• Education Department Violates Law, and States Say “No” to National Standards
    Minnesota and South Carolina’s pushback against federal control of standards and curriculum is wise. Nearly five decades of ever-increasing Washington control over education has failed to improve student academic achievement and instead has left schools with more red tape at a costly price for taxpayers.Ceding greater power over what children are learning to D.C. bureaucrats is not the path to improving education in the United States. Rather, the federal government should give states more flexibility to implement policies that they deem best fit the needs of their students. States also must work to raise academic standards and heighten the transparency—and thus accountability—of school performance to those to whom it rightfully belongs: parents and communities.
  • Gov. Scott Walker Fights Republicans, Unions in Mission to Expand School Choice
    That leads me to wonder if some Republicans, once committed to the concept of public school reform, have lost their nerve in the face of obnoxious union rallies and recall efforts. School choice is best for all families and students. Every child is unique, and parents are best equipped to choose a school that fits their needs.
  • The important role of charter schools
    Make no mistake, America will only go as far as our collective talent and ability take her. And our future will continue to be shaped by how well we prepare today’s students for tomorrow’s challenges. 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, and the time is now to make them a central component of our education strategy all across the country.
  • Grassroots group putting final touches on application for first charter school in Blount » Blount Today
    If all goes according to their plan, founding members of the Innovative Educational Partnership, Inc., will see the opening of Hope Academy in Blount County in July of 2012, making it the state’s first suburban charter school. According to the Hope Academy plan, the school will serve approximately 200 students, grades K-5, when it opens in July of 2012. Each consecutive year, additional classes and grades will be added, and it will ultimately be a K-12 school. Each class will have a maximum of 20 students. The school provides self-contained, multi-age, and looping options.
  • Guv Opts to Water Down Charter School Bill
    Gov. Bill Haslam’s office is introducing a last-minute rewrite on his pledge to give charter schools greater flexibility. The new version of the bill requires local school districts that want to reject a charter proposal to send an analysis to the state Treasurer detailing their inability to “adjust expenses on a system-wide basis due to the transfer of students into the proposed charter school.” The school district and charter school applicant would both have five business days to send their own analysis of the figures to the treasurer after the district rejects the charter. “The pure definition of what is substantial financial impact is, I will admit, (is) yet to be determined,”
  • House OKs ending school job protections
    The House has passed a bill to remove job protections for non-teaching school employees such as bus drivers and janitors.The bill sponsored by Republican Rep. John Forgety of Athens would decree that workers with no teaching certificate could be employed or fired at the will of school directors.Current law generally requires annual contracts, though workers can still be fired for poor job performance.

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