Resurrect DC Choice, Bury the Lede

A Washington Post story from a couple of days ago touts survey results showing a majority of DC parents — 53 percent — finally giving the DC public schools a decent grade. That is, to be fair, a big story. But it certainly isn’t the most overwhelming finding in the survey. That you find mentioned deep in the article:

The coming teacher-union offensive

Already, national political fundraising ma- chines are beginning to hum and s putter toward early targets in their quest to break another election cycle’s worth of spending records. In an effort to fight on their own terms, unions have turned to their lawyers. Absent openings to block or close charter schools, teachers union leaders increasingly are trying to take them over.

Chaos for kids in UFT-NAACP lawsuit-Editorial

The fate of thousands of kids’ educa tions may be decided next week by a ruling in a lawsuit aimed at thwarting charter schools and keeping open some 22 abysmal traditional schools. Or maybe it won’t be decided. Confused? Well, that’s the idea. After all, sowing chaos and uncertainty is part of the plan for the teachers union and the NAACP, which brought the suit. Throw enough legal challenges at the wall, and maybe the city will quit trying to close rotten schools (staffed by union members) and to expand promising new charters (staffed, mostly, by non-union professionals).

GOP Lawmaker Challenges Duncan on No Child Left Behind

Mr. Kline said he plans to break the law into five or six smaller legislative bills and try to pass them by the end of the calendar year. The bills would focus on charter school expansion, more flexibility for schools in spending federal money, stricter requirements for teachers and rewriting rules that punish schools for missing federal student achievement standards.

Brooks named to represent state in conference

State Rep. Kevin Brooks, R-Cleveland, representing the 24th Legislative District, to represent the state in the coming 60th annual Southern Regional Education Board’s Legislative Work Conference. SREB, which is headquartered in Atlanta, works closely on education issues within a 16-state region. Its principal focus is “… to improve student achievement at every level of public education,” Brooks explained.

Interview: Houston charter school leader Chris Barbic prepares for new job in Tennessee

A little over a month ago, Gov. Bill Haslam announced his decision to name Chris Barbic as the first superintendent of Tennessee’s Achievement School District (ASD). The ASD, a newly formed district under the Haslam administration, is composed of Tennessee’s five lowest performing schools. It includes Chattanooga’s Howard Academy of Academics and Technology, and four schools in Memphis. When Barbic begins his job on August 1, his task will be to oversee efforts to turn around performance in the school district.

Crissy Haslam encourages seniors to play role in education

Tennessee’s first lady was in Brentwood Tuesday to talk about literacy and reading initiatives to FiftyForward Martin Center members during their monthly potluck lunch. Haslam is focusing her efforts in three areas: parents as first teachers, parents as educational partners and literacy improvement.

Haslam Appoints 3 To State Board Of Education

Governor Bill Haslam today announced three members of the state board of education: Knoxville Chamber President and CEO Mike Edwards; former Executive Director of the Tennessee Board of Regents’ Tech Prep Programs Carolyn Pearre; and TRH Health Plans CEO Lonnie Roberts. The Tennessee Board of Education is the governing and policy making body for the state’s public and secondary education systems, affecting accountability, evaluation, curriculum and teacher education, among other areas.

Assault charges dip in 14 Memphis schools

Fighting and other behaviors that end in simple assault charges are down nearly 25 percent in Memphis’ 14 most violent middle and high schools. The city schools system is one of a dozen districts that will be honored for gains in August at the School Safety Advocacy Council’s national convention in Phoenix.

State voucher program is generating interest from parents, private school leaders

There is a common belief that parents need to become more involved in their children’s education. The responsibility to find the right school will vest them in helping their child be successful in that school. “It’s part of the formula for success. With choice comes ownership, and with ownership comes engagement.

Battling competitiveness | siemens, chief, rate

America spends far more on education than most other nations, so why is its workforce lagging behind? There are jobs to be had, but the industries hiring say the knowledge, education and performance levels needed for these jobs aren’t being found in the U.S. While the Obama Administration and Department of Labor tout that more job training and government intervention would solve this problem, why not fix the problem at its roots—America’s current education system. America cannot afford to spend additional money on job training programs. Since the hefty cost of the public education system is already assumed by taxpayers, state lawmakers and school districts need to work to make it a worthy investment A country as advanced and wealthy as America should produce only the best and the brightest.

NAACP Tries to Hold Back Tide of History

There is one further pattern that illustrates why charter schools are so important to black parents and students. While black suburbanization is far more common now than in the past, there is still a persistent difference in patterns of residential mobility in pursuit of good schools. In short, this data shows that charter schools are increasingly the way in which school choice is being exercised by black parents, especially those in central cities. Given the abysmal performance record of so many traditional urban public schools this is certainly a reasonable choice. Interestingly, the suit the NAACP joined also seeks to prevent the closure of 22 schools for poor performance.

The Case for Common Educational Standards

The success of today’s students will determine our nation’s destiny. America’s economic strength and standing in the world economy are directly linked to our ability to equip students with the knowledge and skills to succeed in the 21st-century economy. A recent analysis by ACT…concluded that three-fourths of the young men and women entering colleges “were not adequately prepared academically for first-year college courses.” The Common Standards set clear benchmarks for each grade for students reading sufficiently complex texts in English, history/social studies, science and technical subjects.

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