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Daily Headlines for September 26, 2011

Obama Presses Education Plan
Wall Street Journal, September 24, 2011
President Barack Obama in his weekly radio address on Saturday said a strong education system is key to the nation’s economic future and touted his efforts to let schools replace key planks of the No Child Left Behind education law.

Obama Turns Some Powers of Education Back to States
New York Times, NY, September 24, 2011
With his declaration on Friday that he would waive the most contentious provisions of a federal education law, President Obama effectively rerouted the nation’s education history after a turbulent decade of overwhelming federal influence.

NCLB Flexibility For States
Washington Post, DC, September 25, 2011
JUST ABOUT EVERYONE agrees on the need to update the No Child Left Behind law. Nearly a decade of experience as well as new research underscores shortcomings that are becoming increasingly untenable for local school districts.

Improving Our Schools
The Intelligencer, WV, September 26, 2011
After a decade in which it became apparent federal school reform efforts were leaving millions of children behind, it appears Washington has given up and dumped the problem back on the states, where it belonged in the first place.

Keep the Pressure on Schools
The Oregonian, OR, September 25, 2011
No doubt Oregon will be among the first to rush to the Obama administration for one of the waivers the president offered last Friday to states eager to avoid the tough requirements of the No Child Left Behind Act.

Race to the Top Projects Are Slow-Moving In States
Keene Sentinel, NH, September 25, 2011
But after a lengthy planning process in legislatures around the country, many states only now are implementing the changes that won them money in the program’s first two rounds, and not everyone is happy with the results.

Parent Trigger Law Gives Parents Real Power: When Schools Fail, Convert Them Into Charters
New York Daily News, NY, September 25, 2011
The idea is simple but powerful: Give us, the parents, the chance to turn around failing schools. The parent trigger, as it’s known, allow the parents of students at a chronically underperforming school the ability to determine, via a majority vote, when and how school reform can come about.

FROM THE STATES

CALIFORNIA

Los Angeles Archdiocese Hopes to Raise $100 Million for Catholic Schools
Los Angeles Times, CA, September 26, 2011
The initiative, headed by former L.A. mayor Richard Riordan, will ask supporters to make provisions in their trusts or wills for the Catholic Education Foundation.

All Eyes Are On Clayton Valley High As Teachers Push For Charter Conversion
Contra Costa Times, CA, September 24, 2011
Educators and parents throughout the state are keenly watching a teacher-run effort to convert Clayton Valley High to a charter school — the first of its kind in Northern California — to see if the effort might propel others to follow its lead.

Pasadena Rosebud Academy Charter School Defies Odds
Pasadena Star News, CA, September 23, 2011
As the nationwide achievement gap between black, Latino and white students expands, one Altadena charter school seems to be defying that trend, notching test scores that rival schools in affluent neighboring communities.

Charter Schools Have A Leg Up On Traditional Schools
San Bernardino Sun, CA, September 24, 2011
Twenty-three parents, students and teachers came to the school board meeting with one thought in mind – to champion their charter school.

COLORADO

Denver Public Schools Performances On Rise
Denver Post, CO, September 26, 2011
Denver’s 137 public schools overall raised their grades on the school district’s annual evaluation — with a majority meeting or exceeding expectations.

Adams 12 to close Niver Creek Middle School to open STEM Launch in Thornton
Denver Post, CO, September 26, 2011
Niver Creek Middle School in Thornton will close at the end of the school year and reopen next fall as STEM Launch in hopes of repeating the successes of Adams 12’s first K-8 math- and science- based school.

New Charter School Proposed for Glenwood Springs
Post Independent, CO, September 25, 2011
A group of parents and teachers from two local school districts have proposed a new charter school to be located in Glenwood Springs, but serving students from throughout Garfield County .

CONNECTICUT

New Haven’s Teacher Improvement Plan
New York Times, NY, September 26, 2011
Like most school systems that serve disadvantaged children, New Haven , an urban district with a high poverty rate, has faced enormous challenges in improving the quality of instruction

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA

Stating Their Case For Open Enrollment
Washington Times, DC, September 25, 2011
Michigan lawmakers are taking a truly innovative public policy approach by following a simple four-word rule: by any means necessary.

