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Charter Schools: Additional Federal Attention Needed to Help Protect Access for Students with Disabilities"
Thursday June 21 2012, 1:42 PM
THE CHARTER DIFFERENCE
Thursday August 23 2007, 8:03 AM
NY Post op-ed contributor Malcolm A. Smith, state Senate minority leader and founder of two public-charter schools opines, "Her [Harvard economist Caroline Hoxby] team also found that public charters disproportionately serve poor and minority students. In fact, nearly 70 percent of New York City's 12,000 charter-school students are black, vs. 32 percent of the city's general student population. Ninety-one percent of students qualify for free or reduced lunch, compared with 73 percent citywide. In practical terms, this means that the most rapidly improving public-school students in New York City are black, poor or both. Charter schools are standing the traditional racial-achievement gap on its head. At a time when less than half of the city's black and Latino students graduate with a Regents diploma, and those who do lag four grade levels behind their high-income peers, these results should get our attention."
A Successful Plan for Racial Balance Now Finds Its Future Uncertain
Wednesday August 22 2007, 8:06 AM
NY Times reports, "White Plains’s plan takes pains to give parents genuine choices. In January and February, parents of entering kindergartners visit elementary schools and rank their top three picks. A family will get first choice, which 90 percent of families do, unless the number of applicants of that child’s race exceeds certain caps, which at a school with 100 kindergartners might be 13 blacks, 46 Hispanics, and 41 'others.' Should that happen, a lottery is held for all students in that racial group, with assigned numbers on colored slips of paper picked out of a basket at a public meeting. Remaining kindergartners get second choice or, rarely, third. Buses are provided for students living more than half a mile from school. The plan also balances assignments at the two campuses of the middle school."
27 Schools Named As “Persistently Dangerous” Under NCLB
Wednesday August 22 2007, 7:58 AM
All schools designated as “persistently dangerous” must provide school choice to students where transfer options exist. Each school also receives a $100,000 grant to help improve school safety. School districts must also submit an Incident Reduction Plan for each school to show the specific steps that the district will take to reduce the number of violent incidents and improve safety at the school. Staff from the New York State Center for School Safety and Regional School Support Centers also provide help to each school to improve safety.
New test rules fail CUNY's mission
Sunday August 12 2007, 7:50 AM
NY Daily News op-ed contributor William Crain, professor of psychology at The City College, CUNY opines, "CUNY should totally revamp its admissions policy. It should give test scores only the weight they merit, and should use them as part of a holistic assessment that includes students' high school grades, talents and motivation. And it should look for ways to give more students a chance to enter the college of their choice. For generations, CUNY shone as a beacon of democratic opportunity. It can do so again."
US Department of Education -- Office of Inspector General (OIG) Perspective on the Unsafe School Choice Option
Friday August 10 2007, 8:14 AM
We suggest that the Department and Congress, in considering legislative changes, require states to ensure that their USCO policies meet the following basic requirements: 1) All violent incidents, according to state code, are factored into the PDS determination, without the use of disciplinary action qualifiers; 2) Benchmarks for determining PDS are set at reasonable levels that are supported by objective and reliable data; and 3) PDS are identified based upon the most current year of data. These suggestions are intended to affect immediate improvement of the USCO in its current state. However, based on our audit work and further research, there is an apparent reluctance to fully comply with the USCO provision. Therefore, we are also offering our perspective on more in-depth changes to the provision that should help USCO to be better received by the education community, and therefore, encourage more willing compliance. The lack of incentive to comply with USCO will need to be addressed and resolved in order for the provision to realize its full potential as a tool for improving the level of safety in our nation’s schools.
Charter school sought in Troy
Thursday August 02 2007, 9:12 AM
Times Union reports, "A new charter school, True North Troy Preparatory Charter School, has filed an application with the state Charter Schools Institute to open for the 2008-09 school year. The proposed school would enroll 78 fifth-grade students during its first year. By its fifth year of operation it would have an enrollment of 299 students in fifth through eighth grades."
Charters pass big test
Tuesday July 31 2007, 8:59 AM
NY Daily News opines, "The opponents often argue that charter children do better than kids in neighborhood schools because they come from homes where adults are focused on education. In other words, charter kids have an advantage largely because grownups push them to succeed. This, it turns out, is myth. The truth is that charter schools are simply doing better jobs at education. So says a groundbreaking study that should be required reading for Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, United Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten and everyone else who has fought to limit the number of children who can attend a charter school."
KLEIN SETS A RECORD
Tuesday July 31 2007, 8:35 AM
NY Post opines, "Klein, with Bloomberg's strong backing: * Undertook to break up decades of bureaucratic infrastructure - sundering longstanding political alliances and an gering union leaders by the score. * Eliminated the corrupt community school boards, imposed a tougher new curriculum, demanded and got stricter performance standards - and put an effective end to social promotion. * Raised basic standards and expectations at the earliest grade levels and installed no-nonsense discipline to remove violent troublemakers from classrooms. * Encouraged the development of charter schools as an innovative way to challenge the long-accepted notions of education that clearly have not been working. * Demanded the same accountability and responsibility from teachers - and principals - as he has set for himself."
No verdict in Ithaca City School District (ICSD) busing appeal
Monday July 30 2007, 8:24 AM
Ithaca Journal reports, "New York state law requires public schools to transport children who live within the district but attend nonpublic schools within 15 miles of their homes, the same standard mileage limit for public school students. The school district changed its bus schedule to accommodate new start and stop times implemented at schools throughout the district. Gorsky challenged Ithaca's new schedule because it didn't synchronize with Immaculate Conception's schedule and made impractical for Immaculate Conception students to ride the bus. Gorsky filed an appeal with the Commissioner of Education at the end of October."
Hebrew charter school in Hollywood may cross line of church-state separation
Friday July 27 2007, 7:45 AM
Sun-Sentinel reports, "Some, including those in the Jewish community, are having trouble with the concept of a dual-language Hebrew charter school that will also teach, according to its early Web postings, 'Jewish history and culture.'" Charter schools are privately run but publicly funded and must adhere to school board regulations and state requirements such as FCAT testing."
Vouchers Could Desegregate Schools Better Than Buses
Saturday July 21 2007, 7:11 AM
Herbert J. Walberg, fellow of the Hoover Institution at Stanford University and chairman of The Heartland Institute's board writes, "In late 2006, Gregg Forster reviewed seven valid research studies of voucher programs in Milwaukee, Cleveland, and Washington, D.C., and concluded that each one showed that voucher-participating private schools were less racially segregated than public schools. Claims that vouchers would disadvantage poor and minority children, or children with special educational needs, or lead to greater segregation, are unsupported by the research on existing voucher programs. All the research instead points to the overwhelmingly positive effects."
Girls charter school awaits an OK
Thursday July 19 2007, 8:30 AM
Rochester Democrat and Chronicle reports, "Previously, New York had reached its limit of 100 charter schools statewide. But state legislation that took effect July 1 authorizes an additional 100 charter schools — 50 to be approved by the SUNY panel and 50 to be approved by the state Education Department."
Fixing special ed
Monday July 16 2007, 10:18 AM
Buffalo News opines, "He [Buffalo school superintendent Williams] intends to establish teams of guidance counselors, social workers, psychologists, special-education teachers and parents at each school. He also intends to relocate specialeducation support staff from administrative offices to individual schools, continue intensive efforts to improve literacy in the early elementary grades and give special-education students greater choice of schools."
U.S. Deputy Secretary of Education Raymond Simon Offers Commencement Address at Brighter Choice Charter Schools 4th Grade Graduation
Thursday July 12 2007, 9:47 AM
U.S. Deputy Secretary of Education Raymond Simon today highlighted the efforts of our nation's charter schools to empower parents and improve access to quality education for all students during a visit to Brighter Choice Charter Schools in Albany, N.Y. Offering the keynote address at the school's 4th grade commencement ceremony, Secretary Simon congratulated the students and teachers for their hard work to achieve the top ranking among Albany schools in English and math assessment scores. Additionally, Secretary Simon underscored the importance of No Child Left Behind reauthorization this year and touted President Bush's proposal to expand the availability of charter schools and provide more options for families.
Suburbs need not fear school vouchers
Sunday July 08 2007, 9:10 PM
Christian Science Monitor contributor Walt Gardner, former teacher and lecturer opines, "Emboldened by their ability to prevail in the courts, suburbanites aren't likely to relinquish their hold on maintaining local schools for themselves. They've worked too hard and too long to establish residency in communities where existing schools have garnered well-deserved reputations for educational quality. After all, they have as much of a right for their children to benefit from top-flight schools as parents from the inner cities do for their children."
BEYOND 'BROWN' -- RACE-BLIND ROADS TO DIVERSITY
Monday July 02 2007, 9:51 AM
NY Post Op-Ed contributor ANDREW J. COULSON director of the Cato Institute's Center for Educational Freedom opines, "A central goal of compulsory integration polices has been to achieve racial balance at the school level. But Harvard's Civil Rights Project has observed that public schools are little more racially integrated today than they were before such policies were introduced.
White Plains defends using race in school choice program
Monday July 02 2007, 8:59 AM
THE JOURNAL NEWS reports, "To assign students, officials consider race, ethnicity, gender, whether any siblings attend the school and whether space is available. Lotteries are held when the demand is too great at one school or for blacks, whites or Hispanics when one or more of the groups are underrepresented at a particular school. White Plains officials contend that's a different situation than in Louisville, where the mother of a student sued after her son was denied a transfer because his school needed to maintain its level of white students to meet the district's guidelines. In Seattle, parents filed suit when minority students were chosen over whites to attend a high school to maintain its racial balance. Because race is just one of several factors used to assign students, Connors said the district should not be affected by the court's narrow ruling."
Patrons’ Sway Leads to Friction in Charter School
Friday June 29 2007, 9:04 AM
NY Times DAVID M. HERSZENHORN reports, "The Reichs said the problem was that the board was 'constituency-based' and that they wanted members with practical skills like fund-raising or public relations instead. To get the changes, they threatened in a strongly worded letter to cut off their support unless all but three of the board members resigned. Among those told to quit were five parent and faculty representatives. At a board meeting last month, parents lashed out at the Reichs, angrily describing their relationship as that of master and servant or landlord and tenant."
Union to Help Charter Firm Start School in the Bronx
Thursday June 28 2007, 8:46 AM
NY Times reports, "Green Dot Public Schools, a charter school operator from Los Angeles, is seeking to expand into New York with the cooperation of the teachers’ union. Under the proposal, Green Dot, which is heavily financed by the billionaire philanthropist Eli Broad, would open a high school in the South Bronx. The school, which must be approved by the state, would become one of only a handful of charter schools in the city to use a union contract."
Evaluation of D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program: Impacts After One Year
Friday June 22 2007, 8:56 AM
The report studies five key outcomes of the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program: school differences; academic achievement; parental perceptions of school satisfaction and safety; student reports of school satisfaction and safety; and the impact of using a scholarship. The analysis estimates the effects of the program approximately seven months after the start of the students' first school year in the program and finds no statistically significant difference in test scores overall between students who were offered a scholarship and students who were not offered a scholarship. Wolf, Patrick, Babette Gutmann, Michael Puma, Lou Rizzo, Nada Eissa, and Marsha Silverberg. Evaluation of the DC Opportunity Scholarship Program: Impacts After One Year. U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, 2007.
Voucher Use in Washington Wins Praise of Parents
Friday June 22 2007, 8:53 AM
NY Times reports, "Students who participated in the first year of the District of Columbia’s federally financed school voucher program did not show significantly higher math or reading achievement, but their parents were satisfied anyway, viewing the private schools they attended at taxpayer expense as safer and better than public schools, according to an Education Department study released yesterday. "
Send charter law to reform school
Sunday June 10 2007, 9:44 AM
Times Union op-ed contributor Thomas Rogers, executive director of the New York State Council of School Superintendents opines, "Until the state pays the bulk of the costs, local districts -- whose taxpayers finance charter schools -- must have more say regarding charter school approval and renewal. The current system makes charter schools and district schools into enemies, instead of collaborators. Other statutory reforms must include: Robust oversight and consequences for academic failure. A state-financed safety net to accommodate enrollment fluctuations. Penalties for charter schools that plan poorly or send students back to the district schools. Downward recalculations in funding if charters do not enroll disabled students in proportions similar to district schools. Timelines for major decisions, scheduled to permit adequate planning by school districts and informed voting by the public. Prohibitions on management companies taking profits from academically failing schools."
City Nonprofit Group Gets Money for Merit Pay at Charter Schools
Thursday June 07 2007, 10:05 AM
NY Times reports, "The United States Department of Education has awarded a $10.5 million grant to a New York City nonprofit group to create merit pay systems in 10 local charter schools, local and federal education officials announced yesterday. The grant, to be spent over five years, will allow the charter schools to pay annual performance bonuses of up to $8,000 for school supervisors, $6,000 for teachers and $2,000 for aides."
Ten States Awarded Grants to Help Expand School Choice
Wednesday June 06 2007, 9:21 AM
U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings announced today that ten states have been awarded a total of $284 million to help create new charter schools and increase the school choices that parents have to provide to their children.
Foster Care Children Need Better Educational Opportunities
Tuesday June 05 2007, 3:33 PM
Dan Lips, Education Analyst in the Domestic Policy Studies Department at The Heritage Foundation writes, "Federal, state, and local policymakers should amend existing programs to improve education options for foster children. As policymakers design these reforms, they should consider four important principles. *New education options for foster children should be structured to address potential legal and constitutional questions. *Opportunity scholarship programs should be structured to ensure that they do not create adverse incentives for placement and adoption. *Scholarship programs should be designed to address non-tuition costs and considerations arising from school choice. *Policymakers should consult with people and organizations in the foster care community when designing their initiatives to ensure that policies best meet foster children's needs."
Local schools make radical changes to battle dropout rate
Sunday June 03 2007, 10:10 AM
The Journal News reports, "From creating evening and weekend classes to instituting formal programs that allow students five years to graduate, the schools have made radical changes in an effort to boost achievement and keep kids in school. But officials say there are more complex reasons behind this life-changing decision made by too many teens. Often, schools are blamed for a student's choice to leave, but educators say many drop out for myriad reasons, including incarceration, drug abuse, problems at home or other reasons outside the purview of the classroom."
My faith is in cash; City's public education stinks, so I gave Catholic schools $22.5M
Sunday June 03 2007, 9:19 AM
NY Daily News Erin Einhorn reports, "Wilson, who was married but has no children, is himself the product of public schools. But that was back before teachers were unionized, he said. Wilson angered city teachers union President Randi Weingarten when he used the announcement of his big gift last month to blame unions for the problems with schools. And, during his 90-minute sitdown with The News, he continued his assault, repeatedly knocking unions for 'feather-bedding' and creating a 'rigidity' that hurts kids. He said he wants to help Catholic schools both because he thinks they're better and because they're 'under siege' from unions determined to 'deprive them of a shred of government money.'"
New Covenant's fate
Thursday May 31 2007, 9:29 AM
Times Union opines, "Whatever meeting, or review, is planned should have been held long ago, before New Covenant officials decided to announce the school's closing. As for any new information that might be presented, it is beside the point. What matters is what has long been known about New Covenant -- some of the lowest test scores in the Capital Region and, in view of the State University of New York, which granted the charter, a chaotic environment. New Covenant has had time enough to prove itself. It hasn't."
New Jersey charter schools deserve larger share of state aid package
Wednesday May 30 2007, 10:16 AM
Asbury Park Press reports, "A couple of real-life scenarios illustrate the impact of the state's policies toward charter schools: Two siblings in Newark attend different public schools: One attends North Star Academy Charter School and has an almost certain prospect of attending a four-year college. The other child attends East Side High School and has only a 15 percent chance of attending a four-year college. The child who attends East Side High School receives $17,974 in education funding, and the child who attends North Star is funded at $10,582, or 59 percent of his sister's funding level. Two young brothers share a room and live with their single mother in an apartment in Red Bank. One attends Red Bank Middle School, the other Red Bank Charter School. The boy at Red Bank Middle School will receive Targeted At-Risk Aid (TARA) funding next year, while his brother at Red Bank Charter will not. Each pair of siblings comes from the same home and therefore shares the same socioeconomic backgrounds, challenges and needs, yet they are not treated equally by the state."
Teachin' substance with style; Grand Concourse charter school tops city's 4th-grade test scores
Sunday May 27 2007, 4:23 PM
NY Daily News Ethan Rouen reports, "The teachers often work 13-hour days, meeting with parents, grading weekly book reports and testing students every other month. Following tests, students are regrouped based on their performance. The school frowns on social promotion, refusing to graduate unprepared students based on age or parent pressure. The repetitive testing also serves as a way for Victor to grade his teachers."
Charter Schools Look to Address Educational Woes
Saturday May 26 2007, 8:49 AM
NPR News & Notes, May 25, 2007 · Charter schools are an increasingly popular alternative to traditional public schools. Ted Hamory, co-founder of New City Public Schools, and Jennifer Stern, a partner in the Charter School Growth Fund, talk to Farai Chideya about whether these schools are living up to their hype.
State warns KIPP school to shape up or be closed
Saturday May 26 2007, 8:33 AM
Buffalo News reports, "Buffalo’s KIPP Sankofa Charter School, considered a promising alternative for inner-city middle school students when it opened in 1993, is plagued by failure and is fighting for its life. The school, located in the Central Park Plaza, was recently cited by the state’s Charter Schools Institute for low test scores, high teacher turnover, severe disciplinary problems, poor teacher training and failure to use test score data to guide instruction."
$CHOOL HOLY WAR
Thursday May 24 2007, 7:36 AM
NY Post reports, "The atheist philanthropist who gave the New York Archdiocese $22.5 million for Catholic school scholarships yesterday blasted the city's public school system as 'lousy.' Robert Wilson laid the blame for the state of the public schools on the United Federation of Teachers, the union that represents teachers at city schools. Wilson, 80, told Bloomberg News that his huge donation 'was a chance for a very modest amount of money to get kids out of a lousy school system, and into a good school system.'"
SCHOOL CHOICE BY THE NUMBERS: THE FISCAL EFFECT OF SCHOOL CHOICE PROGRAMS, 1990-2006
Monday May 21 2007, 7:54 AM
Prepared by Susan L. Aud, PhD, SeniorFellow, Milton and Rose D. Friedman Foundation, "Key findings include: School choice programs have saved a total of about $444 million from 1990 to 2006, including a total of $22 million saved in state budgets and $422 million saved in local public school districts. Every existing school choice program is at least fiscally neutral, and most produce a substantial savings. Only Utah’s Carson Smith voucher program and the two century-old 'town tuitioning' programs in Maine and Vermont are neutral; every other school choice program has produced at least $1 million in savings. In nearly every school choice program, the dollar value of the voucher or scholarship is less than or equal to the state’s formula spending per student. This means states are spending the same amount or less on students in school choice programs than they would have spent on the same students if they had attended public schools, producing a fiscal savings."
Civics Exam: Schools of choice boost civic values
Sunday May 20 2007, 9:23 AM
Patrick J. Wolf, professor of education reform and 21st century chair in school choice at the University of Arkansas College of Education and Health Professions writes, "In summary, the empirical studies to date counter the claims of school choice opponents that private schooling inherently and inevitably undermines the fostering of civic values. The statistical record suggests that private schooling and school choice often enhance the realization of the civic values that are central to a well-functioning democracy. This seems to be the case particularly among ethnic minorities (such as Latinos) in places with great ethnic diversity (such as New York City and Texas), and when Catholic schools are the schools of choice. Choice programs targeted to such constituencies seem to hold the greatest promise of enhancing the civic values of the next generation of American citizens."
Calling All Principals
Friday May 18 2007, 10:04 AM
The Queens Courier opines, "We say to all principals, it is up to you to set policy. Make the right choice in this issue and allow the kids to carry a cell phone to and from school. Let us not wait for a tragedy in our schools to change a wrong-headed policy made by Mayor Bloomberg and Chancellor Klein."
School leaders blame charter schools for Albany's budget failure
Thursday May 17 2007, 9:22 AM
Capital News 9 reports, "According to the State Charter School Association, there are seven charters currently up and running with two more on the way. They said the superintendent is making charter schools scapegoats for the district's shortcomings. 'What they really need to do is adjust to the reality that for the last 7 years parents have been taking their children out to new opportunities. She can't continue to run a district that assumes 10,000 kids when in fact it's 1,500, 1,600 children fewer,' said New York Charter School Association Policy Director Peter Murphy. He said 16 percent of the district's kids are in charter schools while they only get 10 percent of the budget, and the district gets transitional aid to boot."
Saturday May 12 2007, 12:42 PM
Education Week reports on Ohio online charter schools, where "Twenty of the state’s 41 online charters reported perfect attendance last year ."
Charter Schools in New York State for School Year 2004-2005
Thursday May 10 2007, 10:39 AM
Charter schools are on the way
Wednesday May 09 2007, 9:14 AM
Times Herald-Record opines, "Believers believe they offer a new birth of freedom from unions and regulations; nonbelievers believe they offer a government-funded attack on standards and salaries."
Statement from Secretary Spellings on National Charter Schools Week
Thursday May 03 2007, 8:34 AM
These schools [charter] are dispelling the myth that some children can't learn. By acting as laboratories for best practices, they are changing attitudes about education and they're getting great results for kids. Charters are also transforming urban education and tackling head-on our nation's stubborn achievement gap. They are proving that new approaches to education can work—that breaking tradition and taking risks can yield tremendous results for students. Through the groundbreaking No Child Left Behind Act, President Bush and I have supported a robust expansion of school choice options for students and parents, helping to pave the way for greater access to charter schools. Since 2001, the President has invested $1.4 billion in the Charter Schools Program to facilitate start-ups and spread clear information about successful schools and provided over $262 million for charter school facilities. We will continue to support charter schools as they strive to help students achieve their potential.
FRIEDEN'S NEW FOUL
Monday April 30 2007, 7:45 AM
NY Post op-ed contributor David Yassky, north Brooklyn representative, New York City Council opines, "The rules would cost parochial schools millions of dollars, quite possibly forcing some of them to shut down. Most important, these new rules would cross the line that should separate church and state. Of course, we do want the Health Department to protect children against dangers like lead exposure. But existing rules already do that. Now the Health Department wants to impose much more comprehensive regulations on parochial preschool facilities - mandating a certain number of square feet per child, a certain number of toilets per child and so forth."
Tech Valley High's first students meet
Sunday April 29 2007, 9:02 AM
Times Union reports, "The school will have no more than 400 students in grades 9-12 drawn from 48 school districts within the two BOCES, which serve seven counties: Albany, Columbia, Rensselaer, Schenectady, Schoharie, Saratoga and Greene. It will focus on math, science and technology. In fall 2008, the school will add up to 48 sophomores. In fall 2009, the high school will open in its own building in Rensselaer County, with 100 students in each grade."
Charter school for at-risk youth announces layoffs
Saturday April 28 2007, 5:39 PM
Austin American-Stateman reports, "Schell [director of development for the school] said several factors, including having a high percentage of economically disadvantaged and homeless students, make it difficult to accurately predict attendance."
Houston school district says charter school falsified records
Saturday April 28 2007, 3:41 PM
AP reports, "A charter school for at-risk teens inflated attendance by more than 200 students last year and must repay $358,000 in state funding it received for the students, school district officials say."
School districts serve all children
Saturday April 28 2007, 10:13 AM
The Journal News opines, "Those who come to the board, no matter from what community, need to remember that all youngsters in East Ramapo, no matter what kind of school they attend, are the district's children."
Billionaires Start $60 Million Schools Effort
Wednesday April 25 2007, 10:10 AM
NY Times DAVID M. HERSZENHORN reports, "The project will not endorse candidates — indeed, it is illegal to do so as a charitable group — but will instead focus on three main areas: a call for stronger, more consistent curriculum standards nationwide; lengthening the school day and year; and improving teacher quality through merit pay and other measures. While the effort is shying away from some of the most polarizing topics in education, like vouchers, charter schools and racial integration, there is still room for it to spark vigorous debate. Advocating merit pay to reward high-quality teaching could force Democratic candidates to take a stand typically opposed by the teachers unions who are their strong supporters. Pushing for stronger, more uniform standards, on the other hand, could force Republican candidates to discuss the potential merits of a national curriculum, a concept advocates for states’ rights deeply oppose and one that President Bush has not embraced."
ELIOT TALKS THE TALK
Sunday April 22 2007, 9:32 AM
NY Post opines, "So, yes, Spitzer is again saying the right things. Mayoral control is essential to the schools. If New Yorkers aren't happy with education, they need to be able to give someone - the mayor - the boot. But Spitzer's pattern of speaking loudly while wielding a small stick shouldn't raise hopes too high."
Charter school finds home, still needs state approval
Friday April 20 2007, 9:22 AM
Kingston Freeman reports, "Washington [co-applicant for the Teaching Wisdom and Responsibility Charter School of Higher Learning] said she has been working on the charter school plan for two years and has secured space on O'Neil Street to house the school. The school would target students at risk of being left behind academically and will only admit students who scored at Levels 1, 2 or a low 3 on New York state's four-level English language arts or math exams. Washington hopes the school eventually will serve grades kindergarten through eight but said it will start with just kindergartners and fifth-graders. The following year, those students would become first and sixth graders and new classes of kindergartners and fifth-graders would come in, she said. The process the would continue until the school served all grades."
THE SCHOOL WARS: TEACHERS UNIONS MAULED GOV
Friday April 20 2007, 8:46 AM
NY Post Op-ed contributor Thomas W. Carroll, president of the Foundation for Education Reform and Accountability opines, "In sum, the governor's vision for educational accountability got mangled in the legislative process. The public and educators will get much better student data. But the political process removed the 'teeth' from any consequences for failure. Teachers unions hijacked the infusion of billions of dollars in state money for things they favor - smaller class size (read more dues-paying teachers) - and blocked crucial companion measures like longer school days, longer school years and more flexible work rules that are the sine qua non for successful schools, especially those serving economically disadvantaged populations. At the same time, the governor couldn't expand school choice on anything like the scale of the vast need for alternatives, especially in New York City. The net result: New York state will spend billions more on public schools, and likely produce marginal, if any, changes in outcomes. Eventually, the new assessment system will let us demonstrate this failure conclusively - but that will be faint solace for the generation of children who will be forever damaged by our failure to get reform right."
Charter schools are given a break
Friday April 13 2007, 8:47 AM
Buffalo News reports, "'The victory here is that you’ll have more charter schools and that the law remains largely intact,' said Peter Murphy, policy director for the New York Charter Schools Association. 'The message will get out that we’re now back in business.' At the same time, districts with large concentrations of charter schools — including Buffalo — got some fiscal relief after arguing for years that they suffer under the existing funding formula. A newly created pool of 'transition aid' will provide Buffalo $12 million next school year to cushion the $60 million the district makes in transfer payments to 15 charter schools."
Catholic schools need more than our prayers
Thursday April 12 2007, 9:00 AM
NY Daily News guest contributor Peter Meyer, contributing editor at Education Next and author of a new report in that journal, titled "Can Catholic Schools Be Saved?" opines, "This is not a sectarian fight, nor should it be. The era of choice in public schools has opened the way for daring reform in the public school system - and the most daring and successful of these new schools look remarkably like Catholic schools of old: they are focused and mission-driven. Parents deserve a choice in the school their children attend. It is in the educational interests of our children not only to allow that competition to take place, but to encourage it."
