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."


Belvoir Christian Academy Students Support Community Kitchen

Belvoir Christian Academy students collected food and toiletries for the Community Kitchen. Members of the school's student council delivered over 25 boxes of items collected by the student body. "This has been an annual tradition for the school for over 25 years, and students are encouraged to take part in shopping with their families to purchase and donate non-perishables ... (click for more)

Cleveland Native Nominated To The Allstate WBCA "Good Works Team"

University of Florida forward and Cleveland, Tn. native Brooke Copeland was announced Wednesday as a nominee for the 2017 Allstate WBCA Good Works Team -- one of the most prestigious off-the-court honors in women’s college basketball, officials said.   For the fifth year, Allstate and the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association are recognizing a select group of women’s college ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Police Officer Shot 3 Times In East Chattanooga; Later Is Released From Hospital; Manhunt On For Shooter

A Chattanooga Police officer was shot three times on Thursday morning in East Chattanooga. The incident happened shortly after 9 a.m. on Mission Avenue near Glenwood Drive. He was able to drive himself to the hospital and later was treated and released. Chattanooga Police Department Chief Fred Fletcher said the identity of the officer would not be released until the investigation ... (click for more)

CSAS Students Have Long Day At School Due To Concern Shooting Suspect Might Be On Campus

Chattanooga School for the Arts and Sciences students had a long day at school on Thursday after there was concern that a man who shot a police officer not far away had slipped onto the campus. Amy Katcher of the county schools said, " On Thursday, Chattanooga School for the Arts and Sciences was evacuated around 3 p.m. as a precaution after a shooting incident in Chattanooga ... (click for more)

Tennessee River Gorge Trust Trail Warriors Make You Want To Take A Hike

Trail warriors of the Tennessee River Gorge Trust make you want to take a hike.  The Tennessee River Gorge Trust staff and volunteers make a huge difference in the Chattanooga community and have been making the outdoor areas around the River Gorge clean and protected for more than 30 years.  They deserve to be recognized and praised for all of the hard work they have ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Bible In Gatlinburg

The day after fire rained and reigned in Gatlinburg, Isaac McCord, 24 and from Tullahoma, was picking up debris at the popular Dollywood attraction. The theme park had minimal damage compared to the hundreds of structure either lost or severely damaged in Sevier County. He picked up a piece of paper that was in a puddle of water, beneath a bench. “It was one of the most surreal ... (click for more)