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Tim Pawlenty on Education

Republican MN Governor


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.

Source: Club for Growth 2012 Presidential White Paper #1: Gingrich , May 24, 2011

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.

Source: 2011 GOP primary debate in South Carolina , May 5, 2011

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.
Source: Sam's Club Republican, by J.A. McClure, p. 45 , May 10, 2010

Require Pledge of Allegiance in public schools

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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Page last updated: Oct 09, 2013