Fund the Child: A Better Way to Help Disadvantaged Students
Tuesday April 10 2007, 10:55 AM
HumanEvents.com contributor Dan Lips writes, "In January, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg proposed that Gotham adopt three new policies: 'backpack funding,' school-based management, and widespread school choice. This bundle of reforms -- known as the 'weighted student formula' -- embodies a new approach to education finance."
'CHARTERS' RACE IS ON
Monday April 09 2007, 8:31 AM
NY Post David Andreatta reports, "Advocates of the alternative public schools say they have been deluged with inquiries from potential operators seeking advice on meeting new demands in the measures that raised the cap from 100 to 200 schools last week."
Charter, Private, Public Schools and Academic Achievement: New Evidence from NAEP Mathematics Data. 2006.
Sunday April 08 2007, 6:23 PM
Author: Chris Lubienski and Sarah Theule Lubienski. "Findings reveal that demographic differences between students in public and private schools account for the relatively high raw scores of private schools on the NAEP. Indeed, after controlling for these differences, public school students generally score better than their private school peers. Three other findings warrant mention. First, Lutheran schools are the highest performing private schools. Second, Conservative Christian schools, the fastest growing private school sector, are the lowest performing private schools. Third, fourth graders in charter schools scored below public school students, but eighth graders in charter schools scored above public school students. This suggests that assessments of charter schools must pay careful attention to the sample population that is being examined."
Cost of charter schools puts Albany in spiraling tax trap
Sunday April 08 2007, 10:17 AM
Times Union Fred LeBrun opines, "What the superintendent [Eva Joseph] says the district desperately needs -- deserves -- is a tailor-made charter school compensation package from the state Legislature that recognizes the realities of Albany's nearly unique situation. Buffalo deserves one too, she says. As proof she points this out: The new onerous benchmark for any school district in terms of possibly putting a brake on charter schools is when enrollment reaches 5 percent of the district's student population. Next year, Albany taxpayers will be funding four times that. At the moment, the district is cranking up the numbers for the upcoming."
Charter schools are here to stay
Sunday April 08 2007, 9:50 AM
Times Union Op-Ed contributor THOMAS W. CARROLL opines, "Among the measures rejected during negotiations on the charter-school bill were: a cap on additional charters in Albany and Buffalo, limits on enrollment growth, a 20 percent funding cut for elementary and middle-school charters, automatic unionization, elimination of the ability of charters to contract for management assistance, and subjecting charter school facilities (which receive no state building aid) to prevailing-wage mandates and the state Education Department's onerous building code and approval process. At the same time, charter advocates were able to get language approved making clear that new charters could be granted over district opposition, even in high density districts like Albany and Buffalo, when a significant educational benefit can be shown for students likely to attend a proposed charter school. This was a major child-centered victory. To give Albany, Buffalo and other districts time to adjust to the decisions of thousands of parents to move their children to public charter schools, the Legislature approved state-financed transition aid. This was a reasonable accommodation that the Brighter Choice Foundation and others backed."
New York City readies for eight new charter schools
Friday April 06 2007, 1:10 PM
Crain Communications reports, "Officials at the New York City Department of Education say two new charter schools are scheduled to open in September—Bedford-Stuyvesant Collegiate Charter School in Brooklyn and Carl C. Icahn Charter School Bronx North—because they were approved before the cap was reached in January 2006. Two other schools have received preliminary approval by the DOE and have been sent to the New York State Board of Regents for approval. Six more are under review by Schools Chancellor Joel Klein. "
Charter schools come out winners as statewide cap is doubled to 200
Thursday April 05 2007, 9:11 AM
Buffalo News reports, "A newly created pool of 'transition aid' will provide Buffalo $12 million next school year to cushion the $60 million the district makes in transfer payments to 15 charter schools. Even so, Buffalo school officials said they would need to recover an additional $28 million to equalize transfer payments with savings the district realizes from the loss of students to charter schools. In addition, the transition aid is scheduled to be phased out over the next three years, said Gary M. Crosby, chief operations and financial officer for the Buffalo schools."
New York State Catholic Conference criticizes state budget decisions
Wednesday April 04 2007, 3:01 PM
Catholic News Service reports, "Barnes [Catholic conference executive director] blamed Silver and the state's powerful teachers' unions for the exclusion of the tuition tax deduction from the education portion of the state's $121 billion budget, despite strong support for the credit by the Senate and Gov. Eliot Spitzer. He said New York is ranked second in the nation 'and soon likely to be first' in its per-student cost of more than $15,000 a year for public education, but has 'graduation rates that are a scandalous 48th.' Yet Silver, he said, 'could not see fit to give parents of children in independent and religious schools, who save the state $7.5 billion every single year, a deduction that amounts to about $68 per child.'"
Good calls on education
Wednesday April 04 2007, 8:49 AM
Times Union opines, "While it will take time before the full impact of the first state budget under Governor Spitzer is fully known, three results are readily apparent. And all of them are positive."
Real N.Y. school reform has only just begun
Wednesday April 04 2007, 8:34 AM
NY Daily News guest contributor Joe Williams, executive director of Democrats for Education Reform opines, "Many Democrats in particular will find themselves in the uncomfortable position of having to choose between, on the one hand, a reform-minded governor who is responding to a frustrated public and, on the other, to entrenched political forces that have proven to be more than willing to simply continue along without making important changes that would make excellence commonplace in our schools. Among the reforms we must begin to try without further delay: genuine accountability for our teachers that gives principals more authority to hire and fire educators; pay scales that give different teachers different salaries, based on market realities and quality; an aggressive overhaul of the way teachers are trained; and more choice for students and families. To be sure, the most historic part of this year's education budget is the resolution of the 14-year-old Campaign for Fiscal Equity lawsuit, under which the state will now hike its spending on education by billions of dollars per year. But lasting change will require much more than just sending more and more money into systems where children compete with grownups for their share of the attention. In that regard, the fight has just begun."
Get Mayors in the Schooling Game
Tuesday April 03 2007, 9:58 AM
David Harris, President and CEO of The Mind Trust and Andrew J. Rotherham, co-founder and co-director of Education Sector and a member of the Virginia Board of Education opine, "Mayors can open their own public schools. Doing so does not mean walking away from other struggling public schools, but it does mean providing more high quality seats for students and introducing healthy competition into the public sector. This is not just a theory. In Indianapolis, America's 12th largest city, Mayor Bart Peterson is creating an entirely new sector of public schools. In 2001, the Indiana legislature granted the Mayor of Indianapolis the authority to issue public school charters to nonprofit entities as part of broader charter school legislation. Mayor Peterson, a Democrat who has served as mayor since 2000, enthusiastically embraced the authority and the idea of public charter schooling. Public charter schools are independent public schools that are tuition-free, open to all children, and publicly financed."
Get Mayors in the Schooling Game
Tuesday April 03 2007, 9:58 AM
David Harris, President and CEO of The Mind Trust and Andrew J. Rotherham, co-founder and co-director of Education Sector and a member of the Virginia Board of Education opine, "Mayors can open their own public schools. Doing so does not mean walking away from other struggling public schools, but it does mean providing more high quality seats for students and introducing healthy competition into the public sector. This is not just a theory. In Indianapolis, America's 12th largest city, Mayor Bart Peterson is creating an entirely new sector of public schools. In 2001, the Indiana legislature granted the Mayor of Indianapolis the authority to issue public school charters to nonprofit entities as part of broader charter school legislation. Mayor Peterson, a Democrat who has served as mayor since 2000, enthusiastically embraced the authority and the idea of public charter schooling. Public charter schools are independent public schools that are tuition-free, open to all children, and publicly financed."
MIKE BLASTS CURBS ON CHARTER SCHOOLS
Tuesday April 03 2007, 8:40 AM
NY Post DAVID SEIFMAN and DAVID ANDREATTA report, "His remarks, made at city Department of Education headquarters during a press conference to invite applications for new charter schools, were interpreted by many as veiled slaps at Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and the state and city teachers unions, which championed the initiatives. Among the provisions is a mandate to ensure that proposals to place charter schools inside buildings housing traditional public schools - a common occurrence in a city short on space - would now be subject to a public forum. The initiative is a direct outgrowth of a nasty civic battle last year that pitted a public school for gifted students in Silver's home district against the city, whose plans to have the school share space with a new charter school were ultimately beaten back."
School Aid Fight Erupts in Albany as Budget Passes
Monday April 02 2007, 10:38 AM
NY Times DANNY HAKIM and DAVID M. HERSZENHORN report, "The Bloomberg administration also praised the lifting of the state’s limit on charter schools, but there were compromises on that front, too, including a provision that automatically unionizes the employees of any charter school serving more than 250 students in its first two years. In an interview, Chancellor Klein said of the budget, 'It’s obviously a very solid deal for us.' 'There is no doubt that if we infuse over the next four years the kinds of money that Albany has committed to, that we will be able to achieve our goals,' he said, 'including an overall considerable reduction in class size.'”
Charter OK no help till next year
Monday April 02 2007, 10:20 AM
NY Daily News Erin Einhorn reports, "Many of the city's 58 charter schools have long waiting lists of parents hoping to enroll kids. The schools, often seen as innovative, are subject to less bureaucracy and have more flexibility than traditional public schools. The new charter law addresses some parent concerns by requiring the Education Department to hold hearings before placing a charter within an existing public school. It also requires new charters that enroll 250 students in their first two years to hire only unionized employees."
Schools big winner in budget deal
Sunday April 01 2007, 9:43 AM
NY Daily News Albany Bureau Chief Joe Mahoney reports, "Missing from the budget is Spitzer's proposal to create a $1,000 tuition tax deduction for low- and middle-income parents who send their children to private and parochial schools. 'We compromised no more than we thought it was right or appropriate to accomplish the twin objectives of both timeliness and the policy pursuits we sought,' Spitzer said."
A fund boost for charters?
Saturday March 31 2007, 9:46 AM
Newsday reports, "There are about 4,000 charter schools nationwide, according to the pro-charter Center for Education Reform. The budget agreement between Gov. Eliot Spitzer and the state legislature, which is expected to be passed by Sunday, gives the State University of New York and the state Board of Regents the authority to hand out charters to groups interested in running schools. Bloomberg said Friday he was disappointed the deal did not give the schools chancellor similar authority."
Charter the right course
Saturday March 31 2007, 8:56 AM
NY Daily News opines, "Small, flexible and free to experiment with reforms that would be impossible within the confines of a 600-page union contract, New York City's 47 charters get superior results. Last year, 66% of their elementary kids were up to snuff on standardized math tests, compared with 53% in city-run schools in the same districts. The comparison on English tests was 56% passing in the charters, 48% in city-run schools. Charters are giving low-income, minority children a fighting chance to get ahead in life - and blazing the trail toward better education for all. Lawmakers should do all they can to spread this opportunity far and wide. That means a straightforward expansion of charters without costly mandates and innovation-squashing rules."
Budget dance speeds to close
Saturday March 31 2007, 8:48 AM
Times Union reports, "On education, the legislative leaders said about $1.7 billion in aid will be added to funds for schools, including $1.1 billion under Spitzer's new foundation formula that drives funds to the neediest districts. But the language on how to make schools more accountable and shrink class sizes was unwritten late Friday. The school aid formulas also were still unclear. As a result, district-by-district funding estimates were unavailable as of late Friday, a clear signal of the unsettled nature of that financing. Further, the Legislature did not have a clear answer on how $22 million in aid to districts hosting charter schools -- called transition aid -- was going to be cut up. Albany is expected to get a big share of the money."
SPITZER'S SCHOOL SELLOUT ...
Saturday March 31 2007, 8:42 AM
NY Post opines, "The charter battle is about something more vital than money: It's about this state's children and what sort of future they are able to make for themselves. It wasn't enough that the unions and the education lobby made off like bandits, with $7 billion of new cash over the next four years. Spitzer also seems willing to let unions and educrats shackle charters beyond recognition. Even the fig leaf of 100 more charter schools can't hide that. What a disgrace."
DEAL A BUDGET BOOST TO CHARTER SCHOOLS
Friday March 30 2007, 8:14 AM
NY Post KENNETH LOVETT and FREDRIC U. DICKER report, "Gov. Spitzer and legislative leaders yesterday agreed on a new state budget that officials say includes authorization for 50 new charter schools in the city. Legislative sources said the overall deal would add at least $1.3 billion to Spitzer's already record $120.6 billion budget plan, which critics say spends way too much and threatens the state's fiscal future."
Charter schools deliver success
Thursday March 29 2007, 8:39 AM
Times Union contributors Rev. Karim Camara and Sam Hoyt opine, "We cannot afford to ignore promising efforts to increase the supply of quality, high-performing education offerings for New York's children. If anything, we've got to find ways to streamline the application process for successful charter school operators so they are not held back from doing the important work of helping public education live up to its promise to educate all of our children."
Compromises floated as budget deadline approaches
Tuesday March 27 2007, 12:42 PM
AP Michael Gormley reports, "One of the Spitzer proposals was pushed Tuesday by a coalition of Catholic bishops, Protestant, Jewish and other Christian leaders. They supported Spitzer's plan for a $1,000 tax deduction to offset the cost of private and parochial school tuition as a break for parents who also pay taxes toward _ but don't use _ public schools. New York Roman Catholic Cardinal Edward Egan said the measure only means $50 to $80 in savings for most parents paying tuition for the 500,000 students statewide attending private or parochial schools, but it's a start to greater state support of taxpayers sending their children to private schools. The measure is strongly opposed by the New York State United Teachers union that stated in lobbying ads that public money shouldn't go to private interests when there is still a need to better fund high-needs, mostly urban schools."
Adding taxpayers to charter equation -- now that's reform
Sunday March 25 2007, 9:46 AM
Times Union Fred LeBrun opines, "Will the cap on the number of charter schools allowed in the state -- now set at 100 -- be raised? The governor wants 150 more of them, which is stupefying. But that's what he wants, based, presumably, on what New York City wants. The Senate is willing to go along with him. The Assembly is trying to buck the governor, limiting the increase to 50. Frankly, zero is a rounder number. Unfortunately, the steamroller governor has so intimidated the Assembly that it is not clear how resolute it will be on behalf of what I strongly believe to be the majority of upstate New Yorkers who don't want more charters. The tyranny of a powerful minority is propelling charter schools over the will of the majority in this state, and trying to keep the table tilted in favor of imposing charter schools in districts that may not want them. That's indefensible, but they're getting away with it because the governor is aiding and abetting. The reform governor, remember? This is not giving government back to the people, as he promised."
Ohio teachers union sues state over charter school program
Saturday March 24 2007, 9:10 AM
AP reports, "The state's largest teachers union sued the state over its charter school program on Friday, saying it lacks proper oversight and takes needed money from traditional public schools. The Ohio Education Association listed the Ohio Department of Education, the State Board of Education and Susan Zelman, the state superintendent of public instruction, as defendants."
Utah heats up long-simmering school-voucher debate, Governor has signed into law the first 'universal' voucher program in the US
Thursday March 22 2007, 9:49 AM
Christian Science Monitor reports, "The idea of vouchers dates back to the 1950s, when economist Milton Friedman suggested it would promote competition and improve schools. Proponents also argue that families should be able to apply some tax dollars to whatever school they choose. Opponents insist that public money should be used only for public schools, rather than to subsidize private and religious institutions. The Reagan administration pushed for vouchers, as did the current Bush administration in the initial education-reform proposals leading up to the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB), which is now five years old and up for reauthorization. But so far, voucher programs have persisted only in about half a dozen states and districts; most are offered to students in low-income families, low-performing schools, or special-education programs."
Charter school cost aid sought
Thursday March 22 2007, 8:28 AM
Times Union reports, "Spitzer, a charter supporter who has proposed increasing the number of such schools allowed in New York, is the first governor to provide transitional aid. Alliance for Quality Education Executive Director Billy Easton called the $15 million a "good first step," but not nearly enough. 'The problem with the mathematics is that it's not enough money,' Easton said. Easton said his group would like to see Spitzer's figure triple. He said the Senate majority proposed adding $7 million worth of transition aid in its one-house budget, but didn't direct it to high-need districts."
Charter school group announces expansion
Wednesday March 21 2007, 8:52 AM
AP reports, "A national nonprofit charter school organization once featured on Oprah Winfrey's talk show said Tuesday it had raised $65 million toward a $100 million goal to greatly expand its presence in the Houston area. Starting this summer, officials with the nonprofit Knowledge is Power Program Foundation said the money will be used to expand the Houston chain from eight schools and 1,700 students to 42 charter schools with 21,000 students over the next decade."
Save these students
Tuesday March 20 2007, 8:17 AM
NY Daily News columnist Bill Hammond writes, "What is it about charter schools that makes people in Albany so nuts? These privately managed public schools are working miracles in the inner cities of New York, delivering superior education to poor kids at lower cost than many regular public schools. A sane state government would let a thousand charters bloom. Yet Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and his majority Democrats - who claim to represent the downtrodden - are trying to squash the movement."
NCLB: Don't scrap it; just fix it
Monday March 19 2007, 10:43 AM
Tallahassee Democrat contributor Sally Butzin, president and executive director of the Institute for School Innovation opines, "It's not too late to return to the original intent of NCLB and fine-tune it. It would be a shame to return to the old days of low expectations and one-size-fits-all teaching. But NCLB as currently being administered and implemented must be fixed before all our creative teachers leave in disgust, and more children drop out of the system altogether. Public education is at a crossroads. I hope our leaders will have the wisdom to keep the good in NCLB, fix the bad, and throw out the ugly."
Union does disservice to Roosevelt
Monday March 19 2007, 10:24 AM
Newsday Ray J. Keating opines, "Government's failure in terms of educating our children is on sad display in Roosevelt. Lots of hard-earned taxpayer dollars have been wasted. But far worse, so many individuals have failed to reach their full potential due to a lousy education. Why can't we have a school choice plan like Utah's in New York? And why not start in districts like Roosevelt so parents can give their kids a chance by liberating them from failing schools? There is no reason we cannot, except for politicians who cower before the education unions. Our elected officials should be ashamed."
School choice would help fix No Child law
Monday March 19 2007, 10:13 AM
News-Leader contributor Cal Thomas opines, "A serious school choice program, not more money to subsidize underachievement, is one answer to poor performance. Competition improves everyone's product and service. It's working in those states and localities that have managed to nominally free themselves from the teachers unions, which seek to maintain the education monopoly for political influence. Paying bonuses to the best teachers is another good idea. There is another point no one in government will address. It is that not all children are equally intelligent."
What Albany owes N.Y.C.
Monday March 19 2007, 9:15 AM
NY Daily News opines, "School mandates - Spitzer would give Mayor Bloomberg the flexibility to use the extra school aid as he thinks best. But Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver tied it with strings sought by United Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten. These include a requirement to cut class sizes, which may or may not be the best use of dollars but would surely boost the number of teachers. Drop the mandates."
Walcott's cardinal sin
Thursday March 15 2007, 7:54 AM
NY Daily News opines on school choice, "Rather than applauding the proven success of city Catholic schools, pointing out that the mayor is a huge proponent of school choice and perhaps alerting Egan that the city's graduation rate has risen to 58%, Walcott fell back on the canards of apologists for the status quo. Those boil down to arguing that Catholic schools aren't necessarily better schools, they just have better students. Which is fried and reheated baloney. Want proof? A study out of the University of Chicago found that inner-city blacks who attended Catholic schools are 248% more likely to graduate from college than those who went to public schools. That's proof."
VOTE HERE -- Should there be a tax break for Catholic and private school parents?
Wednesday March 14 2007, 9:11 AM
NY1 POLL: Should there be a tax break for Catholic and private school parents? VOTE HERE!
'No Child' education act under review
Wednesday March 14 2007, 8:58 AM
Washington Times reports, "Mr. Hoekstra and other Republicans plan to introduce a bill later this week that would free states and schools from some of the law's federal regulations. And the House Education and Labor Committee's top Republican, Howard P. 'Buck' McKeon of California, introduced a bill yesterday that would give parents money to place their child in a private school, if their public school is given a failing grade for five consecutive years. Mr. McKeon conceded it probably won't go anywhere because of strong opposition from Democrats and groups such as the NEA, but said he still intends to fight for it -- arguing that it is critical to improving education."
Egan's Eliot edict
Wednesday March 14 2007, 8:29 AM
NY Daily News reports, "Despite Egan's support, Spitzer's tax credit plan is opposed by Assembly Democrats, who get campaign donations from teachers unions. The New York State United Teachers launched a $125,000 advertising campaign against the tax credits, saying the state must instead make public schools the priority. A spokesman for Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver said the Assembly will reject Spitzer's tax credit plan because 'we thought that all families with children deserve a break,' not just those who can afford to send their kids to tuition-charging schools. Silver wants to allow more families to benefit from the Empire State Child Tax Credit - a $330 annual tax credit for parents with children ages 4 to 17. Under Silver's plan, the credit would be expanded to parents with kids younger than 4. 'More children would be covered,' said Silver spokesman Charles Carrier. 'Our budget responds to the needs of all young families with children, which we think is important.'"
Putting schools in play
Wednesday March 14 2007, 8:12 AM
NY Daily News Michael Goodwin writes, "While conceding he wasn't satisfied, [Chancellor] Klein said there was real progress in test scores and graduation rates, which he put at 58%, including students who get GEDs. The state puts the stripped-down figure at about 43%. The problem now, Klein said, is 'the enormous push back from the status quo people.' He cited teachers union opposition to more charter schools. Saying some had proven their worth in poor neighborhoods, he added, 'How could anyone in good conscience block them?'"
CARDINAL HITS TEACHERS FOR BLOCKING SCHOOL REBATE
Wednesday March 14 2007, 7:47 AM
NY Post KENNETH LOVETT reports on the teachers union efforts to prevent a $1,000 tax deduction for families with children attending parochial schools , "'There's a good deal of power that doesn't want the people of this state to hear the truth,' Egan said during the state's Catholic Conference annual lobby day. 'Who's afraid of competition, who's afraid of comparison?' Egan asked. When asked to whom he was referring, Egan bluntly said, 'The teacher unions,' who he also accused of killing a private and parochial school tax credit proposed by then-Gov. George Pataki last year."
Cardinal Egan calls Spitzer tuition aid just `a beginning'
Tuesday March 13 2007, 7:03 PM
AP MICHAEL GORMLEY reports, "[Cardinal Egan] He said families that send children to private schools save taxpayers $7.5 billion a year because they reduce enrollment at public schools. He also said that while the state's four-year graduation rate for public high schools is 64 percent (44 percent in New York City), Catholic high schools in New York City have a "virtually 100 percent" graduation rate. He also said 98 percent of graduates in high-poverty, inner city Catholic high schools go to college. Egan singled out the public school teacher unions as the most powerful opponent of the measure."
Education: Voucher skirmish seeps into schools
Tuesday March 13 2007, 8:53 AM
The Salt Lake Tribune reports, "School voucher supporters are questioning when and if Utahns determined to put the voucher question before voters can legally gather petition signatures at public schools. But voucher critics, who include many education and PTA officials, say they are operating within the law, and defend their petitioning of supporters during recent parent-teacher conferences. 'We legally can collect signatures at schools because we don't work for the schools,' said Utah PTA President Carmen Snow, whose group is among those behind the push to get the voucher question on a ballot. They have until early next month to get 92,000 signatures to qualify for a referendum that would put vouchers up for a vote on a date to be decided by Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr."
NCES Website on State Education Reforms
Tuesday March 13 2007, 8:09 AM
This site, which draws primarily on data collected by organizations other than NCES, compiles and disseminates data on state-level education reform efforts in four areas: Standards, Assessment, and Accountability; School Finance Reforms; Resources for Learning and State Support for School Choice Options.
SILVER'S NEXT STRIKE, CHALLENGES GOV ON CHARTERS
Monday March 12 2007, 7:21 AM
NY Post Op-Ed contributor THOMAS W. CARROLL, president of the Foundation for Education Reform and Accountability writes, "Given the scale of educational failure in New York State - more than a half million students in failing schools - the speaker's unseemly effort to kill off charter schools speaks volumes about how far Gov. Spitzer still has to go before he truly changes the culture of Albany."
School Safety in Urban Charter and Traditional Public Schools
Saturday March 10 2007, 8:49 AM
Jon Christensen authored this working paper. Christensen writes, "Charter schools covered by the survey served similar proportions of elementary versus older students, had higher proportions of minority students, slightly higher proportions of students qualifying for free/reduced-price lunch, and tended to be considerably smaller, serving an average of 560 students compared to 900 in traditional public schools. However, it is not possible to say from this analysis whether differences in safety are due to school size, the students enrolled, teacher and family attitudes, or some other factors."
University of Washington’s National Charter School Research Project (NCSRP)
Saturday March 10 2007, 8:39 AM
The March Is Not Over
Saturday March 10 2007, 8:29 AM
WSJ contributor VIRGINIA WALDEN-FORD, executive director of D.C. Parents for School Choice writes, "The journey for more than 2,200 children, parents and families who have received school vouchers is just beginning. But like the previous generation of civil-rights leaders, we have not achieved our goals. Under current law, the D.C. opportunity scholarship program is scheduled to end on Dec. 31, 2008, which is the middle of school year 2008-2009. Democratic activists and politicians have promised to kill this program and, ultimately, our hopes and opportunities. Black families have overcome educational segregation before. With the help of Republicans in 1957 and 2003, we broke through the doors. Will the Democrats who now control Congress end our journey by sending us back to failing schools?"
Texas dropout rate makes the case for school choice
Saturday March 10 2007, 8:22 AM
Chron.com contributor KEN HOAGLAND, communications director for Texans for School Choice writes, "Everywhere in the nation (and around the world) where school choice exists, public schools rapidly improve. In San Antonio, where a privately funded, $50 million, 10-year program has operated, school choice has helped drive down the public school dropout rate by 25 percent and saw nine-of-10 low-income, school-choice grads (often the first in their families to ever graduate high school) go onto college. School choice helps all, because the effect of parental judgment is positive and the effect of competition is healthy."
Victory for School Choice! Arizona Court Dismisses Challenge to Corporate Tax Credit Program
Friday March 09 2007, 9:43 AM
Phoenix—Just two days after hearing oral arguments, a Maricopa County Superior Court judge today threw out a legal challenge to Arizona’s new corporate tax credit program. The Institute for Justice and its Arizona Chapter defended the program on behalf of families of modest means who are eligible for private school scholarships thanks to the program.
Marist poll finds little support for school property taxes
Friday March 09 2007, 7:18 AM
Times Herald reports, "Other highlights of the findings, which were released today: 59 percent of Ulster residents rate local education as good or excellent, compared with 72 percent in Dutchess. 20 percent overall found the best thing about their district is the teachers. 12 percent find the size of schools the worst thing about their local system. One in 10 mentioned taxes. Only 41 percent think school districts negotiate contracts well. 55 percent believe their district is controlled by a small group of people with their own agenda. Many of those polled want more money for science labs, computers, the arts and libraries. Voters supported a school budget because they thought it was fiscally sound. Voters opposed a school budget because they thought it was wasteful and irresponsible. 54 percent of voters do not think increased funding means better schools; 46 percent think it does. 61 percent think any funding alternatives should not include vouchers for private or parochial schools."
