poverty areas with the support and enrichment offered to their more affluent peers.

STATE COVERAGE

ALABAMA

House approves alterations to Accountability Act
Montgomery Advertiser, March 20, 2014
The Alabama House of Representatives passed a bill that would make changes to the Alabama Accountability Act, the controversial 2013 bill allowing students in failing schools to claim tax credits for use toward private school tuition.

ALASKA

House Finance tackles charter school worries
Homer News, March 19, 2014
The House Finance Committee on Tuesday continued its discussion of Gov. Sean Parnell’s omnibus education bill, focusing on the charter schools.

CALIFORNIA

Opinion: Wake-up call for California educators
News & Review, March 20, 2014
The future of California’s education system was decided last night. That is, if last night was a school night. Because that is when tired moms and dads set their alarm clocks. And the tired moms and dads of more than 500,000 California charter-school students had to set their alarms to go off earlier, so they would have enough time to drive past the neighborhood school to their destination: a charter school.

Petition for charter school draws uproar
Stockton Record, March 20, 2014
Representatives from local school districts barraged the San Joaquin County Board of Education with requests to deny a proposed charter school petition Wednesday in a public hearing that resulted in the Academy of Arts and Sciences withdrawing its request to open its World Language Academy as a countywide benefit.

Stanford study: L.A. charter school students get 50 more days of learning
Mercury News, March 19, 2014
A new Stanford University study finds that Los Angeles charter school students are making significant gains in learning compared with their district school peers.

FLORIDA

Column: Don’t use sales-tax revenues to fund religious ideology
Orlando Sentinel, March 20, 2014
Florida politicians are at it again. Aided by a high-priced team of lobbyists, they are fast-tracking the passage of the largest expansion of private religious-school vouchers in state history. And they’re sticking taxpayers with the $2 billion tab.

Flagler County’s high schools open to school choice next year
News 13, FL, March 19, 2014
It’s a topic large school districts wrangle with: school choice. In many districts, the ability to transfer to different schools may come with many strings. But in Flagler County, that school district is expanding the program to include all schools in the district.

ILLINOIS

Elgin city council tables leasing agreement for charter school
Courier News, March 19, 2014
After a 2-hour discussion on the topic, Wednesday night the city council tabled entering into a lease agreement for a proposed charter school on the Fox River Country Day School property Elgin now owns.

LOUISIANA

Editorial: Education dollars show investment in state’s future
Daily World, March 20, 2014
The new education budget proposed by Superintendent John White and approved this week by the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education, is about $15 million more than the amount proposed in Gov. Bobby Jindal’s budget. Of great concern, too, is what BESE wanted for a budget and what came out of the meeting might be at odds because of confusion at the meeting.

Recovery School District charters to have new special education funding rules
Times-Picayune, March 19, 2014
Starting this fall, New Orleans’ Recovery School District charters’ budgets should better reflect the actual cost of serving children in special education. And schools will get more money for the children with the most intensive needs.

MASSACHUSETTS

Column: Little progress for education bill on Beacon Hill
Boston Globe, March 19, 2014
If only all legislation moved through the State House as smoothly as the upskirting bill – the law prohibiting the taking of pervy snapshots — that rocketed through Beacon Hill in a single, glorious day earlier this month.

Editorial: Cynicism on charters
Boston Herald, March 20, 2014
There should surely be a special place in hell reserved for those who would deprive children of a way out of a failing school — a special place too for those who toady to teachers unions and forget the needs of their own constituents.

Letter: Charter schools achieving goals that have eluded Massachusetts for decades
Boston Globe, March 19, 2014
Of course we must be concerned also to support district public schools — my own seven children attended the Boston Public Schools — but that should not be an excuse to strangle the expansion of charter public school opportunities. I find it frustrating that so many who claim to be concerned for at-risk youth seem to care more about protecting jobs and other vested interests.

MICHIGAN

Detroit schools’ deficit jumps $39 million in 3 months
Detroit News, march 20, 2014
Five years after it fell under state control, Detroit Public Schools is still struggling to fix its finances, with its deficit ballooning $38.8 million in the past three months, to a projected $120 million.

