PITTSFIELD, Mass. — From school lunches to college classes, students didn't hold back – saying what was on their mind to Governor Deval Patrick. And the response--receptive.
"He seemed to actually look at us and talk to us, and actually process what we were saying," said Christine Ahoussi, a senior at Pittsfield High School.
She was one of about 15 students who got the chance to sit and talk with the governor and Secretary of Education Matthew Malone Monday.
"It's great talking to young people. You get the straight scoop. You should never be afraid to talk to young people about the education that they're receiving," said Malone.
School isn't always easy for students, particularly for Ahoussi, who moved to United States from Ghana when she was 10. She's sharing her ideas on how to make other students' experiences better.
"Students who come from other countries should have someone who monitors them," she said.
There was another worry on senior Dimitry Pixley's mind: college.
"Everyone's like, do the ones in Massachusetts. They're the best," said Pixley.
Patrick has long called for investments in education. He's proposed longer school days for some middle schools, increased funding for public universities, and investing in early education, but as his term comes to a close in 2014, he hopes the work in education will continue.
"We've given tools now through state legislation and achievement gap act to enable schools to make individual choices in to reach the kids they serve," said Gov. Patrick, D-Massachusetts.
He has touted his commonwealth's position as first in student achievement for the past six years.