Why We Fight: How Public Schools Cause Social Conflict
Thursday March 08 2007, 2:48 PM
Neal McCluskey, policy analyst at the Center for Educational Freedom writes, "This paper reexamines the accepted story about public schooling’s role in creating unity and upholding democracy. First, it documents outbreaks over the past academic year of the most divisive kinds of public school conflicts— those pitting people’s deeply held values against each other—and makes clear that such combat is inevitable when everyone is required to pay for an official school system that only the most politically powerful control. Next, it examines the historical record of American education and finds that conflict and division have long been part of public schooling. Finally, the report identifies the true foundations of the nation’s unity and success, and explains why the only system of education that can effectively support a free society is one that is itself grounded in freedom."
Charter schools a weakness in Spitzer's plan
Wednesday March 07 2007, 8:32 AM
Times Union contributor Richard C. Iannuzzi, president of New York State United Teachers opines, "The governor's proposal to expand the number of charter schools is inconsistent with the emphasis on accountability and reform that is central to his aid proposals."
Teachers union given `F' for truth in lobbying ads
Tuesday March 06 2007, 7:47 PM
AP MICHAEL GORMLEY reports, "Spitzer also supports more charter schools _ because they are highly regulated and accountable public schools run by private enterprises. Charter schools must prove success every five years or be closed, which has happened to some already. Spitzer also proposes 'transition aid' to help traditional schools cope financially when they lose students to a charter school, taking their state aid with them. 'Some of the claims are misleading,' said Spitzer spokeswoman Christine Anderson. Nonetheless, the administration will continue to work with NYSUT to advance Spitzer's budget proposal that also calls for a $1.4 billion increase in the fiscal year beginning April 1. 'I find it kind of astonishing, their lack of gratitude, the total piggyness that they want to have it all their own way,' said Tom Carroll of the Foundation for Education Reform & Accountability, which supports charter schools."
Fixing No Child Left Behind
Tuesday March 06 2007, 8:11 AM
WSJ Review and Outlook, "President Bush's 2008 budget sets aside $250 million for 'promise scholarships' for low-income students in schools that have consistently underperformed for five years. The scholarships would average about $4,000 and "the money would follow the child to the public, charter or private school of his or her choice." Them's fightin' words for the Democrats who now control Congress. But Mr. Bush has the bully pulpit, as well as the moral authority from five years of evidence on failing schools. We hope his Administration uses them to explain why real school choice is essential to any reform in K-12 education."
Teacher union ads flunk
Tuesday March 06 2007, 7:00 AM
NY Daily News Bill Hammond writes, "Here's the truth. Spitzer wants to boost annual state aid to public schools by $7 billion, or 40%, over the next four years. That's far more than the Court of Appeals required in its ruling on the Campaign for Fiscal Equity lawsuit. It's enough cash to finance things teachers have been talking about for decades, such as smaller class sizes. Most interest groups, if confronted by a windfall that huge, would break out the champagne. Not NYSUT. After praising the governor for providing 'increased funding,' they turn around and attack him for wanting to open more charter schools and offer a minuscule tax break to private-school parents."
NYSUT taking its campaign to public
Monday March 05 2007, 8:05 AM
Times Union reports, "New York State United Teachers, the state's major teachers union, is launching today a media offensive against a proposal for private school tuition tax credits and increasing the number of charter schools allowed in the state."
Utah voucher opponents want statewide vote
Saturday March 03 2007, 7:29 AM
AP reports, "The Utah program is the first universal voucher program in America, according to the Arizona-based Alliance for School Choice, which tracks the issue. Although the amount of aid is based on family income, the Utah program is open to all. In other states, voucher programs are targeted at low-income families or students attending low-performing schools."
Selective School Choice
Friday March 02 2007, 12:29 PM
Wall Street Journal contributor Clint Bolick, president and general counsel of the Alliance for School Choice and senior fellow at the Goldwater Institute writes, "Well, school choice works. Every study that compares children who applied for school choice scholarships and received them with those who applied but did not shows improved academic performance. More important, every study that has examined the effect of school choice competition has found significantly improved performance by public schools."
New Utah law may set off charter school boom
Friday March 02 2007, 9:53 AM
The Salt Lake Tribune reports, "The new law funds 5,000 additional students in charter schools for the 2008-2009 school year, which would allow the system to expand by about seven to 10 schools, a 20 percent increase. More state charter school staff are funded through the bill to manage the booming schools, and administrative dollars per student sharply increase."
Cincinnati district withholding info out of privacy concerns
Thursday March 01 2007, 9:35 AM
AP reports, "Distributing a list of student names, addresses and phone numbers would make the information a public record open to anyone, district spokeswoman Janet Walsh said. Concerns about identity theft, sexual predators and custody issues are changing which information parents want released, Walsh said."
State education officials question funding distribution
Wednesday February 28 2007, 7:08 AM
The Journal News reports, "Some lawmakers and educators said at a budget hearing on education that they worried the new distribution formula would shortchange the 303 districts that receive only 3 percent increases. Education budgets may rise by 7 percent a year, so four years at 3 percent annually would place a heavier burden on local taxpayers to fund education, said Senate Education Committee Chairman Stephen Saland, R-Poughkeepsie, who noted that most school systems in his district would get 3 percent increases. 'If we're talking about fairness, I think there has to be changes (in the formula),' he said."
Catholics fight for their schools
Tuesday February 27 2007, 7:54 AM
Chicago Tribune reports, "With Catholic school enrollment continuing to plummet in Illinois, Cardinal Francis George and other church leaders met Monday to discuss everything from improved marketing to additional state aid to rejuvenate a once-thriving parochial education system. The summit, involving about 300 Catholic school administrators as well as bishops and priests from across the state, was the first of its kind. And although trends continue to look gloomy--enrollment statewide has dropped to 170,000 from about 215,000 a decade ago--leaders kept the mood upbeat."
School bond projects pose a moral and financial choice
Monday February 26 2007, 8:04 AM
Times Herald contributor Roger Ramjug, Newburgh resident and director of facilities for the Marlboro School District opines, "First and foremost, however, is the responsibility to provide a safe environment for children to learn. Both teachers and principals alike will attest to the most disruptive element as being inadequate facilities. It is extremely difficult to keep children focused on academics amidst leaking roofs and pipes, crumbling walls, insufficient heating and ventilation, not to mention inadequate lighting."
Choice would take the fighting out of schooling our kids
Sunday February 25 2007, 9:45 AM
Arizona Republic contributor Neal McCluskey , education policy analyst at the Cato Institute's Center for Educational Freedom writes, "Readers of The Arizona Republic this year have witnessed writers, including Arizona's superintendent of public instruction, lobbing charges of racism at each other in an education battle royale. Many have no doubt found the fight troubling and will likely find it even more upsetting to learn that these conflicts are inevitable in any school system for which many must pay, but only a few can control. Thankfully, though elusive, peace can be attained."
Democrats Pledge: No Vouchers in NCLB
Saturday February 24 2007, 3:17 PM
Heartland Institute School Reform News Dan Lips writes, "On January 23, Bush announced plans to include expanded school choice options in NCLB, including: requiring underperforming schools to offer scholarships to low-income students, to allow them to transfer to the private or out-of-district public schools of their choice; providing federal funds for school boards to expand local school choice options for low-income families; and using federal funds to make sure schools inform parents about choice options in their communities in a timely manner."
House OKs adjustment to Utah voucher law
Saturday February 24 2007, 8:35 AM
Deseret Morning News reports, "HB174 would give the State Office of Education an additional $100,000 to run the voucher program, require teachers at schools where voucher students are enrolled to have background checks and require the state perform an audit of the program in five years."
Could School Vouchers Reduce H.S. Dropout Rate?
Saturday February 24 2007, 8:01 AM
KXAN.com reports, "One group says Texas is in an education crisis. According to School Choice, high school dropouts cost taxpayers $377 million a year."
Breakthrough in School Choice
Friday February 23 2007, 8:20 AM
Adam Schaeffer, policy analyst for the Center for Educational Freedom at the Cato Institute writes, "Utah has just approved the nation's first universal school choice program, and in New York, Eliot Spitzer has become the first Democratic governor to propose a private school choice program in his state budget. These two firsts are a major shot in the arm for education reform, and they offer a glimpse of the possibilities to come."
Teach character to cut racial gap in school results
Thursday February 22 2007, 10:47 AM
Star-Tribune Katherine Kersten writes, "Here in Minneapolis, the time is right for significant school reform. The district's new superintendent and school board are flexible and open to new ideas. District authorities are engaged in what they call 'a good, constructive dialogue' with KIPP representatives."
Large Online Oregon Charter School Hits Hurdle
Thursday February 22 2007, 9:34 AM
AP reports, "A bill to get rid of the residency requirement is due Tuesday for its first public hearing."
Arizona State University charter school's opening delayed
Thursday February 22 2007, 9:28 AM
The Arizona Republic reports, "Q: What will be unique about the schools? A: Staff, teachers and leaders will be trained in the process of innovations of teaching and curriculum. They could look into achievement in math, for example, so students are ready to take algebra in eighth grade, so they may need to look at curriculum. That could be a change. You see an improvement in this area and it could be presented to other Arizona schools, and it's proven in a real-life setting."
Business tax credit for private school donations faces Arizona court challenge
Thursday February 22 2007, 8:57 AM
The Business Journal of Phoenix reports, "Teachers unions and the American Civil Liberties Union have filed a lawsuit challenging Arizona's tax breaks for businesses that donate to private schools. The state approved a tax credit program last year that allows businesses to write off donations to private school scholarship funds. A limited private school voucher program for disabled children also was approved."
The virtue of school choice
Thursday February 22 2007, 8:44 AM
The Daily Texan reports, "On the national level, we spend twice as much per student as we did 30 years ago, adjusted for inflation, and schools have only gotten worse. At the same time, private and charter schools spend less per student and squeeze out better student performance than public schools. But there is one reform that is slowly gaining momentum: school choice. School choice advocates argue it isn't money or broken homes that explain the decline. Schools have turned into government monopolies that are unresponsive to parents' needs and have little motivation to improve educational quality. More money and government regulations only create larger bureaucracies, and choke the life out of learning."
Admissions Jockeying Starts Earlier in New York
Thursday February 22 2007, 7:08 AM
NY Times DAVID M. HERSZENHORN writes, "But some educators say greater school choice primarily benefits students with savvy, motivated parents who are able to spend time figuring out the best schools to list on applications, and puts at a further disadvantage the children with little support at home. 'I think it may in the long run offer more opportunity for better education for kids who aren’t getting it,” said Norm Fruchter of the Annenberg Institute for School Reform at Brown University. “But any choice program or effort gets initially monopolized by people who have the advantages of access and information and the ability to move on what their kids need.'”
School Choice and Racial Diversity
Wednesday February 21 2007, 5:33 PM
The National Center for the Study of Privatization in Education (NCSPE) at Teachers College, Columbia University and The Civil Rights Project at Harvard University. "On May 22, 2000, The Civil Rights Project co-sponsored a roundtable discussion on school racial diversity. A major concern surrounding school choice policies is that they will lead to greater racial and socioeconomic isolation. The conference addressed the question: Under what conditions do school choice policies increase or decrease racial diversity?"
School denial angers activist
Tuesday January 16 2007, 9:51 AM
Post-Tribune reports, "A Charter School Academy of Trade and Technology pitched by a local education [Indiana] activist has failed to gain approval to open despite parent and business backing."
Proposal Unsettles D.C. Charter Schools
Tuesday January 16 2007, 9:48 AM
Washington Post reports, "Officials at some charter schools say Mayor Adrian M. Fenty's education proposal could cause them to lose touch with the public because it would place them under an appointed board."
SUNY committee predicts more charter schools
Monday January 15 2007, 7:32 AM
Legislative Gazette reports, "The State University of New York Board of Trustees Committee on Charter Schools said last Wednesday they had little doubt the cap on charter schools will be raised by Gov. Eliot Spitzer. The New York State Charter Schools Act includes a statutory cap of 100 charter schools statewide. "
Put brakes on charter schools
Sunday January 14 2007, 7:59 AM
Times Union Fred LeBrun writes, "The tension is between just raising the cap, and raising the cap with extra aid to affected districts and a measure of local control. For those of us leery of charters, the path is obvious: Let's put the brakes on charters and give the taxpayer a break in the process. "
A test for public schools: As Tech Valley High recruits students for the fall, some districts may opt not to participate
Sunday January 14 2007, 7:46 AM
Times Union opines, "As for district administrators and schools boards, they will have a harder time complaining about charter schools if they view Tech Valley High through a narrow dollars-and-cents lens. Public schools lose a student's per pupil state aid every time a student enrolls in a charter school, and there is no chance for reimbursement. By contrast, Tech Valley High represents a chance for public schools to prove they can be innovative and successful on their own. By any measure, that's an investment worth making."
School to Offer Classical Education Program to Girls
Sunday January 14 2007, 7:25 AM
NY Times reports, "The Montfort Academy, a Catholic high school for boys in Katonah, opened in 2002 with the goal of offering what it calls a classical education and, as it says on its Web site, 'Forming Men for All Seasons.' But in September, the school — which last year graduated its first full class of boys — will start a similar, but separate, program for girls. The girls’ program will start the way the boys’ did, with a ninth-grade class and adding a ninth grade each year as the other classes move up."
Schools need real support, not politics
Friday January 12 2007, 6:02 AM
Times Herald-Record opines, "Also on the Spitzer agenda are a longer school day, a longer school year, more after-school programs and a commission on public higher education. That's an ambitious list in any year. In one with intense pressure to reduce property taxes and tame the Albany monster, it could stand as not only the biggest test the new governor will have to face but also the most important."
Friday January 12 2007, 5:06 AM
NY Post columnist Ryan Sager writes, "GOV. Spitzer wants to be the 'reform' governor, taking on Albany's entrenched power brokers on behalf of the people of New York. To do so, he's going to have to stand up to the most cancerous special-interest in all of Democratic politics: the teachers unions. To Spitzer's credit, it looks like he's stepping off on the right foot - by getting ready to push for a deal to expand the number of innovative (and typically non-union) charter schools allowed in the state. But he still risks stepping right in it - by conceding too much to the unions and crushing a promising experiment by over-regulating it."
Go beyond the New York charter school cap
Tuesday January 09 2007, 6:31 AM
Rochester Democrat and Chronicle opines, "The answer is to create a separate funding stream so charters are supported adequately but not as offshoots of the district. That mingling has created problems that need not persist. And if the funding tension goes away, so might district antipathy to charters. [Gov] Spitzer should also endorse tougher state oversight of charters."
From the Desk of Jean C. Stevens, Interim Deputy Commissioner
Monday January 08 2007, 9:07 AM
New York State Education Department (NYSED) Public Announcement of District/School Data: During the week of January 8, the Department will release to the media and the public a list of public schools and districts in improvement status for the 2006-07 school year and the percentage of core courses taught by teachers who were highly qualified in 2005-06 in each public school district and charter school. Providers of NCLB Supplemental Educational Services: The next application period to become a New York State-approved supplemental educational services provider begins January 19, 2007. On behalf of the Board of Regents, the Department notifies districts of location, public schools, and nonpublic schools in the same geographic area of any actions that the Board of Regents has taken related to charter schools as well as the receipt of any new proposed charter applications, proposed renewal applications, or proposed revisions. The notified districts of location, public schools, and nonpublic schools are encouraged to comment on the proposed action and solicit comments from the community through a public hearing on the proposed action. (Read more announcements here)
Grading Spitzer's new school ideas
Sunday January 07 2007, 7:47 AM
Times Herald-Record reports, "It's time for a new start for schools and students, Gov. Eliot Spitzer said last week. The changes include: More money — but more accountability and better results come with the bucks. Proven programs — smaller class sizes, a longer school day and longer school year, more after-school programs and improved teacher quality, especially in the neediest schools. Pre-kindergarten programs for all 4-year-olds in the state. More charter schools. A Commission on Public Higher Education to recommend improvements in the higher ed system. Here is some reaction:"
Charter school idea gains traction in New York
Saturday January 06 2007, 2:19 PM
Rochester Democrat and Chronicle reports, "Gov. Eliot Spitzer may have cleared the way for approval of more charter schools by proposing to compensate school districts for potential financial losses, lawmakers said Friday. The Democrat said he wants to increase the number of publicly financed but privately run charter schools. But he said the state should cover school districts that lose students to charters so they don't lose the state aid that goes with them."
Mixed reaction from educators on Spitzer’s school reforms
Friday January 05 2007, 11:46 PM
Legislative Gazette reports, "The plan to reform education in New York outlined by Gov. Eliot Spitzer during his State of the State address Wednesday afternoon was received by parents and educators as a step in the right direction, but many disapprove of his plans to increase the number of charter schools. "
Chicago Mayor Daley issues challenge on school funding
Friday January 05 2007, 10:16 AM
"Mayor Richard Daley challenged state lawmakers Thursday to reform Illinois' education funding system to take the burden off property taxpayers and reduce inequities between rich and poor districts."
News from The School Administrators Association of New York State: State of State Offers Educational Opportunities
Thursday January 04 2007, 7:36 AM
The School Administrators Association of New York State (SAANYS) applauds Governor Elliot Spitzer's commitment to increase funding and opportunities for all of New York's schools as outlined in today's State of the State message. SAANYS supports the governor's efforts to provide universal pre-kindergarten, smaller class sizes, after school programs, and increases in school funding. SAANYS also supports Spitzer's recognition for strong school accountability measures. SAANYS does not support raising the charter school cap, as the charter school experiment has yet to produce the positive results necessary to validate such an expansion. SAANYS is encouraged by the recognition of the need for transitional aid for districts of existing charter schools.
4 Keys to Real School Reform
Thursday January 04 2007, 4:40 AM
NY Post contributor Thomas W. Carroll, president of the Foundation for Education Reform and Accountability and founder and chairman of the two Brighter Choice Charter Schools in Albany writes, "Spitzer's State of the State message underscored his commitment to 'a vibrant education system that demands accountability and rewards excellence.' He promised more funding, too, so that 'the debate will no longer be about money, but about performance.'" Excellent rhetoric, but the rubber meets the road in his first executive budget, due Feb. 1. Spitzer and his new budget director, Paul Francis, should consider some crucial reforms:"
Spitzer promises no taxes, more ‘investment’
Wednesday January 03 2007, 2:55 PM
AP reports, "Most of Spitzer's address underscored his campaign promises, including a $6 billion property tax cut over three years and billions of dollars more for schools. Wednesday's proposals include: --Longer school days and school years, after-school programs and better teachers as well as greater accountability for school spending. 'There will be no more excuses for failure,' Spitzer said. 'The debate will no longer be about money, but about performance; the goal will no longer be adequacy, but excellence; the timetable will no longer be tomorrow, but today.'"
Report Card on American Education: A State by State Analysis: 1983-1984 to 2003-2004
Tuesday January 02 2007, 7:33 AM
This American Legislative Exchange Council study ranks the educational performance of the school systems in the states, and the District of Columbia according to several criteria including National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), SAT, and ACT scores. Author Andrew T. LeFevre concludes, "As more and more parents see that they can—and should— have a choice in their child’s education, it causes more and more leaks in the dam that has been holding back real educational reform. And soon, the educational establishment will run out of fi ngers to plug those leaks and then the fl ood of educational reform and school choice will finally be free to flow all across this great nation—bringing liberation to many that have struggled far too long to escape from an educational system that has failed them all too often."
Money myth in education
Tuesday January 02 2007, 3:23 AM
Washington Times contributor Matt Warner, education task director for the American Legislative Exchange Council writes, "This month, the American Legislative Exchange Council -- the largest U.S. nonpartisan group of state legislators -- released the 2006 Report Card on American Education concluding that 'despite substantial increases in resources being spent on primary and secondary education over the past two decades -- per pupil expenditures have increased by 77.4 percent (after adjusting for inflation) -- student performance has improved only slightly.' CFE argues that Americans need to shell out billions more -- on top of the nearly $500 billion they spend now -- to reduce class sizes, spend more per pupil and raise teacher salaries. If these "reforms" were the answer, no doubt most Americans would pay the price. But in fact America's classrooms have already been shrinking over the last two decades. Today's class sizes are nearly 11 percent smaller than in 1983 -- the year the Reagan administration issued its education report titled 'A Nation at Risk,' a clarion call for serious reform in education."
Yonkers school officials promise new testing safeguards
Saturday December 30 2006, 8:04 AM
THE JOURNAL NEWS reports, "School officials are promising new testing safeguards after determining that staff members in four elementary schools erased and fixed multiple-choice answers on last year's state English exams. A six-month district investigation looked at answer sheets from more than 4,500 students in 29 elementary schools. Last week the district concluded that cheating took place at the Cedar Place School and School 21, along with two schools initially cited by the state Education Department for suspicious 'erasures.'"
Cyber schools: High costs, low scores
Wednesday December 27 2006, 2:09 PM
The York Dispatch reports, "Hoover [PA Distance Learning Charter School CEO] said that in addition to students who are looking to escape from violence at school, cybers offer a refuge to students who are pregnant, those who need to work full-time jobs and need flexibility, and those who are bullied or have learning problems. Hoover said the cyber school administrators are able to monitor the number of hours students are logging. Parents log the hours their child spends working in a textbook in order to make sure the child meets the state's criterion to be educated 180 days per school year. He said the Department of Education closely monitors the cyber schools. 'We are probably held to a higher standard than even the public schools,' he said."
South Carolina statewide charter school board gets slow start
Wednesday December 27 2006, 8:36 AM
AP reports, "Lawmakers created the board earlier this year in hopes it would make it easier to start charter schools. Charter schools also can be approved by local school boards, but some say that's harder because board members might think charter schools are in competition with traditional public schools for students and money."
"Alternative" Charter School Authorizers: Playing a Vital Role in the Charter Movement
Tuesday December 26 2006, 8:06 AM
This Progressive Policy Institute paper by Louann Bierlein Palmer assesses the quality of alternative charter authorizers including independent state-level charter boards, higher education institutions, municipal offices and nonprofit groups. Palmer determines that the best authorizers share three traits: 1. They desire their jobs as authorizers; 2. They are relatively insulated from politics; and 3. They have the ability to create the adequate infrastructure necessary to achieve high quality outcomes.
New York City Makes Charters '2nd Class' Citizens
Monday December 25 2006, 4:19 AM
NY Post David Andreatta writes, "Since the mayoral takeover of the school system, the department has had multimillion-dollar agreements with courier services to shuttle interoffice mail and deliveries between its schools to keep them from having to dip into their administrative budgets for postage. But the destinations never included the growing number of charter schools - publicly funded but independently operated schools that the department champions and lobbies hard to support."
Charter schools also closing achievement gap
Saturday December 23 2006, 8:39 AM
B. JASON BROOKS, Senior Research Associate , Foundation for Education Reform & Accountability, in a letter to the Times Union writes, "Unfortunately, it is the traditional education establishment that more often than not stands in the way of expanding and replicating such successful schools. Just look at the effort put forth this very week by the state teachers' union as a last-ditch attempt to prevent new, successful charter schools from opening anywhere in the state. While people make excuses for why an achievement gap persists and continue to stand in the way of expanding successful schools, the demand for high-quality charter school options -- schools that are closing that gap right now -- continues to grow."
Educators want to reopen 'Brown v. Board' school
Friday December 22 2006, 7:12 AM
USA TODAY reports, ""Brown's old neighborhood school, Sumner Elementary, has been shuttered for years. Two black Kansas educators want to turn it into a charter school for at-risk students, most of whom, they say, will be black or Hispanic. Their bid, which goes before the Topeka school board next month, has a certain symbolic importance: Not only would it reopen the landmark building, potentially to children of all races — it illustrates how far the discussion on race and schooling has moved since Brown."
Some kids who 'failed' skip ahead
Friday December 22 2006, 4:36 AM
NY Daily News reports, "More than half of the 1,400 city kids who were wrongly held back because of changes in statewide exams decided to advance a grade in the middle of the school year, officials said yesterday. The kids and their parents made that choice against the advice of Schools Chancellor Joel Klein, who said they would be better served by a second year in the third or fifth grades."
Charter schools 'not a panacea,' report says
Wednesday December 20 2006, 10:26 AM
Miami Herald reports, "Charter schools are filling a unique niche in the state's public school system, but their academic results don't differ much from those of traditional public schools, says a report issued Tuesday by the Florida Department of Education."
Wednesday December 20 2006, 5:28 AM
Post-Standard writes, "The needs of children must be first and foremost, which means the adults must be flexible. The Syracuse Choice program also has that flexibility. It serves a small group of at-risk middle school students, most of whom were failing and had behavior issues. It employs youth advocates who act as coaches, cheerleaders and counselors to interact with students in school and at home - even on weekends. They monitor student attendance, behavior and academics. They act as liaisons with the teachers and parents. The intense attention seems to have paid off."
Mike Bloomberg is blind to promise of school choice
Wednesday December 20 2006, 4:25 AM
Daily News contributor Andrew J. Coulson, director of the Cato Institute's Center for Educational Freedom writes, "Instead of trying to simulate market incentives, why not actually create a free education marketplace? With a simple program of need-based financial assistance - such as the education tax credits supported by both New York's outgoing governor and its governor-elect - families could all be assured access to the schools of their choice. It's time school reformers - and big-city mayors like Bloomberg - stopped ignoring the best hope of preserving America's competitiveness in the global economy."
Ohio bill would give more kids option of vouchers
Tuesday December 19 2006, 12:21 PM
Columbus Dispatch reports, "Although the number of available voucher slots are expected to remain at 14,000 next school year, Republican lawmakers are loosening the restrictions on what type of building qualifies for the program, which provides $4,250 for students up to the eighth grade and $5,900 for high-school students to attend private school. Currently, students attending buildings that have been in 'academic watch' or 'academic emergency,' the equivalent of a D or an F, for three straight years are eligible. The bill, which passed a joint conference committee late yesterday on a partyline vote, changes that standard to two of the past three years."
Advocates See Hope for More Charter Schools Next Year
Tuesday December 19 2006, 4:58 AM
XXXI Karen DeWitt reports, "Peter Murphy, with the New York Charter Schools Association, says he's disappointed that Pataki's plan was not approved, but he has hopes for the future. 'We're going to keep fighting,' he said. Governor-Elect Eliot Spitzer supports expanding charter schools, and Murphy says he hopes something will be worked out. Assembly Speaker Silver agrees there will likely be some kind of charter school expansion in the New Year, with the new governor."
Autism fuels call for Texas school vouchers
Monday December 18 2006, 8:25 AM
Houston Chronicle reports, "School voucher plans repeatedly have died in the Texas Legislature, but the Senate Education Committee chairwoman is eying a whittled-down school-choice option that might be harder for lawmakers to resist. Sen. Florence Shapiro, R-Plano, plans to push legislation that would allow parents of autistic children to choose the best schools for their children. 'They have a very difficult time in a regular setting in a classroom,' said Shapiro, who long has supported vouchers. 'I would like to see a choice program. ... It's what I think we should do for children with autism.' The number of Texas children diagnosed with various degrees of autism has nearly doubled over the past five years, increasing from 8,972 students to 17,282 in the 2005-06 school year, according to the Texas Education Agency. Autism is a complex developmental disability"
More higher ed 'accountability' could mean more Perry vetoes
Monday December 18 2006, 7:32 AM
San Antonio Express reports, "Perry [Texas Gov.] spokesman Robert Black said the governor will offer a number of other higher education initiatives, maybe even 'incentive funding' for universities or an 'exit test' for some university graduates as a means of measuring the quality of their educations. Details will come later, he said. Black said Perry also will support efforts to repeal or restrict the top 10 percent law, which guarantees the highest-ranked high school graduates admission to the state university of their choice but is excluding thousands of other qualified students from the University of Texas at Austin."
