February 20, 2013 Bookmark and Share

House Dems Slam Biased Education Committee Testimony

StudentsFirst pushing pro-voucher agenda at expense of Michigan kids

LANSING - House Democratic Leader Tim Greimel (D-Auburn Hills) and state Representative Ellen Cogen Lipton (D-Huntington Woods), Democratic vice chairwoman of the House Education Committee, decried today's testimony in front of the committee from StudentsFirst lobbyist Tim Melton.

"If we really want to put students first, we need to give them the resources they deserve, and that starts with restoring the $2 billion that has been diverted from education over the past two years," Greimel said. "Rather than using our kids as pawns in a political agenda, we need to focus on reducing class sizes and providing textbooks - things we know will help kids succeed."

Last month, StudentsFirst put out a "State Policy Report Card," which assigned letter grades to states. However, a study written by the National Education Policy Center and advanced by the Great Lakes Center found errors in the data collection, calling it biased and not useful for policymakers. The National Opportunity to Learn Campaign said the StudentsFirst report pushes untested and disproven policies.

"This is just the latest instance of a pro-charter, pro-voucher organization trying to influence lawmakers under the guise of helping our kids," Lipton said. "In fact, they just continue to advocate for the corporatization of Michigan schools. The irony is that StudentsFirst, with its backward policies, actually puts students last."

The Great Lakes Center can be found online at www.greatlakescenter.org. The Opportunity to Learn Campaign is on the Web at www.otlcampaign.org.

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