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Daily Headlines for October 26, 2011

Nearly Half of States Link Teacher Evaluations to Tests
Wall Street Journal, October 26, 2011
Nearly two-thirds of states have overhauled policies in the last two years to tighten oversight of teachers, using techniques including tying teacher evaluations to student test scores, linking their pay to performance or making it tougher to earn tenure, according to a report issued Wednesday.

Bullying Add-Ons Make No Child Reform Less Certain
Washington Times, DC, October 25, 2011
Democrats plan to introduce two anti-bullying amendments when a major education reform proposal hits the Senate floor later this year – but the measures could put bipartisan support for the bill in serious jeopardy.

Education Needs A National Forum
Post Crescent, WI, October 26, 2011
Since Congress let the national No Child Left Behind Act expire, Gov. Scott Walker and State Supt. Tony Evers are developing their own plan for assessing the state’s schools. We’ve praised the bipartisan effort in the past.

Teachers’ Union Fat Cats
American Spectator, October 26, 2011
As with the celebrities, there’s something rather hilarious about the appearance of the nation’s two largest teachers’ unions at a protest against allegedly pampered fat cats. Few organizations have managed to become so influential — and build such vast coffers — at the expense of taxpayers and their children.

STATE COVERAGE

Charter Schools Have Proved Their Value
South Coast Today, MA, October 26, 2011
At least once a year, opponents gather to make their case against charter public schools at a Statehouse hearing, but their arguments repeatedly gain little traction.

October Two Miami-Dade Charter Schools Lose Funding
Miami Herald, FL, October 25, 2011
Miami-Dade school district officials say one school is not serving its special-needs students, and the other faces questions about its finances.

Florida Charter Schools’ Track Record At Issue In Expansion

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Daily Headlines for October 25, 2011

Fewer Rules, Not Vouchers, Needed To Improve Schools
Patriot News, PA, October 25, 2011
Until the 1840s, America’s education system was highly localized. Wealthy people sent their children to elite private schools. Public school students attended classes for only a few weeks each winter, often in poorly equipped schoolhouses with untrained teachers.

No Child Left Behind – Turning A Yardstick Into A Cookie Cutter
The Republic, MA, October 25, 2011
If what you’d been doing was failing badly, but the thing you’d replaced it with was shown to have problems of its own, would it make sense to return to the place you’d been in initially?

STATE COVERAGE

Sluggish on Schools
Boston Herald, MA, October 25, 2011
Momentum is on the side of school reformers these days. A slew of new urban charter schools opened in Massachusetts this fall, and now comes word that an advocacy group has, in just one month, collected more than 100,000 voter signatures in support of a ballot question that would shake up teacher evaluation and hiring rules statewide.

College Readiness Is Lacking, City Reports Show
New York Times, NY, October 25, 2011
Only one in four students who enter high school in New York City are ready for college after four years, and less than half enroll, according to the A-through-F high school report cards released on Monday.

Solving Puzzle of Bad Teachers
Albany Times Union, NY, October 24, 2011
A New York City speech and language teacher showed up late 101 times in a single school year and left early 47 others. Though she never bothered to clock in some days, she successfully fought off the Department of Education’s attempt to fire her for 18 months and paid a fine before she returned to the classroom.

Catholic School Enrollment Continues To

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Daily Headlines for October 24, 2011

Schools Fear Worst Budget Cuts Ahead
Associated Press, October 24, 2011
Educators across America , like Keene , are bracing for a tough reality. Even in a best-case scenario that assumes strong economic growth next year, it won’t be until 2013 or later when districts see budget levels return to pre-recession levels, said Daniel Domenech, executive director of the American Association of School Administrators in Arlington, Va. That means more cuts and layoffs are likely ahead.

When Charter Schools Get Too Picky
Washington Post, DC, October 23, 2011
The Pacific Collegiate School in Santa Cruz , Calif., is a public charter school. It must hold a random lottery when it has more applicants than vacancies. It is not supposed to be selective.

