Extra Extra : Education

Extra Extra Monday: Florida law allows troubled charter operators to keep running schools

Shuttered: Florida’s Failed Charter Schools | Naples Daily News

As charter schools have boomed in Florida — 622 operated in 2013-14, up from 257 in 2003-04 — many have also busted. Since charter schools were first permitted in 1996, 269 out of nearly 900 opened charter schools have closed, a failure rate of about 30 percent. That tally includes six schools closed in Lee County and two closed in Collier County.

To better understand Florida’s charter school failings, the Daily News undertook a first-of-its-kind task, examining all charter schools that have closed since 2008. The newspaper reviewed hundreds of closure documents ...

Read more ...

San Diego school district gets armored vehicle through 1033 Program

Why did the San Diego Unified School District acquire an armored vehicle? According to inewsource, when the mine-resistant ambush protected vehicle (MRAP) became available through the Department of Defense’s Excess Property Program, or 1033 Program, the district jumped at the opportunity.

School officials said they wanted the armored vehicle to use for rescue operations. If there’s an active shooter, an earthquake or a fire, the school could use the MRAP to rip down a wall, a police captain told inewsource.

Students in a high school auto collision and refinishing program painted the MRAP, and the division plans to ...

Read more ...

Extra Extra Monday: Peace Corps medical care, homeless students in the suburbs, license plate cameras

Trail of medical missteps in a Peace Corps death | The New York Times

A Peace Corps spokeswoman called Nick Castle’s death, from a gastrointestinal illness, “a tragic experience.” To examine its own conduct, the agency took the unusual step of engaging an outside American expert, whose report concluded that despite medical missteps by a Peace Corps doctor who missed signs of serious illness, Mr. Castle’s death could not have been prevented.

But the story of his death — pieced together from interviews and confidential reports and documents, including his autopsy — raises serious questions about Peace Corps medical care and ...

Read more ...

North Carolina State University wants exemption from public records law

North Caroline State University says an open records law has caused the school to lose out on dozens of contracts with private companies and, in turn, millions of dollars in funding, reports WRAL. However, school officials were not able to offer an exact number of dollars lost or the number of companies that have declined to work the university.

Now, NCSU is hoping for an open records law exception that will protect the information shared during private businesses' research.

Extra Extra Monday: Fatal flaws in Oklahoma’s execution system, absent city council members, teacher misconduct

Fatal Flaws: How Oklahoma’s lethal injection process went wrong | Tulsa World

Nearly 15 years after Stephanie’s murder, Lockett lay dying as her family watched along with a gallery of law enforcement officials, prison administrators and journalists through the window of Oklahoma’s execution chamber.

State officials had promised in court records and interviews that Oklahoma’s new execution protocol would dispatch him swiftly and painlessly. They were so confident in this assurance that Gov. Mary Fallin ordered Lockett to be executed April 29, the same night another convicted killer was set to die.

Lockett’s death didn’t ...

Read more ...

Violent and legal: The shocking ways school kids are being pinned down, isolated against their will

For more than a decade, mental-health facilities and other institutions have worked to curtail the practice of physically restraining children or isolating them in rooms against their will. Indeed, federal rules restrict those practices in nearly all institutions that receive money from Washington to help the young —including hospitals, nursing homes and psychiatric centers.

But such limits don't apply to public schools.

The practices — which have included pinning uncooperative children facedown on the floor, locking them in dark closets and tying them up with straps, handcuffs, bungee cords or even duct tape — were used more than 267,000 times ...

Read more ...

Extra Extra Monday: Nebraska releases prisoners early; Koch brothers hold secret summit; Missile defense system proves unreliable

$40-billion missile defense system proves unreliable | Los Angeles Times

The Ground-based Midcourse Defense system, or GMD, was supposed to protect Americans against a chilling new threat from "rogue states" such as North Korea and Iran. But a decade after it was declared operational, and after $40 billion in spending, the missile shield cannot be relied on, even in carefully scripted tests that are much less challenging than an actual attack would be, a Los Angeles Times investigation has found.

The Missile Defense Agency has conducted 16 tests of the system's ability to intercept a mock enemy warhead. It has ...

Read more ...

Extra Extra Monday: High-poverty schools, the troubled VA healthcare system, medical examiner accuracy

Fatally flawed: Truth gets buried under broken rules | The Charlotte Observer

In a five-part series launched Saturday, the Charlotte Observer reveals that N.C. medical examiners routinely fail to follow crucial investigative steps, raising questions about the accuracy of thousands of death rulings.

The living face the consequences. Widows can be cheated out of insurance money. Families may never learn why their loved ones died. Killers can go free.

After a medical examiner concluded David Worley died in a Harnett County car wreck last July, a funeral home discovered what the examiner missed: four stab wounds in his back. His ...

Read more ...

Watchdog: City schools pay $3M in unused vacation

There is no limit to how many hours Rochester School District supervisory staffers can exchange, save for what they carry over and accrue in a given year. And they have cashed out in greater number, for more hours and more pay on average than other district employees, records show. Over the past three years, they accounted for an average $2.2 million of the district's $3 million annual payout for unused vacation.

Read the full story from the Democrat and Chronicle here.

60 years after Brown v. Board of Ed, pockets of segregation remain in Md. Schools

Sixty years after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that racial segregation in 21 states was unconstitutional, diversity is not guaranteed in Maryland's schools. Ten percent of the schools in Maryland have a high percentage of black students, nearly all of them in Baltimore City and Prince George's County, according to a Baltimore Sun analysis. And no political or education leaders are recommending a consolidation of suburban and urban districts that experts say would be needed to truly address an imbalance driven largely by neighborhood demographics.

Read the full story from The Baltimore Sun here.