"The answer to improving education can be found in improving the quality of teachers leading our classrooms. With that firm belief, Senator Kimberly Lightford led a collaborative approach to education reform that married diverse interests with one goal - putting our students first.

Since the moment that I announced a Special Committee on Education Reform, Senator Lightford has labored in negotiations that put sacred cows such as tenure and teacher strikes on the table for scrutiny. The result is a new set of policies that will help promote the best teachers and improve the educational outcomes for students in Illinois.

I applaud all of the reform stakeholders for demonstrating that the process can work when we are willing to work together."