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Daily Headlines for September 27, 2011

Better Way to Fix No Child Left Behind
New York Times, NY, September 27, 2011
Last week President Obama, citing a failure by Congress to act, announced a procedure for handing out waivers for the federal mandates under the No Child Left Behind law. Unfortunately, these waivers come with a series of new federal rules, this time without congressional approval, and would make the secretary of education the equivalent of a national school board.

Some in GOP back Obama on NCLB
Washington Times, DC, September 26, 2011
Over objections from Republicans on Capitol Hill, President Obama is making it clear he will proceed with his blueprint education reform and an overhaul of the Bush-era No Child Left Behind law. And this time, Mr. Obama will have some bipartisan cover, as many Republican governors are backing his approach.

No Child Left Behind Option Meets Praise And Caution
USA Today, September 26, 2011
President Obama is offering to free public schools from many of the requirements of a controversial federal education law. But as states consider whether to take him up on it, they’re realizing the offer comes with some costs.

Lofty Goals
Topeka Capital-Journal , KS, September 26, 2011
No Child Left Behind has itself been left behind, slightly more than two years ahead of the date by which it was to meet its mandated goal of having all U.S. schoolchildren proficient in reading and mathematics.

A Larger Role for the States
Commercial Appeal, TN, September 27, 2011
Education takes a turn: Governors who wanted a larger say in the process will have a chance now to show what they can do.

FROM THE STATES

ALABAMA

More Than 500 Mobile County Students Transfer To Better Schools
Press Register, AL, September 26, 2011
So, Luciana became one of 542 of Mobile County’s public school students to take advantage of a provision of the federal No Child Left Behind Act, allowing students at failing schools to transfer to better-performing schools.

CALIFORNIA

To Teach Well, Schools Must Learn
Los Angeles Times, CA, September 27, 2011
LA’s Promise calls itself one of the largest “school turnaround organizations” in the country. Launched by two former teachers and a $4-million grant from the bio-tech giant Amgen, it has three schools and 8,000 students under its wing.

‘Trigger Law’ Put To The Test In Compton , Calif.
NBC Nightly News, September 26, 2011
Law allows parents of children enrolled in a troubled public school to ‘trigger’ change by firing teachers or even shutting the school down

State: Federal Testing Waiver Will Cost Billions
Orange County Register, CA, September 26, 2011
California will need billions in federal aid to overhaul teacher evaluations and adopt new learning standards before it can qualify for a waiver from No Child Left Behind student achievement rules, according to state Superintendent Tom Torlakson.

CONNECTICUT

Norwich Parents Hear How To Improve Schools
Connecticut Day, CT, September 27, 2011
More than 50 parents, teachers, principals and residents gathered Monday to learn how the new school governance councils are expected to help city schools improve both test scores and the learning atmosphere.

FLORIDA

Flagler County Schools Getting Less Money As Property Values Decline
Daytona Beach News-Herald, FL, September 27, 2011
Flagler County schools are receiving less money from the state and a larger share of it is going to the county’s three charter schools.

Charter School Liberties Intrigue District
Palm Beach Post, FL, September 26, 2011
Practically since the first charters were authorized in Florida in 1996, school districts have grumbled about the flexibility charter schools have compared with traditional public schools.

GEORGIA

APS Scandal As An Argument For Charter Schools
Atlanta Journal Constitution Blog, GA, September 26, 2011
Bob Bowdon, a filmmaker dedicated to charter school reform, has turned a six-minute video on the Atlanta Public Schools cheating scandal:

ILLINOIS

6 Chicago Schools Begin Longer School Day
Chicago Tribune, IL, September 27, 2011
If extending the school day was, as critics have suggested, an experiment in adolescent education, it was difficult to find anyone inside or outside Fiske on Monday who objected.

INDIANA

Jeb Bush Lectures on Education at Forum
The Observer, IN, September 27, 2011
Former Florida governor critiques school system, details policy change under his administration

IOWA

How to Fix Education in Iowa
Globe Gazette, IA, September 27, 2011
I am writing this out of profound frustration. It has become essential that I respond to the experts who are planning to fix education in Iowa.