D.C. Parents Raise Concerns About Middle Schools
Washington Post, DC, September 25, 2011
Middle schools are the latest hot spot in D.C. public education. With preschool and elementary enrollment ticking up for the first time in decades, parents and policymakers are scrutinizing the lack of attractive middle-grade options with increasing urgency.

FLORIDA

Deadline Nears For Lake Charter School Decision
Orlando Sentinel, FL, September 26, 2011
The School Board will take a second look at the possibility of a new charter school opening in the district at a special workshop today.

School Officials Hope Enrollment Slide Ending
Daytona Beach News Journal, FL, September 26, 2011
Volusia County school officials are cautiously optimistic the worst of an enrollment slide is over that began when the economy started to sour in 2007.

NAACP Leader Warns That Teacher Incentive Could Be A Risk To Kids
Florida Times Union, FL, September 25, 2011
A plan to raise Florida teacher pay could increase the number of students who eventually end up behind bars, according to a state NAACP leader.

GEORGIA

Coastal Empire Montessori Charter School Fighting for its Future
Savannah Morning News, GA, September 26, 2011
The Coastal Empire Montessori Charter School family believes their little start-up charter school has a bright future; all that’s left to do is convince the Savannah-Chatham public schools board of it.

Richmond County ‘Conversion’ Charters Fall Short Of Success
Augusta Chronicle, GA, September 26, 2011
The Richmond County school system has shown an openness to charter schools that sets it apart from other districts in the Augusta metro area, as well as across Georgia .

In Metro Augusta, Charter Schools Are Few And Far Between
Augusta Chronicle, GA, September 25, 2011
Georgia has more than 100 charter schools, according to the Georgia Charter Schools Association. The Atlanta metro area has the lion’s share of charter schools, which is to be expected because of its large population.

Teacher Quality: Educators’ Next Chapter
Atlanta Journal Constitution, GA, September 24, 2011
Great schools demand great teachers. And in recent years, Georgia has spent billions of dollars, in fits and starts, to increase teacher quality.

INDIANA

More Charter Schools Likely in Indiana
Palladium-Item, IN, September 25, 2011
Indiana is expected to see more charter schools open under new legislation adopted by the Indiana General Assembly this year.

Coalition Organizes to Defend Public Schools
Northwest Times, IN, September 24, 2011
More than 100 supporters of traditional public schools decided Saturday they won’t stand idly by as state funds pay for private school tuition and Indiana classrooms are turned over to for-profit corporations.

ILLINOIS

Charter School Backers Rally To Be Heard
Chicago Tribune, IL, September 25, 2011
Amid budget cuts and union opposition, thousands of supports crowd pavilion

Charter Schools Boards May Merge
Beloit Daily News, IL, September 24, 2011
Having one board could make for more streamlined administration of the charter schools and will not necessarily save any money. The decision is strictly up to the two charter school boards, and has nothing to do with the School District of Beloit.

IOWA

Education Reform May Challenge Iowa’s Seniority Rules
Sioux City Journal, IA, September 25, 2011
The seniority system is so important to the teaching profession that some states, including Minnesota, California and Kentucky , prohibit school districts from considering any other factor when making layoff decisions.

LOUISIANA

A’s and Aces Gives Children at Arise Academy Much More Than Tennis Lessons
Times Picayune, LA, September 25, 2011
On the door of a kindergarten classroom at Arise Academy , the sign says, ” Huntingdon College — Class of 2028,” and on the wall of the room near the Smart Board are the words “Stepping into College.”

La. Teacher Evaluations Alter College Courses
Alexandria Town Talk, LA, September 26, 2011
Education officials say a new teacher evaluation system, which will link job status in part to student achievement, will also be used by colleges and universities to rate their own teacher-preparation programs.

New Orleans School’s 1st Senior Class Will Graduate With Honors In Resilience
Times Picayune, LA, September 25, 2011
Doris Hicks is fond of saying that all the students at Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Charter School are remarkable. But the school’s principal and CEO has to admit that 27 of them will always have a special place in her heart. They’re the first graduating seniors at the Lower 9th Ward school, and 16 of them have been there — with time off for Hurricane Katrina — since they were in kindergarten or pre-K.

