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State Board President John Austin Statement on Governor Snyder's Education Message
April 27, 2011
The following is a statement from State Board of Education President John C. Austin regarding Michigan Governor Rick Snyder's Special Message to the Legislature on Education, delivered today at 10 a.m.:
I welcome the Governor making education improvement and reform a first priority. Increasing the education attainment of Michiganders is essential to reboot our economy, and ensure both current and emerging workers are prepared for the jobs of today, and have the creativity and skills to be the entrepreneurs and Michigan job creators of tomorrow.
I am pleased with the outreach demonstrated by the Governor and his strong support for many of the education improvement and reform recommendations made by the State Board of Education, Education Improvement and Reform Priorities Recommendations to Governor Snyder and the Legislature including:
- Creating a performance-driven education system with high expectations for all learners;
- Rewarding schools that realize student achievement and growth with resources;
- Ensuring no students are trapped in a school where they aren't learning;
- Help all students learn at their own pace, and in the manner that suits them best, including expanding virtual learning, and post-secondary course and credit-taking while still in high school.
I am also pleased that he is serious and lends his important office in support of the campaign of "zero tolerance" for bullying in our schools.
I am most
pleased that the Governor understands that if we are to meet the demanding learning expectations we have set for students, teachers are the key. We have got to honor, empower, support and reward great teachers and teaching; and dramatically increase and improve the tools, the time, and the training that supports excellent teaching.
We must create conditions that encourage our best and brightest to teach, stay teaching, and find rewarding and satisfying careers in the classroom, and in training the next generation. I look forward to working with the Governor to make this revolution in how we prepare, support, evaluate and reward teachers come to life.
Finally, while I welcome the focus on education as a lifetime undertaking, I do remind the Governor that we won't achieve the education outcomes we all desire, without sufficient resources to:
- expand access to pre-school learning for all children and families;
- adequately fund K-12 schools at a level and in a manner that rewards those who have made tough sacrifices by reforming personnel health and pension systems, and have worked together to find efficiencies in non-educational services; not punish districts who have made reforms with cuts that reach into the classroom; and
- not price our great higher education institutions out of reach of working people, nor dismantle these great engines of new knowledge, talent and technology creation.