Morrill said in court documents that he believes his policy stance against charter schools and voucher programs made the committee vote to oust him — not his qualifications.
"Some members of the committee believed that his membership on the state school board had been and would continue to be inimical to their … partisan interests in relation to charter schools and other matters," the lawsuit states.
Friday, July 30, 2010
Dennis Morril, a current member of the State Board of Education who was not nominated by the nominating committee to stand for re-election, has filed suit.
He believes that |gasp|
there was a political aspect to why he was not selected to run for political office. From the DNews:
I guess all I can say is, if you are anti-charter, and the political reality is that charters are a popular and growing part of the public education system, why would it be a surprise to get weeded out? He obviously thinks that charter schools are a "partisan" issue, rather than an educational one.
His absence from the school board will be wonderful.
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
Utah was not among the 18 states (plus the District of Columbia) selected to continue on in the second round of Race to the Top funding.
Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and South Carolina were the states selected to proceed.
Just out of curiosity, I counted, and only 4 of these 17 states did not vote for Obama in the last election.
From the Associated Press: "In the past 18 months, 13 states have altered laws to foster the growth of charter schools, and 17 have reformed teacher evaluation systems to include student achievement, among other things."
Friday, July 23, 2010
...but New Mexico charters just got walloped with a "scathing" report showing poor academics and financial mismanagement.
And a response:
But many charter school representatives question the methods used to create the report and wonder if it may have an anti-charter school agenda."We certainly have opponents to charter schools, and certainly this report is going to make those opponents happy," said Lisa Grover of the New Mexico Coalition for Charter Schools.Grover said no one had seen the report until Friday's meeting. When she asked the LFC for the report earlier, she said she was told the report wasn't available.Less than a third of the state's charter schools were examined to create the report.
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
Summer is always a slow time for charter school news, and I see that there haven't been many posts. I've traveled, and there really hasn't been much newsworthy to report.
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
Utah businesses are ignoring E-verify law
Charter Schools (at least most of them) are also required to sign up with e-verify and use the new federal system to ensure that all newly hired employees are legally eligible to work in the United States. I haven't seen any lists, but I just bet that most charters haven't completed the process. There's a lot going on, there hasn't been a lot of guidance or how-to training, and my guess is that the July 1 deadline slipped by for most schools (and apparently for most other employers, according to the article above).
Immigration watchdog groups have published lists of offending government agencies, and I be they will continue to do so. If they do, you're likely to have at least one parent who will see your school's name on the list and call to take you to task for the oversight.
By the way, you can sign up here.
Saturday, July 10, 2010
Well, I'm visiting family outside of Seattle for a few days. Washington is a curious state when it comes to charters.
Like many states, as charters demonstrated success in early states like Minnesota, Florida, Utah, and others, reformers in Washington executed a strategy to get charter legislation through the state legislature. After the state House of Representatives passed charter legislation five times only to see the bills die in the Senate, both houses finally passed modest charter legislation in 2004. That mobilized the WEA (Washington's largest teachers' union and their counterpart to the UEA), which successfully petitioned for a statewide referendum on the law, which was repealed by voters that November.
There is still a nascent charter school movement in the state, but little progress has been made.
Friday, July 9, 2010
Charter schools are eligible for a facebook-driven charitable campaign by Kohl's department store that will give $500,000 each to winning schools.
The winning schools will be chosen through a contest conducted on the social networking site Facebook, where individuals can nominate their school along with an idea for the way the school will use the money.
Monday, July 5, 2010
There were two teachers of the year announced at the Charter School Conference in June, but only one has been getting play in the media. See stories here, here, and a national story here. So, why has Svetlana Winward of Mountainville Academy not received the same media attention as Sarah Weston at Open High School?
One reason is that Sarah is the first teacher at a virtual school to win the award, and that's certainly newsworthy. But the other reason is that Open High School has worked the media and used the award effectively in its self-promotion plans.
When talking to a reporter about the story and mentioning how great it was that a local Utah teacher was getting national attention, the reporter explained that OHS simply sent out press releases on the topic to news agencies everywhere. When reporters don't know news, they won't report it.
So, while I congratulate Sarah Weston, I also point out that this is a learning moment for those that run schools. Take advantage of opportunities like this and toot your own horn--loudly and publicly.