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Mitch Daniels on Education

Republican IN Governor


Public schools' failure fault of NEA & AFT unions

A miserably underperforming public school system is not taking its inevitable toll on our society and producing a workforce woefully unprepared to compete with those of other countries and woefully ignorant of the duties and requirements of citizenship in a free society.

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.

Source: Keeping the Republic, by Mitch Daniels, p. 4 & 66 , Sep 20, 2011

NEA not entirely motivated by what's best for children

The NEA has inserted itself into a wide variety of left-wing causes over the past decades, but hasn't come to the defense of teaching the virtues of America's free institutions. Indeed, the NEA, which recently spent more than $2 million on a ballot initiative aimed at raising corporate taxes in California, has donated money to the Sierra Club and to ACORN, and has been a stalwart opponent of education reforms aimed at raising the quality of education through testing, vouchers and charter schools. It has even opposed education reform, such as merit pay, that are supported by President Obama. In a free society, such organization are well within their rights to wage political campaigns, but we shouldn't pretend that such campaigns are entirely motivated by what's best for the children and that they don't impact the individual rights the rest of us enjoy.
Source: Keeping the Republic, by Mitch Daniels, p. 68-69 , Sep 20, 2011

Pro school choice; pro charter schools; pro voucher

We expanded public school choice by enacting a new law that allows students to transfer to any public school district without paying tuition. The response was amazing. School districts started advertising their graduation rates, test scores and other academic achievements in order to attract new students. Competition works in education as elsewhere in life.

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

Source: Keeping the Republic, by Mitch Daniels, p.113 , Sep 20, 2011

Pay students to leave high school early

Working within the public system, we designed an innovative program that gives enterprising students who graduate high school a year early the money the state would have spent on their education had they stuck around for a final year. Students can use this money only to further their education, so the program rewards hardworking teens by giving them a leg up on paying for college.

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.

Source: Keeping the Republic, by Mitch Daniels, p.113 , Sep 20, 2011

Pay teachers, and award tenure, based on effectiveness

We know what works. It starts with teacher quality. Teacher quality has been found to be 20 times more important than any other factor, including poverty, in determining which kids succeed. Class size, by comparison, is virtually meaningless. Put a great teacher in front of a large class, and you can expect good results. Put a poor teacher in front of a small class, do not expect the kids to learn.

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.

Source: 2011 Indiana State of the State Address , Jan 11, 2011

Lift backward-looking limits on charter schools

First, this Assembly heeded the call of President Obama and others and lifted Indiana's backward-looking limits on charter schools and on considering student achievement in evaluating teachers. Then our Professional Standards Board, led by our superb new Superintendent Tony Bennett, acted to strengthen standards for new teachers, and to open both classroom and leadership positions to those whose hearts call them to teaching from other walks of life.
Source: Indiana 2010 State of the State Address , Jan 19, 2010

Support vouchers for public schools

Source: Indiana Gubernatorial Election 2008 Political Courage Test , Nov 1, 2008

Use lottery revenue for free college tuition for two years

Source: Indiana Gubernatorial Election 2008 Political Courage Test , Nov 1, 2008

Voluntary prayer in public schools

Q: Do you support a moment of silence in public schools?

A: Yes.

Q: Do you support voluntary prayer in public schools?

A: Yes.

Q: Do you support sexual education programs that include information on abstinence, contraceptives, and HIV/STD prevention methods?

A: Yes.

Q: Do you support abstinence-only sexual education programs?

A: Yes.

Source: Indiana Gubernatorial Election 2008 Political Courage Test , Nov 1, 2008

Proud of long-standing commitment to our public schools

Hoosiers are rightfully proud of Indiana’s long-standing commitment to our public schools. Hoosiers earn less income than the average American, but spend more of their income than the national average on their K-12 public schools.

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.

