Alexander, McConnell, Landrieu Charter-School Amendment Designed To "Replicate Best Charter Schools"

Thursday, March 21, 2013
Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Senator Mary Landrieu (D-La.) today introduced a budget amendment in the U.S. Senate that they said "would support the expansion and replication of charter schools that have a proven record of success."

Senator Alexander said, “There are many successful charter schools that are changing students’ lives, and it’s that success that we need to replicate to reach many more children. These schools give teachers the freedom to use their firsthand knowledge, administrators the chance to use their good judgment and parents the ability to choose better schools for their children—giving more students the chance to move up the economic ladder.”

Senator McConnell said, “I am proud to support this measure that prioritizes school choice initiatives that incentivize the expansion of successful charter school models. If our schools are failing, America fails with them. Students, parents and communities in Kentucky and across America must demand schools put students first, produce results, and reward outstanding teachers. One successful approach that has been implemented in 42 states, but not in Kentucky, is the establishment of public charter schools.”

Senator Landrieu said, “Public charter schools provide quality options for families that are not fortunate enough to live in areas with a robust public education system, or do not have the means to pay for private schools. In Louisiana, we are seeing dramatic gains in educational outcomes with quality public charter schools. Parents who are doing everything they can to give their children every opportunity for success deserve not only a quality choice, but a solution to educating them. Successful charter schools provide that choice and that solution. The time is now to make them a central component of our education strategy all across the country."

The senators said, "Today there are 6,000 charter schools – representing around 6 percent of all public schools – serving 2.3 million students in the United States. Charter schools, which involve more flexibility in curriculum, provide more choices for parents to improve their children’s future and more freedom for teachers and principals to increase the performance of their students.

"A recent Mathematica Policy Research study found that a sample of 43 Knowledge Is Power Program (KIPP) middle schools have positive and statistically significant impacts on student achievement across all years in math, reading, science and social studies and are outperforming their traditional public school peers on state assessments. Nationally, KIPP educates 41,000 students, 90 percent of whom are minority and 83 percent low income, in 125 charter schools in 20 states and D.C. According to the Center for Research on Education Outcomes (CREDO) at Stanford University, in New York City, charter school students on average make 25 percent larger learning gains in reading and 63 percent in mathematics than their traditional public school peers. Another CREDO study found that, in Michigan, charter school students on average make 35 percent larger learning gains in reading and 42 percent in math than their traditional public school peers."

They said their amendment "would support a program that provides for the replication and expansion of high-quality charter schools across the country, ultimately without increasing the debt."


Bea Lyons Honored At “Tea For Bea”

When Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, Dr. Kimberly McCormick, established the Faculty Fellows Program during 2014, several well-known and respected educators were named as inaugural fellows. The Social and Behavioral Science Division honored Bea Lyons as its fellow. A special “Tea for Bea” was recently held to serve as a springboard for the first endowed fellowship ... (click for more)

Chattanooga State Kimball Announces Early College Open House

Chattanooga State Community College announces an Early College Open House on Wednesday from 4-6 p.m. CST at the Chattanooga State Kimball Site at 2100 Main St. in Kimball. College representatives will be on site to answer questions, assist with dual enrollment grant applications and process registrations on the spot.  Chattanooga State's Early College Program gives students ... (click for more)

EPB Seeks 3.5% Rate Increase; First Since 2011

EPB on Friday morning asked its board of directors to consider a 3.5 percent rate increase to monthly electric power charges for customers, effective July 1. The board is set to vote on the measure in June. For residential customers who use 1,000 kWh of electric power in a month, this adjustment will reflect an increase of about $3.50 on their monthly bills. The 3.5 percent ... (click for more)

Garcia Charged With Armed Robbery Of Red Bank Dollar Store

Red Bank Police have charged 25-year-old Derek Matthew Garcia with the armed robbery of the Dollar General Store at 4707 Dayton Blvd. Police Chief Tim Christol said the robbery occurred last Friday at approximately 12:30 p.m. when Garcia entered the store armed with a knife and demanded the clerk give him all the money from the cash register. He was arrested Thursday ... (click for more)

Don't Make A Mockery Of Memorial Day - And Response

We're told Memorial Day is the day to honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice in order that we, as Americans and others around the world, might live free, unshackled (invisible or otherwise) and without oppression. But how is that so when so many in America continue to be denied those freedoms? Others whose family and friends made the ultimate sacrifice? Their surviving families ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Chincoteague Mourns ‘Dude’

In the span of a person’s life, there are some things that simply can’t be explained to be totally understood. And of all the spectacles I have ever personally witnessed, one of the best is that day in late July when they “pen the ponies” at Chincoteague Island, Va. I’m serious. Over 50,000 people watch every year as volunteer “Saltwater Cowboys” swim the wild ponies to the mainland ... (click for more)