Indiana Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Bennett has joined with chief school officers from four other states to launch Chiefs for Change, a group pushing for aggressive education reforms.
The organization formed this week in Washington, D.C., at a summit sponsored by the Foundation for Excellence in Education, a think-tank headed by former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush. Other members are Paul Pastorek of Louisiana, Eric Smith of Florida, Deborah Gist of Rhode Island and Gerard Robinson of Virginia.
As for priorities, Education Week reports, “The five education leaders put these at the top of their list: ‘value-added’ ways of evaluating teachers and principals; more rigorous accountability systems based not on inputs but results; raising academic standards; and expanding school choice. The chiefs don’t walk in lock step on the choice issue, though. They said they all agree that students should have more charter and virtual school options, but some of the chiefs ‘may not go as far as others’ on other forms of choice—an apparent reference to vouchers.”
The list matches the agenda that’s been promoted both by Bennett and by Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels. Bennett said the five “kind of started our own union, a children’s union” that puts the interests of students first, Education Week said.