Source: Gubernatorial website, www.in.gov/gov, “Issues” , Nov 11, 2006

2010 Governor, House and Senate candidates on Education: Mitch Daniels on other issues:

IN Senatorial:
Daniel Coats
Richard Lugar

2011 Special Elections:
CA-36:Jane Harman(D)
CA-36:Janice Hahn(D)
NV-2:Dean Heller(R)
NY-9:Anthony Weiner(D)
NY-26:Chris Lee(R)
NY-26:Kathleen Hochul(D)
Retiring 2012:
CA-6:Lynn Woolsey(D)
OK-2:Dan Boren(D)
MI-5:Dale Kildee(D)
TX-14:Ron Paul(R)
Running for Mayor:
CA-51:Bob Filner(D)
Running for Governor:
IN-6:Mike Pence(R)
WA-8:Dave Reichert(R)
Running for Senate:
AZ-1:Jeff Flake(R)
CT-5:Chris Murphy(R)
HI-2:Mazie Hirono(D)
IN-2:Joe Donnelly(D)
MO-2:Todd Akin(R)
MT-0:Dennis Rehberg(R)
ND-0:Rick Berg(D)
NM-1:Martin Heinrich(D)
NV-1:Shelley Berkley(D)
UT-3:Jason Chaffetz(R)
Dem. Freshmen
in 112th Congress:

AL-7:Terri Sewell
CA-33:Karen Bass
DE-0:John Carney
FL-17:Frederica Wilson
HI-1:Colleen Hanabusa
LA-2:Cedric Richmond
MA-10:Bill Keating
MI-13:Hansen Clarke
RI-1:David Cicilline
GOP Freshmen
in 112th Congress:

AL-2:Martha Roby
AL-5:Mo Brooks
AZ-1:Paul Gosar
AZ-3:Ben Quayle
AZ-5:David Schweikert
AR-1:Rick Crawford
AR-2:Tim Griffin
AR-3:Steve Womack
CA-19:Jeff Denham
CO-3:Scott Tipton
CO-4:Cory Gardner
FL-12:Dennis Ross
FL-2:Steve Southerland
FL-21:Mario Diaz-Balart
FL-22:Allen West
FL-24:Sandy Adams
FL-25:David Rivera
FL-5:Rich Nugent
FL-8:Dan Webster
GA-2:Mike Keown
GA-7:Rob Woodall
GA-8:Austin Scott
ID-1:Raul Labrador
IL-8:Joe Walsh
IL-10:Bob Dold
IL-11:Adam Kinzinger
IL-14:Randy Hultgren
IL-17:Bobby Schilling
IL-8:Joe Walsh
IN-3:Marlin Stutzman
IN-4:Todd Rokita
IN-8:Larry Bucshon
IN-9:Todd Young
KS-1:Tim Huelskamp
KS-3:Kevin Yoder
KS-5:Mike Pompeo
LA-3:Jeff Landry
MD-1:Andy Harris
MI-1:Dan Benishek
MI-2:Bill Huizenga
MI-3:Justin Amash
MI-7:Tim Walberg
MN-8:Chip Cravaack
MO-4:Vicky Hartzler
MO-7:Billy Long
MS-1:Alan Nunnelee
MS-4:Steven Palazzo
GOP Freshmen
in 111th Congress:

NC-2:Renee Ellmers
ND-0:Rick Berg
NH-2:Charlie Bass
NH-1:Frank Guinta
NJ-3:Jon Runyan
NM-2:Steve Pearce
NV-3:Joe Heck
NY-13:Michael Grimm
NY-19:Nan Hayworth
NY-20:Chris Gibson
NY-24:Richard Hanna
NY-25:Ann Marie Buerkle
NY-29:Tom Reed
OH-1:Steve Chabot
OH-15:Steve Stivers
OH-16:Jim Renacci
OH-18:Bob Gibbs
OH-6:Bill Johnson
OK-5:James Lankford
PA-10:Tom Marino
PA-11:Lou Barletta
PA-3:Mike Kelly
PA-7:Patrick Meehan
PA-8:Mike Fitzpatrick
SC-1:Tim Scott
SC-3:Jeff Duncan
SC-4:Trey Gowdy
SC-5:Mick Mulvaney
SD-0:Kristi Noem
TN-3:Chuck Fleischmann
TN-4:Scott DesJarlais
TN-6:Diane Black
TN-8:Stephen Fincher
TX-17:Bill Flores
TX-23:Quico Canseco
TX-27:Blake Farenthold
VA-2:Scott Rigell
VA-5:Robert Hurt
VA-9:Morgan Griffith
WA-3:Jaime Herrera
WI-7:Sean Duffy
WI-8:Reid Ribble
WV-1:David McKinley
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Page last updated: Nov 05, 2011