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Tuesday, June 21, 2011 - 5:47am

Clinton Tells Charter Schools To Think Big

Former President Bill Clinton was in Atlanta Tuesday morning with a message for charter schools: The institutions need to strengthen the link between education and innovations in health, the economy and the environment, he says.

Clinton was an early champion of charter schools, which are given freedom to experiment with curriculum, scheduling and staffing in exchange for increased accountability for academic achievement.

The former president asked a crowd of more than 4,000 charter school advocates to think about other ways they can experiment.

"The charter schools showed that we could put our schools in the future business," Clinton says. "Now we have to do what is clearly called upon both to continue to grow and expand the charter school movement and have that idea infect every other aspect of our lives."

Clinton asked the schools to join his effort to combat childhood obesity, to make their facilities energy efficient, and to make sure all of their students understand new federal rules that make college loans more affordable. He also asked them to expand job training opportunities.

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