Why I’m running:
I am running for re-election to the State Board of Education because I believe Michigan must be a state that rebuilds our great education and higher education system as the ticket to a better life, and makes it work for all our children and adults, whatever zip code you live in Michigan, whatever the color of your skin, whatever your sexual orientation or gender identity. At this time of tremendous challenge to the Michigan we know and love, nothing is more important to our future.
What I’ve accomplished
We’ve made important progress on many education issues. I’ve led the fight to build career programs for the children of Flint, to bring more rigorous, forward-looking learning standards to our k-12 schools, to make higher education available and the essential destination for all our citizens But today the stakes are even higher and I refuse to turn a blind eye to the realities so many of our young people are facing.
Public education and higher education in Michigan has been under assault in recent years from shortsighted politicians in the legislature and a governor’s office that favors tax cuts over investments in our people, as seen by the damage done in Flint, in Detroit and across our state.
They’ve unleashed a destructive race to the bottom where private companies sell educational services and open schools with no quality standards, pocketing millions in our tax dollars while the learning of our children across Michigan suffers.
They’ve priced Michigan’s higher education out of reach of working families, and loaded our children and adults trying to get ahead with crushing debt.
This election is a referendum to determine the kind of state we are going to be.
- Are we going to fundamentally rework the way we organize and finance education to improve learning outcomes, as I have championed—or turn over education to a rigged private market where making money trumps children’s learning?
- Are we going to make our great higher education institutions affordable again, and help all our people earn a degree or credential beyond high school—as I have shown us how to do- or will we allow these engines of opportunity to be dismantled?
- Will we embrace high expectations and 21st century learning standards in science, math, language arts to prepare all our young people for the work of tomorrow,or turn education over to anti-standards, science deniers, creationists, and those who politicize the teaching of our children?
- Do we believe as I do that all our young people have the same right to great education, whatever the color of their skin, whatever their sexual orientation or gender identity? And that we have a duty to focus our efforts to close learning gaps, and lift those children who face the most obstacles and have furthest to go.
How we build a better future
We must rebuild the Michigan Dream for all our people, with great education at its core. Together we can lift up and transform our public schools, make higher education available and affordable again, and rebuild Michigan’s brand as the Education State. I look forward to this campaign and working with the people of our great state to build a mandate to make Michigan education and higher education work for all again.