school choice

Democrats on Capitol Hill Tuesday accused Republicans of abandoning their mantra of local government control in their handling of a proposed charter school for Nashville. Fired up over the Haslam administration’s fining Metro schools because its school board rejected the charter school application, Democrats said GOP leaders had adopted for the “big government” mindset they purport […]

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Newsletter from the Beacon Center of Tennessee; August 30, 2012:  Happy Capital Day? Have you ever wondered why we have a special holiday to celebrate labor but not the capital creation that makes labor possible? From the Foundation for Economic Education’s Lawrence Reed: “[T]his year on Labor Day weekend, I’ll also be thinking about the […]

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In the state’s ranking of best and worst performing schools, charter schools were a mixed bag last year. Two charter schools made the state’s top 5 percent list for showing big academic gains, but five showed up as schools with the worst academic records. “It really reflects that a lot of students come to us […]

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Haslam expects a lot of wrangling over the next few months on vouchers, pre-K and higher ed. Much of the debate will likely occur within his own party.

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Op-Ed from Tennessee Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey; August 6, 2012:  Our Republican majority in the state legislature have reached many of our goals these past two years. I’m very proud of our accomplishments. But there is still much left to do. One example is education reform. Some might find this surprising. After all, Tennessee won […]

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House Democratic Caucus Chairman Mike Turner predicts education to be a source of much debate next legislative session and for his party to face another year of uphill fights.

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Gov. Bill Haslam says he put the brakes on a proposal to further open up school choice in Tennessee because the concept of vouchers has “too many unanswered questions” and the timing was off. The plan to allow students to use taxpayer-funded vouchers like scholarships to attend the public, charter or private school of their […]

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Voucher measure could be DOA in the House. GOP caucus chairwoman and Education Committee chairman say 2012 session is time for observation and contemplation, not more reform action.

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The Wall Street Journal in an editorial today lambastes Tennessee chambers of commerce and unions for helping squash a bill that would have opened up access to school vouchers for poor students in the large urban school districts. Senate Bill 485 by Sen. Brian Kelsey, R-Germantown, won approval last month in the Senate but was […]

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The “Equal Opportunity Scholarship Act,” which already passed the Senate, is in now limbo until next year. Sponsors say they want to spend the interim educating skeptics on how the system would work and benefit low-income and at-risk Tennessee students.

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The philosophical thrust of the plan is two-fold — that parents are best suited to determine where their children go to school, and that public education dollars should be freed up to enable their choices to flourish. Critics contend that it will drain money from existing public schools and doesn’t ultimately improved student achievement.

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The governor selected a prominent national advocate of school choice to direct the state’s public education system and oversee implementation of the “First to the Top” reforms lawmakers and former Gov. Bredesen approved last year.

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