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Angus King TIP the Scales for Our Students

Angus King TIP the Scales for Our Students

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Published by AngusKingforSenate

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Published by: AngusKingforSenate on Oct 24, 2012
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06/10/2014

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T.I.P.
The ScalesFor Our Students
A
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2012
 
Summary
TIP
EACHER TRAINING, DEVELOPMENTAND RETENTION
ELEVATE THE TEACHING PROFESSION
- Support teacher preparation research to identify bestpractices in teacher education- Support a plan to recruit the best teachers- Revise and improve current teacher evaluation anddevelopment
NNOVATION: DIGITAL LEARNING
PREPARE OUR STUDENTS FOR THEWORKPLACE BY PROVIDING THEPROPER TOOLS
- Support students’ digital literacy by developing opportunitiesto repurpose and prioritize existing funding towards digitallearning- Support the E-rate program to enable true high-speedInternet connectivity to all schools and libraries in rural andurban areas alike- Train and support teachers to integrate technology into theirclassrooms
ARENT EDUCATOR PARTNERSHIPS
IMPROVE SCHOOLS BY SUPPORTINGPARENT INVOLVEMENT
- Identify school systems that have designed effective formsof school-to-home and home-to-school communications andengagement, and assure that the information is sharednationwide- Support integration of technology at home so parents canimprove digital literacy to benefit their children’s education andtheir own personal development- Train and support teachers and administrators on bestpractices for encouraging parent involvement- Evaluate effectiveness of programs based on student success
T.I.P. The Scales
TRULY LEVEL THE PLAYING FIELD FOR SCHOOLS BYENSURING
FUNDING IS EQUITABLE, PROGRAMSARE FLEXIBLE
, AND THAT STATES AND THE FEDERAL
GOVERNMENT ARE HELD ACCOUNTABLE
FOR PROMISES
Adequate funding is the overarching driver of policy. Without sufficientfunding, policy initiatives are shallow promises that lack substance andcommitment. Creative use of existing funds is essential given our nationalfiscal crisis. I believe the reauthorization of the federal Elementary andSecondary Education Act (ESEA), will allow for an opportunity to repurposeand reformulate current funds to T.I.P. The Scales in favor of all children.The federal government has a role in education, but one that differssignificantly from its current role. My education plan is designed totruly level the playing field for schools by ensuring funding is equitable,programs are flexible and state based, and that the federal government isheld accountable for promises.When the federal government does not create a fair education fundingpolicy, the burden is assumed by the states and local school districts, whichresults in local tax increases. We must:- Create a balanced grant program for local innovation whilecontinuing some competitive grant funding- Increase funding for the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act- Create a funding formula that accounts for the unique struggles ofrural schoolsI am running for the U.S. Senate because we need a new approachto education, and I will approach education with an eye towards thefuture - as an Independent, a businessman, and a former governor whounderstands the appropriate role government should play in publiceducation. As former South Carolina Governor and Secretary of EducationRichard Riley put it: “
Education is a national priority, a state responsibility,and a local function.
 
According to the US Department of Labor, there are 3.8 million jobs available in theUS right now and over 12 million people are unemployed. Why aren’t companiesfilling those open jobs? 55% of businesses say it’s because there are no qualifiedcandidates. Quite simply, our education system is not preparing our students forworkplace success.As Governor, I supported the adoption of the Maine Learning Results in 1997,making Maine one of the first states to define standards for student performance.I also launched the Maine Learning Technology Initiative to provide laptops forevery public middle-school student and their teachers in the state of Maine, a firstof its kind in the nation and the largest 1:1 deployment at that time in the world.I believe the federal government took a wrong turn in 2001 with the No Child LeftBehind Act (NCLB) and subsequent attempts to improve NCLB have also fallenshort for our schools. Though the law was created with the best of intentions, itsimplementation has resulted in sanctions on schools and educators. It’s an ill-conceived design that over time inaccurately identifies most of America’s schoolsas failing, a narrowing of curriculum in order to hit test-score targets and it leavesrural schools behind. Unfortunately, the waivers and competitive grant funding usedas a band-aid approach to fix the law are just adding to NCLB’s burden instead ofrelieving it.Recently the Department of Education announced $400 million of competitivegrants through the Race to the Top legislation. These funds are supposed to spurinnovation and reforms in state and local district K-12 education- but only 900 –that’s 6% of the nation’s school districts applied for these grants. In Maine, only 2out of 124 school districts applied.That doesn’t mean of course that only 6% of school districts need innovation andreform in their schools. It means that only 900 out of 13,809 schools in this countryhave the resources to devote to completing the complex competitive federal grantprocess. That’s not fair to students in small and rural schools. If federal money isdirected only to those states and school districts that are capable of applying forwaivers or competitive grants, the federal government isn’t just picking winners andlosers; they are creating losers and a very small number of winners.The federal government unfortunately has a history of not following through on itspromises. In 1975, the federal government promised to pay 40% of the extra costof educating children with disabilities but its commitment has peaked only at 17%.In 2001, NCLB required schools to meet much higher standards without providingadequate financial assistance.Just as we teach our students to be accountable for their actions and meet theirresponsibilities, I believe we need to do the same with our federal government.Not only is this lack of commitment unacceptable, it is unfair to our schools, and ourcommunities. When the federal government does not fulfill its promise, educationfunding is assumed by the states and local school districts, which results in local taxincreases.I believe a better use of federal education money is to fund innovation and reformsimproving standards and school effectiveness across all of America’s school districts.So how can we find a way to create a more equitable education funding systemwhen the country is in the midst of a fiscal crisis? I believe that the reauthorization ofthe (Elementary and Secondary Education Act) ESEA provides a unique opportunityto dramatically repurpose and reformulate education funding.If elected, my education plan will support a more effective use of existing educationdollars to fulfill our commitments.It will create a more efficient use of money by encouraging matching grants forschools and school districts to work together.And finally, it will accommodate small and rural schools by offering additionalresources to rural districts in the form of funding, staff, or services to assess a school’sunique needs.Education is the key to our future – the jobs, the strength of our communitiesand the well-being of the next generation all depend upon vibrant, engaging,and challenging schools. Making this happen is primarily the task of our statesand localities, but the federal government can help- not with the heavy handof regulation and mandates from Washington, but with support for innovationand sharing of ideas that work and consistent funding of commitments alreadymade. This is an urgent task; the 21st century will not wait for our kids. By elevatingteachers, supporting kids, and engaging parents we can reach out and shape thefuture itself.I am running for the U.S. Senate because I want to bring this kind of Independentthinking to federal education policy.
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