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Education reforms top Sen. Emery's priorities

Friday, January 18, 2013

Public school education was one of Sen. Ed Emery's main campaign issues last year and his appointment to the Senate Education Committee will afford him the chance to push for reforms, he said Tuesday.

The Lamar Republican said he had been working with Missouri education officials to study background on other states that have improved test scores, lowed dropout rates and helped students go to college and get good jobs when they graduate.

"I have not started drafting legislation yet," Emery said from his Jefferson City office. "I haven't studied the biographies of all the members, but I think we have a committee that will be interested in anything that looks like it would be workable.

"There are a number of states that have been good laboratories like Florida, Louisiana, Tennessee and Massachusetts. The teachers are the core of any successful program. We need to bring up test scores, reduce dropouts and get better outcomes with college placements and more consistent employment statistics for higher wage jobs.

Emery said other factors must also be brought into play for public school education to get where it needs to go. "Character, skills and all of that work together," he said.

"We need to confine our attention to the elements that have been exploited in other states and can be applied in Missouri with similar success."

According to the Missouri Senate's Web site, other Education Committee members are Sens. David Pearce, R-Warrensburg, chairman; Gary Romine, R-Farmington, vice chairman; Dan Brown, R-Rolla; Doug Libla, R-Poplar Bluff; Brian Nieves, R-Washington; Scott Rupp, R-Wentzville; Maria Chappelle-Nadal, D-University City, a St. Louis suburb; Kiki Curls, D-Kansas City; and Jason Holsman, D-Kansas City.

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