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.

 


New Communications Arts Building Nearing Completion At Lee University

Main Street Cleveland members got a preview tour of Lee University's nearly-finished Communications Arts Building Monday. "We wanted it to look great all the way around," Dr. Jerome Hammond, vice president for university relations, told those touring the 41,000 square foot building. The structure will be a prominent part of downtown. One foyer opens onto the Ocoee St. and Central ... (click for more)

University Hosts Award-Winning Author Janisse Ray

Award-winning author, naturalist, and activist Janisse Ray will give a talk on the UTC campus about heirloom seeds, agrodiversity and the future of food. The event is scheduled for Thursday at 7 p.m. in the Raccoon Mountain Room of the UTC University Center. This program is presented by the Tennessee Valley chapter of Wild Ones and UTC Department of Biological and Environmental ... (click for more)

EPB Says It Did Not Overbill The City; Says City Got $685,877 Break

EPB officials said Tuesday that an exhaustive audit of its street light contract with the city showed that it did not overbill the city. Instead, it said it found that the city was underbilled $685,877. EPB said it only goes back one year on errors so the amount owed by the city would be $178,314. Officials said that would be discussed with the city. Stan Sewell, the city's ... (click for more)

History Center Gets $400,000 Grant From National Endowment For The Humanities

The National Endowment for the Humanities has awarded grants totaling more than $800,000 to three Tennessee projects that aim to display and preserve historical materials. Winning grants Monday included the Chattanooga History Center, which will get $400,000 to install a permanent, multimedia exhibit on the history of Chattanooga. The University of Tennessee-Knoxville will ... (click for more)

I'm Number One In A Round About Way

Roundabouts have been popping up all over Chattanooga over the past few years and for the most part have been successful.  Unfortunately there are some who just don’t get it as I have found out the hard way.    My latest instance was last week when a young woman on her cell phone almost t-boned me as she flew into the roundabout without yielding.  A near miss ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Judge Philyaw Is The Best

Tomorrow morning there will be a special gathering at the Hamilton County Juvenile Court that will prove to our community that we have perhaps the most innovative juvenile judge in America. Shortly after Rob Philyaw was hand-picked by our Hamilton County Commissioners to fill the remainder of Suzanne Bailey’s term 15 months ago, he found that truancy was a big problem in our schools. ... (click for more)