WASHINGTON, Jan. 20, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- On the eve of an important Congressional hearing on the issue of mandatory student testing, PublicSchoolOptions.org, a national parent-led non-profit advocacy organization that supports education policies promoting access to high quality options in education, applauded Chairman Lamar Alexander's draft bill and plan to fix No Child Left Behind. The Alexander bill will frame the deliberations at a Wednesday hearing of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pension Committee as Congress considers reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act.
"Chairman Alexander has long been a champion of education reform, parental empowerment and school choice. We are thankful for his leadership on these issues and applaud his plan to fix No Child Left Behind," said Beth Purcell, President of PublicSchoolOptions.org and mother of two children in charter schools.
She continued, "With the Alexander draft bill, overly prescriptive federal dictates will be lifted so that students can finally be tested in a way that empowers parents and accountability can be driven to the student level – where it belongs."
Chairman Alexander's draft legislation includes several provisions long sought by parents. The Alexander draft legislation:
- Lifts many of the heavy-handed federal one-size-fits-all regulations and permits states flexibility in designing testing and accountability standards.
- Removes the mandated focus on school-or district-wide averages in accountability designs and allows for focus at the student level.
- Empowers parents to make informed choices in selecting the school that best serves a student's learning needs.
- Allows some federal dollars for students most in need follow the student to the school of their choice.
"What our schools need is more elected officials who say 'I Trust Parents' to make the education decisions that are in the best interests of their children. Chairman Alexander has put forth a proposal that trusts parents to do just that," stated Purcell.
PublicSchoolOptions.org is a national alliance of over 60,000 parents that supports and defends parents' rights to access the best public school options for their children. The Coalition supports the creation of public school options, including charter schools, online schools, magnet schools, open enrollment policies and other innovative education programs. Additionally, we advocate for equal access without restrictions to the school that best suits the individual student's learning needs whether it is public, non-public or home-based.
With active parent-led organizations in over thirty states, PublicSchoolOptions.org is an advocacy organization that is unmatched at the grassroots level. Just as parents have fought for years at the state level to support education policies that improve access and provide greater public school options, the parents of PublicSchoolOptions.org stand ready to support policy at the federal level that matches the principles outlined above.