Granholm Attending Governors Education Symposium; Focus on Critical Challenges Facing Education

Contact: Liz Boyd 517-335-6397

June 6, 2008

Radio Address highlights link between education, economic development

LANSING - In her weekly radio address, Governor Jennifer M. Granholm today announced she will attend the Governors Education Symposium on Developing a World-Class Education System next week in North Carolina where governors from around the country will discuss critical challenges facing education and learn strategies for preparing students for the global economy.

"While I am proud of what we've accomplished to improve education in Michigan, I am going to this symposium eager to learn how to do more," Granholm said.  "My fellow governors and I will see how our children are measuring up on international tests that compare student achievement in 33 industrialized countries.  That's critical, because our children and our grandchildren are now competing with their peers across the world to get the good jobs that are essential to having a good life."

Granholm noted that Michigan has set a goal of doubling the number of college graduates in Michigan in just ten years to bring new investment and new jobs to the state.  To reach that goal, a number of education reforms have been put in place.  Those reforms include the most rigorous high school graduation requirements in the nation, a mandatory college entrance exam, and a $4,000 Michigan Promise scholarship, which will cover the tuition cost of a two-year degree from most Michigan community colleges.

"As we strive to get more of our children to go to college, we've got to address the reality that too few of them who attend college ever earn a degree, and that has to change," Granholm said.  "If we want great schools for our kids, we need to recognize our great teachers and do every thing we can to get more of them in the classroom."

The James B. Hunt, Jr. Institute sponsors the Governors Education Symposium for Educational Leadership and Policy along with the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices.  Former North Carolina Governor Hunt remains a leader among the nation's governors for pioneering the direct link between education and economic growth.

The governor's weekly radio address is released each Friday morning and may be heard on broadcast stations across the state.  The address is available on the governor's Web site at ( www.michigan.gov/gov ) for download, together with a clip of the quote above.  The radio address is also available as a podcast on the Web site, as well as on iTunes and via RSS feed for general distribution to personal MP3 players and home computers.  Links to the audio files and text of today's address follow.

The Honorable Jennifer M. Granholm
Radio Address - Education Symposium
June 6, 2008

Full:  http://www.michigan.gov/documents/gov/Gov148_Full_237010_7.mp3
Edited:  http://www.michigan.gov/documents/gov/Gov148_Edit_237011_7.mp3
Quote:  http://www.michigan.gov/documents/gov/Gov148_Quote_237012_7.mp3   

Hello, this is Governor Jennifer Granholm.

Next week I will join with governors from around the country at a symposium in North Carolina that's organized by that state's former governor, James Hunt, who remains a leader among the nation's governors for pioneering the direct link between education and economic growth.

Over the last five years, we've taken that connection to heart, and we've set an important goal - to bring new investment and new jobs to Michigan, we are going to double the number of college graduates in Michigan in just ten years.  So, to reach that goal, we've put education reforms in place.

Starting with this year's ninth graders, every student who attends public high school is expected to take challenging courses that prepare them for success in college, technical training, and the workplace.  All of our high school students are also taking the ACT, a college entrance exam.

And every high school student can now earn the $4,000 Michigan Promise scholarship, which will cover the tuition cost of a two-year degree from most Michigan community colleges.

While I'm proud of what we've accomplished to improve education in Michigan, I am going to this symposium eager to learn how to do more.  My fellow governors and I will see how our children are measuring up on international tests that compare student achievement in 33 industrialized countries.  And that's critical, because our children and our grandchildren are now competing with their peers across the world to get the good jobs that are essential to having a good life. 

We'll hear from experts about what other countries are doing to move their education systems forward.  Our Michigan students can "out-compete" anyone if we give them the first class education they deserve.  To do that, we'll have to continue making significant changes in our educational system.  

This symposium focuses on two issues that are important to Michigan - improving graduation rates in our colleges and universities and finding ways to get more of the great teachers we need in our schools.

As we strive to get more of our children to go to college, we've got to address the reality that too few of those who attend college ever earn a degree, and that has to change.  If we want great schools for our kids, we need to recognize our great teachers and do everything we can to get more of them in the classroom.

When I join my fellow governors next week, I'll speak with pride about the steps we've taken to advance education, along with our proposed 21st Century Schools Fund which will replace large high schools that don't work, with small high schools that do.

But I'll also be ready to learn what it takes to make our state a world leader in education.   Because there is no other way to have the good jobs and good life we want in Michigan without an excellent educational system.

Thank you for listening.