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Press Releases

TN Charter Schools Association Launches New Website

Press release from the Tennessee Charter Schools Association; September 13, 2012: 

Today, the Tennessee Charter Schools Association is excited to launch our NEW WEBSITE with resources including a map with information on all of the state’s charter schools, a new weekly blog, research, charter school FAQs, and TCSA’s role in promoting a quality charter school movement.

This has been a summer of change for TCSA. We have undergone months of strategic planning, hired new staff, and launched new programs. Our new website is just one of the many new resources TCSA is deploying to meet our revitalized mission:

The Tennessee Charter Schools Association (TCSA) serves quality public charter schools by educating communities, empowering supporters, and promoting legislation to create an educational landscape of excellent options for all students.

Most importantly, to be truly effective in advocating for quality options across the state, we have expanded our grassroots efforts by establishing the TCSA Voice. The Voice is a network of parents, teachers, and community members who speak up for charter schools and engage in activities such as testifying at the State Capitol, calling school board members, and writing letters to the editor.

Visit the new website now, sign up for the Voice, and join a chorus of Tennessee citizen-advocates for high quality public schools.

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Press Releases

TCA: Are Davidson Co. Elections ‘Borked?’

Newsletter from Tennessee Citizen Action; September 13, 2012: 

BORKED

According to the dictionary for geeks, something is “borked” when it doesn’t work correctly or misbehaves, generally due to negligence by the person(s) that are responsible for it.

So just how borked are elections In Davidson County? Well, we’ll know this afternoon [pdf] after the Davidson County Election Commission meeting.

See, after deciding last week to NOT use the problematic Electronic Poll Books in the November Election, it came to our attention that the Davidson County Election Commission (DCEC) will meet again today to reconsider using the malfunctioning machines.

If the DCEC decides to reinstate the EPBs in November then we will be left scratching our heads and wondering why?

As the world’s leading democracy, we can’t use machines that deny some residents the opportunity to participate equally in our democratic process.

Read the rest of the story… and then call or email the Davidson County Election Commission and ask them to stick with their original decision to NOT use the Electronic Poll Books in November.

Go here for more…

CITIZEN ACTION IN THE NEWS

State wants Davidson County Election Commission to ‘make a wrong a right,” WPLN, September 11, by Blake Farmer

Tennessee Citizen Action Raises More Questions, As Officials Reconsider Decision on EPBs,” Nashville Scene, September 12, by Steven Hale

Citizens’ group worries that problematic poll books will be used again,” Tennessean, September 12, by Brian Wilson

Davidson election leaders could reverse poll book vote,” WSMV-TV, September 12, by Cara Kumari.

Metro Councilmembers pull purse strings, ask for commission audit,” WPLN, August 30, 2012, by Blake Farmer

ALEC UPDATE

ECHOING ALEC’S PLAYBOOK, THE REAL STORY OF WALKER’s TORT “REFORM”: On New Year’s weekend in 2011, many Wisconsinites were focused on the Badgers’ return to the Rose Bowl or whether the Green Bay Packers would beat the Detroit Lions and get another shot to win the Super Bowl, but the incoming administration of Governor Scott Walker had other, bigger contests on its agenda. In mid-winter, while many in the state were worried about who would win or lose the big games, Walker’s team was preparing to change state law in numerous ways, including making it easier for corporations to win big cases and limit the damages paid if their products or practices kill or injure people in Wisconsin.

Walker, who had suddenly dropped out of college in his senior year at Marquette University, didn’t think up these changes to Wisconsin personal injury law all by himself. Key provisions of his “tort reform” package were previously drafted by lawyers or lobbyists for the global corporations that are part of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). Read the rest…

ALEC UPDATE, PART 2

PROGRESSIVE STATES ACTION: “ALEC and its high-priced global public relations firm have begun to attack its critics.

Wisconsin legislators affiliated with ALEC are deleting public records related to the organization.

In just 25 days last year, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker fast tracked his tort “reform” agenda through the legislature. Key parts of the package “were previously drafted by lawyers or lobbyists for the global corporations that are part of the American Legislative Exchange Council.” More

IN THE PUBLIC INTEREST: PROFITING FROM PRIVATE DOLLARS: For years, corporations have joined the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) for the opportunity to develop legislation that diverts public dollars into their corporate coffers. A new report by In the Public Interest, “Profiting from Public Dollars: How ALEC and Its Members Promote Privatization of Government Services and Assets,” exposes ALEC’s extensive privatization agenda.

The report details how private prison corporations, online education companies, health care corporations, and major industry players pay large membership fees to ALEC in exchange for valuable and unfettered access to state legislators. Corporations are able to work with ALEC lawmakers to craft bills that allow private control of public functions, and guarantee a steady stream of tax dollars to enhance profits.

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Press Releases

‘SCORE Prize Award’ Finalists Announced

Press release from the Tennessee State Collaborative on Reforming Eduction(SCORE); August 30, 2012: 

(Nashville) – The State Collaborative on Reforming Education (SCORE) today announced the 12 finalists for the second annual SCORE Prize Award. The Prize is awarded to the elementary, middle, and high school, along with one school district in Tennessee that have most dramatically improved student achievement.

The winners of the SCORE Prize will be announced at an event at the historic Ryman Auditorium on Monday, October 8 at 6:00 pm, which will be hosted by SCORE Chairman and former U.S. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist. Tennessee Commissioner of Education Kevin Huffman will make remarks during the event.

The 2012 SCORE Prize finalists are:

Elementary
Boones Creek Elementary, Washington County Schools
John Sevier Elementary, Maryville City Schools
Pigeon Forge Primary, Sevier County Schools

Middle
Power Center Academy, Memphis City Schools
Rose Park Math/Science Magnet School, Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools
Southside Elementary, Henderson County Schools

High
Covington High School, Tipton County Schools
Fayette Ware Comprehensive High School, Fayette County Schools
Ravenwood High School, Williamson County Schools

District
Hamblen County Schools
Maryville City Schools
Tipton County Schools

“The SCORE Prize is awarded to recognize tremendous success in preparing students for the future,” said SCORE President and CEO Jamie Woodson. “Each of the 2012 SCORE Prize finalists has made significant strides in raising student achievement levels. All 12 finalists, as well as the communities that support them, should be proud of the progress their children are making. Their work demonstrates that meaningful improvement in public education is possible.”

The SCORE Prize will award $10,000 to the elementary, middle, and high school and $25,000 to one district in Tennessee that have most dramatically improved student achievement. Winners and finalists are also highlighted by SCORE throughout the year. Winners are chosen in a two-step process. The first stage identified finalists through a weighted criteria selection process that took into account TVAAS growth and TCAP improvement. This process also factored in attendance rates and socioeconomic status. College-readiness data, such as ACT and college-going rates, were considered for high schools and districts. The second stage will consist of site visits to the finalists to document the policies and practices that have enabled them to make significant gains in student achievement.

The SCORE Prize event is being held in conjunction with the Tennessee Department of Education’s annual Education LEADership Conference (LEAD). To reserve free tickets for the SCORE Prize event or learn about the 2011 finalists and winners visit www.tnscore.org/scoreprize.