Despite ban, 3 Rhode Island charter schools proposed
Sunday December 17 2006, 4:33 PM
AP reports, "Three more public charter schools, including an Internet-based elementary school, have been proposed for Rhode Island, despite a moratorium on opening any such schools for another two years, education officials said."
Exam has changed how Florida teachers teach
Sunday December 17 2006, 8:37 AM
Miami Herald reports, "The [Gov. Bush] governor gives a one-word response to account for the improvements: `'scrutiny.'' Except in one place: Private schools that take tax money to educate public school students. The voucher schools get the public money but face no punishments for FCAT scores, an exemption born of Bush's free-market privatizing philosophy as well as political necessity."
School district rallies for change
Wednesday December 13 2006, 9:53 AM
Times Union reports, "Officials from the [Albany] City School District, its PTA and teachers union rallied at the state Capitol Tuesday to urge state lawmakers to set a moratorium on new charter schools in the district."
Massachusetts education group fields concerns
Wednesday December 13 2006, 9:43 AM
The Republican reports, "Calls for a statewide prekindergarten program, to eliminate spending caps for charter schools, increase support of private-public education collaboratives and reinstate education budget cuts were among suggestions raised at a [Massachusetts] gubernatorial transition team meeting yesterday."
Baltimore school board approves creation of 6 charter schools
Wednesday December 13 2006, 8:28 AM
Baltimore Sun reports, "The new charters will be preparing to open amid an environment of uncertainty about how they will be funded. The city school board is appealing a ruling by the state Court of Appeals that school systems must give their charter schools the same funding as other schools. The city spends the equivalent of about $11,000 per child in its regular public schools. Charter schools receive $5,859 per child in cash and the rest in services that the school system provides, such as special education and food. Many of the schools want the $11,000 in cash."
Georgia bill would pay for disabled students' private school
Tuesday December 12 2006, 1:34 PM
AP reports, "The top Republican in the [Georgia] state Senate on Monday introduced a bill that would require the state to pay for disabled students to attend any public or private school they choose."
New U.S. Department of Education Guide Showcases Charter High Schools Closing Achievement Gaps
Tuesday December 12 2006, 9:29 AM
The U.S. Department of Education has released a new publication that highlights eight charter high schools that are using innovative methods to help close the achievement gap between low-income, minority, and special need students and their peers.
Charter High Schools Closing the Achievement Gap
Tuesday December 12 2006, 9:01 AM
Prepared by WestEd for the U.S. Department of Education Office of Innovation and Improvement. Study concludes, "Closing the achievement gaps that separate the academic performance of various subgroups of students is a central goal of current education reform efforts nationwide. Hard-earned progress has been made at the elementary school level, but high school students are not progressing nearly as well. Indeed, it is at this level that performance gains in general have been most elusive and chronic student achievement disparities among significant subgroups seem most intransigent. Yet success is not beyond reach. This guide profiles eight charter secondary schools that are making headway in meeting the achievement challenge. They are introduced here so their practices can inspire and inform other school communities striving to ensure that all of their students, regardless of their race, ZIP code, learning differences, or home language, are successful learners capable of meeting high academic standards." U.S. Department of Education, Office of Innovation and Improvement, Charter High Schools: Closing the Achievement Gap, Washington, D.C., 2006.
Tuesday December 12 2006, 5:11 AM
NY Post Op-Ed contributor Peter Murphy, director of policy for the New York Charter Schools Association writes, "Why is NYSUT so eager to squash the expansion of charters, even to the point of embarrassing itself with this political 'hit' masquerading as a study? Because it can't abide more competition from successful, accountable charter schools that work with less money but are free from union mandates like tenure and dictionary-length labor contracts. Thus the union has used all its political muscle to stack the deck against reform, ever since public charter schools were first proposed in New York in the mid '90s. It's shameful to see this powerful statewide organization denigrate the achievements of so many children, teachers and administrators in New York's charter schools. State legislators, who often portray themselves as standing up for the proverbial 'little guy,' should see NYSUT's bullying tactics for what they are - and do the right thing this week by allowing for more public charter schools."
Most Expensive Private High Schools
Monday December 11 2006, 10:39 AM
Forbes.com reports, "But despite the escalating costs, more elite schools are increasing efforts to diversify their student bodies. Financial aid budgets are on the rise, with help now extended to at least one in four students at most elite schools, allowing for a broader ethnic and socioeconomic mix than in years past. Over 21% of prep students are minorities, according to the NAIS, up from 16% ten years ago."
Vermont State Board of Education will lobby for school choice
Sunday December 10 2006, 10:17 AM
AP reports, "Education Commissioner Richard Cate says the plan will call for expanding the existing system in which the choices are available only to high school students."
Clarity needed on race in schools
Saturday December 09 2006, 6:47 PM
Cincinnati Enquirer reports, "U.S. Supreme Court justices on Monday plunged back into the divisive issue of reverse discrimination by hearing Louisville and Seattle school cases over assigning students on the basis of their skin color. The original lawsuits were brought by white parents denied their first choice of schools. The court's decision could affect hundreds of districts, including those in Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky, where many public school districts are even more racially imbalanced than in Louisville and Seattle."
New York Teachers Union down on charter schools
Saturday December 09 2006, 7:43 AM
Rochester Democrat and Chronicle reports, "Peter Murphy of the New York Charter Schools Association called the report bogus and an attempt to sabotage expansion of charters. 'They are acting like a schoolyard bully to this fledgling reform movement that's showing real success for children by coming out with an 11th-hour hit-job, pretending to be a study, that's unworthy of a high-school research class,' he said."
Broken promise: How the charter school experiment is falling short, December 2006.
Friday December 08 2006, 4:09 PM
NYSUT study concludes, "This study of charter school performance shows charter schools have fallen short of the promise and purposes described in the legislation creating charter schools. The experiment is not working and should not be expanded by increasing the cap. Changes in the law should be made to take the financial burden off school districts where charters are located by enacting transition aid; and stronger accountability measures should be put in place to make charter schools more accountable to local communities and the state. Before any increase in the number of charter schools is even considered, a limit must be placed on the percentage of public school students enrolled in charter schools in an individual school district, as well as the percentage of public school budgets diverted to charter schools. This would help ameliorate the damaging effects of over-saturation of experimental charter schools in any one district."
New York state's charter schools breaking their promise
Friday December 08 2006, 4:07 PM
NYSUT Media Release:Most charter schools are underperforming the traditional public schools in their districts, according to a report released today by New York State United Teachers. The report found that only 13 percent of charter schools had shown higher academic achievement than their public school counterparts.
Connecticut Parochial Schools Asking For Textbooks
Friday December 08 2006, 8:38 AM
Hartford Courant reports, "In Connecticut, tax dollars are not used to provide tuition assistance for parochial schools, but local boards of education are required by state law to supply nurses and provide bus services to select nonpublic schools. The textbook loan program is discretionary, but John L. Cattelan, the director of the Connecticut Federation of Catholic School Parents, is among those who believe that communities would be wise to take advantage of it."
The Charter State Option: Charting a Course Toward Federalism in Education
Wednesday December 06 2006, 5:40 PM
Dan Lips, Education Analyst, Evan Feinberg, Research Assistant in Domestic Policy Studies, and Jennifer A. Marshall, Director of Domestic Policy Studies at The Heritage Foundation conclude, "Beginning in 2007, policymakers should steer a course toward restoring state control of education by enacting a charter state option. Congress should allow all states to enter into an alternative contractual arrangement with the federal government in which they would be freed from federal program mandates while taking responsibility for results. Such federalism would create an environment in which promising state and local education strategies can flourish."
Ohio charter schools must follow attendance rules
Wednesday December 06 2006, 7:57 AM
Tribune Chronicle reports, "Ohio Department of Education officials have instructed administrators at 11 charter schools that they need to do a more honest job of reporting attendance. Public schools are required to do that, through a complex formula intended to ensure that the numbers they report are meaningful."
Mayor urging more charters
Tuesday December 05 2006, 5:14 AM
NY Daily News Joe Mahoney writes, "With state lawmakers slated to meet only once more this year, Mayor Bloomberg is pressing hard for an additional 50 charter schools."
Court Reviews Race as Factor in School Plans
Tuesday December 05 2006, 3:20 AM
NY Times reports, "By the time the Supreme Court finished hearing arguments on Monday on the student-assignment plans that two urban school systems use to maintain racial integration, the only question was how far the court would go in ruling such plans unconstitutional. There seemed little prospect that either the Louisville, Ky., or Seattle plans would survive the hostile scrutiny of the court’s new majority. In each system, students are offered a choice of schools but can be denied admission based on their race if enrolling at a particular school would upset the racial balance."
FREE US ALL FROM UNFAIR AND CORRUPT ED. SYSTEM
Sunday December 03 2006, 8:57 AM
NY Post Ryan Sager writes, "When companies have to compete, consumers win. Yet when it comes to one of the most important products any of us will ever purchase - a child's education - we treat parents (at least the nonrich) as prisoners instead of as consumers. The reason? Because a corrupt education monopoly - consisting of the teachers' unions, the principals' unions, and public-school administrators - doesn't want to have to compete."
Rural schools reach out for students and survival
Sunday December 03 2006, 8:50 AM
Times Union reports, "At Keene, the per-student cost runs about $20,000 per year, even more if one counts the debt service, Johnston said. The state average is $13,826 per student as of the 2003-04 year, the latest for which full statewide figures were available."
NEA stands against real reform to help students
Saturday December 02 2006, 9:04 AM
Chicago Sun-Times contributor David White, adjunct scholar at the Lexington Institute, a public policy research organization based in Arlington, Va. writes, "The number of high school dropouts is reaching crisis proportions. Today, nearly half of all blacks and Latinos fail to graduate. Dropouts earn about $260,000 less over the course of their lives. They're 72 percent more likely to be unemployed. Among prisoners, 80 percent don't have a high school degree. The National Education Association just issued a much-ballyhooed 12-point plan to eradicate this problem. But don't hold your breath. The misguided plan is more about shifting resources to the NEA's power base than doing what it takes to ensure that more students will finish school."
Houston charter school's figures probed
Saturday December 02 2006, 8:48 AM
Houston Chronicle reports, "The Houston Independent School District and state officials are investigating allegations that a for-profit company that runs an HISD charter school has been inflating attendance numbers to garner extra money, officials said Thursday."
Niagara Falls school enrollment continues to decline
Friday December 01 2006, 9:28 AM
Buffalo News reports, "The fall in student population using current and projected figures for the year had nothing to do with the charter school, Ingrasci said, because the charter school pupils had already been taken out of the equation when the enrollment estimates were made. Ingrasci [District Business Administrator] said a district study also shows that the school district population will dip by another 254 students next year, about 48 of them being lost when the charter school adds a fifth grade in September 2007."
Toss single-sex classrooms in the dustbin of history
Friday December 01 2006, 8:36 AM
Star-Telegram Bob Ray Sanders writes, "The relaxing of federal Title IX rules, which require equal education for boys and girls, will permit districts to develop more single-sex programs. What seems inherent in all of them is smaller schools and classes where more individual attention is given to students' needs."
Schools consider same sex classrooms
Friday December 01 2006, 7:22 AM
Capital News 9 reports, "Brighter Choice Charter School is unique, in that it's one of the few public schools in Albany that offer single sex classroom settings. And now all public schools have the option to do the same. Brighter Choice Principal Melissa Jarvis-Cedno said, 'Its essential that parents have options that have not been traditionally afforded to them. If you look in the Capital Region, we have so many single sex schools, but they're for people who can afford that. So its crucial that public education allows parents to have equal opportunities for the children to enjoy single sex education.'"
Parents claim Newark district violates federal school law
Thursday November 30 2006, 1:05 PM
AP Jeffrey Gold reports, "Parents of Newark public school students are asking a federal judge to force New Jersey's largest school district to comply with a law aimed at offering children educational help, including the chance to switch schools. Under the No Child Left Behind law, children in failing schools are entitled to free tutoring and the right to transfer to other schools, but Newark has denied those rights, the parents charged in a lawsuit announced Thursday. The lawsuit asserted that more than 30,000 of the district's 43,000 students are in failing schools."
Education Leaders Speak on Schools
Wednesday November 29 2006, 8:32 AM
Columbia Spectator reports, "Klein [New York City schools chancellor] focused on charter schools that have been successful in bringing students who were behind up to grade level, describing as politically driven the state-wide charter school cap that prevents New York City from opening any more charter schools. 'I'm a big fan of charter schools,' he said. "They are built on accountability." He also stressed the importance of good teachers over small class size, citing his own experience at Columbia as an example. 'There were people here at Columbia who were wasting my time,' he said. 'One of the reasons those classes were so small is because everyone else had realized that those teachers were a waste of time.'"
A Slide Toward Segregation
Wednesday November 29 2006, 8:14 AM
Washington Post Ruth Marcus writes, "A half-century after Brown v. Board of Education, it's come, amazingly, to this: The Supreme Court, in the name of preventing race discrimination, is being asked to stop local schools from voluntarily adopting plans to promote integration."
Catholic schools fight for survival under rising costs
Wednesday November 29 2006, 8:00 AM
The Corning Leader reports, "It's no secret the cost of primary and secondary education is rising. Unlike public school districts, however, Catholic schools can't rely on state aid or property taxes to cover the increases."
So Many Schools, So Few Options:How Mayor Bloomberg’s Small High School Reforms Deny Full Access to English Language Learners
Wednesday November 29 2006, 7:08 AM
Key findings: ELLs Are Not Given Full and Equitable Access to All Small High Schools, Parents of ELLs and Students Reported Barriers in the High School Admissions and Enrollment Process, The Small School Policy for ELLs Appears to be Forcing ELLs to Remain in Large High Schools that Do Not Have Services to Meet Their Needs , Small Schools are Not Being Created in Queens, in which the Largest Number of ELLs Reside. A joint report by: The New York Immigration Coalition & Advocates for Children of New York In collaboration with: Chhaya Community Development Corporation Chinese Progressive Association Chinese-American Planning Council Council of Peoples Organization Haitian Americans United for Progress Make the Road by Walking Metropolitan Russian American Parents Association November 2006.
No Need To 'Charter' A New Course
Tuesday November 28 2006, 10:33 AM
The Evening News (Pennsylvania) contributor Dr. Tim Daniels, executive director of the PA Coalition of Charter Schools, lifetime educator and former head of the Office of Educational Initiatives for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania writes, "The American Federation of Teachers called for a "moratorium" on the opening of additional Philadelphia charter public schools. This is the same interest group that opposed charter school legislation back in 1997 when Act 22 of 1997 was passed by an overwhelming bipartisan majority of the Pennsylvania General Assembly. Implying there are enough charter schools now, the AFT says the district's charters already offer 'a tremendous amount of choice for the citizens of Philadelphia.' What about the 20,000 students on waiting lists?"
Trends in the Use of School Choice: 1993 to 2003
Tuesday November 28 2006, 10:27 AM
"This NCES report uses data from the National Household Surveys Program (NHES) to present trends that focus on the use of and users of public schools (assigned and chosen), private schools (church- and non church-related), and homeschoolers between 1993 and 2003. The percentage of students enrolled in their assigned public school decreased from 80 percent to 74 percent between 1993 and 2003, while this decrease was nearly offset by an increase in chosen public school enrollment from 11 to 15 percent between 1993 and 2003. During this same time period, enrollment in church-related private schools remained stable at 8 percent and enrollment in non church-related private schools increased from 1.6 to 2.4 percent. This report also presents data on parental perceptions of public school choice availability and associations between the public and private school types children were enrolled in and parental satisfaction with and involvement in the schools. About one-half of all students have parents who reported that public school choice was available in their community, with one-quarter of students attending assigned public schools having parents who considered enrolling them in a school other than the one they were currently attending, while 17 percent of all students and 27 percent of Black students attended a school other than their parent’s first-choice school. Generally, there were no parental involvement differences detected between students enrolled in assigned and chosen public schools. Parents of students in private schools reported more direct involvement in their children’s schools than parents of students enrolled in other types of schools."
Court Rejects Maine School Vouchers Case
Monday November 27 2006, 2:13 PM
AP reports, "In Maine, school districts in 145 small towns with no high schools offer tuition for 17,000 students to attend high schools of their choice, public or private, in-state or out-of-state. But religious schools are no longer on the list. Asking the court to take the case, a conservative group, the Institute for Justice, is representing eight Maine families who would receive public tuition funds but for the fact that their children attend religious schools. Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and President Bush's homestate of Texas weighed in, saying in filings to the Supreme Court that the state of Maine is unconstitutionally discriminating against religion."
Schools need choice, not vouchers
Sunday November 26 2006, 6:30 PM
News-Leader.com reports, "Those who believe the public schools aren't doing their job suggest vouchers will be the ultimate accountability tool. Parents who are dissatisfied can take their money and go elsewhere. The problem is, vouchers provide no accountability at all."
No Choice for You
Saturday November 25 2006, 7:55 AM
CATO Institute Adam B. Schaeffer writes, "This is the first time that the education establishment has dared to turn its fire on school choice programs that help disabled and foster-care children. That they have chosen to unleash the hounds on the most sympathetic beneficiaries of school choice is a sign of panic. School choice opponents have kept their hands off similar programs in the past, fearing backlash for throwing disabled children out of their schools. But although the sympathy factor seems to have made the difference in some past battles, such as the Ohio Supreme court decision upholding vouchers in 1999, both lawsuits will turn on the same few fine points of law."
Iowa Grade: Incomplete
Friday November 24 2006, 9:22 AM
The Quad-City Times reports, "Hoover said Iowa’s charter law makes it more difficult to monitor the schools because it does not require them to set annual goals. Also, a majority of the state’s charter schools submitted applications with vague goals. For example, every school said it would increase student achievement on state reading, math and science tests. But only a handful specified by how much. The wide range of types of charter schools also makes it difficult to set up a common way to measure their progress because their goals vary."
Count truants or lose Ohio state aid, 11 charters told
Friday November 24 2006, 9:16 AM
Columbus Dispatch reports, "The department [Ohio Department of Education] is requiring 11 charter schools in that situation to change the way they take attendance. Nine of the 11 are Internet schools, including the state’s largest, the Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow."
Educating boys, girls separately can benefit them, whole society
Friday November 24 2006, 6:14 AM
Rochester Democrat and Chronicle contributor Sister Ann Collins, president, Nazareth Schools — The Hall and The Academy writes, "Title IX regulations have always permitted school districts that receive public funds to provide public single-sex elementary and secondary schools under certain circumstances. The new regulations make it easier to offer single-sex classes, activities or schools while ensuring that students of both sexes are treated in a manner that will satisfy Title IX's nondiscrimination requirements. As an educator, I believe single-gender education has its place among the learning options we must offer all families in our community. Although the Title IX changes go into effect today, local public schools reportedly have no plans to make this option available any time soon. For now, students in the Rochester area who wish to choose single-gender education must continue to look to private schools."
Students are benefiting from single-sex classes
Thursday November 23 2006, 3:49 PM
Buffalo News contributor B. Jason Brooks , Foundation for Education Reform & Accountability writes, "Thanks to the revised federal regulations, districts now have the green light to embrace this innovative public school reform, which holds great promise."
Arizona charter school's big gift puts focus on teacher quality
Thursday November 23 2006, 10:54 AM
The Arizona Republic reports, "A charter school in Scottsdale will soon benefit from a nearly half-million dollar windfall, one that aims to boost the schools' teacher salaries to $100,000 to help retain highly skilled teachers. The private donation for the BASIS Scottsdale school is raising eyebrows among educators in the Valley, where starting teacher salaries hover at about $31,000 and administrators bemoan the ongoing struggle of attracting and holding on to top-notch teachers to bolster student achievement. Such donations are especially critical in a state that consistently ranks near the bottom in education funding when compared to other states, education advocates say."
Florida city-run charter school joins preschool program
Thursday November 23 2006, 10:48 AM
The News-Press reports, "Cape Coral's [Florida] city-run charter school system is entering the preschool business. City council granted approval Monday for the Charter School Authority to host the state-run Voluntary Prekindergarten program at Christa McAuliffe Charter Elementary."
Overview of Public Elementary and Secondary Students, Staff, Schools, School Districts, Revenues, and Expenditures: School Year 2004-05 and Fiscal Year 2004
Tuesday November 21 2006, 2:21 PM
This NCES report contains information from the 5 Common Core of Data (CCD) surveys: the 2004-05 state, local education agency, and school nonfiscal surveys for 2004-05 and the state and local education agency school finance surveys for fiscal year 2004. The report presents data about the students enrolled in public education, including the number of students by grade and the number receiving special education, migrant, or English language learner services. Some tables disaggregate the student data by racial/ethnic group or community characteristics such as rural - urban. The numbers and types of teachers, other education staff, schools, and local education agencies are also reported. Finance data include revenues by source (local, state, and federal) and total and per-pupil expenditures by function. Sable, J., and Hill, J. (2006). Overview of Public Elementary and Secondary Students, Staff, Schools, School Districts, Revenues, and Expenditures: School Year 2004–05 and Fiscal Year 2004 (NCES 2007-309). U.S. Department of Education. Washington, DC: National Center for Education Statistics.
Keep kids safe: Violence and drugs are hurting students' ability to learn
Monday November 20 2006, 7:27 AM
Rochester Democrat and Chronicle writes on City Schools Superintendent Manuel Rivera, "As the force behind the Rochester Children's Zone, Rivera is a good choice for Spitzer's transition team. This effort, modeled after the successful Harlem Children's Zone, aims to coordinate community resources to attack the societal ills that make kids want to carry guns, for example. The Children's Zone has received enthusiastic words of support from community leaders who know that cleaning up drugs, violence and family problems in Rochester will make it easier for children to succeed in school. Coming up with concrete resources has been a struggle. Rivera should impress upon Spitzer the importance of state support for programs that are successfully helping young people resist drug traffic, for example, and the associated weapons problems. Too often, programs that deal with students' lives outside the classroom fall victim to budget cuts."
Monday November 20 2006, 5:20 AM
Times Union opined on charter schools, "A more rigid process for approval of charter schools would keep the failure rate lower, though, and spare families the firsthand experiences of such schools. The state Legislature -- yes, the same one that approved charter schools eight years ago, as a condition for a pay raise, of all things -- should keep that in mind before it buckles to pressure again and raises the limit of 100 charter schools allowable in New York."
An Education Gov?
Monday November 20 2006, 4:45 AM
NY Post contributor Thomas W. Carroll, president of the Foundation for Education Reform and Accountability and chairman of the Brighter Choice Charter School for Girls and the Brighter Choice Charter School for Boys, the top elementary public schools in Albany writes, "To start with, we need to get over the artificial distinction between public and private schools. As Rev. Floyd Flake is fond of saying, we should focus on educating the public, not public education. With literally hundreds of thousands of students now attending schools that the state Education Department designates as failing, the territorial and exclusive focus of some on public district schools is misguided. Our focus should be creating more good schools and fewer bad schools, regardless of whether these happen to be organized as private, religious, public charter or standard district schools."
Tax credits for private school tuition? No
Sunday November 19 2006, 7:10 PM
NY Daily News contributor Randi Weingarten, president of the United Federation of Teachers writes, "Our children need and deserve smaller classes where teachers can give them more individual attention. They need and deserve schools that are safe, and they need and deserve teachers who are highly qualified. But we must not forget that our obligation is to help all children - not just a few."
Tax credits for private school tuition? Yes
Sunday November 19 2006, 7:04 PM
NY Daily News contributor CATHERINE HICKEY, superintendent of Catholic schools of the Catholic Archdiocese of New York writes, "For hundreds of thousands of poor and working-class parents, public school is the only economic option. A real tax credit is a reasonable way to ensure that each and every child can obtain a good education in the school of his or her parents' choice."
Vouchers supporter expects to prevail
Friday November 17 2006, 3:59 PM
Arizona Daily Star reports, "Tim Keller, executive director of the Arizona chapter of the Institute for Justice, acknowledged that the state constitution bars the use of public funds 'in aid of … any private or sectarian school.' And a separate section specifically says 'no public money or property shall be appropriated for or applied to any religious worship, exercise, or instruction.' But Keller said these vouchers — called grants and scholarships by the Legislature — don't run afoul of the provisions."
New York State Assembly looks to improve education
Friday November 17 2006, 6:59 AM
Capital News 9 reports, "Mills [Commissioner] said the most recent data shows achievement in public schools is improving, but there's still work to be done, especially because one third of students don't graduate high school on time. He also said learning at the middle school level is lagging, which indicates why half of 8th graders don't meet reading and writing standards."
NCLB Achieves Its Top Goal—Accountability
Wednesday November 15 2006, 4:52 AM
This op-ed excerpt by Secretary Spellings appeared in the Wisconsin State Journal on November 14, 2006, "Accountability is NCLB's first pillar of reform. The law represents the latest renewal of the 1965 Elementary and Secondary Education Act, which was intended to ensure a quality education for all in exchange for increased federal funding. For 40 years, however, few paid much attention. There was no accountability for student achievement and virtually no consequences for not following the law. Today, thanks to NCLB, Wisconsin and 49 other states have accountability plans in place, holding schools responsible for improved student achievement. Every state measures student performance annually in grades 3-8 and once more in high school. And every state separates student information by student group so parents and teachers can learn who is falling behind and needs extra help. This is especially critical when it comes to reading. Reading is the key that unlocks every other subject."
Justices to weigh school diversity
Tuesday November 14 2006, 7:25 AM
USA TODAY reports, "The school districts in Louisville and Seattle are at the heart of a pair of legal disputes, now before the U.S. Supreme Court, that test whether public schools can use race as a factor in determining where students go to school. The cases, to be heard by the court Dec. 4, have drawn national attention because they could affect policies in districts across the country. The key legal question in the Louisville and Seattle lawsuits — which were filed by parents of white students who weren't allowed to attend the schools of their choice — is whether school-assignment plans that use students' race as a factor violate the Constitution's guarantee of equality."
Charter school losing support
Tuesday November 14 2006, 4:53 AM
Times Union reports, "New Covenant's [Albany charter school]situation is not unique. Two other charter schools are shrinking their enrollments this year, prompting some observers to speculate the declines could be a factor in legislative debates next year about raising the current cap of 100 charters. Such schools are publicly funded but free of many rules and regulations that apply to traditional public schools. A number of lawmakers on both sides of the aisle say the cap should be increased; however, the majority of Assembly Democrats opposed that move in the past."
For kids' sake, bill deserves a chance
Monday November 13 2006, 9:07 AM
The Times reports, "A bill called the Urban Schools Scholarship Act has been languishing in the Legislature. It would create a five-year pilot project in Trenton, Newark, Orange, Camden and Elizabeth modeled after a successful program in Pennsylvania that serves some 25,000 students. Scholarships would be awarded to 4,000 low-income children in the first year and 20,000 by the fifth year. (Advocates no longer call the grants 'vouchers,' a term they be lieve has become politically loaded.) Each family would receive up to $6,000 per child for elemen tary-school tuition or $9,000 for high school, which the admitting school would have to accept as full payment. The cost -- capped at $24 million in the first year, $120 million in the fifth -- would be covered by contributions from corporations in return for a dollar-for-dol lar tax credit from the state."
Next stop, privatization?
