Pro-school choice policies; including pro-charter laws
The first Charter School was opened in Minnesota in 1992, so we are pleased that Governor Pawlenty has carried on the tradition of pro-school choice policies. A 2010 report on state charter school laws by that organization rated Minnesota #1 in the
country, and praised pro-charter laws passed while Pawlenty was Governor.
In a 2008 report, Minnesota was tied for fifth most pro-school choice state. Minnesota received high marks for education tax credits, but scored zero on both the voucher and
scholarship categories of the report. Minnesota was also the only state to offer a refundable education tax credit to low income families. In 2010, Pawlenty proposed a strongly pro-school choice education bill which included allowing successful
charter schools to open additional sites. In 2011, he issued a statement praising the U.S. House for passing a bill that reinstated the Washington, D.C. school voucher program opposed by President Obama.
Let school districts decide on teaching intelligent design
Q: When you served as governor in Minnesota you named an education commissioner who equated the teaching of creationism with the teaching of evolution. Do you equate the teaching of creationism with the teaching of evolution, as the basis for what should
be taught in our nation's schools?
A: The approach we took in Minnesota is to say there should be room in the curriculum for study of intelligent design. Didn't need to be in science class. We didn't decide that at the state level.
We left that up to the local districts and parents; I think that's a reasonable and appropriate approach.
Q: You didn't answer my question about whether you personally equate a faith-based theory with scientific inquiry?
A: I believe that should be left up to parents and local districts and not states or federal government.
Parents should have educational options, like home schooling
Public education must be improved, but families also deserve better access to more options, such as charter schools and home schooling, he said,
calling the public school system a government-run, lethargic monopoly.
Source: IowaCauus.com, "Pawlenty in Iowa City"
, Feb 7, 2011
1991: lengthening the school year for high schoolers
In 1991, a State House seat opened up in Pawlenty's district. He announced his candidacy, focusing on jobs and education reform.
For the latter, he advocated lengthening the secondary school year so that students could compete better internationally, and supported performance-based funding of schools.
Source: Sam's Club Republican, by J.A. McClure, p. 11-12
, May 10, 2010
3R solution: Rigor, Relevance, & Results for high schools
In his fifth State of the State speech, Pawlenty labeled the state's high schools "obsolete." He proposed a "3R" solution: "rigor, relevance, results." Students in the
3R schools would have to complete the equivalent of a full year in college before receiving their high school diplomas.
After completion, they would receive their first year at a state university free, and scholarships would be provided for "at-risk" children. They would be required to take four full years of a foreign language, and extra emphasis would be placed on
math, science, technology and engineering. The program would also increase funding of schools by four percent, with half of the funding contingent upon the school meeting its goals.
Signed legislation requiring the Pledge of Allegiance in Minnesota’s public schools.
Expanded access and increased funding for Advanced Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB) Programs.
Profile of Learning and raised the bar on education with: Minnesota Academic Standards--rigorous academic requirements for math, reading, science, social studies and arts.
Source: 2006 Gubernatorial website, www.timpawlenty.com, “Issues”
, Nov 7, 2006
Student standards & teacher standards
Pawlenty feels we should properly fund our schools but also hold them accountable for improved student achievement. The state should assess student progress & hold districts accountable for improved results.
More rigorous graduation standards for all students need to be implemented statewide. We need performance pay for school staff. Our seniority only salary system is out of date and we should be rewarding teachers for performance.
Source: 2002 Gubernatorial website TimPawlenty.com, “On the Issues”
, Oct 9, 2002
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