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Education Task Force

Contact Info | Model Legislation | Publications


The mission of the Education Task Force is to help promote excellence in our country’s educational system. The task force is helping to reach that level of excellence by advocating for strong accountability in public schools and advancing education reform policies, such as charter schools and vouchers that grant parents and students the means to choose the schools that best meet their educational needs.

Each year, the task force releases ALEC’s annual Report Card on American Education. The Report Card takes a comprehensive look at the state of public education all across our nation. It consistently shows that there is no statistically evident correlation between educational performance and teacher salaries or expenditures per pupil - clearly refuting the claims of teachers unions that more money equals better education. The task force will continue to focus on those policies that hold teachers accountable for the education they are providing as well as developing new ideas on how businesses can become partners in educating the next generations of our children.

Chairs:
Missouri Representative Jane Cunningham
Public Sector Chair

Robert Enlow, Milton & Rose Friedman Foundation
Private Sector Chair


Director of the Education Task Force
Lori Drummer


Major Issues:
Alternate Teacher Certification
Bilingual Education Reform
Charter Schools
Class Size
Educators' Liability
Junk Science in Our Classrooms
No Child Left Behind
School Choice
Teacher Salary and Merit Pay
Textbook Adoption
Tuition Tax Credits
Outsourcing of Ancillary Services


Major Report:
Download the "2004 Report Card on American Education" (PDF/2.09MB).
Download the "2003 Report Card on American Education" (PDF/6.8MB).

Education Experts:
ALEC Education Task Force Private Sector Members
National Education Reform Organizations


News

Task Force Meeting
December 4, 2004
2004 States and Nation Policy Summit
Washington, DC


Since the 2004 Annual Meeting, several legislators teamed up with the Milton and Rose D. Friedman Foundation, the Alliance for School Choice, the Institute for Justice, K12, and Connections Academy to form the School Choice Subcommittee. This Subcommittee met at the States and Nation Policy Summit and recommended six strong model bills: Virtual Public Schools Act; Great Schools Tax Credit Program; Parental Choice Scholarship Program (Means-tested Eligibility – Sliding-scale Scholarship Amounts); Parental Choice Scholarship Program (Universal Eligibility—One Scholarship Amount); Special Needs Scholarship Program; and Family Education Tax Credit Program (Combination of Scholarship Tax Credits and Tuition Tax Credits). The full Education Task Force passed all of these model bills unanimously.

The Education Task Force owes a particular debt of gratitude to Wisconsin Representative Scott Jensen for his leadership as the School Choice Subcommittee Chairman and to Robert Enlow, the Task Force’s public sector chairman, for their vision and diligent work on these model bills. This legislation is certain to become the foundation of the school choice movement nationwide, due in great part to the work of Representative Jensen and Mr. Enlow.

The Education Task Force also welcomed Mickey Revenaugh of Connections Academy to her first States and Nation Policy Summit as a private sector member. Before coming to her first ALEC meeting, Ms. Revenaugh hit the ground running by working with Colorado Representative Don Lee, Bryan Flood of K12, and the rest of the Subcommittee by helping craft the Virtual Schools Act.

Education Workshop
Math 101: The Rudiments of School Funding
July 30, 2004
2004 Annual Meeting
Seattle, WA


A high-quality education does not depend solely on how much money a school district receives, as a productive learning environment is much more closely related to how administrators spend that money and the educational options offered to students. This workshop will explore the fiscal impacts of school choice on the public school systems, provide options as to how legislators can better spend their state’s education funding, and expose how teachers’ unions continue to undermine the nation’s public education system.
Read Workshop Information
Click Here to download Dr. Eric Hanushek's PowerPoint presentation on School Funding

Task Force Meeting
July 29, 2004
2004 Annual Meeting
Seattle, WA


As the cost of public higher education continues to skyrocket, due in major part to universities’ out of control spending habits, the Education Task Force learned from Dr. Richard Vedder’s firsthand accounts and research of ways legislators can control higher education spending. The task force also passed the College Opportunity Fund Act. In addition, Friedman Foundation, Alliance for School Choice, and the Institute for Justice gave members an update on school choice, and the Task Force formally created a Subcommittee on School Choice. US Department of Education and School Information Partnership officials also updated Task Force members on their work this year.
Read Task Force Meeting Highlights
Click Here to download Dr. Richard Vedder's "Going Broke by Degree: Why College Costs Too Much” presentation.
Click Here to Click here to download Bob Durante’s PowerPoint presentation on the School Information Partnership.


NEXT STEP: SCHOOL CHOICE
Brown v. Board of Education

by Education Task Force Director Lori Drummer, May 17, 2004

In the 50 years since the US Supreme Court decision that ended segregated education, lawmakers continue their efforts to create a fair public education system that guarantees all students an adequate education. Unfortunately, the fundamental goal of Brown v. Board of Education has yet to be realized in many communities throughout the United States, though initiatives such as school choice have started to address achievement and opportunity gaps...
Read Full Op-Ed

Issue Briefing
May 12, 2004
Columbia, SC


In conjunction with the Milton and Rose D. Friedman Foundation, the Education Task Force also sponsored a School Choice Issue Briefing in Columbia, South Carolina. Robert Enlow of the Friedman Foundation and Denise Lasher of the Florida Educational Freedom Foundation shared information with state lawmakers regarding the proposed tuition tax credit program currently under debate in the South Carolina legislature.

