Tony Knowles on Education
Democratic Challenger for Senate (AK; previously served as Governor)
KNOWLES: The federal No Child Left Behind law turned our education dream into a nightmare. Alaska's Quality Schools Initiative was working-raising student scores and teacher standards-until the federal government imposed its one-size-fits-all approach that doesn't fit Alaska. We need to repeal these 1,200 pages of micro-management and return education decisions to our teachers, parents and school boards.
MURKOWSKI: Alaska needs flexibility from burdensome federal regulations that do nothing to improve education and threaten local control of schools. I support the goals of NCLB, but states need room to adapt NCLB to local needs-to consider growth-based models to measure yearly progress, to appropriately include disabled students in education, and flexibility in implementing the "highly qualified" teacher provisions.
Knowles said the federal "No Child Left Behind" law has undermined the best efforts of Alaskans to provide a quality education. The law is punitive to schools, degrading to teachers and puts undue stress on kids who are constantly preparing for standardized tests. The federal rules impose additional costs on schools already struggling with tight budgets. "These requirements and standards don't work but end up costing Alaska school districts more than $1 million each year, money better spent educating kids instead of filling out federal paperwork," Knowles said.
Principles of the Democratic Governors Association:
IMPROVING PUBLIC SCHOOLS AND INVESTING IN OUR YOUNGEST CHILDREN
Democratic Governors are leading the way with highly-trained teachers, strong standards and accountability, increased funding to repair and modernize public school facilities, access to technology and computers, and more discipline and safety in the classrooms. Democratic Governors believe the most important aspect to insure a child�s education is to have the best possible teachers in the classroom. They believe that we must value teachers as professionals, encourage their development to be the best teachers they can be for our children and compensate them accordingly. Democratic Governors favor greater parental choice, but oppose measures that weaken public schools diverting taxpayer dollars to private schools with no accountability for results. Democratic Governors around the country are also forming innovative public-private partnerships to create programs to provide early childhood education, nutrition and health care services to ensure that our children have the best possible start in life.
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2004 Senate Races:
(AK)Knowles v.Murkowski v.Sykes
(CA)Boxer v.Jones v.Gray
(CO)Coors v.Salazar v.Randall v.Acosta
(GA)Isakson v.Majette v.Buckley
(IA)Grassley v.Small v.Northrop
(LA)John v.Vitter v.Kennedy
(NH)Granny D v.Gregg
(NY)Schumer v.Mills v.McReynolds
(PA)Hoeffel v.Specter v.Summers
(UT)Bennett v.Van Dam
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