MASSACHUSETTS

MCAS Scores Appear Stuck In Stubborn Income Gap
Boston Globe, MA, September 25, 2011
Educators have made only modest gains in narrowing the gulf in achievement between low-income students and those who are better off, despite aggressive reform efforts aimed at boosting classroom performance of underprivileged children.

Get Best of Both Systems
Boston Globe, MA, September 24, 2011
RE “TEACHERS: Get with charter reality’’ (Op-ed, Sept. 17): It’s not so much that traditional public schools are losing students to charter schools, as Lawrence Harmon writes, but that charter schools are losing students to public schools.

In Cleveland Burbs, Lone Ranger Takes On Public Schools
Christian Science Monitor, MA, September 23, 2011
And fails. A few years ago I became an accidental education reformer, and learned that my Lone Ranger approach to change doesn’t work so well. Inertia besets schools, but also individual parents. It takes a community to reform schools.

NEW JERSEY

Crafting an Accurate System for Evaluating Teachers
New Jersey Spotlight, NJ, September 26, 2011
Charlotte Danielson may not be a recognizable name to the general public, but the Princeton-based consultant is the architect of a framework for observing and evaluating teachers that has been the gold standard in schools across the country.

New Roadblock Would Close Suburbs to Charter Schools
Gloucester County Times , NJ, September 25, 2011
September New Jersey’s embrace of charter schools over the past 15 years has been lukewarm at best. The original law, of which I was a prime sponsor, was signed in January 1996 and envisioned a fairly robust demand. In anticipation of that, the law placed a cap of 135 charter schools for the first four years.

NEW MEXICO

New Charter School Opens For Non-English Speaking Students
KFox14, NM, September 25, 2011
A new charter high school in Las Cruces will focus on teaching non-English speaking students and those who weren’t successful in conventional schools.

NEW YORK

‘Parent Trigger’ Law to Reform Schools Faces Challenges
New York Times, NY, September 24, 2011
The promise sounded alluring and simple: if enough parents signed a petition, their children’s struggling school would be shut down and replaced with a charter school.

NORTH CAROLINA

For Many In Guilford, Private Charter Schools Earn An A
Greensboro News-Record, NC, September 25, 2011
Tristan Rodriguez was lucky. He had to wait less than a year to gain admission to Greensboro Academy , one of Guilford County’s oldest charter schools.

Durham a Charter School?
Daily Mail, NC, September 24, 2011
Durham Elementary School principal Dr. Thomas Baumgartner told the Cairo-Durham Board of Education of the possibility of opening a charter school in place of Durham Elementary.

OHIO

Superintendents Blast Voucher Bill
Times Reporter, OH, September 25, 2011
Some superintendents in the Tuscarawas Valley think a proposal to expand Ohio’s school voucher program would have a negative impact on public education in the state.

GOP-Backed Ohio Bill Would Send More Kids To Private Schools On Public Money
Mansfield News Journal, OH, September 26, 2011
A bill that would allow wider access to vouchers covering private school tuition is closer to becoming law, though many questions still need to be addressed, officials said.

UTAH

Whose Mediocrity?
Salt Lake Tribune , UT, September 25, 2011
Sen. Howard Stephenson has one, seemingly all-consuming goal: to privatize public schools.

WISCONSIN

Charter Proposal Offers a Lot
Wisconsin State Journal, WI, September 26, 2011
There’s a lot more to the Urban League of Greater Madison’s charter school proposal than same-sex classrooms.

VIRTUAL EDUCATION

Maynard-Based Virtual School Collaborative Adds More Members
Metro West Daily News, MA, September 23, 2011
The use of a new virtual learning platform in primary and secondary school classrooms marks the beginning of a new chapter in the history of education in Malta, Transport Communication and Infrastructure minister Austin Gatt said yesterday during the launch of an e-learning system.

Central Valley Merges With Cyber World
Beaver County Times, PA, September 24, 2011
In August, Central Valley Cyber Academy was launched for students in the freshman through senior classes. Students now have the option to take their entire class load, or any portion of it, online rather than in a classroom.

Learning From A Landmark Report
Star Tribune, MN, September 24, 2011
Two years after Minnesota overhauled charter school oversight, a new report is raising important questions about whether the state Department of Education has the staffing and the vision to ensure that another education innovation — online schooling — is serving the best interests of students and the state.

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