Task Force Meeting
April 30, 2004
2004 Spring Task Force Summit
Austin, TX


The Education Task Force held a productive meeting in Austin, Texas, during the Task Force Policy Summit. Members passed a model bill and model resolution regarding the Academic Bill of Rights. This model legislation aims to recognize the rights of higher education students and faculty to academic freedoms, including the freedom from discrimination on the basis of political or religious beliefs.

Task Force Meeting
December 11, 2003
2003 States and Nation Policy Summit
Scottsdale, AZ


The Education Task Force voted unanimously to pass the Resolution Urging Health, Nutrition, and Physical Education at the States and Nation Policy Summit. The Task Force also heard expert presentations on topics ranging from the No Child Left Behind Act, alternative teacher certification processes, and the rising cost of higher education.

Task Force Meeting
July 31-August 1, 2003
2003 Annual Meeting
Washington, DC


The Education Task Force reviewed a number of issues including charter schools, school partnerships with vendors, and general review of the ALEC Survey for Task Force Members. This was followed by a discussion of Colorado’s passing of the voucher bill, state compliance with the “No Child Left Behind” program, as well as athletic associations’ monopoly of public school athletic activities. The Task Force then focused on teacher certification and accreditation. Of particular note was the discussion of the new certification organization, The American Board, founded by a group of reform minded experts.

Task Force Meeting
March 29, 2003
2003 Spring Task Force Summit
Las Vegas, Nevada


The Education Task Force passed a resolution concerning IDEA, Individual with Disabilities Education Act, reauthorization. It encourages Congress and the Administration to enact policy that increases choice opportunities, similar to the Florida McKay scholarships, decreases paperwork, and increases teacher training and innovation. It also encourages Congress to enact policy that assists parents in the identification of their child and allows parents to easily seek removal of their child from IDEA services. Currently, there is a great deal of activity in the states concerning choice, especially since the Supreme Court ruling. The Task Force also heard from a nationally recognized expert in the field of Charter Schools and Tuition Tax Credits. It was agreed that Task Force Members would work closely with other state legislators to share information. To facilitate open communication, a survey was submitted to members. The results of this survey will be compiled and their responses will be turned into a guiding priority document. The Task Force refused to pass a Healthy Indoor Air Quality Resolution and encouraged the sponsor to seek other remedies. The meeting also included an update on School Choice.

Task Force Meeting
December 12, 2002
2002 States and Nation Policy Summit
Washington, DC


The Task Force had a very successful meeting as the guest speakers addressed a standing-room-only crowd. Jeanne Allen from the Center for Education Reform spoke on the need for charter school options and how state legislators must pass laws to give these schools the autonomy they need to be successful. Ron Packard, CEO and Founder of K12, shared the overwhelming positive results of his virtual charter school program. Lori Yaklin from the U.S. Department of Education discussed the choice provisions in H.R. 1, the "No Child Left Behind Act." Dr. Edward Gordon continued the discussion by addressing how to develop state guidelines for supplemental service providers. Finally, Jennifer Mendez of the Carpet and Rug Institute talked about the need to pass legislation or a resolution to create healthy school environments. In addition, the Task Force reported favorably on the Teacher Quality and Recognition Demonstration Act. This legislation permits school districts flexibility in the creation of new programs designed to attract and retain the highest quality in educators.

Task Force Meeting
August 8, 2002
2002 Annual Meeting
Orlando, FL


Members heard from U.S. Congressman and former ALEC member John Culberson on IDEA reauthorization, Florida Lt. Governor Frank Brogan on Florida's school choice programs, and Robert Enlow of the Milton and Rose D. Friedman Foundation on how the Supreme Court decision in Zelman might impact their states. Tracey Bailey from the Association of American Educators discussed his group and how it is impacting teacher unions in various states. Utah Speaker of the House Marty Stephens discussed how federal land holdings impact the western states and their education funding.

Education Secretary Rod Paige Addresses the ALEC Annual Meeting

Task Force Meeting
August 2, 2001
2001 Annual Meeting
New York, NY


Members herd a presentation by Jerry Martin, President of the American Council of Trustees and Alumni, about the lack of history education in America’s colleges; Chris Braunlich and Anna Varghese, from the Center for Education Reform, on the state of charter schools in our country; and from Dr. Richard Vedder, of Ohio University, on the ten commandments of education reform. After reports from each of the task forces’ subcommittees, members adopted a Resolution Supporting Private Scholarship Tax Credits.

Task Force Meeting
April 20-21, 2001
2001 Spring Task Force Summit
Chicago, IL


ALEC's Education Task Force held a two-day meeting that was comprised of a series of presentations on educational topics as well as normal Task Force business. Moderated by Robert Enlow of the Milton and Rose D. Friedman Foundation, the session included a lively discussion of the legislator's attitudes and perceptions of school choice. The session concluded with the announcement of the launching of ALEC's National Working Group on Education as a means to better educate all of ALEC's 2400 state legislative members on school choice and educational reform issues. Members also participated in a discussion of the legal aspects surrounding school choice legislation by Matthew Berry of the Institute for Justice. The high point of the day was a spirited discussion and question/answer period with Gisele Huff, Executive Director of the Jaquelin Hume Foundation. Ms. Huff is a vocal advocate of school choice and was a wealth of information and insight into the growing school choice movement in America.



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