Grading the Teachers
Wall Street Journal, October 22, 2011
Schools have a lot to learn from business about how to improve performance, say Bill and Melinda Gates

More Freedom for School Choice
Journal Sentinel, WI, October 22, 2011
In a seminal paper published in 1955, Nobel Prize winner Milton Friedman envisaged a universal school choice program for parents of all economic stripes to find schools best suited to their children. Friedman argued that injecting competition into the education market would greatly expand the range of parental choice and result in higher levels of academic attainment.

STATE COVERAGE

Schools Contract Talks Hit Impasse
Boston Globe, MA, October 24, 2011
Nearly 15 months after their last contract expired, the Boston Teachers Union and Boston Public Schools find their negotiations stalled over whether teachers should be compensated for working a longer day and rewarded based on their performance.

Charter Wars
Worcester Telegram, MA, October 23, 2011
It’s time for charter opponents to learn their history, and understand that the future of public education in Massachusetts lies not in a return to the monolithic models

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Daily Headlines for October 21, 2011

Charters and Minority Progress
Wall Street Journal, October 20, 2011
A tragedy of American politics is that civil rights groups like the NAACP oppose education reform, even as reform’s main beneficiaries are poor and minority students in places like Harlem and New Orleans . The latest evidence comes in a study showing that black students in charter schools outperform their peers in traditional public schools.

Senate Panel Votes To Reduce Federal Role In Schools
Washington Post, DC, October 21, 2011
A Senate panel voted 15 to 7 Thursday to reduce the role of the federal government in overseeing the nation’s 100,000 public schools as part of a revamping of No Child Left Behind, the key education law.

Teacher Evaluations Have A Place, But Not In A Washington Mandate
Washington Post, DC, October 20, 2011
When The Post’s editorial board compared educating students to remodeling a kitchen “A provision left behind,” Oct. 19], it was clear that it doesn’t understand how learning occurs. Teachers don’t install knowledge like carpenters install cabinets, and every student learns in his or her own way.

Waiver Avalanche Uncovers Flaws of No Child Left Behind
Washington Times, DC , October 20, 2011
Thirty-six states have said they will seek waivers from the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) in the next six months. Nationwide frustration over the law reflects not only its agonizing muddle of federal money and regulations but also how this morass represents what’s wrong with American education.

Reform NCLB Law and Send to Obama Before End of Year
Jackson Sun, TN, October 20, 2011
Just when we thought there might be a ray of hope for bipartisanship and common sense logic in Washington, our hopes were dashed. Efforts to reform the No Child Left Behind law were sidetracked by partisan ideology

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Daily Headlines for October 20, 2011

NATIONAL

Can New No Child Left Behind Law Pass Before 2012 Elections?
Christian Science Monitor, MA, October 20, 2011
A new No Child Left Behind bill is finally getting a hearing in the Senate Wednesday – after three years of sitting in limbo. The bill has bipartisan support, and plenty of detractors.

Charter Schools — The Smart Answer To Public Education
The Hill, DC, October 19, 2011
Today we have a concept called “a charter school,” which uses private market forces and competition to improve our public school system — by breaking the traditional monopoly franchise of the public school district, run by local boards of education.

Report Documents Charter School Growth
Washington Post Blog, DC, October 19, 2011
Six school districts across the country now have at least 30 percent of their public school students enrolled in charter schools — with Washington D.C. at No. 2 on the list. And 18 systems have more than 20 percent of their students attending charters, according to a new report.

States Rights at Heart of New ‘No Child Left Behind’ Debate
US News & World Report, October 19, 2011
In a year of bitterly partisan battles over the budget, debt, and anything else with a deadline, the Senate hopes to break through congressional quagmire to replace the wildly unpopular No Child Left Behind education policy.

FROM THE STATES

Aim for Quality, not Quantity, on Michigan Charter Schools
Detroit News, MI, October 20, 2011
The Michigan Legislature is considering legislation to change the landscape of public education across the state. Among numerous changes, these nine bills promote the conversion of traditional schools to charter schools, require districts to enroll nonresident students and divert public money to services for private school students.

Charters Apply For More Suburban Schools
Cherry Hill Courier Post, NJ,

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Daily Headlines for October 19, 2011

Education Makes A Political Comeback In Washington
Associated Press, October 19, 2011
After years on the political back burner, education is making a comeback in Washington , driven in large part by Democrats.

