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.

 


Georgia Northwestern To Give Free GED Practice Tests

Georgia Northwestern Technical College is giving away free GED practice tests from Sept. 22 to Oct. 3 to all current or potential students who come into one of the local Adult Education Learning Centers in GNTC’s nine county service area. Students who take the GED Ready test will be able to see if they are ready to pass the GED test, if they have skills they need to pass the ... (click for more)

Brookwood School Named Highest-Performing School For 3rd Year

Brookwood School in Dalton has been named a Title I Reward School by the Georgia Department of Education for the third year. The school again was recognized as a Highest-Performing School that ranks it among the five percent of Title I schools in the state that has the highest absolute performance over three years for the “all students” group on the statewide assessments. Only 80 ... (click for more)

Sewell Says City, EPB "Close" On Amount Owed By Utility To City On Street Light Overbilling

City Internal Auditor Stan Sewell told City Council members on Tuesday that EPB and the city are "close" on the amount owed by the utility to the city on street light overbilling. Mr. Sewell said the city computed the amount at about $1.2 million, while he said EPB's auditing firm, Mauldin and Jenkins, has it at $1.5 million for an 89-month period that was audited. Mr. Sewell ... (click for more)

City Council Votes 5-4 On New Process For Naming IDB Members

The City Council voted Tuesday night 5-4 to set up a new process for naming members to the Industrial Development Board (IDB), which currently has four vacancies. The process includes three City Council panels: A (Districts 1, 2, 3), B (Districts 4, 5, 6), and C (Districts 7, 8, 9). Group A will fill two of the vacancies and Groups B and C one each. Agreement ... (click for more)

Candidates Should State Facts, Not Fiction

At a recent forum for candidates for the Signal Mountain Town Council, one candidate, Mr. Chris Howley, discussed a number of issues and presented “facts” using incorrect or misleading statements.   Here are several issues that should be clarified:   1.       On the road up the mountain:   “I called TDOT.   I talked to Ken ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: I’m Certainly No Expert

Sometime on Monday night, after I had written a piece on getting swatted with a switch as a kid, I got an email from ESPN Canada asking if I would be a televised guest on “Off the Record,” the most watched daily sports show in Canada. The subject: corporal punishment in America. Are you kidding me? I am hardly an expert. All weekend my world of sports and its excitement was warped ... (click for more)