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."


Financial Lunch And Learn Held At GPS

Four local experts in the field of financial and estate planning were on the panel for “Empowering Women for their Financial Future,” a no-cost lunch and learn program for GPS alumnae and parents at the Chattanooga Golf & Country Club. The opportunity was provided for the broader GPS constituency to hear advice and learn financial and estate planning tips that will benefit them, ... (click for more)

GPS Students Receive Field Trip Inspiration

One summer reading book for GPS ninth graders is the NY Times bestseller Girl with a Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevalier. The story is of a young woman who is imagined to be the inspiration behind Vermeer’s most famous painting that has the same name as the book title.  Ms. Chevalier’s historical portrait of the girl is fiction, but springs from her study of and appreciation ... (click for more)

Grill Fire Causes Damage To Signal Mountain Home

A grill fire caused damage to a Signal Mountain home on Friday evening. At  7:23 pm , a 911 call was made reporting a house fire at 306 Dawn Street on Signal Mountain. The Signal Mountain Fire Department responded reported heavy fire coming from the back porch and eaves of the home. Signal Mountain FD requested a mutual aid response for additional manpower. The ... (click for more)

Civic, Political Leader Mai Bell Hurley Dies At 87

Civic and political leader Mai Bell Hurley has died at age 87. She was the first woman to serve on the Chattanooga City Council. Ms. Hurley was also a longtime advocate for the arts and a leader in United Way. She was a leader in Chattanooga Venture that led to the redevelopment of downtown and the riverfront.  She most recently served on the Library Board. ... (click for more)

Senator Corker: Americans Deserve To Know Where Their Elected Leaders Stand On The Iran Deal

As I traveled across the Volunteer State during August, I spoke with many Tennesseans about the nuclear agreement between Iran, the United States, and other world powers. While opinions of the agreement vary, there is perhaps no greater geopolitical issue facing the world today than preventing a nuclear-armed Iran.  A strong agreement that would stop Iran from obtaining ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: We Ain’t A Whirlygust

I have lived in and around the State of Tennessee my entire life and I have spent that last 50 years writing words in stories every day. I love clever words, words that fit perfectly in a sentence. I also like funny words, clever phrases and all sorts of “slang” words. This week the Slate website came out with “The United Slang of America” and, naturally, I was eager to see what ... (click for more)