Departments

Federal File

Article Tools
  • PrintPrinter-Friendly
  • EmailEmail Article
  • ReprintReprints

Lott of disagreement

Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott and the National School Boards Association usually find little common ground when it comes to education policy. But the Mississippi Republican and NSBA members tried to forge a conversation last week when the group invited the senator to be a keynote speaker at its annual federal-relations conference in Washington.

Sen. Trent Lott

Sen. Lott tried to woo the crowd of 650 with stories of his family members who were teachers, his education in public schools and universities, and his days playing the tuba in his high school band.

And he pledged that education spending would be a top priority for Republican appropriators, adding that the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act would be one of the first bills considered by the Senate this year.

But the rounds of applause turned to jeers when Mr. Lott brought up private school choice. This concept has long been opposed by the NSBA, which represents some 95,000 members of local school boards.

The senator drew boos from some audience members when he said the option of vouchers should be kept open, adding, "We need not get so caught up in words."

And he seemed taken aback after he asked why schools weren't providing the same good education he received 40 years ago. Some audience members responded, "They are!"

Mr. Lott later said he "knew that a lot of you wouldn't agree with some of our ideas. But I am making education a priority."

The audience nevertheless gave him a standing ovation at the conclusion of the Jan. 31 speech.

"We don't expect them to change their positions when they speak to us," Olene Clark Nesin, an NSBA board member, said afterward. "It gives us an opportunity to discover what we're up against."

—Joetta L. Sack [email protected]

Vol. 19, Issue 22, Page 24

Published in Print: February 9, 2000, as Federal File

Back to Top Back to Top

Most Popular Stories

Viewed

Emailed

Recommended

Commented

Sponsor Insights

Free Ebook: How to Implement a Coding Program in Schools

Successful Intervention Builds Student Success

Effective Ways to Support Students with Dyslexia

Stop cobbling together your EdTech

Integrate Science and ELA with Informational Text

Can self-efficacy impact growth for ELLs?

Disruptive Tech Integration for Meaningful Learning

Building Community for Social Good

5 Resources on the Power of Interoperability from Unified Edtech

New campaign for UN World Teachers Day

5 Game-Changers in Today’s Digital Learning Platforms

Hiding in Plain Sight - 7 Common Signs of Dyslexia in the Classroom

The research: Reading Benchmark Assessments

Shifting Mindsets: A Guide for Training Paraeducators to Think Differently About Challenging Behavior

All Students Are Language Learners: The Imagine Learning Language Advantage™

Shifting Mindsets: A Guide for Training Paraeducators to Think Differently About Challenging Behavior

How to Support All Students with Equitable Pathways

2019 K-12 Digital Content Report

3-D Learning & Assessment for K–5 Science

Climate Change, LGBTQ Issues, Politics & Race: Instructional Materials for Teaching Complex Topics

Closing the Science Achievement Gap

Evidence-based Coaching: Key Driver(s) of Scalable Improvement District-Wide

Advancing Literacy with Large Print

Research Sheds New Light on the Reading Brain

Tips for Supporting English Learners Through Personalized Approaches

Response to Intervention Centered on Student Learning

The Nonnegotiable Attributes of Effective Feedback

SEE MORE Insights >