National Alliance Issues Statement Following Senate ESEA Hearing

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Sen. Lamar Alexander and Sen. Patty Murray held a hearing on reauthorizing the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA).

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN), Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee and Ranking Member Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA), held a hearing on reauthorizing the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). The hearing focused on the testing and accountability provisions in No Child Left Behind.

Nina Rees, president and CEO of the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools, issued the following statement:

"We commend Chairman Alexander and Ranking Member Murray for holding today's hearing on ESEA, and the critical provisions related to ensuring that all schools are accountable for improving student achievement for all students. The National Alliance was pleased to hear strong testimony in support of statewide annual assessments, which are crucial to ensuring that our students and schools improve and grow.

"Statewide annual assessments support parents by equipping them with the information they need to choose a high-quality public school for their children. They also empower teachers and schools by informing them about student achievement and progress. Without statewide annual assessments, the public wont have a clear picture of how our schools are performing or how our students are progressing.

"We strongly support statewide annual tests in reading and math in grades 3 through 8 as well as high school, and we urge Congress to remain committed to improving our schools through these assessments.

"We would like to thank Chairman Alexander and Ranking Member Murray for holding this important hearing on ESEA and to those called upon to provide testimony at the hearing, including Harvard professor Marty West, Denver Public Schools Superintendent Tom Boasberg and Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights CEO Wade Henderson. Their voices of support are critical as we all work to make sure all students have access to high-quality public schools."

The National Alliance for Public Charter Schools has offered these principles for ESEA reauthorization, as first outlined in our comprehensive reauthorization proposal,Free to Succeed: Public Charter Schools and the Reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act.

About Public Charter Schools

Public charter schools are independent, public, and tuition-free schools that are given the freedom to be more innovative while being held accountable for advancing student achievement. Since 2010, many independent research studies have found that students in charter schools do better in school than their traditional school peers. For example, one study by the Center for Research on Education Outcomes at Stanford University found that charter schools do a better job teaching low income students, minority students, and students who are still learning English than traditional schools. Separate studies by the Center on Reinventing Public Education and Mathematica Policy Research have found that charter school students are more likely to graduate from high school, go on to college, stay in college and have higher earnings in early adulthood.

About the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools

The National Alliance for Public Charter Schools is the leading national nonprofit organization committed to advancing the public charter school movement. Our mission is to lead public education to unprecedented levels of academic achievement by fostering a strong charter sector. For more information, please visit our website at www.publiccharters.org.