Alexander Votes Against “National School Board”

Thursday, June 13, 2013

U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) voted against sending to the Senate floor a bill introduced by Senate Democrats that he said would “establish a national school board.”

In a party-line vote, Democrats voted 12 to 10 to send the bill to the floor.

Sen. Alexander offered as an alternative a proposal to fix No Child Left Behind, saying, “what we’re trying to do is free the states to help children in 100,000 schools meet their needs in individual ways. The real difference is whether we think the responsibility is here in Washington or at home—we believe it’s at home.

 

“The Democratic proposal establishes a national school board. What such a proposal really says is they don’t trust parents and they don’t trust classroom teachers and states to care about and help educate their children, and they want someone in Washington do it for them.

 

“We completely reject that. Our proposal places responsibility for helping our children learn  squarely where it ought to be —on states and communities, and it does that by giving teachers and parents more freedom, flexibility and choice.”

 

The Alexander substitute for the Democratic proposal includes:

 

  • More state and local control:  Transfers from Washington to states decisions about measuring student achievement, fixing underperforming schools, and whether schools and teachers are succeeding or failing.
  • No National School Board mandates: Makes clear that the U.S. Education Secretary’s waiver authority is led by state requests for flexibility, and is not an excuse to impose more federal mandates.
  • High standards and quality tests: States, not Washington, will define high standards and tests for students in reading, math and science.
  • More school choices for low income parents: Allows states to use $14.5 billion in Title I funds for low-income children to follow those children to the public school they attend—ending a formula that diverted those funds to schools serving wealthier families.
  • More freedom for teachers and principals: Encourages charter schools, which give teachers and school leaders more freedom to use their own good judgment about how to teach.
  • Encourage teacher evaluations: Ends federal definitions of “highly qualified teachers” and encourages states to use their share of $2.5 billion in federal Title II funds to create teacher evaluation systems related to student performance and other factors.
  • Flexibility in spending federal funds: Consolidates 62 programs authorized in No Child Left Behind into two block grants and gives states more flexibility in spending education dollars.
  • Secretary’s report cards: Continues state and district report cards on schools from No Child Left Behind and creates an annual Secretary’s report card on the nation’s schools.

 


Walk At School Event At Red Bank Elementary Friday

Red Bank Elementary students have been participating in walk to school day events.   On Friday, the 5th graders are doing a surprise "flash mob" dance on the last song at 2 p.m.  (click for more)

Tennessee Releases 2014 State Report Card

The 2014 state Report Card­­­­, posted  Thursday  on the Tennessee Department of Education website, offers users the ability to view detailed breakdowns of last year’s student achievement growth and other important data points. The 2014 Report Card features a variety of tabs including growth or value-added data, accountability, and education climate. A College and ... (click for more)

Chickamauga Lock To Reopen As Soon As Next Thursday

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Nashville District  plans to reopen Chickamauga Lock to all navigation traffic as early as next Thursday. An inspection of the upper gate anchorage and a repair plan were completed today. Chickamauga Lock closed on Monday after a routine inspection revealed a crack in the anchorage of the upper gate. Lt. Col. John Hudson, commander ... (click for more)

Downtown Chattanooga Apartment Complex That Brought $3 Million Profit Exempt From Most Taxes Until 2022 Under PILOT

A downtown Chattanooga apartment complex that recently was sold at a $3 million profit is exempt from most property taxes through 2022 under a PILOT (payment in lieu of taxes) agreement.   No payment of school taxes was included in the deal for Walnut Commons at Walnut Street and Aquarium Way.   The only taxes due on the property for the next eight ... (click for more)

A Vote For Education Is Critical In Tennessee

In a state where just 28 percent of eighth graders are proficient in math and 33 percent are proficient in reading according to national assessments, education is deserving of more attention in 2014 elections. Across the country, more parents are making informed decisions about their child’s education, but for Volunteer State parents without resources, choices are difficult to come ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: My Garden In November

As the first day of November arrives today, it is cold enough in my garden to officially certify that fall has fell! There are even signs of ice on the ground but there is a bounty crop of acorns so, in keeping with our monthly tradition, some will get shiny acorns and others will get a chunk of cold ice: A SHINY ACORN for Patriots football coach Bill Belichick for scoffing at ... (click for more)