Sunday November 12 2006, 4:37 PM
Great Falls Tribune reports, "Some fear that a pro-business Bush administration is intent on privatizing public education. One way of doing that is through vouchers that allow parents to send their kids to private schools on the taxpayers' dime."
Study to analyze Utah charter schools
Sunday November 12 2006, 9:25 AM
The Salt Lake Tribune reports, "The Utah Education Policy Center plans to pursue a study on the effectiveness of the state's charter schools, examining whom they benefit and what their impact is on traditional public school districts. The work will follow the policy center's report released Thursday on the state's charter schools. That report, gathered for the Legislature's Executive Appropriations Committee, did not examine school quality so much as the schools' purpose and governance."
Provision of Special Education Services to Parentally Placed Nonpublic Elementary and Secondary School Students with Disabilities
Friday November 10 2006, 8:28 AM
Provision of Special Education Services for the 2007-08 school year: The public school district where the nonpublic school is located must begin to develop procedures for the evaluation and provision of special education services to students with disabilities enrolled in nonpublic schools located in their district for the 2007-08 school year in accordance with the new federal regulations. In this process, the school district must consult with nonpublic school representatives and representatives of parents of parentally placed private school students with disabilities for nonpublic schools located within the boundaries of the school district. Additional guidance will be issued upon further changes to State law.
New Life gets new students from Trinity
Thursday November 09 2006, 6:34 AM
Times Record reports, "Although New Life is located in Pennsylvania's fastest-growing county, students come from throughout the tri-state area, Whitley said. Many students live in the Port Jervis, Eldred and Minisink school districts in New York and the Montague, N.J., school district."
Educators Want to Turn Former All-White School Into Charter
Wednesday November 08 2006, 1:06 PM
AP reports, "Two educators want to locate charter schools in the former all-white school in Topeka that led to the Brown versus Board of Education case."
Forum seeks input on resolving conflicts between Pittsburgh charter, public schools
Wednesday November 08 2006, 8:07 AM
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports, "School board members have said they're frustrated with charter schools, which they believe are held to lower standards than district schools. Charter schools say school districts don't like competition. Mr. Papale [A+ Schools' executive director] said the forum, one in a series the group has held about local education issues, will explore how charter schools are created and funded and whether there's a better system for regulating them."
Charter schools can finally move forward in Ohio
Tuesday November 07 2006, 8:29 AM
The Tribune Chronicle opined, "Overall, they offer a small dose of competition from which everyone benefits — except perhaps teachers unions and their supplicants, who also have to convince charter teachers to join their organizations instead of conscripting them as a condition of employment or simply under peer pressure. Ohio’s charter program, started in 2001, now includes some 250 schools. Now it can move forward without the cloud of obstructionist litigation. It’s about time."
North Carolina charter schools want cap raised
Monday November 06 2006, 10:49 AM
News 14 Carolina reports, "A group of educators say they have the answers to a statewide overcrowding problem in schools. The state's charter schools believe the answer is to build more charter schools. The NC League of Charter Schools kicked off a campaign to do just that on Thursday morning but some don't agree and the law won't allow them to build more."
Upper Arlington schools add charters, choices
Monday November 06 2006, 8:33 AM
THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH reports, "If the Upper Arlington school district hadn’t set up charter schools, there might not be an International Baccalaureate program at Upper Arlington High School or a quirky program for a small group of students who desire a different high-school experience. Wickliffe, the district’s elementary school long known as an innovative, creative place to learn, wouldn’t have been able to work with Harvard University to try a different way of honing teachers’ skills. The money, about $580,000 in all from state and federal government grants, rolled in when Upper Arlington made its three charter schools."
New York City kids deserve more same-sex schools
Sunday November 05 2006, 7:05 AM
NY Daily News contributors Joel Klein (NYC schools chancellor) and Dennis Walcott (deputy mayor for Education and Community Development) write, "Creating good educational choices is another powerful reason for supporting single-sex schools. We believe New Yorkers should be able to select from a wide array of high-quality public schools: large high schools and small high schools, schools focused on the performing arts and schools focused on business, charter schools and traditional public schools. Single-sex schools ought to be part of that mix."
Private schools wary of vouchers
Saturday November 04 2006, 1:43 PM
The Greenville news reports, "McCreary [director of research, evaluation, accountability and testing for Greenville County school district] says the simple fact that parents have chosen to pay for private school education is a statistically significant indicator of academic achievement. 'If you have the means to afford a private education, then normally things at home are different than they are with some public school students,' he said. 'When parents choose, they're usually more involved in their children's education,' he said. 'There's more reading, more books, more opportunities for learning at home.' There's no reason why people of disadvantaged backgrounds shouldn't be able to avail themselves of the opportunity to choose, however, said Thomas Simuel, president and CEO of the South Carolina Center for Grassroots and Community Alternatives, a school-choice group focusing on low-income black communities. 'I totally disagree with the assessment that vouchers would rob public schools,' Simuel said. 'I think public schools are already robbing from too many children who aren't cutting it in the public education system.' His group is holding 'town meetings' across the state to encourage parents in black communities to seek school choices, whether with publicly funded magnet or charter schools, or in home schools or virtual schools, or religious and secular private schools."
Albuquerque Public Schools OK military charter school
Thursday November 02 2006, 5:50 PM
The Albuquerque Tribune reports, "Year-round opportunities include sailing, survival training, marksmanship, military police, honor guard, music, pilot's license, air ground crew, scuba certification, culinary arts, seamanship on board Navy, Coast Guard and Merchant Marine ships and exchange programs with cadets from England, Germany and Japan."
Got m.i.l.k.? Oakland charter school takes part in safety plan
Wednesday November 01 2006, 7:21 AM
Inside Bay Area reports, "In the first local event of its kind, the children's pictures, fingerprints and other identifying data will be saved on a computer disc and sent to their families, along with software that will allow them to update the information. If a child is lost or missing, caregivers will be able to send their photos and other data instantly to the authorities, who can post it publicly."
Keep public parks public
Sunday October 29 2006, 6:18 AM
NY Daily News columnist Juan Gonzalez writes, "Under the proposed deal, the city would supply money from its capital budget to renovate and increase the number of ballfields on Randalls Island from 30 to 68. The private schools would get near-exclusive use of 80% of those fields and, in turn, pay $2.85 million annually - an average of $142,000 each school per year - to finance the park renovations and part of the maintenance. The 20 schools, in effect, would be leasing for peanuts the city's biggest complex of public ballfields in a no-bid contract. A Daily News review of state financial records filed by 18 of the prep schools shows they have combined assets of nearly $900million."
FURY OF BOOTED NEW YORK CITY SCHOOL PARENTS
Saturday October 28 2006, 8:16 AM
NY Post David Andreatta writes, "Parents claimed the principal, Olga Livanis, has cut student counseling sessions, single-sex math and science classes and sports programs; failed to supply students with a crossing guard and a nurse; and ignored their complaints. Some suggested Livanis, whose predecessor stood with parents in their loud public fight against the charter school, had a mandate to quash parent involvement."
Ohio Supreme Court again does disservice to public education
Thursday October 26 2006, 10:32 AM
The Morning Journal opined, "The Supreme Court's first disservice came when the court failed to enforce its DeRolph ruling that ordered state officials to replace Ohio's system of funding public education. The current system, the court ruled, was unconstitutional because its over-reliance on local property taxes put less-wealthy school districts at a disadvantage. Now, the charter school ruling preserves a fast-growing drain of taxpayer dollars away from public school systems."
Ohio Court OKs Charter Schools
Wednesday October 25 2006, 4:08 PM
AP reports, "The Ohio Supreme Court ruled Wednesday in a narrowly divided opinion that publicly funded, privately operated charters schools are constitutional. The 4-3 decision was a blow to a coalition of citizen groups, teachers' unions, education associations and school boards led by the Ohio PTA. The court upheld the state Legislature's ability to create and to give money to common institutions of learning, even if they are not all the same."
Pittsburgh city district putting heat on charter school students
Wednesday October 25 2006, 7:09 AM
Post-Gazette reports, "The Pittsburgh Public Schools yesterday sent a letter to Pittsburgh's district judges, asking for their help in enforcing compulsory attendance laws involving students at the Career Connections Charter Middle School."
Federal Rules Back Single-Sex Public Education
Wednesday October 25 2006, 3:16 AM
NY Times DIANA JEAN SCHEMO writes, "To open schools exclusively for boys or girls, a district has until now had to show a 'compelling reason,' for example, that it was acting to remedy past discrimination. But a new attitude began to take hold with the passage of the No Child Left Behind law in 2002 when women senators from both parties came out in support of same-sex education and asked the Education Department to draft guidelines to permit their growth. The new rules, first proposed by the Education Department in 2004, are designed to bring Title IX into conformity with a section of the No Child Left Behind law that called on the department to promote single-sex schools."
Maintenance Required: Charter Schooling in Michigan
Tuesday October 24 2006, 12:22 PM
By Sara Mead. Education Sector Reports: Charter School Series. "This report examines both the achievements and shortfalls of Michigan's experiment in charter schooling. It reviews Michigan's charter school legislation and the evolution of charter schools in the state. It describes the state's charter school sector today and evaluates the performance of the state's 230 schools. It explores the problems of quality and other challenges facing Michigan's charter schools, and it offers recommendations for improvement." Education Sector, 1201 Connecticut Ave., NW, Suite 850, Washington, DC 20036.
The Fordham Report 2006: NEW YORK STATE
Tuesday October 24 2006, 8:05 AM
Thoman B. Fordham Institute report writes, "New York's current state academic standards are solid, and nearly one-quarter of high school students passed at least one Advanced Placement exam, leaving the Empire State second to none in this category. The state is also working diligently to grow the number of minorities taking Advanced Placement exams. Between 1992 and 2003, for example, the number of African-Americans and Hispanics taking the test doubled. Charter school policy is not doing as well. Charter schools have proven wildly popular in New York since 1998, when Governor George Pataki's charter school proposal became law-when it turned out that legislators wanted a pay raise for themselves more than they wanted to follow the teachers union's bidding."
The Fordham Report 2006: How Well Are States Educating Our Neediest Children?
Tuesday October 24 2006, 7:51 AM
The Thomas B. Fordham writes, "The Fordham Report 2006: How Well Are States Educating Our Neediest Children? appraises each state according to thirty indicators across three major categories: student achievement for low-income, African-American, and Hispanic students; achievement trends for these same groups over the last 10-15 years; and the state's track record in implementing bold education reforms. In this, the inaugural edition, just six states can claim even moderate success over the past 15 years at boosting the percentage of their poor or minority students who are proficient in reading, math or science. The study also finds that California, Delaware, Florida, Louisiana, New York, and Texas are national leaders in education reform--leading the nation with a dedication to solid standards, tough accountability, and greater school choice can yield better classroom results." READ THE REPORT BY CLICKING ON THIS LINK.
Public vs. Private: What's Better?
Tuesday October 24 2006, 7:39 AM
Post-Standard reports, "'Education is the only realm where choices are pretty much tied to where one lives, but schools both public and private are very individual and there are wide variations,' said Margarita Mayo, an education policy specialist for the Business Council of New York State. 'The reasons for their choices are numerous and complicated.'"
Charter Schools against the Odds: An Assessment of the Koret Task Force on K–12 Education
Monday October 23 2006, 4:44 PM
By Paul Hill, research professor in the Daniel J. Evans School of Public Affairs and director of the Center on Reinventing Public Education, both at the University of Washington.Contrib tors: John E. Chubb, Chester E. Finn Jr., Paul T. Hill, Caroline M. Hoxby, Eric Osberg, Paul E. Peterson, Brad Smith, Nat Torinus The Hoover Institution writes, "The expert contributors to this volume tell how state laws and policies have stacked the deck against charter schools by limiting the number of charter schools allowed in a state, forbidding for-profit firms from holding charters, forcing them to pay rent out of operating funds, and other ways. They explain how these policies can be amended to level the playing field and give charter schools—and the children they serve—a fairer chance to succeed." Full-text PDF versions of each chapter can be accessed by clicking on the desired chapter title.
Charter School Supporters Respond to Falling Scores
Friday October 20 2006, 3:39 PM
by Larry Abramson. NPR: Morning Edition, October 20, 2006 · "With test scores falling behind in some states, charter school supporters are calling for greater scrutiny."
Cornered on bus stops
Monday October 16 2006, 4:47 AM
Newsday reports, "More than half of the 5,921 [Lawrence] students who ride the buses attend private schools, said district Superintendent John T. Fitzsimons. State law mandates that districts provide transportation to all students, as long as their schools are within 15 miles from the student's home. But in a revelation that has roiled the already divided district, it turns out that for years, in violation of district policy, some 300 stops were in front of homes of private school students and that some parents were bribing drivers with gifts and cash. All the while, most public school kids have had to walk to corner stops."
Giving Gallaudet a Bad Name
Friday October 13 2006, 3:59 AM
Washington Post opined, "UNHAPPY WITH Gallaudet University's choice of a new president, students continued their blockade of the campus yesterday. Hundreds of students were being denied their college education. Elementary and high school students also were locked out of their Kendall Green schools, which share the campus. Every lost day of school for them is significant."
Charters Charting Course to Success
Thursday October 12 2006, 5:19 AM
NY Post David Andreatta reports, "While charter students in each of the grades outperformed their counterparts in public schools, they did not always outpace them in terms of gains over the previous year. State education officials warned against drawing comparisons to previous years, noting that the tests were new and claiming they were more difficult."
District Charter Schools May Become Majority in 8 Years
Tuesday October 10 2006, 8:21 AM
Epoch Times reports, "DC's charter schools and DCPS are serving similar and comparable populations of students. The students in charter schools in the District are 98% students of color (DCPS: 95%) and nearly three-fourths (74%) are low-income (DCPS: 61%). 90% of the students in charter schools are black compared to 84% in the DCPS."
School Voucher Program Shaking Up Cincinnati Schools
Sunday October 08 2006, 10:05 PM
AP reports, "In Cincinnati, 830 students are participating in the voucher program. Those children are dealing with new settings, new peers and new demands. Some students are taking religion class for the first time."
Mall might house Washington state high school
Sunday October 08 2006, 9:24 AM
The News Tribune reports, "The Tacoma, Bethel and Franklin Pierce school districts are partnering with the mall and a community group to open an alternative high school program at the shopping center, according to representatives from the districts and the group."
FOR THE CHILDREN
Sunday October 08 2006, 8:59 AM
NY Post opined, "Klein [New York City schools chancellor] is to be applauded for looking to breathe fresh air into a stale system. For years, he's been hoping to shake up school management through such promising ideas as charter schools - only to be stymied by the educrats and their puppets in Albany. Clearly, he's not giving up."
New agenda for Texas education
Sunday October 08 2006, 8:19 AM
Chron.com contributor Jim Windham, Texas Institute for Education Reform writes, "During the 1990s, Texas became a national leader in education reform when a bipartisan group of Texans joined together to establish academic standards and accountability as the framework for transforming public schools. The reforms began in 1993 when the state adopted a new accountability system that linked school accreditation with success in meeting academic standards."
Indianapolis, Indiana Charter schools show fast progress
Sunday October 08 2006, 7:54 AM
Indianapolis Star reports, "At least one critic was skeptical of the importance of such figures. Gains on testing aren't likely to be caused by better curriculum or teaching, said Marilyn Haring, an education professor at Purdue University. She said charter school results usually result from smaller classes.":
Federal appeals court rules Arizona's charter schools ineligible to receive federal aid
Saturday October 07 2006, 6:38 PM
Douglas Dispatch reports, "He [Judge Michael Hawkins] said the federal statute that defines which schools are eligible for federal aid spells out that only non-profit schools are eligible for the aid."
President Bush's Radio Address
Saturday October 07 2006, 12:57 PM
Office of the Press Secretary, October 7, 2006: "As we work to keep our classrooms safe, we must also ensure that the children studying there get a good education. I believe every child can learn. So when I came to Washington, I worked with Republicans and Democrats to pass the No Child Left Behind Act, and I was proud to sign it into law. The theory behind this law is straightforward: We expect every school in America to teach every student to read, write, add, and subtract."
Rochester School Without Walls reflects
Saturday October 07 2006, 8:38 AM
Rochester Democrat and Chronicle reports, "These days, School Without Walls has 385 students in seventh through 12th grades, and differs from other city high schools in that it veers its focus away from conventional classroom learning. It continues the tradition of requiring students to complete 300 hours of community service from grades nine to 12, and submit a senior project, which is voted on by a six-person jury, as a graduation requirement."
New Jersey tries to quash lawsuit that seeks school vouchers
Saturday October 07 2006, 8:17 AM
Star-Ledger reports, "Yesterday, lawyers for the plaintiffs said the case's central point -- that the rights of some children are being violated -- has been lost in the controversy over vouchers."
’The Plight of Black Students in South Carolilna.’
Friday October 06 2006, 9:40 AM
The Times and Democrat report, "Proponents of school choice and vouchers as well as supporters of the public schools agreed at a recent South Carolina State University forum that strengthening the black family, getting more parental involvement in the education of children and more early childhood education programs are essential to producing successful students."
President Bush Says He'll Strengthen Education Policy
Friday October 06 2006, 7:22 AM
LA Times reports, "The president said that parents are not necessarily getting information about students' progress quickly enough to switch a child's enrollment to another school if they think a change is necessary." Bush suggested school districts were not appropriate in their use of federal funds provided for tutoring.
Fact Sheet: The No Child Left Behind Act: Challenging Students Through High Expectations
Thursday October 05 2006, 6:03 PM
The No Child Left Behind Act Is A Historic Law - It Is Working, And It Is Here To Stay. When he came to Washington, President Bush worked with Republicans and Democrats to pass the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB), and he was proud to sign it into law. Today, President Bush discussed the progress made under NCLB and areas where we can look to improve.
New Jersey questioning charter schools' results
Thursday October 05 2006, 10:29 AM
Star-Ledger reports, "One new proposal would require charter-school applicants to document the need within the community for their proposed school. Justification could include public school performance or interest within the community, officials said."
D.C. Charters on Rise; Quality Unequal
Tuesday October 03 2006, 8:42 AM
The Washington Post reports, "The number of District charter schools has grown dramatically in the past 10 years, but the quality has been uneven, and officials should consider closing low-performing schools, according to findings in a study to be released today."
Monday October 02 2006, 5:00 PM
The Boston Globe opined, "Gender-specific academic initiatives can be difficult to square with antidiscrimination laws. Yet public school systems in other states have managed to establish separate courses for boys and girls within a school, provided they do not set up entirely separate institutions. An enterprising school district or charter school could make history here by taking on the boys."
A Good 'Read'
Friday September 29 2006, 5:42 AM
NY Post DAVID ANDREATTA writes, "Students in city [New York City] charter schools are more likely to be reading at or above grade level than their counterparts in traditional public schools in the same neighborhood, a new analysis reveals. The findings, by the New York City Center for Charter School Excellence, show that more than two-thirds of charter schools subjected to state reading tests this year outperformed public schools in the same district."
New Orleans suit targets school busing: Parent says service must be provided
Thursday September 28 2006, 8:23 AM
The Times-Picayune reports, "Calling into question the responsibilities of charter schools that now dominate New Orleans' public education landscape, a Lusher Elementary parent has filed a lawsuit challenging the school's decision not to provide bus service to its students."
Charter schools are not a drain on public schools
Wednesday September 27 2006, 6:21 AM
Rochester Democrat and Chronicle contributor John Bliss, founder and director of instruction, Urban Choice Charter School in Rochester writes, "Here are the facts: Charter schools were designed to provide parents with badly needed options. Charter schools are just as 'public' as any other public school. Charter schools do not drain money from other public schools. In fact, their existence helps other public schools financially and this is the point that no one seems to really get."
Characteristics of the 100 Largest Public Elementary and Secondary School Districts in the United States: 2003-04
Wednesday September 27 2006, 12:53 AM
NCES: The data include such characteristics as the numbers of students and teachers, number of high school completers and the averaged freshman graduation rate, and revenues and expenditures. Several findings were: These 100 largest districts enrolled 23 percent of all public school students, and employed 22 percent of all public school teachers, in 2003-04. The 100 largest districts produced 20 percent of all high school completers (both diploma and other completion credential recipients) in 2002-03. Across these districts, the averaged freshman graduation rate was 68.8 percent. In 19 of the 100 largest districts the rate was 80 percent or higher. The rate was less than 50 percent in 8 of the 100 largest districts. Three states – California, Florida, and Texas – accounted for 41 of the 100 largest public school districts. Current per-pupil expenditures in fiscal year 2003 ranged from a low of $4,413 in Alpine School District, Utah to a high of $17,652 in Newark City, New Jersey. Dalton, B., Sable, J., and Hoffman, L. (2006). Characteristics of the 100 Largest Public Elementary and Secondary School Districts in the United States: 2003–04 (NCES 2006-329). U.S. Department of Education. Washington, DC: National Center for Education Statistics.
They’re All Federal Educators Now
Tuesday September 26 2006, 8:11 AM
Neal McCluskey, policy analyst at the Cato Institute's Center for Educational Freedom writes, "As Congress moves inexorably closer to next year's scheduled reauthorization of NCLB, conservatives must reject calls for federal standards and tests, and remember the principles that they once held dear. Politically compromised, big-government policies will simply never provide the education our children need and deserve. Only pulling government out of education, and empowering parents and families with school choice, will do that."
Blacks take education into their own hands: Once dominated by whites, homeschooling appeals to more African Americans
Monday September 25 2006, 1:06 PM
San Francisco Chronicle reports, "The Marshalls, who had both worked as teachers' aides, feared public school would contradict their Christian beliefs, and they wanted to avoid having their sons labeled as violent or hyperactive or seeing them pressured by peers to drink, do drugs and have sex. A desire for more rigorous academics and greater emphasis on black history also has led black families into homeschooling, educators say."
Giving Kids the Chaff: How to Find and Keep the Teachers We Need
Monday September 25 2006, 9:08 AM
Marie Gryphon, director of educational programs at the Institute for Humane Studies and an adjunct scholar at the Cato Institute concludes, "Teacher quality can be improved dramatically when hiring managers understand the attributes that make for good teachers and are given the right incentives to make good hiring decisions. Many of the current public policy proposals to improve educational quality in American public schools, such as merit pay and hiring bonuses for teachers with subjectspecific expertise, attempt to create the same economic stimuli that are naturally present in competitive markets. Allowing families to choose their schools, and giving schools the freedom and market incentives to make wise personnel decisions, will reward good schools and good teachers, providing more students with the high-quality education they deserve."
Save the kids caught in the middle
Monday September 25 2006, 4:24 AM
NY Daily News opined on middle schools, "Klein [chancellor] is all too aware of the middle-school miasma. It is one of the reasons why he is establishing school-by-school accountability measures, pushing to expand the number of charter schools and seeking to empower principals. If anything, these dismal test results should give him more muscle in a fight to stop teachers and principals from treating kids as if they naturally become dull at the age of 12."
National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS)
Sunday September 24 2006, 8:59 AM
Schools get space-d out
Sunday September 24 2006, 7:39 AM
NY Daily News reports, "Plans to build schools in the Rockaways are far behind the number of new homes already built, Hooks and others on the education council said. As part of Mayor Bloomberg's multibillion-dollar school construction plan to relieve overcrowding in city schools, 2,597 new seats are planned for District 27, which includes the Rockaways, by 2009. Exactly where those seats will be, and what form they will take, has not been determined, said Kelly Devers, an Education Department spokeswoman. At least one new charter school, which is expected to serve up to 800 kindergarten- grade 8 students, has been planned in conjunction with the construction of Arverne by the Sea, a multimillion-dollar, 2,300-unit condo development on the eastern end of the peninsula."
New York City charter schools grounded
Sunday September 24 2006, 7:28 AM
NY Daily News reports, "What Imagine Schools and other groups weren't told is that eight of the state's 100 charters are going unused - even though 22,000 New York children are on waiting lists for seats in charter schools. The eight unused charters are being held hostage by a wrinkle in state law."
Philadelphia Catholic schools receive city money for afterschool programs
Saturday September 23 2006, 6:41 PM
AP reports, "Five [Philadelphia] Roman Catholic schools will receive city funds to open centers that provide academic and recreational activities for children and their families after school and during evenings, weekends and summer in an effort to reduce violence and crime."
Ohio probing absence rates
Saturday September 23 2006, 6:29 PM
THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH reports, "The attendance numbers for many Internet charter schools look good. In fact, the number with perfect scores are a little too good, prompting the Ohio Department of Education to give them a second look later this month, said Todd Hanes, executive director of the department’s Office of Community Schools."
Roosevelt charter school nears probation
Saturday September 23 2006, 8:28 AM
Newsday reports, "Chiding the Roosevelt charter school for holding classes in a building that has no fire sprinklers, a committee of the SUNY Board of Trustees recommended Friday that the school be placed on probation."
Results show English scores dropping as New York children get older
Thursday September 21 2006, 1:36 PM
Newsday JOHN HILDEBRAND AND STACEY ALTHERR report, "State education officials declared at a morning news conference the latest results underline an essential point: that public middle schools need to do more to challenge students academically. Research studies have shown that scores in parochial and private schools don't take the same dip in the later grades as the public sector's."
CHARTERS BY NUMBERS
Wednesday September 20 2006, 11:25 AM
Center for Education Reform reports, "Charter schools again experienced double-digit growth this year. Despite caps deflating the number that can open in states from North Carolina to New York, the number of charters in 40 states and the District of Columbia rose 11 percent from 3,600 to 3,977 nationwide. There are now approximately 1.15 million students attending charter schools across the country."
New York charter school eyes sanctions over hazard
Wednesday September 20 2006, 9:43 AM
Newsday JOHN HILDEBRAND writes, "State monitors are urging that a Roosevelt charter school acclaimed for its academic prowess be put on probation, after the school allowed 150 students to start classes in a building that has no fire-sprinkler system."
'Lite' Choice in School Reform
Wednesday September 20 2006, 12:07 AM
The Washington Post reports, "Under-performing schools in Prince George's, Baltimore and elsewhere across the nation have seized on the turnaround specialist as a quick fix that satisfies the federal No Child Left Behind directive, which requires chronically low-performing schools to choose some form of alternative governance, such as a new staff or management by a private company. The report by the Center on Education Policy cites the Prince George's system as emblematic of a national trend: When school systems are forced to take corrective action, they tend to chose the least radical -- and least corrective, it says -- option."
Program targets bullying via awareness, caring
Tuesday September 19 2006, 12:55 PM
Huron Daily Tribune reports, "LaPine [teacher] said the parochial schools also can bring Bible lessons into the discussions, teaching students what Jesus would do about bullying. 'It's an extra advantage,' LaPine said about teaching from the Bible. To include parents in the program, the bullying prevention coordinating committee is planning a parent kick-off for each school to inform parents about the program and how it will help students."
Backers Pleased that Michigan Communities Are Talking About School Development and Land Use
Tuesday September 19 2006, 8:42 AM
Smart Growth reports, "Since 1994 Proposal A cut property taxes in half, spurring district requests for new taxes 'to build trophy schools,' Michigan public school construction debt has 'ballooned from $4 billion to more than $12 billion,' with 278 older schools closed and more than 500 new ones opened. The related outflow from cities, backed by the ''school choice'' policy, is shifting the urban tax base to suburban districts, with '$7,200 in state funds attached to each youngster.'''