NEW JERSEY

Catholic schools embrace the iPad as the new textbook
New Jersey Herald, March 19, 2014
With limitless amounts of information available online, technology is becoming an integral part of the education experience. Next fall, the Catholic Academy of Sussex County will implement the use of iPads for all students in grades five through 12.

NEW YORK

Charter school group spends $3.6m on TV ads attacking de Blasio
New York Daily News, March 20, 2014
For the last three weeks, Families for Excellent Schools has run ads to blast Mayor de Blasio over his decision to stop three Success schools from using space inside public school buildings.

Editorial: Punish success, reward failure
New York Post, March 20, 2014
Amid all Bill de Blasio’s woes, let’s acknowledge he’s doing his darndest to make good on one campaign promise: to keep bad public schools open and close down good ones.

Letter: Two Democrats for Charter Schools
Wall Street Journal, March 19, 2014
We urge Mayor de Blasio to reconsider his course of action to close and stop the expansion of high-performing charter schools in New York City.

Mayor de Blasio receives bad marks on education policies from voters in new poll
New York Daily News, March 19, 2014
A Quinnipiac poll released Wednesday found that 38% supported the mayor’s handling of public schools and 49% disapproved. Most voters also supported Gov. Cuomo’s plan to use existing state funds to pay for pre-kindergarten over de Blasio’s proposal to raise taxes on the rich.

NORTH CAROLINA

Can NC charter school pay stay secret?
Charlotte Observer, March 19, 2014
North Carolina charter schools don’t have to disclose employee salaries like other public schools do, even though they receive hundreds of millions of dollars in public money, state education officials said this week. But a lawyer for the General Assembly says charter schools are required to reveal what employees earn. In fact, they have less legal privacy than school districts, said special counsel Gerry Cohen.

Editorial: Revitalization via education
Salisbury Post, March 20, 2014
What if the city recruited partners to establish a charter school to serve the West End neighborhood? What if, instead of replacing Knox Middle School, the school system did away with it and expanded Overton and Isenberg elementaries to bring in grades 6-8?

N.C. legislators take 2nd look at teacher tenure law
News & Record, March 19, 2014
Legislators aren’t backing down on eliminating teacher tenure, but they are rethinking a key requirement of the law — awarding new contracts and bonuses to teachers who give up the extra job protection.

OHIO

One application and one lottery for Cleveland district schools and charter schools: Coming soon?
Cleveland Plain Dealer, March 19, 2014
In a few years, some hope, we could have one large lottery for all schools in Cleveland – district schools and charter schools – which would be joined in a single enrollment process.

PENNSYLVANIA

Superintendent was lone schools official to take promised pay cut
Philadelphia Daily News, March 20, 2014
WHEN TALK of massive layoffs swirled around the Philadelphia School District last year, high-ranking administrators promised to take pay cuts. The district had sought $133 million in labor concessions from employees, so the officials’ often-espoused mantra of “shared sacrifices” would extend to them, too, they said.

York City school board, New Hope supporters clash
York Dispatch, March 19, 2014
Tension between York City School District officials and supporters of New Hope Academy Charter School escalated Wednesday at a meeting that ended with the district’s board president calling for police officers to escort a well-known teacher from the podium during public comment.

TENNESSEE

Common Core repeal efforts stall in Tennessee Senate
The Tennessean, March 20, 2014
Efforts to roll back Common Core have begun to stall in the week since opponents scored a surprise victory in the state House of Representatives.

VIRGINIA

Norfolk plans major school reshuffling
The Virginian-Pilot, March 20, 2014
The School Board has approved a revised plan to reorganize schools with closures, consolidation and grade changes.

ONLINE LEARNING

Making the Grade: Virtual High School in Baltic
WVIT, CT, March 19, 2014
A new type of learning has arrived in Connecticut schools and is giving kids opportunities to learn that they might not otherwise have. It’s called the Virtual High School.

Gateway board mulls expanding cyber academy
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, March 19, 2014
The Gateway School Board is considering a proposal to expand the Gateway Cyber Academy to include all grade levels. A vote is scheduled for March 26.

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