Pavlov responds to governor’s education address

LANSING—In response to Gov. Rick Snyder’s special message on education reform on Wednesday, Senate Education Committee Chairman Phil Pavlov, R-St. Clair Township, issued the following statement:

“I am encouraged by the governor’s proposals. In keeping with his theme of reinventing Michigan, Gov. Snyder laid out a fresh, bold plan recognizing that the educational success of our children is the key to our long-term success as a state.

“Unfortunately we are struggling in the task of educating our young people. Fewer than half of fourth-, seventh-, and 11th-grade students are proficient in writing. A mere 16 percent of high school graduates are ready for college, based on their ACT scores.

“And, perhaps most shocking of all, there are an incredible 238 Michigan high schools that had no students proficient in math or reading last year.

“These sobering facts are unacceptable. The governor acknowledged that one solution to our education problem is empowering parents to make decisions in the best interests of their children. I heartily support his proposals to extend schools of choice to every district and to lift the cap on charter schools.

“The governor also emphasized the need to reward excellence. It makes good sense to tie some of a school’s state aid to its academic achievement, as well as giving schools bonuses for student growth. These are real incentives that will drive success.

“As Gov. Snyder mentioned, we need to ensure we have the best administrators and teachers possible. We need stricter teacher certification tests and we need to reform our tenure system. Every aspect of our educational system must be transparent, and it must be accountable. These are robust, no-nonsense—and absolutely necessary—reforms.

“Finally, we all have a role to play in improving our education system. Parents have a vested interest in our students’ success, but so do neighbors, and so do local communities and the business community.

“Gov. Snyder outlined some very good proposals for ensuring Michigan students are the top of their class, which will in turn restore greatness to our state. I look forward to working with the governor and the Legislature to work out the details so we can make this happen.”