School Choice: 2006 Progress Report
Monday September 18 2006, 5:46 PM
Dan Lips, Education Analyst and Evan Feinberg, Research Assistant in the Domestic Policy Studies Department at The Heritage Foundation write, "One likely reason for the growing bipartisan support for school choice is the mounting empirical evidence that school choice programs work. Over the past 15 years, the growth of school choice programs has enabled researchers to study the impact of school choice on students, families, and school systems. Students participating in school choice programs have made academic gains when compared to their peers in public school. Importantly, public schools that face competition from choice programs have shown improvement."
ACLU, Arizona school board group challenging corporate tax credit
Monday September 18 2006, 5:36 PM
The Business Journal of Phoenix reports, "The Arizona School Boards Association and American Civil Liberties Union of Arizona are challenging the legality of a new corporate tax credit that allows businesses to write off donations to private schools."
Monday September 18 2006, 12:28 PM
Fastcompany.com interview: Should for-profit companies run public schools? An entrepreneur and a principal weigh in.
Sen. Schumer presses for more school aid
Monday September 18 2006, 12:10 PM
Buffalo News reports, "'I think the plan is to have public schools fail so we can start shifting more and more money to charter schools and voucher programs,' Sloan Superintendent James P. Mazgajewski said. 'I think what they're trying to do is break down the system.'"
It's still rich school, poor school
Monday September 18 2006, 8:48 AM
The Oregonian reports, "The Portland Schools Foundation was created in a time of waning support for public schools to harness the energy and means of wealthy parents and keep them from fleeing to private schools. The equity fund grew out of a desire to ensure that holding onto those parents didn't just serve to widen the gap between rich and poor schools."
Florida School Boards Association objects to charter law
Monday September 18 2006, 8:23 AM
FLORIDA TODAY reports, "The Florida School Boards Association plans to challenge the constitutionality of the new charter school commission and is calling on every school board in the state to do the same."
Who supports Ohio private schools?
Monday September 18 2006, 7:38 AM
THE ENQUIRER reports, "Across the region and state, private and religious schools get tens of millions of dollars in taxpayer support each year from the Ohio Department of Education. Ohio is among the most generous states toward private and religious schools, national experts say."
Turn city schools into magnets
Sunday September 17 2006, 12:12 PM
The York Daily contributor and home-schooling parent NANCY SNYDER writes, "There was a time when I taught my children everything they knew. Now, when I can't find a solution to a problem, I go to my children. So I recently asked them, 'What can be done for our city schools?' Noah responded quickly, 'Set up a cooperative system throughout the county. Turn the city schools into magnet schools that will attract students from middle-class families throughout the county. Bus city students who aren't in the magnet schools to nearby suburban schools.'"
Regional office of Illinois education says its has a right to check on homeschool students
Sunday September 17 2006, 11:57 AM
The Southern reports, "'According to the Regional Office of Education, they do have the right to check on home-schooling parents,' Garnati [Williamson County State's Attorney] said. A Marion resident was recently sentenced to 48 hours in the Williamson County Jail after she was convicted of allowing her child to remain truant from school. She claimed she was home-schooling her child, but Williamson County Judge Ron Eckiss ruled that she was not home-schooling and was rather allowing her child to remain truant from school."
New York City school features British curriculum
Friday September 15 2006, 12:47 PM
AP reports, "About 50 grade-school pupils arrived Thursday for the first day of classes at the new British International School of New York, the city's only school centered on Britain's national curriculum."
Charter schools help improve public education
Friday September 15 2006, 7:34 AM
Times Union Op-Ed contributor Peter Murphy, NY Charter Schools Association policy director writes, "The fact is that most charter schools in the state now outperform district-run schools as measured by results on state exams, yet the Times Union continues to cloud this fact with its incessant campaign against New Covenant Charter School. The reality is that struggling charter schools will have one of two outcomes: improve or be closed. Such has been the record of charter school accountability in New York state."
Charter limbo: First fix the state charter school law, and then lift the cap
Friday September 15 2006, 6:43 AM
Rochester Democrat and Chronicle opined, "What's needed in New York is a better law that creates a state funding stream for charters apart from normal school aid. What's needed is a method of charter review and oversight that maximizes potential and minimizes mediocrity. And what's needed, too, is a lift of the 100-school cap so that the experiment may continue, but not at a rate that frustrates assessment and control."
Some see early South Carolina childhood program opening voucher door
Friday September 15 2006, 1:04 AM
AP reports, "Under the new law, children have to live in the suing school districts and meet age and income limits to get into the privately operated programs. But they can 'attend schools outside that geography,' DeVenny [director of statewide early childhood education program] said."
Education Policy Should Not Be Based on Programs that Cannot be Replicated
Thursday September 14 2006, 12:06 PM
Education Finance and Accountability Program at the Maxwell School, Syracuse University (EFAP) Director John Yinger writes, "The use of additional funds does not, of course, guarantee success. Many schools undoubtedly use policies and practices that cost more than equally effective alternatives. But one cannot identify these alternatives simply by looking at a few successful schools. Instead, we need to continue evaluating a wide range of programs to determine which ones can raise student performance under what circumstances and at what cost."
Kentucky home educators required to teach rigid curriculum
Thursday September 14 2006, 8:41 AM
Pioneer News reports, "Kentucky law recognizes home schools as private institutions. The laws that apply to state private schools apply to home schools as well."
Desegregation, Test Score Mandates Leave Schools In Lurch
Wednesday September 13 2006, 8:31 PM
WRAL.com. reports on local North Carolina schools and NCLB, "Nationwide, 293 school systems are under desegregation orders. The U.S. Department of Education said Wednesday that nothing in the No Child Left Behind Act provides a school district with the authority to violate an applicable desegregation plan. On the other hand, they said the regulation clear clearly states that the existence of such a plan doesn't permit a district to avoid providing public school choice."
Think tank urges Florida school reforms, no class-size limits
Wednesday September 13 2006, 10:20 AM
Orlando Sentinel reports, "New educational reforms could be ahead for Florida schools now that a conservative think tank has called for better-qualified teachers, tougher reading and math standards and an end to the state's constitutional directive to reduce class sizes."
'Low'down on New York City High Schools
Wednesday September 13 2006, 5:06 AM
NY Post David Andreatta reports, "Fewer city high schools got a failing grade from the state this year compared with last, but the dreaded roster included a handful of small schools and its first charter school - both high priorities of Bloomberg's administration."
Florida county school board votes to control charters
Wednesday September 13 2006, 1:05 AM
FLORIDA TODAY reports, "In a unanimous decision Tuesday, the Brevard County School Board voted to retain its exclusive authority over charter schools and stressed in a resolution its constitutional role to 'operate, control and supervise all free public schools' in the district, including charters."
Reforming Education in Florida: A Study Prepared by the Koret Task Force on K-12 Education, Hoover Institution 2006
Tuesday September 12 2006, 2:04 PM
By Paul Peterson. This assessment by the Koret Task Force identifies reforms that have been undertaken and Florida's education policies related to accountability, curriculum reform, effective teaching, school choice, and organizational change, including voluntary preschool education, class-size reduction, and more effective resource management. Contributors include John E. Chubb, Williamson M. Evers, Chester E. Finn Jr., Eric A. Hanushek, Paul T. Hill, E. D. Hirsch, Caroline M. Hoxby, Terry M. Moe, Paul E. Peterson, Diane Ravitch, and Herbert J. Walberg. Additional contributors include Paul Clopton, Elena Llaudet, Sonali Murarka, and Marguerite Roza. (Chapters of the book can be viewed.)
Attendance below expectations at new accelerated learning academies
Monday September 11 2006, 8:35 AM
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports, "The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette requested data to see whether parents and students were availing themselves of the longer school day and extended school year at the academies, which are using the $3.6 million America's Choice program of teaching strategies and curriculum supplements. The academies serve elementary and middle-grade students."
Albany charter schools display sharing spirit
Monday September 11 2006, 5:08 AM
Times Union Rick Karlin reports, "The schools share a renovated building at 42 S. Dove St. in the city's South End. The Brighter Choice Foundation, which owns the building, helps charter schools get started with financing and advice."
Where Should Utah State Spend Education Money?
Saturday September 09 2006, 9:46 AM
Red Orbit reports, "Utah spends the least per student in the country, and has the nation's biggest classes. While past studies showed the state's multitude of children -- Utah has the nation's highest birthrate -- made boosting school funding tough. Utah in 1995 was fifth in the country in terms of funding effort, according to the foundation's 'Paradox Lost' report."
Secretary Spellings Announces Partnership with 100 Black Men of America, Inc.
Friday September 08 2006, 10:33 PM
According to the agreement, the U.S. Department of Education will seek "to fully engage the African American community and its leaders in the successful implementation of the No Child Left Behind Act as it relates to school choice, charter schools, supplemental services, parent report cards, and all of the benefits and options provided to parents with students in schools in need of improvement."
Making School Choice Work
Friday September 08 2006, 12:46 AM
scoop.co.nz reports, "Schools should be given more management autonomy and greater freedom to open, expand and close, according to a newly released report by Harvard University Professor Caroline Hoxby. The report, School Choice: The Three Essential Elements and Several Policy Options, released tomorrow by the Education Forum and the New Zealand Association of Economists (NZAE), outlines a number of key design requirements if policies aimed at giving parents greater choice over their children’s education are to be successful."
New York State School Boards Association (NYSSBA) on charter schools
Thursday September 07 2006, 2:25 PM
Letter from NYSSBA executive director Timothy Kremer to New York State Board of Regents Chancellor Robert Bennett on charter schools accountability, "Article 56 off the Education Law compels the Board of Regents to review 'the educational effectiveness of the charter school approach and the effect of charter schools on public and nonpublic schools systems.' Regrettably, the State Education Department’s recently released annual report on the status of charter schools fails to illuminate whether this strategy is working."
Four Million Children Left Behind
Thursday September 07 2006, 7:26 AM
WSJ Opinion Journal Op-Ed contributor Clint Bolick, president and general counsel of the Alliance for School Choice opined on NCLB, "The Polling Company surveyed Los Angeles and Compton parents whose children are eligible to transfer their children out of failing schools. Only 11% knew their school was rated as failing, and fewer than one-fifth of those parents (just nine out of 409 surveyed) recalled receiving notice to that effect from the districts--a key NCLB requirement. Once informed of their schools' status and their transfer rights, 82% expressed a desire to move their children to better schools."
Two Catholic schools open Newburgh
Thursday September 07 2006, 6:36 AM
Times Herald reports, "Both schools are organized around the San Miguel Academy model — a type of Catholic school introduced to American inner cities in the 1970s. As Catholic schools around the country have become more expensive, the San Miguel academies are a return to the church's tradition of educating America's immigrants and the poor."
South Carolina high school considers single-gender studies
Wednesday September 06 2006, 7:57 AM
The Sun reports, "Offering a high school single-gender program is a fair option for students, he [Chadwell, Lead teacher] said. He said it relieves boys and girls of the added pressures that advocates of single-gender education have said come with integrated classrooms. 'Regardless of the grade level [freedom of expression] is a nice feature of being in a single-gender program,' he said."
New York City parents know the truth about charters
Wednesday September 06 2006, 4:45 AM
NY Daily News guest columnist Paula Gavin, CEO of the New York City Center for Charter School Excellence opined, "Opponents argue that charter schools accept only the best students. Not true: Students are admitted through an open lottery. And opponents claim charter schools aren't real public schools. Wrong: They are just as public as your corner PS - but they happen to be run by parents and community groups."
Education system needs reform, not a billion dollars
Tuesday September 05 2006, 3:56 PM
Las Vegas Business Press contributor Chuck Muth, president of Citizen Outreach, a non-profit public policy advocacy organization in Washington, D.C. writes, "A BILLION (!) dollars more for education? That's a lot of dough. But if it comes with spending offsets and serious education reforms that break the government-school monopoly on education, it might be worth considering. The only thing apparently standing in the way is: the teachers unions."
Charter school lessons
Tuesday September 05 2006, 10:06 AM
Times Union opined on school choice, "The mixed results show that it is far too soon to declare charter schools a success. More time and more studies are necessary to determine whether this experiment has been worth it. More recent national data suggest that fourth graders in charter schools were, at best, keeping pace with their peers in public schools in reading last year, but lagged behind in math."
Summer's bell tolls for kids: New schools, rules as class resumes
Tuesday September 05 2006, 4:26 AM
NY Daily News talks with NYC Chancellor Klein about school choice, teachers, and cellphones, "We have charters that are ready and we could open in the fall of . We will continue to work with them in the hope and the optimistic sense that this cap will be lifted."
Back to School in a System Being Remade
Tuesday September 05 2006, 3:23 AM
NY Times reports on NYC schools reform, "Chancellor Klein said last week that he was intent on moving the school system 'from a culture of excuse to a culture of accountability.' 'Our parents will come to see that the information they’re getting, the quality education their kids are getting, the sense of what it’s like at the school, is going to change,' he added. 'And I think our parents will insist on sustainability.'”
D.C. School Superintendent Janey Proposes Year-Round Classes to Aid Ailing Programs
Monday September 04 2006, 9:35 AM
The Washington Post reports, "D.C. School Superintendent Clifford B. Janey is proposing year-round classes at five mainly low-achieving schools in an effort to give students more time in the classroom by shortening the long summer break."
Where's the courage in education reform?
Saturday September 02 2006, 9:07 AM
Scrippsnews contributor Star Parker writes, "According to NCLB, students in failing schools must be notified and permitted to transfer to another school. We have found that 250,000, about 30 percent, of the students in the LA system are eligible for such transfers, yet notification is not being given and there have only been only slightly more than 500 transfers."
Baltimore charter school funding decided
Friday September 01 2006, 11:12 PM
Baltimoresun.com reports, "Public school systems must provide as much money per pupil to charter school operators as they spend on regular public schools, the state Court of Special Appeals ruled Friday, siding with the state in a dispute with Baltimore. The court -- the second-highest in the state -- said the funding must be in cash rather than in-kind services."
Massachusetts charter school facts in
Friday September 01 2006, 10:49 PM
The Boston Herald reports, "In 2001, 19 percent of the [Massachusetts] charter schools performed significantly better than their district schools in English and 26 percent did so in math. From 2002 to 2005, some 30 percent outperformed district schools in both subjects (60 percent performed at the same level)."
Are Public or Private Schools Doing Better? How the NCES Study Is Being Misinterpreted
Friday September 01 2006, 2:27 PM
Shanea Watkins, Policy Analyst in Empirical Studies in the Center for Data Analysis at The Heritage Foundation writes, "The NAEP data are certainly not suitable for establishing whether a specific math or reading achievement outcome is associated with attending either a private or public school. Despite this fact, the results of the NCES study are being interpreted inappropriately to imply that voucher programs, which include private schools, are a bad idea. The research literature that addresses the effectiveness of school voucher programs in raising math and reading achievement, based on more sophisticated methodology, is much more convincing and conclusive. Students who attend a private school through a voucher program experience greater gains in math and reading than do their public school counterparts."
What the Public Really Thinks of School Choice
Friday September 01 2006, 11:07 AM
Andrew J. Coulson, Center for Educational Freedom opined on PDK school choice poll, "Phi Delta Kappan could do its part to remedy that knowledge gap by returning to the original wording of its question. But we needn't conduct a poll to know that that isn't likely to happen. Phi Delta Kappa is an advocacy organization for the public school monopoly, and the last thing a monopolist wants to do is remind people that in other countries, families enjoy real educational choices, and schools have to compete for the privilege of serving them."
State Education Commissioner Richard Mills to settle flap over charter school funding
Friday September 01 2006, 10:54 AM
Buffalo News reports, "District officials agree they must pay the charter school about $2.4 million - more than $9,000 per pupil. But they also contend state law only requires them to cover 155 of those pupils with about $1.4 million during the 2006-07 school year because that's how many pupils charter school officials projected the new school would draw from the city's public schools in the charter plan they submitted to the state in 2005. The remaining $1 million would be paid in 2007-08."
Charters boost Philadelphia's schools' showing
Friday September 01 2006, 9:04 AM
The Philadelphia Inquirer reports on charter schools, "Five of the 22 schools run by Edison made the goal, down from seven last year. One Victory school qualified, down from three. Overall, 11 of the 43 schools run by Edison, Victory, Foundations Inc., Temple University, the University of Pennsylvania, and Universal Companies met goals, down from 15. Only Foundations added a school. Vallas said the district would consider the test results as part of an internal evaluation of the outside managers."
Study D.C. education with kids in mind
Thursday August 31 2006, 10:48 PM
USA TODAY contributor Jeanne Allen, Center for Education Reform, Washington writes, "The reason that the Washington scholarship program exists, and the reason that public charter schools are serving nearly 25% of all public school students in the District of Columbia, is because the traditional system has failed so many families for countless years."
North Carolina to Pilot 'No Child Behind' Program
Thursday August 31 2006, 8:07 PM
The Pilot reports, "With the pilot project, schools entering their first year of Title I School Improvement in these seven districts must offer supplemental educational services to eligible students. If these schools continue not to make AYP, they must offer public school choice next year, while continuing to offer supplemental educational services. The piloting districts were selected based on geographic diversity, unique district characteristics and demographics, interest shown by the district and the projected numbers of Title I schools in the district that might be entering year one of Title I School Improvement in 2006-07."
Thursday August 31 2006, 1:02 PM
Class-Action Suit in New Jersey Filed Over Education
Thursday August 31 2006, 12:16 PM
School Reform News, The Heartland Institute, Aaron Atwood writes, "A strong partnership between national and state-level school reform activists has already formed in support of the lawsuit. Several national groups--including the Black Ministers' Council, Latino Leadership Alliance, and Alliance for School Choice--have joined forces with a state group, Excellent Education for Everyone (E3), to support the plaintiffs."
On exam, Massachusetts charter schools get edge
Thursday August 31 2006, 11:59 AM
Boston Globe reports, "Jeff Wulfson, associate commissioner of the state Department of Education, said the findings show that charter schools outperform regular public schools, even when demographics are taken into account. For example, the study found that students in Boston's charter schools, including black and Hispanics who have scored lower in the past, performed significantly better than students in regular public schools."
Test results similar among San Diego campuses
Thursday August 31 2006, 9:11 AM
UNION-TRIBUNE reports, "Where choice programs make the biggest difference is in diversifying school populations to include a mix of ethnicities, races and socioeconomic backgrounds, according to the study. Nonwhite students, especially black students, are generally more likely to participate in choice programs than whites. Usually, these students opt to go to schools that have more white students and are higher-achieving."
New Rochester charter school looks to build character
Tuesday August 29 2006, 8:38 AM
Rochester Democrat and Chronicle reports, "True North [new charter school] will start at fifth grade and add one grade level a year until it becomes a grade 5 to 8 school. Shells and Lemov say the school will stress virtues such as compassion and respect. An ethics curriculum calls for teaching character using examples from real-life scenarios. Students here will have a longer school day — nine hours — from 7:40 a.m. to 4:40 p.m. There's also a homework center that lasts until 5:40 p.m. On average, elementary school students in the City School District have a 6 ½-hour school day."
Hyde Park district appeals special ed ruling
Tuesday August 29 2006, 8:18 AM
Poughkeepsie Journal reports, "The parents, identified under confidentiality rules as Frank G. and Dianne G., disagreed in 2001 with the district's special education committee that the special needs of their son, Anthony, could be met in a regular classroom setting at Ralph R. Smith Elementary School — with the assistance of a full-time aide and other additional services. After writing the district to dispute his placement, the parents in August 2001 placed their son in Upton Lake Christian School in Clinton Corners. The Hyde Park district later refused to reimburse the parents $3,660 in Upton Lake tuition."
More Arizona schools miss performance measure
Monday August 28 2006, 9:56 PM
AP reports, "However, state Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Horne said the increase is due to new rule changes by the Bush administration, not diminished performance by Arizona students. Horne cited changes in federal rules dealing with English-learning students, accommodations for special education students and the counting of more grades' test results."
Literacy program to expand in Buffalo
Monday August 28 2006, 12:56 PM
Business First of Buffalo reports, "The program will allow Project Flight to establish BookNook programs with on-site libraries and a family literacy resource center, as well as tutors for children, parents and teachers at the two at-risk schools."
Transfers? Columbus, Ohio students’ options few
Monday August 28 2006, 11:19 AM
THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH reports, "More than half of the Columbus Public Schools will be forced to let students transfer to better district schools this year. That’s good news for parents who want to send their kids to a school with a better track record in reading and math. Just one problem, though: There are few buildings — especially at the elementary level — from which parents can pick."
Exploding the Charter School Myth
Sunday August 27 2006, 8:23 AM
NY Times opined on charter schools, NCLB and teacher quality, "One advantage of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2002 was the wave of education studies it started. They offer hope that Congress will look at the record when it considers reauthorizing the law next year. If it does, lawmakers will back away from the part of the act that offers charter schools as a cure-all. They should instead home in on the all-important but largely neglected issue of teacher training and preparation — which trumps everything when it comes to improving student achievement."
Good news in public education
Sunday August 27 2006, 8:16 AM
The PressRepublican opined on school choice, "Private schools have long argued that New Yorkers should have a choice in the schools they attend. They do have a choice, but the law provides a free education in a public school. It doesn't provide subsidies for schools that could drain money from the public system. Nor should it. School choice is a luxury, not a necessity."
Don't confuse learning with research skirmish
Saturday August 26 2006, 9:35 AM
Times Union Op-Ed contributor JEANNE ALLEN, Center for Education Reform, Washington, D.C. responds to "It's wrong to declare the charter school movement as revolutionary," Aug. 14 Op-Ed, "Mr. Morse closes his letter saying: 'If our government intends to seriously address the root causes of poor performing schools, our elected leaders must look to the origins of poverty, illiteracy and school failure, and not continue to exploit urban school children and their struggles for their own political gain.' We couldn't agree more. And to that we might add that research war skirmishes have nothing to do with parents wanting to send their children to a school that works."
Agassi Prep offers kids of Las Vegas a reason to learn
Friday August 25 2006, 8:22 AM
USA Today reports on Agassi charter school, "'Picture every year, all the time that you see sort of these evolutions of the children themselves,' he [Agassi] says. 'All of a sudden, they're ninth graders. You think, 'You were third graders. Look at you. You're standing taller than me, speaking better than I speak, having more of a plan for your life than I have for mine.' The kids are the best part of this.'"
Where's school voucher 'success' in Washington, D.C.?
Thursday August 24 2006, 8:28 AM
USA TODAY Op-Ed contributor Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton, U. S. House of Representatives, Washington, D.C. writes, "Education Secretary Margaret Spellings claimed an administration 'success' with publicly funded private school vouchers in Washington, D.C. There is no factual basis for her claim."
SMEARING SCHOOLS THAT WORK
Thursday August 24 2006, 7:39 AM
NY Post Op-Ed contributor Peter Murphy, New York Charter Schools Association writes, "In the forefront of opposition to charter-school expansion is the New York State United Teachers (NYSUT), the statewideteachers' union. Most charter-school faculties have chosen not to unionize - a freedom of choice codified by the state's charter-school law - putting them outside NYSUT's monopoly control. Thus far, NYSUT's raw political opposition to charters has prevailed over the schools' academic merits and the demands of thousands of parents of children on charter waiting lists."
. . . AND FAKING CHARTER FAILURE
Thursday August 24 2006, 7:32 AM
NY Post editorial opined on charter schools, "Charter schools proliferate in areas where public schools are dramatically worse than the national standard, like New York City and Washington, D.C. In these places, charters generally outperform their public-school counterparts. It shouldn't be surprising that they fall short when measured against a nationwide public-school average."
Do Charter Schools Make the Grade?
Wednesday August 23 2006, 9:45 AM
NPR Elaine Korry reports (audio), "For a decade charter schools have been touted as an alternative to under performing public schools. But a new government survey shows these schools lagging slightly behind public schools in student achievement."
Statement by Secretary Margaret Spellings on Release of NCES Study on Charter Schools
Wednesday August 23 2006, 9:37 AM
Secretary Spellings, "Charter schools are empowering low-income parents with new educational options and providing an important lifeline for families in areas where traditional public schools have fallen short of their responsibilities."
3 local Syracuse schools still on state list
Wednesday August 23 2006, 9:11 AM
The Post-Standard reports, "No local schools landed on the state's new list of 'persistently dangerous schools,' but 17 schools elsewhere in the state did, Education Commissioner Richard Mills announced Tuesday. But three Syracuse schools that went on the list a year ago - Fowler High and Shea and Grant middle - remain there, the state said."
Two Rochester city schools on 'dangerous' list
Wednesday August 23 2006, 8:55 AM
Rochester Democrat and Chronicle reports, "Thomas Jefferson High School showed a drop in the number of violent incidents from 87 to 58 in those years. During the same period, the number of violent incidents at Charlotte High School increased from 65 to 68."
State's list of dangerous schools grows: Berkshire Farm, Philip Livingston Magnet among 23 targeted after comptroller's critical audit
Wednesday August 23 2006, 8:25 AM
Times Union reports, "Under the federal No Child Left Behind law, parents are supposed to be able to transfer their children out of a dangerous school if another school in their district has room to enroll them. Mills said that releasing the data Tuesday, about two weeks before the new school year starts, should give parents time to seek alternatives. For many parents and students, though, alternative schools are filled up. Students attending Berkshire's school are doing so under court order."
CLASS-KICKERS: 'DANGEROUS' SCHOOLS SOAR - AND N.Y. MAY BE LOWBALLING COUNT
Wednesday August 23 2006, 8:00 AM
NY Post DAVID ANDREATTA and LEONARD GREENE report, "'Since the school system no longer shares incident data, no one really knows the true state of safety in our schools,' said United Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten. 'But we do know that having only 14 [city] schools on the 'persistently dangerous' list doesn't make sense.'"
ROSY REPORT ADDS UP TO NONSENSE
Wednesday August 23 2006, 7:53 AM
NY Post columnist Ryan Sager writes, "The answer is to give all parents - the people who know whether or not they feel their kids are safe enough at school - a choice. Open more charter schools, give parents vouchers and/or tuition tax credits, open up public-school choice to all families. Then persistently dangerous (and persistently incompetent) schools will be held accountable."
A Summary of the Current Research on California's Effectiveness at Improving Student Achievement
Tuesday August 22 2006, 7:07 PM
Key Findings: "The available research, presented chronologically below, shows that by introducing high-quality and innovative approaches into public education, California’s charter public schools are having a positive impact on the state’s public school system."
Charter school students score lower in reading and math
Tuesday August 22 2006, 6:57 PM
AP reports, "The NCES studied fourth-grade math and reading scores at 150 charter schools and 6,764 traditional public schools nationwide. At the time, there were nearly 2,700 charter schools in 36 states. There are now more than 3,600."
Scrap voucher plan, fully fund No Child law
Tuesday August 22 2006, 5:01 PM
USA TODAY Op-Ed contributor E. Jane Gallucci, President, National School Boards Association writes, "And contrary to Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings' assertion that vouchers 'complement' the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) law, they actually would render the law obsolete because private schools receiving tax dollars at the expense of public schools would not face the rigid public accountability standards to which public schools must adhere."
Rome Free Academy joins state's 'watch list' for potentially dangerous schools
Tuesday August 22 2006, 4:24 PM
Observer-Dispatch CARA MATTHEWS reports, "Another 17 schools, including two in Rochester, have been added to the Education Department's list of 'persistently dangerous' institutions after recording a large number of serious incidents for two consecutive years, Commissioner Richard Mills announced."
