Congratulating Charter Schools Across the United States for their Contributions to Education

Date: May 3, 2005
Location: Washington, DC
Issues: Education


CONGRATULATING CHARTER SCHOOLS ACROSS THE UNITED STATES FOR THEIR CONTRIBUTIONS TO EDUCATION -- (House of Representatives - May 03, 2005)

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Mr. HOLT. Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of H. Res. 218, supporting the sixth annual National Charter Schools Week and honoring the outstanding achievements charter schools have made.

As a former educator, I understand the importance of charter schools. These schools are educational laboratories, as they allow students to learn and grow in a non-traditional sense. Charter schools are an alternative to public schools that allow for trial, experimentation and development. With a freedom to employ innovative techniques, charter schools, year after year, continue to provide academic excellence and prepare our youth for higher education, the workforce and their future.

The State of New Jersey has 52 approved charter schools. These schools serve nearly 14,000 students statewide in pre-kindergarten through 12th grade. In 2004, 16 applications were filed in New Jersey for new charter schools with hopes of openings in 2005 and 2006. Many of these applications are for schools in some of New Jersey largest cities, including Newark, Camden and Jersey City.

My district is fortunate enough to have eight exceptional charter schools that offer students a diverse educational opportunity, rigorous curricula, and an outstanding learning environment.

One of these schools, the Princeton Charter School in Mercer County became the first charter school accredited by the American Academy of Liberal Education in April of 2002. In addition to this esteemed recognition, the Princeton Charter School was also recently named a No Child Left Behind Blue Ribbon school. This award is given to schools that meet the national goals and high standards of educational excellence.

Another school in my district, the Greater Brunswick Charter School in Middlesex County will be the subject of a documentary film that will feature the middle school students who have worked hard to develop a class project based on the Buck Institute's model for project based learning. This documentary will be produced in conjunction with the Buck Institute for Education, the Rutgers University Center for Media Studies, and the George Lucas Education Foundation. The documentary will be available online through the George Lucas Education Foundation website.

I applaud the students, teachers, administrators and parents of charter schools for all of their hard work and commitment to the educational community of charter schools. Charter schools continue to grow in number in New Jersey and across the country, offering students an exceptional educational opportunity with room for innovation and development.

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