Monday, August 30, 2010
- West Michigan Aviation Academy
- Democracy Preparatory Charter School
"The movement is beginning to expand and grow as parents figure out that public charters are doing a great deal in closing the achievement gap and offering options that public schools don't," said Peter Groff, executive director of the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools. But what works in Harlem and in Grand Rapids, Mich., might not work elsewhere, advocates said, so the best approach to growing the charter movement rests in the hands of parents and their communities, and the marketplace.
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
Over the past five years, New Orleans has turned tragedy into triumph. It has quickly become the most market based school district in the country. The state of Louisiana took over most of the schools in the district and turned them into successful charter schools. As a result, 70 percent of students in New Orleans will be attending a charter school in the fall—the highest rate of any district in the nation. Additionally, the district now has an open choice policy that allows students to attend any public school regardless of their geographical location.
So far, the numbers show it has been mostly successful. A recent Stanford University study highlighted Louisiana…where charter schools outperform traditional pub lic schools. Louisiana Superintendent of Education Paul Pastorek reports that in New Orleans, the combined district test scores have risen 24 percent since 2005, when most stu dents attended traditional schools.
I hate to say this… I think the best thing that happened to the education system in New Orleans was Hurricane Katrina. That education system was a disaster. It took hurricane Katrina to wake up the community and say we have to do better. The progress that they've made in four years is unbelievable.
Monday, August 23, 2010
After 18 months of frosty relations that at times bordered on outright hostility, it seems that Obama has called a truce — one that several education experts noted comes just in time for the midterm elections, when teachers unions can be a powerful Democratic ally.
Obama and Duncan have presided over historic increases in school financing and hastened changes, such as new teacher evaluation systems in states and school districts, often with the cooperation of local unions. At the same time, this Democratic president has aggressively confronted teachers unions with a spate of reforms out of a Republican playbook: more charter schools, merit pay for teachers and firing educators in failing schools.
Friday, August 20, 2010
Currently, there are large disparities among school districts and charter schools, said Sen. Stuart Adams, R-Layton.
Some districts have a much larger tax base than others, and charter schools can't impose a property tax, he said during the Legislature's Revenue and Taxation Interim Committee meeting Wednesday.
Part of the tax collection for schools is already "equalized," Adams said. For example, income tax is collected by the state and distributed to school districts according to a pupil-based formula.
Adams said that if Utah increases the tax on food from 1.75 percent to 4.7 percent and the $533 million in revenue from that increase were distributed to school districts, property tax would go down for property owners in all 41 school districts.
- A teacher at Legacy Prep arrested and charged with molesting a 14-year-old student. http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/home/50133502-76/stokes-steenblik-girl-academy.html.csp
- Beehive, with their troubles and bad PR, makes it into USA Today. http://www.usatoday.com/news/education/2010-08-17-turkishfinal17_CV_N.htm
- A teacher at Entheos is accused of stealing thousands of dollars right out of the school's bank account. http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/home/50121579-76/teacher-bank-account-charged.html.csp
Thursday, August 19, 2010
Groups of like-minded parents and teachers, for instance, are being invited to open their own taxpayer-funded schools. The groups — not government school boards — will be able to determine the curriculum at these “free schools,” using their own discretion to make some subjects compulsory while omitting others they find objectionable or unnecessary, such as lessons on multiculturalism.
Gov. Gary Herbert plans to apply for the money, which comes from a federal law enacted Aug. 10 that provides funding for Medicaid and education salaries. He told legislative leaders Wednesday that, although he is unhappy with the federal government's tactics and method of delivery, he will apply for federal funding because it will benefit public education in Utah.
"It would be foolish for the state of Utah not to accept this funding, which will directly benefit Utah's schoolchildren," Herbert said. "While I have serious concerns with the way these funds are being directed to the states, this is money that Utahns will be required to repay well into the future. Utah deserves to benefit from that obligation."
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
If $10 billion passes and is distributed equally, Utah would get about $100 million (about one percent, as we have about one percent of the nation's population of school children.) That's about $173 per student, at 575,000 students. So, a 600-student charter school would likely see increased funding of about $100,000
With President Barack Obama's signature on the $26 billion stimulus bill for education and Medicaid on Tuesday, Utah stands to nab about $101 million for education for fiscal 2011.
Though that number is just 1 percent of the $10 billion allocated for education funding nationwide, it could save the jobs of 1,400 to 1,500 teachers in Utah, according to state estimates, and up to 1,800 teachers, according to federal estimates.The Utah State Office of Education would likely distribute the money equally among districts and charter schools by boosting per-student funding approximately $168, said state school Superintendent Larry Shumway.
Tuesday, August 10, 2010
“This legislation unfairly distributes funding to irresponsible states that have made poor budgetary decisions and short changes states like Utah that have been consistent in the prioritization of spending."
“Utah children head back to school in two weeks. “For me, it’s a case of whether 1,800 Utah teachers are in their classrooms, or in the unemployment line.”
Saturday, August 7, 2010
Representatives from Utah, the District of Columbia and 47 other states worked for more than a year to develop the math and language arts benchmarks, which were released in June. For schools, the standards will mean new curriculum and computer-adaptive testing capable of giving teachers near-instant results — though the full effects of the decision won't unfold for several years.
Thursday, August 5, 2010
The new nutrition standards would not remove popular foods like pizzas from schools completely, but would make them healthier, using whole-wheat crust or low-fat mozzarella, for example. Vending machines could be stocked with less candy and fewer high-calorie sodas.