Seventeen New York Schools Named As "Persistently Dangerous" Under NCLB,
Tuesday August 22 2006, 3:57 PM
As required by NCLB: FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, AUGUST 22, 2006. Persistently dangerous list includes NYC schools, Rochester, Buffalo charter school, and Berkshire Junior-Senior High School. New York State Education Department press release, "An additional 10 schools have been placed on a 'watch list.'" NYC, Buffalo, Rome, Wyandanch, Greenburg-Graham on "watch list."
The 38th Annual Phi Delta Kappa/Gallup Poll of the Public's Attitudes Toward the Public Schools
Tuesday August 22 2006, 10:47 AM
(September 2006) By LOWELL C. ROSE executive director emeritus of Phi Delta Kappa International and ALEC M. GALLUP, co-chairman, with George Gallup, Jr., of the Gallup Organization, Princeton, N.J. "In probing the public’s opinions of NCLB, the PDK/Gallup poll finds that there is widespread support for the law’s goals -- closing the achievement gap between African American and Latino students and their white peers and improving educational outcomes for all students -- but broad disagreement with its specific strategies. When asked whether testing students in only English and math, as currently required by NCLB, can give a fair picture of a school, 81% of the public say no. And 78% are worried that the law’s focus on these two subjects will mean less emphasis on other subjects. The poll finds that two-thirds of those surveyed oppose measuring school success by the percentage of students passing a single statewide test, while 81% prefer measuring the improvement that students make during the year."
A Closer Look at Charter Schools Using Hierarchical Linear Modeling
Tuesday August 22 2006, 10:34 AM
NCES, "The school sample comprised 150 charter schools and 6,764 traditional public schools. The report uses hierarchical linear models (HLMs) to examine differences between the two types of schools when multiple student and/or school characteristics are taken into account. After adjusting for student demographic characteristics, charter school mean scores in reading and mathematics were lower, on average, than those for traditional public schools. The size of these differences was smaller in reading than in mathematics. Results from the second analysis showed that in reading and mathematics, average performance differences between traditional public schools and charter schools affiliated with a public school district were not statistically significant, while charter schools not affiliated with a public school district scored significantly lower on average than traditional public schools." Braun, H., Jenkins, F., and Grigg, W. (2006). A Closer Look at Charter Schools Using Hierarchical Linear Modeling (NCES 2006-460). U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, Institute of Education Sciences. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office.
The Future of D.C. Public Schools: Traditional or Charter Education?
Tuesday August 22 2006, 8:58 AM
The Washington Post reports on charter schools in DC Public Schools, "As charters have proliferated, the number of students attending traditional schools has plummeted from 80,000 a decade ago to 58,000 last school year. Because tax dollars follow the student, charters now claim at least $140 million a year that might otherwise flow to neighborhood schools. That has led traditional schools to cut programs, lay off teachers and, for the first time in nearly a decade, close."
Pathways Academy -- new charter school begins school year
Monday August 21 2006, 9:45 PM
First Coast News reports, "Pathways Academy is operated by Florida Community College. Its program targets students who either dropped out of school or who did not earn the necessary credits to graduate."
When it comes to schools, Texas parents know best
Monday August 21 2006, 9:08 AM
Chron.com contributor Dr. James Leininger funds private scholarships for low-income children and advocates enactment of school choice programs in Texas. Leininger writes, "Giving all parents the same ability to find the best school for their child gives power to parents to fulfill to the needs of their children. Under such choice programs, schools are no longer able to take students for granted, but instead must compete to convince parents that they will do the best job in educating their children."
The Condition of Education in Brief 2006
Sunday August 20 2006, 3:46 PM
Report topics covered "include: public and private enrollment in elementary/secondary education; projections of undergraduate enrollment; racial/ethnic distribution of public school students; student achievement from the National Assessment of Educational Progress in reading, mathematics, and science; adult literacy; status dropout rates; immediate transition to college; school violence and safety; educational attainment; parental choice of schools; expenditures for elementary and secondary education, and federal grants and loans to undergraduate students." Livingston, A. (2006). The Condition of Education 2006 in Brief (NCES 2006-072). U.S. Department of Education. Washington, DC: National Center for Education Statistics.
Albany charter school hires new manager
Saturday August 19 2006, 9:48 AM
Times Union reports, "New Covenant has been plagued with academic performance and accounting problems. This spring, the State University of New York board of trustees placed New Covenant on probation for being chronically tardy with annual audits of its finances. It was the latest in a line of problems for the school. In 2004, the state forced the school to close its seventh and eighth grades, citing poor test scores and chaotic classrooms. SUNY trustees also placed New Covenant on probation between 2000 and 2002 because of concern over finances. That probation limited the school to 400 students."
Charter Schools and a Good Education
Saturday August 19 2006, 8:31 AM
Washington Post letter to the editor by NELSON SMITH, President, National Alliance for Public Charter Schools responding to DC schools superintendent on charter schools, "Mr. Janey [superintendent] was right when he said that we should focus on quality public schools. That's why charter schools are subject to greater scrutiny than other public schools and why competent overseers act on the results, even closing a school that does not reach its goals. Someday all D.C. public schools will be subject to those stringent standards. In the meantime, interrupting the supply of promising new charter schools is hardly the right move."
New Hampshire charter school for disabled pupils proposed
Friday August 18 2006, 8:53 PM
AP reports, "Bevill hopes money earmarked for special education services could be pooled to pay for the public school."
After Katrina, School Reforms Make New Orleans Most Chartered City in U.S.
Thursday August 17 2006, 10:50 AM
BUSINESS WIRE announces, "One year after Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans has become one of the most chartered cities in America, with nearly 70 percent of its public school students in schools of choice, according to a new report in the forthcoming issue of Education Next, on newsstands September 1." [Education New York Online will link to the report when available.]
13 Cincinnati city schools warrant vouchers: Low performance spans 3 years
Thursday August 17 2006, 9:45 AM
The Enquirer reports, "Students qualify for vouchers worth up to $5,000 if their school is rated in academic emergency or academic watch, the state's two lowest categories for student achievement, for three years. The first group to take advantage of the state's new voucher program, which allows up to 14,000 students to receive vouchers annually, starts classes this month."
Poughkeepsie schools chief wants coaching program for teachers
Wednesday August 16 2006, 10:25 AM
The Poughkeepsie Journal reports on proposed instructional intervention, "The changes come with an estimated price tag of $620,000. Wilson [Superintendent] said America's Choice will charge the district $100,000 to provide training to middle school staff and for other initial staff development. Another $195,000 would fund the three coaching positions and $325,000 would pay for five new teachers at the school."
South Carolina state charter school district
Tuesday August 15 2006, 11:40 AM
The State reports on new South Carolina charter school process, "Gov. Mark Sanford and state leaders are working on appointing the statewide charter school district’s board of trustees, who will oversee the district. It’s unclear when the new district will begin accepting school applications."
D.C. School Superintendent Janey calling for new charter schools moratorium, pending evaluations
Tuesday August 15 2006, 11:34 AM
The Washington Post reports, "Charter schools have proliferated in the District since they were authorized by Congress a decade ago. Last year, they enrolled more than 17,500 students. Enrollment in the traditional public school system, meanwhile, has plummeted from about 80,000 students to about 58,000."
Texas voucher advocate starts ad campaign: Low-income parents urged to seek school choice from Legislature
Tuesday August 15 2006, 10:56 AM
Houston Chronicle reports, "Texans for School Choice wants a pilot program that allows low-income families in the state's urban public school districts to send children to any school, including a private or religious school, at taxpayer expense."
California State Law Limits Funding of Online Charter Schools—A.G.
Monday August 14 2006, 3:46 PM
Metropolitan News reports, "The state may not fund an on-line charter school for the instruction of pupils who reside outside either the county where the school is chartered or an adjacent county, Attorney General Bill Lockyer said in a published opinion."
Don't pay kids to flee schools
Monday August 14 2006, 10:29 AM
USA Today opined on NCLB and America's Opportunity Scholarships for Kids, "Federal accountability rules snagged struggling schools such as Rockefeller, which means Washington has a responsibility to lend a hand. That requires doing something more effective than handing out vouchers that encourage the most motivated families to abandon those schools."
Opportunity for all children
Monday August 14 2006, 10:07 AM
USA Today op-ed contributor US secretary of Education Margaret Spellings opined, "President Bush's proposed America's Opportunity Scholarships for Kids would help low-income families whose schools have failed to meet state academic standards for five or more years. Parents could use the scholarship money to transfer their children to a higher-performing public, charter, or private school or enroll them in an intensive tutoring program. For those cities and districts committed to meeting No Child Left Behind's goal of every child reading and doing math at grade level by 2014, this is an additional tool to help get them there."
Stanford opens high school for gifted students
Monday August 14 2006, 8:29 AM
San Francisco Chronicle reports on US first online program for ultra-smart, "The new online high school comes as advocates of gifted education say the federal No Child Left Behind Act has unintentionally hurt gifted students in the public schools. They say that because teachers face pressure to make all students proficient, they don't challenge the successful ones who could do more."
New Jersey suit aims to allow voucher program
Sunday August 13 2006, 2:30 PM
Courier-Post reports, "A lawsuit filed this month by school-choice advocates seeks to give parents in 25 New Jersey districts, including Camden and four others in the tri-county area, control of the money spent per pupil on their children. The money could be used for tuition at the private, religious or public school of their choosing."
New sour note for Harlem choir
Sunday August 13 2006, 9:33 AM
NY Daily News ERIN EINHORN reports on NYC schools Promise Academy II charter school facility. "'The [Department] of Education is doing this behind parents' backs,' steamed Diana Boyd, a former member of the Choir Academy parent's association. 'This is being done without our consent.' Parents learned that the charter was coming after a city educrat was seen at the building last week checking out the space."
Civil rights leader fights the tide to back Jersey school vouchers
Thursday August 10 2006, 10:45 AM
The Star-Ledger reports, "The 52-year-old Jackson said he gradually came to the cause of school vouchers -- he prefers the term 'school choice' -- after he arrived at Orange's St. Matthew's AME Church in the early 1980s. The Black Ministers' Council later filed a brief on behalf of the plaintiffs in the state Supreme Court's Abbott v. Burke school equity cases, but he said he grew disillusioned by the slow gains in the state's most troubled schools."
Auditors reproach California charter schools
Thursday August 10 2006, 8:47 AM
AP reports, "A chain of charter schools overcharged the state more than $57 million over three years, reimbursed its top executives for expensive SUVs and paid thousands of dollars for employee parties at Disneyland, a state audit released Wednesday found."
Debate school vouchers without injecting race
Wednesday August 09 2006, 11:10 PM
USA op-ed contributor Kevin Chavous, Distinguished fellow, Center for Education Reform opined on school vouchers, "Let's also make sure we know the truth, which is that children who have choices do better than those who do not. The research is abundant, as are stories of triumph when America's impoverished families are given the opportunity to choose the schools their children attend."
California charter school makes efforts to ward off charges of elistism
Wednesday August 09 2006, 10:28 AM
Santa Cruz Sentinel reports, "Since PCS opened in 1999, it has been dogged with charges of elitism. Its student body is overwhelmingly white and the average student's family often donates more than $1,000 a year, even though it's a public school. Half the students in the county are Latino, but PCS has a Latino population of just 5 percent."
Diocese awards 23 education grants
Monday August 07 2006, 8:37 PM
Business First of Buffalo reports, "Western New York schools and church programs have received nearly $80,000 in grants from the Foundation of the Roman Catholic Diocese. The grants come through the Catholic Education Funding program, funded through endowments and from the proceeds of the annual Celebrate Catholic Education dinner."
Study doesn't set back school choice
Monday August 07 2006, 9:22 AM
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel opined, "Leaders of teachers' unions are crowing over the findings, saying they show that public money should not go to private schools, as in Milwaukee's voucher program, since such schools perform no better than do public schools. However, the officials are reading too much into the study, which has little to say to a desperate, low-income Milwaukee parent who feels his or her child is trapped in a bad public school other than that any alternative deserves scrutiny."
'Bickering' over state aid crucial to Albany city schools
Sunday August 06 2006, 8:50 AM
Times Union contributor and Albany City PTA co-chair MARK S. MISHLER opined, "Albany, in particular, has been made into the laboratory for right-wing opponents of public education who have oversaturated the city with charter schools. Close to 10 percent of the charter schools in New York are here, even though Albany has never been determined by the state Education Department to be a 'district in need of improvement.' Why are the charter schools not all in the 50 districts that have been deemed 'in need of improvement'?"
Hyde Park schools lose special ed suit: Courts say parents should be repaid
Saturday August 05 2006, 10:04 AM
Poughkeepsie Journal reports, "At a meeting before an Impartial Hearing Officer, the district conceded Smith School was not an appropriate placement for [name omitted], according to the decision. While the hearing officer and a state review officer concluded the district didn't have to reimburse the family for tuition, the district court reversed the decision."
Adequate education? New Hampshire charter school does it for less
Friday August 04 2006, 10:21 AM
UnionLeader.com reports, "Seacoast Charter provided its highly sought product for an average cost of $6,500 per pupil this past academic year. The average per pupil cost for a New Hampshire public school is $11,200."
The Determinants of Student Achievement in Ohio’s Public Schools
Friday August 04 2006, 1:08 AM
By Matthew Carr, Education Policy Director, Buckeye Institute for Public Policy Solutions. Carr writes, "To capture the changing dynamics of both different academic subjects and students at different ages, this analysis evaluates student performance in five subjects (math, reading, writing, science and citizenship) across grades 3 to 12. This combination gives us 21 separate analyses, or mathematical models. Controls were also included for geography, student socio-economic status, race, and learning disability. This study breaks new ground by also analyzing the factors that influence student performance in charter schools."
Low enrollment threatens school
Thursday August 03 2006, 9:46 AM
The Post-Standard reports, "If St. Daniel closes, it would follow the closing in June of four other schools in the diocese. The closing of Cathedral, St. James and St. Patrick schools in Syracuse and St. Ann in Onondaga were blamed on declining enrollment, changing demographics and increasing operating costs. The closings were part of a consolidation that will create three Bishop's Academies at Most Holy Rosary, Holy Family and St. Charles Borromeo schools and one Cathedral Academy at Our Lady of Pompei School this September."
New study identifies significant private school advantages
Thursday August 03 2006, 9:26 AM
Bloomberg News reports, "'We don't interpret our findings as proving that private schools are better,' Peterson [Harvard researcher] said. 'What we do show is that how your results are incredibly sensitive to the exact way you do the analysis.'" READ REFERENCED STUDIES ON EDUCATION NEW YORK ONLINE, EDUCATION POLICY PAGE, SCHOOL CHOICE LINK (http://www.educationnewyork.com/EducationPolicy#CATID55).
Study disputes public school advantage
Thursday August 03 2006, 9:00 AM
UPI reports, "'When you use participation in federal programs as a measure of a student's family background, you undercount the number of disadvantaged students in the private sector,' said Paul Peterson, a professor of government and one of the study's authors. By contrast, Harvard's study gave a more accurate picture of student performance in both public and private schools, Peterson said." READ REFERENCED STUDIES ON EDUCATION NEW YORK ONLINE, EDUCATION POLICY PAGE, SCHOOL CHOICE LINK (http://www.educationnewyork.com/EducationPolicy#CATID55).
Michigan's Teachers union can't challenge community college's charter schools
Thursday August 03 2006, 12:38 AM
Free Press reports, "A three-judge panel of the Court of Appeals found the Michigan Education Association could not pursue its claim of potential damage from the operation of schools chartered by Bay Mills Community College because it could not provide evidence that public school teachers salaries would be adversely affected by the opening of charter schools."
On the Public-Private School Achievement Debate
Wednesday August 02 2006, 6:28 PM
Paul E. Peterson and Elena Llaudet discuss methodological problems with NCES's study requested by the Educational Testing Service (ETS), "The results from the Alternative Models should not be understood as showing that private schools outperform public schools. Without information on prior student achievement, one cannot answer questions about schools’ efficacy in raising student test scores. The NCES analysis is at serious risk of having produced biased estimates, because its adjustment for student characteristics suffered from two sorts of problems: a) inconsistent classification of student characteristics across sectors and b) inclusion of student characteristics open to school influence. To avoid bias, classification decisions must be consistent for both groups under study. This rule was violated repeatedly in the NCES study." PEPG 06-02. Program on Education Policy and Governance Department of Government, FAS Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University.
Buses won’t roll for 1,384 Ohio students, board determines
Wednesday August 02 2006, 11:36 AM
The Columbus Dispatch reports, "The Columbus Board of Education yesterday declared 1,384 students 'impractical' to transport to school this fall, prompting charter-school advocates to accuse the district of violating state law."
The Battle Over School Choice
Wednesday August 02 2006, 10:06 AM
Foundation for Education Reform & Accountability
Wednesday August 02 2006, 9:43 AM
New York Charter School Resource Center
Wednesday August 02 2006, 9:40 AM
Tuesday August 01 2006, 7:42 PM
School Choice Lawsuit in New Jersey Raises Much Needed Public Awareness about the Crisis in Education
Tuesday August 01 2006, 6:52 PM
Hispanic Business reports, “'It is clear that students are not receiving the education the state constitution demands. No student – Hispanic, White, Black or Asian – should be forced to attend a school that violates their constitutional right because of where they live. These students deserve equal protection under the law and must be granted an immediate remedy.' said Martin Perez, Board Member of Hispanic CREO and President of the Latino Leadership Alliance of New Jersey."
Scholarship idea is not a big opportunity for blacks
Monday July 31 2006, 10:18 PM
USA Today DeWayne Wickham opined, "This latest voucher scheme, if implemented, would likely give a small percentage of students in underperforming schools an escape hatch. The rest would serve as guinea pigs for conservatives' argument that such a program will pressure public schools into doing a better job of educating those who are left behind."
Utah school choice finally getting a hard look
Sunday July 30 2006, 8:55 PM
Deseret Morning News reports, "In case you hadn't noticed, Utah's largest school districts are in danger of breaking up. Thanks to a new law, any city with at least 65,000 people can now form its own school district, and any smaller city can join with a neighboring city to do the same. It may not be a revolution, but at least people now have a way to voice their dissent."
Yonkers charter school expands for September
Friday July 28 2006, 7:33 AM
The Journal reports, "Charter school leaders are hoping to rebound from a year that saw substantial staff turnover and about 90 fewer students than LaGuerre had planned to enroll. Enrollment started in September at 250, but dipped to 162 by year's end. More than half the teachers who began in September had left by February."
New Jersey parents' lawsuit: Failing schools violate our kids' rights
Thursday July 27 2006, 10:44 AM
The Jersey Journal, "The parents, backed by the Black Ministers Council, the Latino Leadership Alliance and Excellent Education for Everyone - a pro-school voucher group - say they're acting on behalf of more than 60,000 students attending schools in which 50 percent failed two of the state's tests, or at least 75 percent failed one test."
Montessori board now weighs legal options in bus dispute
Thursday July 27 2006, 8:53 AM
The Ithaca Journal reports, "The dispute originated with the ICSD Board of Education's decision to change public school hours in September, which creates a need for new bus routes. Elementary schools' hours will be 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., and middle and high schools approximately 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., generally reversing the previous schedule. Consequently, the district is able to provide transportation for nonpublic school students — a requirement in New York state — only by sending them with secondary students to a transfer point at Ithaca High School, Superintendent Judith Pastel has said."
Public, private schools are not so comparable after all
Thursday July 27 2006, 8:28 AM
Times Herald-Record contributor Gary Heotzler, principal of Leptondale Christian Academy in Newburgh, NY responds to NY Times, "The news article makes it sound as if there is no difference in the quality of education between private and public schools when, in actuality, there is a world of difference."
Public vs. Private School Report Spurs Controversy
Wednesday July 26 2006, 7:26 PM
NPR reports, "The findings counter a popularly held notion, that private schools outperform public schools. But the report has generated controversy due to what some call its overly low-key release, on a Friday evening."
Board Pulls Charter for Struggling D.C. School
Wednesday July 26 2006, 10:12 AM
Washington Post reports, "The D.C. Public Charter School Board revoked the charter of a 239-student school on Capitol Hill yesterday, saying that its history of poor financial management would not improve if it stayed open another year."
School bus crisis: How could this happen?
Wednesday July 26 2006, 9:16 AM
Ithaca Journal writes, "Under state law a public school district must offer transportation service to private school students within its borders who, like public students, live within 15 miles of school."
Maine law banning funding of religious schools is appealed
Tuesday July 25 2006, 3:08 PM
AP reports, "An estimated 17,000 Maine students from 145 small towns with no high schools are subject to the voucher program. School districts in those towns offer tuition for students to attend high schools of their choice, but religious schools are not on the list."
Education studies show: $$ wasted on them
Tuesday July 25 2006, 10:42 AM
Boston Herald op-ed contributor Star Parker, president of Coalition on Urban Renewal and Education (CURE) writes, "Choice, competition and freedom are core values that define what we are about as a nation. The Bush administration proposal to appropriate $100 million in opportunity scholarships for poor kids in failing schools is a needed program. Let’s use our limited taxpayer dollars to enhance education freedom and not on superfluous research."
HOPES ON HOLD, ALBANY HAMSTRINGS SCHOOL REFORM
Tuesday July 25 2006, 8:02 AM
NY Post guest op-ed contributor Joel Klein, chancellor of the New York City schools writes, "Charter schools provide high-quality education to some of the poorest communities in our city, giving amazing opportunities to children who are more than 90 percent African-American and Latino."
New Jersey school voucher fight tilts to the right
Monday July 24 2006, 9:17 AM
The Record reports, "A lawsuit to apply New Jersey's public-education funding toward private-school tuition has key support from some of the country's most conservative charitable foundations, including those run by heirs to the Wal-Mart and Amway fortunes, public records show."
Monday July 24 2006, 7:58 AM
Times Union opined on charter schools, "It's one thing to provide competition for the public schools. It's another to make it all but impossible for them to compete."
NBA star to Choir rescue?
Monday July 24 2006, 7:08 AM
NY Daily News reports, "[Kevin]Johnson and the Education Department are expected to announce in the next few weeks their partnership in a rigorous, college preparatory school for middle- and high-school students that will focus on music and community service."
Group trying to open school
Sunday July 23 2006, 9:53 AM
The Post-Standard reports, "'It's a huge undertaking to grow a nonpublic school,' said Tom Hogan, of the state Education Department. 'You can have a lot of very dedicated, well-intentioned people, but many of these attempts don't make it.'"
New York State Charter Schools Act of 1998, Article 56.
Saturday July 22 2006, 7:53 PM
Article 56 Section 2850. Short title; purpose. 2851. Eligible applicants; applications; submission. 2852. Issuance of charter. 2853. Charter school organization; oversight; facilities. 2854. General requirements. 2855. Causes for revocation or termination. 2856. Financing of charter schools. 2857. Notice; review and assessment.
NY's Charter Challenge
Saturday July 22 2006, 8:09 AM
NY Post editorial writes on charter schools, "The 1998 charter-school law limits the number of charters - privately managed, publicly funded schools that have greater flexibility in work rules, curricula formation and hours of operation - to just 100 in the whole state. An effort to lift that limit failed to survive the recently completed legislative session."
2004-05 Annual Report on the Status of Charter Schools in New York State
Friday July 21 2006, 10:49 AM
"This report provides data required by §2857(3) of the Education Law and covers the 2004-05 school year, during which a total of 61 charter schools were open for instruction. Of these 61 schools, 16 were chartered by the Board of Regents, 32 were chartered by the Board of Trustees of the State University of New York ('SUNY'), 11 were chartered by the Chancellor of the New York City Public Schools, and two were chartered by the Board of Education of the Buffalo City School District. Twenty-one had management companies as partners."
SMARTER CHARTER KIDS
Friday July 21 2006, 10:42 AM
NY Post CARL CAMPANILE reports, "The just-released study by state Education Department found students in 11 of 16 city charter schools outscored kids in nearby public schools on the state's fourth-grade English and math exams in 2005."
Friday July 21 2006, 7:38 AM
NY Post DICKER and CAMPANILE report on Spitzer's comments in response to a state Education Department report , "'The study results confirm that these schools can play an important role in demonstrating the effectiveness of educational innovations that can be applied to other parts of the school system,' Spitzer said."
FREE CHILDREN FROM THESE 'PRISONS'
Thursday July 20 2006, 7:57 AM
NY Post columnist Ryan Sager writes, "Let this be clear to everyone: Public schools in New York are prisons for low-income families - and the jailers are the city and state teachers unions."
SMARTER CHARTER KIDS, SCORING ABOVE STUDENTS AT NEARBY PUBLIC SCHOOLS
Thursday July 20 2006, 7:49 AM
NY Post reports, "The academic gap widens in the upper grades, the report said, with kids in five of six upper-grade charter schools faring better on eighth-grade English and math exams."
Ithaca schools busing dispute meeting called off
Thursday July 20 2006, 7:27 AM
Journal reports, "New York state law requires public school districts like Ithaca to provide transportation for students who live within the district but attend nonpublic schools. Like those attending regular district schools, private and parochial students are entitled to the service if they live within 15 miles of their school. A district must provide equal, but not identical, bus service to public and nonpublic schools, according to state law."
US Charter Schools
Wednesday July 19 2006, 2:07 PM
Florida Pathways Academy: Another Chance for High School Dropouts
Wednesday July 19 2006, 9:57 AM
First Coast News reports, "Students can earn a high school diploma and get college credit at Pathways Academy. It's a high school on a college campus. Students can earn their diploma two ways."
Bush-suppressed study dispels voucher myth
Wednesday July 19 2006, 9:33 AM
Palm Beach Post editorial writes, "The U.S. Department of Education, meaning the Bush administration, last week turned an important study comparing public and private schools into a case study on how to bury bad news."
Hawaii charter schools likely to reject weighted student funding formula
Wednesday July 19 2006, 8:41 AM
Honolulu Star Bulletin reports, "Allowing the DOE to apply its formula on charter school funds could prove unpalatable to charter schools, which only recently earned their funding independence."
Public vs. Private Schools
Wednesday July 19 2006, 8:36 AM
New York Times editorial writes, "Instead of arguing about the alleged superiority of one category over another, the country should stay focused on the overarching problem: on average, American schoolchildren are performing at mediocre levels in reading, math and science — wherever they attend school."
Republicans Propose National School Voucher Program
Wednesday July 19 2006, 8:07 AM
NY Times (registration) Diana Jean Schemo reports, "The legislation, modeled on a pilot program here, would pay for tuition and private tutoring for some 28,000 students seeking a way out of public schools that fail to raise test scores sufficiently for at least five years."
Choices for Parents: America's Opportunity Scholarships for Kids
Tuesday July 18 2006, 7:54 PM
"Parents know what is best for their children. Expanding educational options for parents is one of the hallmarks of the No Child Left Behind Act and it remains one of the President's highest priorities." — Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings
A National Voucher Program?
Tuesday July 18 2006, 5:51 PM
People for the American Way reports, "Every child deserves a quality education. Publicly funded vouchers for private schools will not provide that. Instead they’ll drain precious funding from our school systems and widen the achievement gap."
Paterson, New Jersey named in school lawsuit
Tuesday July 18 2006, 10:26 AM
NorthJersey.com reports, "A lawsuit filed Thursday seeks to allow parents to do just that, arguing that requiring students to attend their local district schools -- even when those schools consistently fail state standardized tests -- violates the children's civil rights."
