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."



Dalton State's Simulation Lab Prepares Health Professions Students For Jobs

A nurse’s worst nightmare is going into a room and not knowing how to care for a patient, said nursing student Chris Mendoza.  With the completion of the new simulation lab at Dalton State, nursing students, and others in the health professions, don’t have to worry about facing that fear. The simulation lab is designed to prepare health professions students for just about ... (click for more)

Criminal Justice Professor At Dalton State Honored For Domestic Violence Education

Dr. Natalie Johnson knows it is impossible to rid the world of domestic violence. But if she makes a difference in the life of at least one person, all the work has been worth it.  Dr. Johnson, associate professor of criminal justice at Dalton State, was awarded the Betty Higgins Domestic Violence Victim Advocate Award for the work she does in the community. Ms. Higgins, ... (click for more)

Former Executive Assistant To Pilot Sales Director Recalls Being Interviewed By FBI While Nursing Her Baby On The Front Porch

The executive assistant to the vice president of sales at Pilot Flying J told a Chattanooga jury on Monday that she never expected to be interviewed by the FBI on the front porch of her Knoxville home, nursing a one-month-old and with her other two young children running around in the yard. Katy Bibee, who worked directly for an expected star witness for the prosecution, said ... (click for more)

Tony Williams, 26, Shot On Dodson Avenue Late Sunday Night

Tony Williams, 26, was shot late Sunday night on Dodson Avenue. Chattanooga Police responded at 11:50 p.m.,  to the 900 block of Dodson Avenue on a shooting.   Upon arrival, police located the victim who was suffering from a non-life threatening gunshot wound. HCEMS responded and transported the victim to a nearby hospital. The victim advised police that the ... (click for more)

Pollution For Profit?

Why should Chattanooga allow special interests to boost sediment pollution in our South Chickamauga Creek? To pad their profit margin and pass that cost on to city taxpayers? If your city council votes to reduce the storm water regulations – that is the result we can expect. Special interest homebuilders profit, but citizens pay.  More sediment pollution and paid for with ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Two From Sandy

Down through the years I have delighted in sharing stories that come from my friend Sandy Pohfal in Texas. Seeing how Thanksgiving is almost here – day after tomorrow – I figure it’s about time to slow down and let warmth of this week prepare us to give thanks for both the good and bad – without the bad things we wouldn’t recognize the real blessings. The first story I am going ... (click for more)