“I applaud the Governor’s comprehensive proposal to boost academic excellence in Minnesota. The Governor’s Seven-Point Plan creates a seamless process from pre-K through post-secondary education that will prepare our children for the rigors of formal education, raise the bar to close the achievement gap, focus on early childhood education and literacy, support quality teaching and redesign the Department of Education to better serve our students, parents, teachers and schools. It is heartening to see that the Governor wants to put teeth into a 2001 literacy law, introduced and passed by my colleague Sen. Chuck Wiger, to ensure that our children are reading well by third grade.
While the Governor agrees and is supportive of quality alternative teacher licensure, he knows–and I agree—that this cannot be the sole response to the educational crisis facing our state. We need to go beyond the rhetoric and put Minnesota back on the map as the education leader both nationally and internationally. His proposal today shows great leadership and vision.
I expect we will see legislation soon that encompasses the Governor’s ideas. Just as we had bipartisan support of the teacher licensure bill, I hope that we will have Democrats and Republicans working together to ensure that we have the best and brightest teachers in our state’s classrooms preparing all of our children—my grandchildren– for the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead for them in the 21st century.”