Dear Sen. Senjem:

We urge you to co-sponsor the Advanced Thinking for All Students Bill currently in the Minnesota Legislature, for which the original SF 1700 (Housely, chief author) has just been completed and the clone of which (Eken, Chief Author) will be started this week. We would be honored, Senator, if you might serve as chief author of the clone bill, as you so graciously served for last year's bill, or if you might simply co-author such a clone. Surely, at least as much as last year, we need to encourage lawmakers to fund creative and critical thinking and other advanced learning at higher levels. We believe that our students will learn more actively and more thoughtfully being involved in their learning. Programs for our gifted learners – as well as our general classroom learners also helped by the bill – will not only cost us but return dividends because the students will be better able to join our workforce and participate in decision making when they vote.

With the emphasis on helping all of our students learn at higher levels, we can also look to diminishing the achievement gaps between substantial achievers and those who are reluctant or challenged learners.

By spending more time and resources on all of our students, especially in their strengths, we will have a more vibrant student body and more involved citizens. These more involved citizens will nourish us all as they support society and our economy. Funds spent on supporting all of our students to become more thoughtful citizens will help our society as we press on and as we more fully engage them running our society.

I have taught students in social studies for 37 years at Mayo High School and was department chair 20 of those years. I have used higher order thinking skills as I worked with the students at Mayo. I hope that they are better able to serve in the wider world because of that emphasis. I know that students' enthused involvement in their K-12 education is all-important in helping them enjoy learning. Rochester is fortunate to have so many able instructors who care about helping students learn at higher levels. I hope, too, that all instructors' sufficient in-service learning in advanced thinking instruction, also funded by the bill, will help them support this greater emphasis in Minnesota's schools. I thank you, Senator, for your work to support our state's students for so many years.

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Citizens, I encourage you to support efforts for helping our students think at higher levels.

With much happiness in working in support of our students.

Larry L. Fowler (teacher) and Rioghna Pittock, Alivia Moser, Shikha Kumar, Cate Crockett, Annie Wu, Deep Patel, Erin Vos, Adam McPhail, Ojas Bhagra, Mia Harbor and Molly Hendrickson (students), Mayo High School, Rochester