Jan 12, 2011 3:37 PM by Andy Koen

Bennet kicks off education reform tour

Senator Michael Bennet was in Colorado Springs this morning visiting the students and teachers at Lincoln Elementary. His visit was the first of several schools tours around the country aimed at supporting an overhaul to the public education system.

Bennet says he wants to see first hand what works and what doesn't in our schools.

"I go and spend time with the child and I ask them what the purpose of the lesson is, why they're doing the lesson," Bennet said. "It gives you a good indication of whether or not the teaching is actually getting to the kid, right? It's not about teaching really, it's about learning."

While he's no fan of No Child Left Behind, Bennet says he doesn't want to get rid of the legislation either.

"Accountability is very important but it can't be crude, and the accountability system that we have is very crude and I've seen it because I've been on the receiving end when I was superintendent in Denver."

Fifth grader Jaymie Fullmer is the student council president at Lincoln. She got to guide the senator on his tour and says he was "pretty cool and pretty nice."

"I was kind of nervous like thinking would I end up falling or get too nervous and not know what to say," Fullmer said.

Despite the divided Congress, Bennet, a Democrat, believes school reform is an issue that both parties can work together on this session.

"One of the things that I've learned, again, during this two year campaign is that if you actually get people to focus on the responsibility that we have for the next generation, people stop screaming at each other."

As part of his school reform tour, the Bennet will also host roundtable discussions with teachers, principals and superintendents.


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