Standing Together for Strong Community Schools

Tennesseans invested in local public education.


Join Us. We Are Ready to Advocate for Public Education in 2014.

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The Tennessee General Assembly is back in session for 2014 and education legislation is front and center affecting all Tennesseans. We are back and ready to get to work educating legislators, parents, and citizens across the state about the dire consequences of legislation, pushed by special interest groups, that will negatively impact our public schools, teachers and tax dollars. We will also be sharing legislation that will help public education and return the parent and teacher voice to decision making. We have been quietly building our state network over the last half of 2013 and are looking to begin a new initiative. More and more people across Tennessee are speaking out against mismanaged, underfunded reform mandates.

So to renew our focus and bring commitment to a larger group of state-wide activists we have joined under a non-profit called Tennesseans Reclaiming Educational Excellence or TREE. We hope you will continue to support our effort to speak for public school parents, teachers and advocates. Please follow TREE as we work with the General Assembly to help educate on the perspective of the real impact on public school reform.

TREE has a broader focus beyond the state authorizer and voucher bills that ST4SCS focused on last year. Read about that focus HERE. We will also be sharing our email list with TREE and this ST4SCS site will stand as a reference point. We will begin putting our volunteer energy into TREE’s message. We look forward to working with TREE and all Tennesseans to be a voice that is “ROOTED IN FIGHTING FOR STRONG, EQUITABLE PUBLIC EDUCATION AND IS COMMITTED TO GROWING CHILD-CENTERED EDUCATION POLICY.”

Thank you for supporting us and encouraging us to grow our effort.

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TODAY Dec 9th, Take Action to Reclaim Public Edu

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TODAY, Monday, December 9 has been designated as a NATIONAL DAY OF ACTION FOR PUBLIC EDUCATION.  Events are being held in cities across the country to promote and protect the core values of public education.  While no “live” events are planned for Tennessee, Tennesseans can still take action online and continue to inform ourselves about issues affecting our schools.  You can learn more about today’s national effort

 http://www.reclaimpublicednow.org/principles

and sign the petition to show your support

http://www.reclaimpublicednow.org/action

The petition will then give you an opportunity to email your elected officials about where you stand on supporting public education. This is an important, powerful step to share your voice. Your elected officials will only feel compelled to question changes in policy and vote against the corporate public school strategy if YOU, the voter, tell them what you want for public school children. By entering your address, the petition will auto-fill your representatives for email.

Another way you can act to spread the word about strengthening public education is to share this post on all YOUR social media (your Facebook page, twitter account, email) and encourage others to follow Standing Together for Strong Community Schools and learn more about education in Tennessee and across the nation!  Spread the word!

Follow  #ReclaimPublicEd on Twitter
Follow National Opportunity to Learn Campaign on Facebook.

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Latest News On Charters and Vouchers

Latest news on vouchers and charter school info for the last week in January 2013.

A Conservative Remedy To The Great Hearts Mess
From: TN EDU Report

Amending TCA Section 49-13-108
Allowing chancery court a final decision of the state board of education on the charter school’s application.

Scott McNutt’s Snark Bites: Haslam to introduce public-money-to-private-entities transfer program
From: KnoxNews.com

School Vouchers: The Myth and the Reality
From: Raise Your Hand Texas

Link to the Tennessee General Assembly Bill HB 0190 “Opportunity Scholarships”

Cornerstone Situation Continues to Devolve
From: Schooling Memphis

Charter Schools That Start Bad Stay Bad, Stanford Report Says
From: Huffington Post

Legislation to cut public assistance for children’s families who do not do well in school.
From: Huffington Post

 “What if one child in a family is doing well and another is not?”
From: Newscoma 

Harrisburg schools saddled with debt and growing exodus to charter schools
From: Central PA Patriot News

Teachers’ Union Questions Haslam’s Commitment to Public Education
From: Pith in the Wind

CREDO Report: Charter School Growth And Replication’ Study

Voucher plan could cut $270K from city schools
From: The Tulahoma News

Tennessee voucher debate: the chance, and price, of ‘school choice’
From: WRCB 3 Chattanooga


Educating On the Issues of A State Authorizer and Vouchers

Standing Together for Strong Community Schools is pleased with the response and reception we have received from around the State of Tennessee. We are uniting the voices of like-minded citizens and gathering information to help the legislature understand that implementing a state charter authorizer and vouchers removes local control and siphons off precious education dollars. These initiatives are not in the best interest of the children of TN. Please continue to check our website and “like” our Facebook page to find out ways you can ask our legislators to vote “NO” on both of these upcoming pieces of legislation. Please consider signing up for our mailing list to receive information on upcoming exclusive events and important alerts.

If you are undecided on these issues, here are some articles that might help.

READ ABOUT ISSUES ON THE CHARTER AUTHORIZER AND VOUCHERS

VOUCHERS AND SCHOOL FINANCE: SAVING THE STATEHOUSE $
“Vouchers would ultimately prevent a decrease in education costs.”

GROW SOME JUEVOS (EGGS) ON CHARTERS!
Cloaking Inequity – Julian Vasquez Heilig’s Education and Public Policy Blog

VOUCHERS WILL HURT PUBLIC SCHOOLS
Op-Ed from the Tennessean

STANFORD: WALL STREET GANG NOW OFFER EDUCATION CHOICES
About a quarter of the kids in the San Antonio School District Attend Charters…

NASHVILLE PARENTS PRESS FIGHT ON VOUCHERS, CHARTER AUHTORIZER
“Vouchers would just take money out of an already low-funded school system,” Patton said. “And it’s not a panacea. They’ve not necessarily been shown to raise student achievement.”

NEW GROUP FORMS TO FIGHT VOUCHERS, OPPOSE EDUCATION “SPECIAL INTERESTS”.
Standing Together for Strong Community Schools

VOUCHERS DON’T GET TO THE ROOT OF THE PROBLEM
“Rather than treating children like so many peas in a shell game, our leaders should focus on improving schools.”

RESEARCH EVIDENCE VS. SOARING IDEOLOGY: SCHOOL VOUCHERS AND ACHEIVEMENT
“It is very difficult to find rigorous scientific studies conclusively demonstrating that vouchers have a positive, empirically measurable impact on student achievement”


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Why Charter School Decisions Should Stay Local

Education reform news from around the country. Will a TN state charter authorizer ensure that charters placed in Tennessee communities will not run amuck?

SOUTH BOSTON CHARTER CALLED INTO QUESTION
“Critics of charter schools have questioned whether the academy has been pushing out disruptive or academically struggling pupils in order to boost its test scores.”

COULD A CHARTER SCHOOL FINE YOU FOR DETENTION TIME? SEEMS SO.
CHICAGO — Some of the city’s top charter schools are ringing up fines for disciplinary infractions even as they’re racking up large increases in public funding.

MEMPHIS PARENTS LASH OUT AGAINST ACHIEVEMENT SCHOOL DISTRICT LEADERS
The Lester Community Center bristled with anger Wednesday as Binghamton leaders demanded Achievement School District leaders explain why they were not part of decisions regarding Lester School.

PARSING CHARTER SCHOOL DISABILITY ENROLLMENTS
How charter schools in the city of Newark, NJ, by taking on fewer low income students, far fewer LEP/ELL students and very few children with disabilities other than those with the mildest/lowest cost disabilities are leaving behind a much higher need, higher cost population for the district schools to serve.