Arizona charter schools score well
Tuesday July 18 2006, 9:49 AM
Tucson Citizen reports, "Some of the smartest kids in the state and nation go to a handful of Tucson charter schools."
Private Performance; The New York Times gets excited
Monday July 17 2006, 11:14 AM
Chester E. Finn Jr., Hoover Institution senior fellow and president of the Thomas B. Fordham Foundation responds to NY Times article on public vs private school performance, "Private schools have other advantages, too. They are generally smaller, more intimate — and nearly always safe and well disciplined. Many of them attend to character development, values and moral formation as well as cognitive skills and knowledge."
California military charter school eyes district land
Monday July 17 2006, 9:59 AM
Inside Bay Area reports, "When the Oakland Unified School District was under local control in 2000, it rejected a charter for Mayor Jerry Brown's Oakland Military Institute."
Downsizing and the Catholic Church
Monday July 17 2006, 9:03 AM
Richard W. Garnett, Lilly Endowment Associate Professor of Law at the University of Notre Dame writes in USA Today, "In and around our nation's big cities, hundreds of Catholic parishes, schools and hospitals are consolidating and closing. Many of these institutions have long provided the foundation — as well as provided for the faith — of urban neighborhoods and immigrant communities."
Charter schools need objective study
Monday July 17 2006, 8:41 AM
Rochester Democrat and Chronicle op-ed by New York State School Boards Association board of directors member Nespeca, "Let's pause, take a breath and take a comprehensive, objective look at the charter school experiment. If they are as successful as the proponents claim, the facts will speak for themselves."
KIPP charter school maintains strict regimen, makes college the end game
Sunday July 16 2006, 11:13 AM
Post-Tribune reports, "A charter education network with a reputation for improving achievement in urban youth and gearing them for college debuted its charter school in Gary this week."
Charter School Gets Home at Education Headquarters
Saturday July 15 2006, 9:46 AM
NY Times DAVID M. HERSZENHORN reports, "City education officials had wanted the Ross school to share a building on the Lower East Side with the New Explorations Into Science, Technology and Math school. But parents at that school, known as NEST, waged months of protests and filed a lawsuit to block the Ross school from moving in. Their most prominent supporter was Sheldon Silver, the State Assembly speaker, who considers NEST a jewel of his Manhattan district." (registration)
N.J. DAD WANTS TO TEACH FAILING PUBLIC SCHOOLS A HARSH LE$$ON
Saturday July 15 2006, 9:38 AM
NY Post columnist Peyser writes, "Though lawsuits have been filed in Illinois and California, parents have so far been unable to wrest education money from the system's cold, dead hands. In New York, courts have ruled that billions must be pumped into schools, in the mistaken notion that more money equals better education. That notion, too, has failed." (registration required)
Charter school gets cozy with educrats
Saturday July 15 2006, 9:28 AM
NY Daily News reports, "Bloomberg and Klein have been strong supporters of charters and have made space for many of them in public schools, but their decision to put one in the Education Department's headquarters has raised some eyebrows."
Public Schools Perform Near Private Ones in Study
Friday July 14 2006, 11:59 PM
NY Times (registration) reports, "The Education Department reported on Friday that children in public schools generally performed as well or better in reading and mathematics than comparable children in private schools. The exception was in eighth-grade reading, where the private school counterparts fared better."
Comparing Private Schools and Public Schools Using Hierarchical Linear Modeling
Friday July 14 2006, 6:41 PM
This NCES study compares mean 2003 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) reading and mathematics scores of public and private schools in 4th and 8th grades, statistically controlling for individual student characteristics (such as gender, race/ethnicity, disability status, identification as an English language learner) and school characteristics (such as school size, location, and the composition of the student body).
Virtual school may open in Illinois
Thursday July 13 2006, 9:34 AM
Chicago Tribune reports, "The Chicago Virtual Charter School plans to serve a variety of children, including the gifted, those with learning disabilities and those who find it difficult to settle down in a more structured teaching environment."
Some Maryland charter schools see drop in scores
Thursday July 13 2006, 9:26 AM
Baltimore Sun reports, "The poor report card for the three schools comes just a few months after the state attempted to put 11 more city schools in the hands of outside operators. It raises questions about whether a state takeover is the best way to improve failing schools."
Hispanic Council for Reform and Educational Options (HCREO)
Thursday July 13 2006, 9:12 AM
Black Alliance for Educational Options (BAEC)
Thursday July 13 2006, 9:09 AM
Alliance for School Choice
Wednesday July 12 2006, 9:24 AM
Action taken by the Board of Regents
Wednesday July 12 2006, 8:46 AM
The Board of Regents must provide appropriate notification of the chartering process at significant stages to the school district in which the charter school is located and to all public and nonpublic schools in the same geographic area.
Calitornia venture capitalist seeks education revolution; Investment focus is charter schools
Tuesday July 11 2006, 8:24 AM
Union Tribune reports, "Federal tax credits, often used to attract investments for housing and retail projects in blighted areas, can be used to attract capital for the construction of new charter schools. Investors receive tax breaks in exchange for providing capital."
Indiana charter schools could go online
Tuesday July 11 2006, 8:12 AM
The Courier-Journal reports, "Similar charter schools already are operating in more than 15 states. Pennsylvania, for example, has had "cyber schools" for about five years, and 12 of them now serve about 13,000 of the state's 1.8million students."
Albany's charter's first class farewell
Tuesday July 11 2006, 7:25 AM
Times Union reports, "The city has six charter schools, with two more expected to open in the fall. Supporters say charter schools, which are funded by taxpayers, provide choice to parents, many of whom don't have the money to send children to private school. Opponents say charters drain revenue from the city school district without accountability."
School choice offers way to improve Arizona schools
Monday July 10 2006, 7:57 PM
Arizona Daily Star guest editorial by Matthew Ladner, Goldwater Institute, "The crisis facing Arizona public schools is not one of resources. Rather, it is a collapse in the productivity of education spending. Arizona public schools have come to resemble a broken-down jalopy. You can pump in all the gas that money can buy, but they still won't run."
School Choice Spreads With Tax Credits
Monday July 10 2006, 7:48 PM
Human Events reports, "Across the country, corporate scholarship tax credits have become a popular way to expand school choice."
United Cerebral Palsy of Central Florida charter school taking registration for 2006-07
Sunday July 09 2006, 10:58 AM
Orlando Sentinel reports, "Children without disabilities can also attend the preschool. This gives children with and without disabilities an opportunity to learn and play together."
NEST charter doesn’t fly; Is principal’s goose cooked?
Friday July 07 2006, 9:00 AM
The Villager reports, "The department claims it overturned its original, seemingly steadfast, decision to place Ross Global Academy inside the building because it wants to keep stability in the building after the change of the principal at NEST+m."
Vouchers siphon funds from public schools
Wednesday July 05 2006, 4:37 PM
Tucson Citizen reports, "Academically, vouchers haven't improved student achievement anywhere. And morally - on the high ground voucher proponents love to claim but cannot reach - vouchers do a disservice not only to children, but also to the very underpinnings of the democratic society whose foundation we celebrate today."
Growth, Diversity Highlight Arlington's 'Wonderful Story'
Wednesday July 05 2006, 11:07 AM
Catholic Herald reports, "Catholic schools in the Arlington Diocese continue to grow and reach out to minority students in an unprecedented way, Dr. Timothy J. McNiff, diocesan superintendent of schools, told a group of journalists June 28 at a press briefing in Arlington."
Colorado charter agency in jeopardy; Local school boards file suits to maintain authority in districts
Wednesday July 05 2006, 9:15 AM
Rocky Mountain News reports, "Local boards of education see the institute as an end-run around a portion of the Colorado Constitution they interpret as giving them authority over all publicly funded schools in their districts."
Bipartisan Coalition Backs New School Funding Model; Solution Boosts Spending for Needy Children and Promotes Education Choice
Tuesday July 04 2006, 7:47 PM
US Newswire reports, "The proposal, Fund the Child: Tackling Inequity and Antiquity in School Finance (visit http://www.100percentsolution.org ), is a 'manifesto' that offers a comprehensive solution to the most pressing problems in American education, including funding disparities on many levels."
New Mexico to increase number of charter schools
Tuesday July 04 2006, 6:13 PM
KOBTV.com reports, "New Mexico has received more than $12 million from the US Education Department to increase the number of charter schools in the state."
Downtown YWCA to house Buffalo charter school
Tuesday July 04 2006, 9:20 AM
Buffalo News reports, "The Buffalo Academy of Science Charter School will move to the building in time for the start of its 2007-08 school year. A renovation effort is planned to convert the 54-year-old building for educational use."
Los Angeles Unified Losing Staff to Charters
Monday July 03 2006, 10:17 AM
LA Times registration required. LA Times reports, "Amid the continuing growth of charter schools in Los Angeles, hundreds of teachers and administrators have left the city's school system to take jobs at the independently run campuses."
Niagara Charter School on its own for transit
Monday July 03 2006, 10:06 AM
The Buffalo News reports, "City School Superintendent Carmen A. Granto said last week that it would be too costly to help with transportation because the district would then have to provide it to everybody attending private schools outside the district."
Groups clamor to sponsor Ohio charter schools
Monday July 03 2006, 9:17 AM
The Toledo Blade reports on Ohio charter schools, "The nonprofit groups, which include traditional school districts, that monitor and "sponsor" the taxpayer-funded schools are paid up to 3 percent of the tax dollars allocated for each school."
A yearning for learning
Monday July 03 2006, 7:40 AM
NY Daily News reports, "Charter schools typically have smaller class sizes and more challenging academic regimens than regular public schools. Critics charge that they siphon off the best children in any school district and take money from a system that is already strapped for cash, and do so with little or no accountability."
Federal standards put Florida schools in quandary
Sunday July 02 2006, 8:18 AM
National Center for the Study of Privatization in Education (NCSPE)
Saturday July 01 2006, 8:46 PM
Politics of Charter Schools: Competing National Advocacy Coalitions Meet Local Politics
Saturday July 01 2006, 7:48 PM
2006. Author: Michael W. Kirst. This paper identifies supporters and opponents of charter schools at all levels of government and describes their motivations and behaviors. The author explains that state and local support for charter schools is most often determined by educational needs and material incentives. Different political contexts produce different charter school policies. For example, charter school legislation in Michigan was designed to increase competition among public schools. Legislation in Georgia served to deregulate public education after a period of increased state centralization. The paper concludes that there is no cohesive state or local charter political pattern, given the variations in charter schools and their contexts.
Utah wheels of education reform start to turn today
Saturday July 01 2006, 9:36 AM
Magnet Schools and Student Achievement
Friday June 30 2006, 8:48 AM
Author: Dale Ballou, Ellen Goldring and Keke Liu. This study estimates the impact of attending a magnet school on student achievement for a mid-sized Southern district, using admissions lotteries to sort students into “treatment” and “control” groups. Study finds a positive magnet school effect on mathematics achievement until add controls for student demographics and prior achievement. This suggests that despite random assignment in the lotteries, treatment and control groups differ with respect to student characteristics that have an independent impact on achievement. The most likely explanation is differential patterns of attrition among lottery winners and losers.
Panel approves Philadelphia charter school for boys
Thursday June 29 2006, 9:15 AM
Arizona Gov. Napolitano defends acceptance of school measures
Wednesday June 28 2006, 4:44 PM
UFT protests the unfair firing of charter school teachers
Wednesday June 28 2006, 4:31 PM
Arizona legislature of 2 minds on poorest schools
Wednesday June 28 2006, 12:29 PM
Arizona University-sponsored charter school ready for students
Monday June 26 2006, 10:30 PM
'Buts' are hurdles to Philadelphia charter schools
Monday June 26 2006, 10:47 AM
Charter school sponsored by U of Arizona to open
Monday June 26 2006, 9:03 AM
The wrong way to argue for charter schools
Monday June 26 2006, 3:51 AM
NY Daily News
Arizona school vouchers deal angers some
Sunday June 25 2006, 10:06 AM
California charter schools increasingly popular with parents
Sunday June 25 2006, 9:36 AM
Outsiders fund Utah 'school choice' PAC
Sunday June 25 2006, 9:21 AM
'F' is for full
Sunday June 25 2006, 8:42 AM
NY Daily News
California Charter School Opts Out of Federal Funds
Saturday June 24 2006, 9:11 AM
Legislature Deals Setback to Mayor in Declining to Allow More Charter Schools
Saturday June 24 2006, 8:09 AM
NY Times registration
Charter School Will Not Go Into School for the Gifted
Saturday June 24 2006, 8:01 AM
NY Times registration
NEST-Y school dispute's over
Saturday June 24 2006, 7:53 AM
NY Daily News
Last Day For Catholic Schools Before Summer Break
Friday June 23 2006, 3:41 PM
Ohio charter schools oversight criticized
Friday June 23 2006, 10:45 AM
Dems for School Choice?
Friday June 23 2006, 10:22 AM
Gov. Pataki plan for charter schools may force a showdown
Friday June 23 2006, 7:51 AM
Rochester Democrat and Chronicle
The Reform Of School Reform
Friday June 23 2006, 7:14 AM
Michigan county picks charter school to teach kids in juvenile detention center
Wednesday June 21 2006, 4:37 PM
Milwaukee charter school dropping offer of $100 gift cards for top students
Wednesday June 21 2006, 12:06 PM
New Lessons in Class
Tuesday June 20 2006, 5:14 PM
Public money shouldn't go to private schools
Tuesday June 20 2006, 10:16 AM
Pride of Edmonton Isn't Just the Oilers
Tuesday June 20 2006, 10:04 AM
Utah's online Electronic High School leads the nation in student enrollment
Tuesday June 20 2006, 9:08 AM
Second Boca charter school closes abruptly
Tuesday June 20 2006, 8:50 AM
MEMO TO ALBANY: PUT KIDS FIRST (NY Post registration)
Tuesday June 20 2006, 7:56 AM
Wisconsin charter school offers $100 gift cards to attract top students
Monday June 19 2006, 1:19 PM
First grads emerge from Pittsburgh charter high school
Monday June 19 2006, 9:34 AM
ALBANY'S SCHOOL TEST (NY Post registration)
Monday June 19 2006, 7:38 AM
Charter Schools' Oversight May Shift (Washington Post registration)
Sunday June 18 2006, 11:17 PM
Arizona Voucher OK in budget deal certain to ignite legal challenges
Sunday June 18 2006, 10:16 AM
Nashville wants state's first district-run charter high school
Friday June 16 2006, 11:03 PM
Voucher violation or loophole?
Friday June 16 2006, 9:32 AM
Wyoming superintendent raps charter school plan
Thursday June 15 2006, 8:19 AM
Board Approves Alliance Of Public, Charter School (Washington Post registration)
Thursday June 15 2006, 8:14 AM
Southern Baptist Convention Leaders Refuse To Back School Pullout
Wednesday June 14 2006, 7:37 PM
New Niagara charter school wants to add third kindergarten class
Wednesday June 14 2006, 12:42 PM
New Hampshire charter school for deaf to close
Wednesday June 14 2006, 12:40 PM
Downtown Ohio charter school closes
Wednesday June 14 2006, 12:39 PM
$21.6 Million in Charter Schools Facilities Grants Announced
Wednesday June 14 2006, 10:21 AM
The Local Initiatives Support Corporation in New York, N.Y., has been awarded a $8.2 million grant.
School choice 'means classroom ghettos'
Wednesday June 14 2006, 10:12 AM
School options always good for education
Tuesday June 13 2006, 7:53 AM
Louisiana Awarded $23.9 Million No Child Left Behind Grant to Help Create More Charter Schools
Monday June 12 2006, 6:45 PM
Education Secretary to announce big charter school grant for Louisiana
Monday June 12 2006, 10:33 AM
Pennsylvania Launches New Statewide Public Cyber School
Monday June 12 2006, 8:16 AM
Delaware bill proposes charter funds
Sunday June 11 2006, 8:00 PM
Big Easy taps Windy City aid; Chicago experts to help effort to create unique charter school system
Sunday June 11 2006, 10:23 AM
Delaware parents believe in new school's system
Sunday June 11 2006, 9:57 AM
2,450 apply for Ohio school vouchers, 14,000 were available statewide
Friday June 09 2006, 6:26 PM
Colorado Catholic Church creates vouchers for low-income students
Thursday June 08 2006, 9:56 PM
Oregon Web School Draws Pupils, Critics
Wednesday June 07 2006, 8:27 PM
Vouchers abused, Ohio says
Wednesday June 07 2006, 10:23 AM
School choice vs. diversity
Wednesday June 07 2006, 10:10 AM
An education from Russia, with tough love
Tuesday June 06 2006, 7:46 PM
Delaware charter school supporters rally
Tuesday June 06 2006, 10:17 AM
Parents of the Gifted Resist a Call to Share a School Building (NY Times registration)
Tuesday June 06 2006, 7:44 AM
Race-Based School Placements Get High Court Scrutiny
Monday June 05 2006, 11:16 AM
Charter schools are experiment that worked
Monday June 05 2006, 11:06 AM
An A+ Choice
Monday June 05 2006, 11:04 AM
New rules enacted for Utah charter schools
Saturday June 03 2006, 9:29 AM
Michigan charter high school gains needed space
Friday June 02 2006, 6:19 PM
Harlem, a Test Lab, Splits Over Charter Schools (NY Times registration)
Friday June 02 2006, 8:11 AM
Students rally for funding for Delaware charter schools
Thursday June 01 2006, 9:08 AM
Charter schools are innovative, accountable
Thursday June 01 2006, 8:03 AM
Learning How To Get Along, Odd alliance of school-voucher advocates in Oregon
Wednesday May 31 2006, 12:05 PM
America's Opportunity Scholarships for Kids: School Choice for Students in Underperforming Public Schools
Tuesday May 30 2006, 6:12 PM
Florida Charter Schools: Hot and Humid with Passing Storms
Tuesday May 30 2006, 5:46 PM
read full report on education new york online, EDUCATION POLICY link, SCHOOL CHOICE folder.
Florida Charter Schools: Hot and Humid with Passing Storms
Tuesday May 30 2006, 5:32 PM
by Bryan C. Hassel, Michelle Godard Terrell, and Julie Kowal, Public Impact
Deadline Nears For Ohio School Voucher Program
Tuesday May 30 2006, 8:38 AM
Cyber school begets an education empire
Tuesday May 30 2006, 7:31 AM
School choice and resegregation in California
Monday May 29 2006, 8:35 AM
Don't let them make the choice
Sunday May 28 2006, 8:56 AM
Southern Baptists Bypassing Public Schools
Saturday May 27 2006, 8:29 PM
Manhattan Charter School to Relocate, Union Says (NY Times registration)
Friday May 26 2006, 7:41 AM
Profiles of For-Profit Education Management
Thursday May 25 2006, 9:34 AM
Eighth Annual Report 2005-2006 by Alex Molnar, David R. Garcia, Margaret Bartlett, Adrienne O’Neill. Released by the Education Policy Studies Laboratory at Arizona State University, this report, in its eighth edition, found that Education Management Organizations (EMOs) are consolidating and shifting business models to meet the demand for supplemental education services. Large EMOs continue to focus on managing charter primary schools and enrolling relatively large numbers of students in those schools. Fifty-one EMOs operate in 28 states and the District of Columbia, enrolling some 237,179 students. The report is the most comprehensive resource on the for-profit education management industry.
VOICE FOR KIDS, PARENTS VS SPECIAL INTERESTS (NY Post registration)
Thursday May 25 2006, 7:26 AM
Answer to NCLB Failure is School Choice
Wednesday May 24 2006, 10:34 AM
The Choice is Ours: Expanding Educational Opportunity for all Twin Cities Children
Wednesday May 24 2006, 8:40 AM
A new report by the Institute on Race & Poverty (IRP) at the University of Minnesota reveals the disturbing extent of school segregation in the Twin Cities region. The authors of the report envision a brighter future if an already successful school choice program is expanded. The report, “The Choice Is Ours: Expanding Educational Opportunity for all Twin Cities Children,” describes how economic and racial segregation harms children and the region.
Study shows correlation between school segregation and poverty enrollment
Wednesday May 24 2006, 8:33 AM
N.Y. LAWMAKERS MUST LIFT CAP ON CHARTER SCHOOLS (NY Post registration)
Tuesday May 23 2006, 6:49 AM
Charter school ads get an F
Tuesday May 23 2006, 6:41 AM
Milwaukee's lessons on school vouchers
Monday May 22 2006, 7:06 PM
Court: Connecticut town not required to transport charter school preschoolers
Monday May 22 2006, 7:03 PM
No child left behind here
Monday May 22 2006, 8:21 AM
Academy aims high
Sunday May 21 2006, 9:25 AM
Charter school data flunk clarity test
Sunday May 21 2006, 8:39 AM
Charter ads rile Assembly majority
Saturday May 20 2006, 10:04 PM
Cry for help with charter schools
Friday May 19 2006, 8:20 AM
South Carolina decision could force school voucher group disclosures
Thursday May 18 2006, 9:58 AM
TEACH JAM AT UFT CHARTERS (NY Post registration)
Thursday May 18 2006, 8:46 AM
New Hampshire school voucher idea seems dead
Wednesday May 17 2006, 11:55 AM
Oregon school-choice foes, fans set to spar again
Tuesday May 16 2006, 11:43 AM
Parker: The NAACP's fight against private school vouchers
Tuesday May 16 2006, 11:39 AM
School bills are lesson in math
Monday May 15 2006, 7:51 AM
Call a truce in nasty school war
Monday May 15 2006, 7:03 AM
THE CATHOLIC-SCHOOL CRISIS (NY Post registration)
Monday May 15 2006, 6:54 AM
The Harlem Children's Zone
Sunday May 14 2006, 8:15 PM
Private School Rankings
Friday May 12 2006, 7:23 PM
Reining in Charter Schools (NY Times registration)
Wednesday May 10 2006, 8:30 AM
Manhattan: Battle Over Charter School (NY Times registration)
Tuesday May 09 2006, 6:14 AM
A new army fights charter school war
Monday May 08 2006, 7:58 AM
Florida vouchers obscured other issues
Sunday May 07 2006, 9:30 AM
Vouchers saved, but Florida Gov. Bush won't get amendment
Friday May 05 2006, 9:31 AM
Vouchers test Cincinnati school choice
Friday May 05 2006, 9:12 AM
Swing votes in Florida school vouchers battle
Thursday May 04 2006, 7:58 AM
New Hampshire private school voucher proposal gets a new life
Wednesday May 03 2006, 9:41 AM
South Carolina bill could enable online education
Wednesday May 03 2006, 8:58 AM
GIVE KIDS MORE CHANCE TO HOPE (NY Post registration)
Wednesday May 03 2006, 7:52 AM
Poll Finds Broad Support for Public Charter Schools
Tuesday May 02 2006, 7:51 PM
Charter Schools Making the Grade in Urban Areas
Tuesday May 02 2006, 7:49 PM
Florida State Senate kills proposed school voucher amendment
Monday May 01 2006, 8:17 PM
Secretary Spellings Delivers Remarks Launching Charter Schools Week
Monday May 01 2006, 7:33 PM
Vote looms on Florida voucher program
Monday May 01 2006, 12:14 PM
Anger Over Charter School’s NEST+m Takeover
Monday May 01 2006, 8:05 AM
Models of middle school success
Monday May 01 2006, 4:44 AM
SHARING THE NEST (NY Post registration)
Sunday April 30 2006, 7:40 AM
Votes on South Carolina tax credits loom
Friday April 28 2006, 1:39 PM
Kentucky coalition calls for more education accountability, school choice
Friday April 28 2006, 9:15 AM
Florida voucher controls within reach after 2 years of slipping away
Friday April 28 2006, 8:29 AM
Edison Schools Rated Top Education Service Provider
Thursday April 27 2006, 1:51 PM
Maine High court bans funding of religious schools
Thursday April 27 2006, 9:37 AM
Chartering a course
Thursday April 27 2006, 7:28 AM
Louisiana House rejects plan to set up school voucher program
Wednesday April 26 2006, 11:35 PM
National Charter Schools Week, 2006
Wednesday April 26 2006, 10:51 PM
Massachusetts charter school aid formula called unfair
Wednesday April 26 2006, 1:18 PM
Florida House OKs amendment to strike voucher case legal doctrine
Wednesday April 26 2006, 7:23 AM
Schools in miracle reprieve
Saturday April 22 2006, 7:45 AM
SCHOOLS GET LAST RITES (NY Post registration)
Saturday April 22 2006, 7:37 AM
Congressman's bill would give tuition tax credits to parents
Friday April 21 2006, 11:45 AM
New Hampshire vouchers called a recipe for chaos
Wednesday April 19 2006, 8:17 AM
California School Choice and Supplemental Services: Administration Slow to Hold School Districts Accountable Under NCLB
Tuesday April 18 2006, 6:46 PM
New Charter School taking students to prepare for college
Tuesday April 18 2006, 6:32 PM
Resolution to Protect PA Cyber School Funding
Thursday April 13 2006, 12:00 PM
Resolution to Protect PA Cyber School Funding
Thursday April 13 2006, 12:00 PM
Stanford U to launch online high school for gifted students
Thursday April 13 2006, 7:42 AM
Albany's School Superintendent Blames Budget Woes on Charter Schools
Thursday April 13 2006, 12:16 AM
In East Hampton: Protest Against Ross Charter School Planned
Tuesday April 11 2006, 10:12 PM
FL to shut down charter school over failing test scores, debt
Tuesday April 11 2006, 8:23 AM
Pataki Threatens to Upend Spending Bill Over Tax Credit (NY Times registration)
Tuesday April 11 2006, 7:11 AM
Utah charter schools' funds disparity found
Sunday April 09 2006, 11:23 AM
Bishops press for school tax credit
Friday April 07 2006, 8:49 AM
Education secretary calls for 'school choice' at church school in Jamaica
Thursday April 06 2006, 2:17 PM
Chart a new course (2nd editorial)
Thursday April 06 2006, 8:25 AM
Bush Enters Fray in New York Over Tuition Tax Credits
Thursday April 06 2006, 8:16 AM
Federal Program on Vouchers Draws Strong Minority Support
Wednesday April 05 2006, 11:47 PM
Secretary Spellings Delivers Remarks on School Choice
Wednesday April 05 2006, 11:16 PM
Charter schools can help rural school districts
Friday March 31 2006, 3:03 PM
Older CO charter students lagging
Tuesday January 24 2006, 8:57 AM
Hawaii Gov. Lingle asks $18 million for charter schools
Tuesday January 24 2006, 8:55 AM
FINAL CHARTER SCHOOLS GET OK (NY Post registration required)
Tuesday January 24 2006, 7:56 AM
Charter, Private, Public Schools and Academic Achievement: New Evidence from NAEP Mathematics Data
Monday January 23 2006, 8:18 PM
2006. Author: Chris Lubienski and Sarah Theule Lubienski. National Center for the Study of Privatization in Education, Teachers College, Columbia University.
Peaks & Valleys
Wednesday December 28 2005, 1:52 AM
PPI | Policy Report | December 20, 2005 Peaks & Valleys Colorado's Charter School Landscape By Todd Ziebarth
School Vouchers: The Research Track Record, Student Acheivement
Monday December 05 2005, 7:59 AM
This research brief summarizes the most recent evidence on the impact of private school vouchers on student achievement, particularly among low-income youngsters.
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