How Could A Rewrite Of NCLB Scrap Teacher Evaluations?
Washington Post, DC, October 19, 2011
POLITICS MAKES FOR strange bedfellows, but Senate Republicans doing the bidding of teachers’ unions is particularly unexpected. That, though, is what happened when an important provision on teacher evaluations was knocked out of a proposed rewrite of No Child Left Behind (NCLB).

Loosen Washington’s Grip On Schools
Orange County Register, CA, October 18, 2011
We have opposed the No Child Left Behind Act since it became law a decade ago. In the guise of improving K-12 school standards, it greatly expanded federal control over schools, usurping state and local authority. California, in particular, already had rigorous standards, which it effectively was enforcing.

FROM THE STATES

Charter School Petition Attracts Crowd
Press Enterprise, CA, October 18, 2011
Riverside Unified School District administrators are starting their review of a 300-plus page charter-school application for REACH Leadership Academy.

Bullis Charter, Los Altos School District Duke It Out In Court Again
Mercury News, CA, October 19, 2011
The clock started ticking Tuesday toward an state appellate court decision on whether the Los Altos School District has fulfilled its legal obligations to provide adequate facilities for Bullis Charter School.

Protesters Push for Changes at LAUSD
Contra Costa Times, CA, October 19, 2011
Facing a groundswell of anger and frustration, members of the Los Angeles Unified School board received an earful from two different groups Tuesday, one demanding a new contract for teachers and the other pushing the district to rehire laid-off employees.

DPS Teacher-Pay System Likely Boosting Student Achievement, Study Finds
Denver Post, CO, October

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Daily Headlines for October 18, 2011

Bipartisan Group of Senators Announce Agreement on “No Child Left Behind”
Washington Post, DC, October 17, 2011
Signaling some unity in the Senate on overhauling the “No Child Left Behind” law, two senators announced Monday an agreement to move forward on bipartisan legislation to revamp it.

FROM THE STATES

Achievement First Applies to Open Academy in Providence
Providence Journal, RI, October 17, 2011
Mayor Angel Taveras, together with Achievement First and the Rhode Island Mayoral Academies, have applied to open a mayoral academy based in Providence.

Jumoke Charter School Shows Odds Can Be Beaten
Harford Courant, CT, October 17, 2011
The student populations seem much the same: Minority children from mostly working-class families attending schools in the city’s North End. The school buildings are separated by just a few blocks.
But the achievement levels are gaping.

From Lawmaker, A Flawed Argument On School Choice
Concord Monitor, CT, October 18, 2011
It is clear that Rep. JR Hoell knows little about public education. I wonder when he last spent more than five minutes in a classroom. He suggests that school choice would lower the population in our public schools allowing for better education.

‘F’ Grade Shocks a School Whose Popularity Was Rising
New York Times, NY, October 18, 2011
The annual letter-grading ritual is characterized by the city as a public information tool. But it has left some parents mystified since its introduction in 2007. And every year there are a handful of cases in which the opinion of city data analysts varies wildly from that of school parents.

Newark Charter and District Schools Share Space and Visions — But Not Technology
New Jersey Spotlight, NJ, October 18, 2011
The fight was fierce this winter, just at the idea of Newark district schools sharing space with charters. At times, ugly hearings revealed the

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Daily Headlines for October 17, 2011

Charter principles in traditional schools…For charters, quality first…Michelle Rhee’s D.C. schools legacy…and more in Today’s Daily Headlines.

‘No Excuses:’ Can Charter Principles Work In Traditional Schools?
Washington Post Blog, DC, October 16, 2011
As independent charter schools continue to grow, they continue to be dogged by problems of scale, questions of whether one site’s educational gains can be replicated elsewhere.

Student Progress Can Be Tied To Teacher’s School
Seattle Post Intelligencer, WA, October 15, 2011
The academic progress of public school students can be traced, in part, to where their teachers went to college, according to new research by the University of Washington Center for Education Data & Research.

FROM THE STATES

Basis Charter Schools To Add North Phoenix Campus
Arizona Republic, AZ, October 16, 2011
The elite network of Basis charter schools is adding a campus in north Phoenix , while making its first foray into another state.

