Mitch Daniels on Education
Republican IN Governor
It's easy to blame the failures of our public education on bad teachers, overcrowded classrooms, and inadequate resources, but the root of the problem lies within the system's own bureaucracies, in particular, the government unions such as the National Education Association and the American Federation of Teachers. The adults who hijacked education for their own advantage did not intend for our young people to suffer as a consequence, but it was inevitable that they would suffer once the unions sought to protect incompetent teachers, principals and superintendants against any accountability for producing well-prepared students.
We also expanded charter schools, which gave parents new choices within the public system and, as underappreciated as it usually is, gave many parents a new avenue for getting involved in the education of their children.
To make real strides in education, you have to think outside the public system. In 2011, we pushed legislation that would give families who have tried public schools and found them unsatisfactory the power to take the tax dollars used to educate their children and spend it on sending their children to any school of their choosing, public or private. Effectively, Indiana is the first state with universal school choice
These reforms alone will not produce the excellence we need, and our program has included a host of other changes, such as new standards for teacher licensure, annual A-F grades for every school and district, and replacing teacher tenure and pay by seniority with rewards and job protection based on classroom performance.
Teachers should have tenure, but they should earn it by proving their ability to help kids learn. Our best teachers should be paid more, much more, and ineffective teachers should be helped to improve or asked to move.
We are beginning to hold our school leaders accountable for the only thing that really matters: Did the children grow? Did the children learn? Starting this year, schools will get their own grades, in a form we can all understand: 'A' to 'F.' There will be no more hiding behind jargon and gibberish.
Q: Do you support voluntary prayer in public schools?
Q: Do you support sexual education programs that include information on abstinence, contraceptives, and HIV/STD prevention methods?
Q: Do you support abstinence-only sexual education programs?
The Governor’s proposals would strengthen the roles of the regional Education Service Centers (ESCs) to purchase a variety of products and services on behalf of participating school districts. The Governor’s “More Dollars to the Classroom” initiative would shift more funds [from products & services to classroom] to improve student achievement.
School districts would also be given more freedom to enter into shared services agreements, so that administrators responsible for such functions as transportation, facilities management, human resources, and information technology could perform them for multiple districts.
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