By Paula Ebben

BOSTON (CBS) – Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito recently spoke with WBZ-TV’s Paula Ebben about how she is taking on the challenges we face with education in Massachusetts.

Last week, lawmakers unveiled the “Student Opportunity Act,” and it will be debated over the next few weeks. In a one-on-one interview, Polito said it’s a good start.

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“We’re now seeing a really major focus on not only resources because resources are important to share with our school districts in the Commonwealth,” Polito said. “And also make sure that we’re not compromising accountability and the high standards that have really set MA apart from other states.”

Paula Ebben: What is the No. 1 concern you hear from people?

Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito: “The biggest issue I hear is workforce, so there are a lot of businesses that either are here and want to grow or want to start up or want to locate here and they need to make sure that they have people graduating from our education system with the skills that match the jobs that are growing in their workplaces.”

Ebben: What do you say to someone who is frustrated that they feel that your zip code can dictate how good their local school is?

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Polito: “Well they need to know that the state government cares about their education. What’s really important to this Commonwealth because we are a leader in education but it needs to work for everyone. We need to make sure that we’re addressing achievement gaps and opportunity gaps and that there’s access to a great education no matter where you are in this Commonwealth.”

Ebben: Massachusetts schools are always considered the top of the nation. But what is it that our school systems in each community can really work on in order to make the STEM future bright for children?

Polito: “Technology’s changed everything the workplace changed how we consume changed how we communicate, but it certainly has changed how we educate. The sharing of resources, best practices, STEM education is really important.”

The Lt. Governor spearheads the effort to promote “STEM Week” in Massachusetts. STEM programs will be a part of school the week of October 21.

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Click here to watch Part 1 of Paula Ebben’s interview with Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito. 

Paula Ebben