L.A. Unified Principals To See Teachers’ Effectiveness Ratings
Los Angeles Times, CA, October 16, 2011
The previously confidential ratings estimate teachers’ effectiveness in raising students’ standardized test scores. The district is in negotiations to use the ratings as part of a new teacher evaluation system.

Michelle Rhee’s D.C. Schools Legacy Is In Sharper Focus One Year Later
Washington Post, DC, October 15, 2011
A year ago this month, Michelle A. Rhee resigned as D.C. schools chancellor, ending a tenure as contentious and turbulent as that of any urban school leader in memory. “The best way to keep the reforms going is for this reformer to step aside,” she declared.

School Boards Getting Tough on Charter Applications
StateImpact NPR, FL, October 14, 2011
Seminole County school board chairwoman Dede Schaffner admits it — her county is tough on people wanting to open new charter schools.

School Board Needs to Wake

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Daily Headlines for October 14, 2011

Most States To Seek Exception To Education Law
Wall Street Journal, October 13, 2011
A majority of states intend to take President Barack Obama up on his offer to let them get around unpopular requirements in the “No Child Left Behind” education law, the Education Department said Thursday.

FROM THE STATES

California’s School-Choice Law
National Review Online, October 14, 2011
California has produced some interesting laws over the years, many of them by referendum; but it is still surprising that, last year, the state legislature passed America ’s most powerful school-choice law, giving parents the ability to seize control of schools from teachers’ unions.

Teachers Protest Using Test Scores In Evaluations
Bakersfield Californian, CA, October 13, 2011
Teachers in the Oildale-area Standard School District are upset about a proposed policy to use test scores in evaluating teachers.

Sen. Michael Bennet Instrumental In Reforms To No Child Left Behind
Denver Post, CO, October 14, 2011
That more than a half-dozen ideas from Sen. Michael Bennet got into behemoth legislation to overhaul No Child Left Behind is perhaps a testament to all the flaws he saw in the law when he was Denver schools chief.

DPS Strides Called Uneven: A-Plus Denver Sees Problems Amid Gains
Denver Post, CO, October 14, 2011
Students in Denver Public Schools are moving fast to catch the rising bar for academic achievement, but the progress could still be quicker.

Rocky Meeting For Proposed Berthoud Charter School
Reporter-Herald, CO, October 13, 2011
At the bidding of Berthoud resident Christine Torres, the majority of the 300 people attending a charter school community forum Thursday night held up paper signs stating “NO!” in block letters.

Charters Not A Choice in Many Florida Counties
StateImpact NPR, October 13, 2011
In Clay County, high school students can study aerospace,

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Daily Headlines for October 13, 2011

Fight Proposed Ban On Single-Sex Schools
USA Today, October 12, 2011
Eight activist academics have just published an article in Science arguing that it should be banned. Claiming that there is “no well-designed research” proving that single-sex schools improve academic performance, they have urged the Department of Education to “heed the evidence” and prohibit “sex-segregated classrooms” in public schools. Single-sex education, they say, “increases gender stereotyping and legitimizes institutional sexism.” Let’s hope the Department of Education seeks a second opinion.

Education Policy Is A Local Issue
The Hill, DC, October 12, 2011
In an apparent attempt to roll back federal mandates included in the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) law, the Obama administration recently announced that it will issue waivers to states to shield them from proficiency requirements included in the law and provide them with the authority to set their own achievement standards.

Spellings Warns Against Dismantling ‘No Child’ Law
The Tennessean, TN, October 13, 2011
Former Education Secretary Margaret Spellings, a leading enforcer of the federal No Child Left Behind law, says she worries a proposal to dismantle that system would be a step backward for the nation’s 50 million students.

U.S. Education Secretary Sticks By Charter Schools, Measuring Teachers By Student Results
The Oregonian, OR, October 12, 2011
Speaking in a Portland school gym packed with teachers who disagree with him, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan reavowed his support Wednesday for charter schools and for judging schools and teachers by the results they get with students.

FROM THE STATES

Charter School Seeks To Expand
Salem News, MA, October 13, 2011
In some respects, Salem Academy Charter School has done everything right.

State Senate Committee Approves Plan For ‘Parent Trigger’ To Convert Failing Schools To Charters
Grand Rapids Press, MI, October 12, 2011
Families with

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