MARYLAND

Howard Panel Seeks Term Limits On Appointed School Board Members
Baltimore Sun, MD, September 26, 2011

The Howard County commission established to address some citizens’ concerns about racial and geographic diversity on its school board decided Monday night to place term limits on the two appointed seats that it is recommending be placed on the board.

MICHIGAN

Senate Committee To Look At Lifting The State Limit On The Number Of Charter Schools
Michigan Radio, MI, September 26, 2011
The state Senate Education Committee will launch two days of hearings Tuesday focused on school choice and ways to encourage more charter academies. A Senate Republican education package would lift the statewide cap on the number of charter schools academies that can be sponsored by public universities.

NEW JERSEY

Legislature Passes Charter Bill, But Advocates and Critics Want More Changes
New Jersey Spotlight, NJ, September 27, 2011
One change to New Jersey ’s charter school law passed the legislature yesterday, while talk mounts that a broader rewrite of the state’s 15-year-old statute governing the semi-autonomous schools may be in the offing.

NORTH CAROLINA

Groups Eye Virgo Charter School
Star News, NC, September 26, 2011
One thing was clear last week – the New Hanover County Board of Education wasn’t going to easily accept the school district staff’s initial plan to convert the now-closed Virgo Middle School into a grades 6-12 college preparatory charter school.

CMS Unveils New Plan To Evaluate, Pay Teachers
Charlotte Observer, NC, September 27, 2011
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools is making a new run at revamping how the district hires, evaluates, trains and pays teachers.

PENNSYLVANIA

The SRC: What Went Wrong?
Philadelphia Inquirer, PA, September 27, 2011
Earlier this month, around the time the Phillies fell into their offensive funk, another local team found itself in trouble. The School Reform Commission, put in place a decade ago to help.

Support Public Education By Opposing Vouchers
Centre Daily Times, PA, September 27, 2011
As an educator, I am an idealist. I have always had faith that our elected officials would make the right decisions for our children when voting on public education policies. But lately I have become disillusioned and weary by what is happening in Harrisburg , and I am not alone.

TENNESSEE

Tennessee School Boards Association Officials Say Schools Must Adopt Change
Commercial Appeal, TN, September 27, 2011

Officials with the Tennessee School Boards Association encouraged local school leaders Monday night to “take a few deep breaths” as they jump into the state’s drastically overhauled teacher evaluation process.

VIRTUAL LEARNING

Virtual Classes Take Hold
Tallahassee Democrat, FL, September 26, 2011
In 2010, the county launched its own virtual school and instruction program. What began as a franchise of the Florida Virtual School is now developing its own curriculum and expanding virtual classes to fourth- and fifth-grade students, a first for the district.

Learning Online Becomes A Virtual Reality For 
Naples News, FL, September 26, 2011
School districts across Florida are breaking out of the traditional brick-and-mortar classroom walls and moving into a classroom where time and space separate teachers and students.

Online Enrollment Drops
Amarillo Globe-News, TX, September 26, 2011
State cuts totaling $4 billion over two years are taking a bite out of online learning programs and eating into budgets for traditional classrooms.

Lessons At Home, Homework At School
Pioneer Press, MN, September 26, 2011
That’s because Cote’s classroom is “flipped.” Students watch the lesson the night before on their computer or DVD player and then work on their homework in class, where Cote can help.

Virtual Classrooms Allow Students, Instructors To Connect From Afar
Arizona Republic, AZ, September 27, 2011
This seemingly typical classroom scene at M.C. Cash Elementary School in south Phoenix was anything but usual: Eric Hockman appeared in the classroom to teach his students through a live webcast from his office 11 miles away.

Online Teacher Connects With Her Students
Kitsap Sun, WA, September 26, 2011
Caldwell is one of the high school teachers at Insight School of Washington, which offers full-time online schooling.

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