According to the Senator – 8.03.10

According to the Senator – 8.03.10

Posted: Wednesday, August 4, 2010 11:10 am

Washington – U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) last week made the following remarks on the floor of the U.S. Senate
• “The President of the United States made an important speech this morning.  He spoke to the national Urban League Centennial Conference on Education … I commend the president for his courage, for his vision and for his willingness to undertake the hard work of helping children across this country learn what they need to know and be able to do.  He didn’t back away from tackling the most important and most difficult challenge that any of us who have dealt with education reform have found and that is: how do we reward outstanding teachers?”
On rewarding teachers for teaching well:
• “All of us know that a great teacher makes a great difference. The president said that himself. Each of us in the United States Senate knows that, but any of us who have over the last several years spent time trying to find ways to reward outstanding teachers know how hard it is.  I worked on it in 1983 when Tennessee became the first state to reward outstanding teachers … Every education meeting I go to comes down to the same point: after you get past the role of the parent, the teacher is the center of it.”
On charter schools:
• “When charter schools work, the beneficiaries are most often the children who come from the most difficult circumstances.  I can point to a charter school in Memphis I visited three years ago when it was Easter holiday.  Children there were ninth or tenth graders.  Instead of being on Easter holiday, they were studying for their Advanced Placement course in biology at a college level.  There wasn’t any other school in Tennessee where children that age were studying Advanced Placement biology, especially during the Easter week break.”
• “President Obama has done what President Bush did, what President Clinton did, what I’ve done and what others may have done, which is to say, ‘Let’s have independent public charter schools and give teachers the freedom to do what they know how to do.’”
On higher standards:
• “The president has advanced the idea of state-led common standards very well in the last 18 months and he’s done it in the right way.  He hasn’t said, ‘OK, I’m the president, we’ll write it from Washington.’  That would have killed it.  Instead, he said, ‘Let’s create an environment in which states can make a difference and make their own choices.’ And states, in surprisingly large numbers, are beginning to do that in terms of reading and math.”
WCP 8.03.10

Leave a Comment