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School administrators ready to work with Shumlin

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A gathering of Vermont school board members and superintendents Tuesday said it's ready for change.

"Vermont's children require and indeed they deserve a world-class educational system," said Mike Deweese with the Chittenden Central Supervisory Union.

On Tuesday this group came together in Montpelier to outline its plan to transforming education in Vermont -- Pre-K for all kids topped the list.

"The general assembly should adopt legislation this year to provide universal access to pre-kindergarten education for every student," said Elaine Pinckney with the Chittenden South Supervisory Union.

Moving Vermont students from a traditional structure emphasizing time spent in a classroom, to one that measures practical skills through internships and other out of school opportunities. "I think that is the boldest thing in this whole thing because really that is a huge paradigm shift from the kind of lock-step factory model of education," Pinckney said.

The group called for additional professional development for teachers, administrators and school board members and a more comprehensive social service network for students and families.

"School personnel, families and community members must forge new levels of understanding and mutual trust in order to move our systems forward together," said Burlington Superintendent Jeanne Collins.

This team said it's ready to take its case to lawmakers and that it is already in synch with much of what Governor Shumlin is looking to accomplish. "It's almost like we were reading from the same playbook even though we hadn't been working together. We will be working together now, you can count on that," said Ken Fredette, a Wallingford School Board member.

The group stressed high tech skills that meet modern demands and is also supporting individualized ed plans for all students.

The plan did not come with a price tag Tuesday. The state school board association said it plans to share it's goals with the legislators at the State House on Friday.

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