U.S. Sens. Alexander, Rand Paul planning field trip to KIPP Nashville

Friday, July 26, 2013 at 5:34pm

Tennessee U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander and his Kentucky counterpart, Sen. Rand Paul, are planning a visit to KIPP Nashville’s charter schools Monday to talk about the state’s charter school movement, according to a Metro Schools official.

The two senators will sit down for a roundtable discussion with state Education Commissioner Kevin Huffman and Randy Dowell, executive director of KIPP Nashville which is home to two chartered middle schools and a soon-to-be high school in 2014. Some of the schools’ parents and teachers are also expected to attend.

"Charter schools liberate teachers to use their own good judgment to help children and give parents more choices of good schools," said Alexander in a press release Friday, adding he wants to make it easier to create more charter schools.

Alexander is the senior Republican on the Senate’s education policy committee. Rand Paul is also a member. Both have introduced a large, Republican-backed proposal at the federal level aimed to “fix No Child Left Behind by restoring to states and communities control over whether teachers and schools are succeeding or failing.”

The visit comes amid ongoing conversations at the state and local level about the role of charter schools and the education reform movement. Although Tennessee is home to several high-performing charter schools, education officials at the local level still express concern over emphasis the public education system places on the schools and the money necessary to fund them as opposed to traditional public schools.

7 Comments on this post:

By: pswindle on 7/26/13 at 10:23

So now, Alexandra and Rand are Tea-Party buddies. Hauffman should bring Michelle Rhee his ex-wife along along for a good discussion on how to drain public money for Charter Schools, and how much they walk off with when the Charters fail.

By: ancienthighway on 7/26/13 at 11:47

Ah, the unilateral roundtable hosted by charter supporters advocating the benefits of charters. I'm going to go out on a limb and predict the outcome will be a unanimous endorsement of charters.

If you don't like what the opposing viewpoint is, just don't let it be heard.

"Charter schools liberate teachers to use their own good judgment to help children..." Do public schools limit teachers abilities to use good judgment? I will admit that their are school administrators that use poor judgment and attempt to limit subordinate teachers, but it's not a built in feature of the system.

"...education officials at the local level still express concern over emphasis the public education system places on the schools and the money necessary to fund them as opposed to traditional public schools."

As well the public system and the public at large should be. Public monies are being siphoned away from public education to subsidize these private companies known as charter schools. It's easy to be a high performing school when you can cherry pick the best of the best to fill the seats, and if someone does poorly on a diagnostic test, and kick them out of the school to protect your numbers. As the number of charters increase, the scores of the public students are destined to decline simply because the higher scoring students have been swooped away to the charter system .

By: govskeptic on 7/27/13 at 8:22

This is primarily a Non-public campaign stop for Lamar. He hasn't done general
public speeches or appearance since his first run for the Senate seat. Once
elected in this state the position is safe unless caught on tape in a compromising
position or actual caught with stolen goods. The Rand Paul-Alexander campaign
slogans and joint appearance are odd though logical. Alexander needs the
appearance of conservativeness, false as it may be, hence, the Rand Paul
photo ops, and Paul needs a moderate to liberal Senator such as Lamar
when he is next up for election. Oh, the webs these charlatans spin on the
ill-informed voters of the states and nation. But hey, we have the right to "Fish",
but not to look for a better representative Senator.

By: TennesseeJed on 7/27/13 at 3:44

"Charter schools liberate teachers to use their own good judgment to help children and give parents more choices of good schools," said Alexander.

More accurately, charter schools liberate teachers to liberate themselves from any challenging or problem student. Come TCAP time, pick your lowest 15% and pack 'em off to MNPS, citing an inability to conform to the charter's idealogical philosophy or some other such fluff. Then brag about your still mediocre test scores.

By: courier37027 on 7/27/13 at 6:19

For these two to get together on same issue, someone must be holding some incriminating photos. Charter schools cannot be the common ground issue for these two. Paul wants privitization and dismantling. Alexander is a RINO with nothing to brag as his term as Secretary of Education.

By: dogmrb on 7/29/13 at 9:18

Are the students there?

By: pswindle on 7/29/13 at 11:36

I hardly recognize my great state anymore. We need some real leaders to bring the charm and bold ideas back to our state. We certainly do not have that in our leaders today starting with out Senators and especially our Governor.. Sen. Paul is here to try and get the GOP's votes, and the chance is that he will get them. That is the direction that our state is going, so sad!