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Patrick's education plan applauded

MTA president Anne Wass responds to Gov. Patrick's proposals, as outlined at the UMass Boston commencement, June 1:

At long last, we have a governor who has an inspiring vision for public schools and colleges. Deval Patrick has displayed strong leadership by making education a top priority and developing an ambitious agenda for the future.

Governor Patrick clearly understands that what happens to children in preschool affects their prospects in kindergarten; that their experience in kindergarten reverberates through high school; and that what happens to them in high school affects their success in college and beyond. He understands that it really does take a whole community to educate a child. Community and social services are essential to helping children thrive in school and in life. A weakness in any part of the system undermines students' chances to fulfill their dreams and become productive citizens.

We share the governor's priorities -- which include narrowing the achievement gaps and making sure that all students are educated to meet the demands of the 21st century. We also support his goal of making higher education accessible to all students by eliminating tuition at our community colleges.

We applaud Governor Patrick for embarking on this bold initiative, and we look forward to working with both the governor and the Legislature to develop or refine specific proposals, support workable funding mechanisms and implement effective strategies for success.