Let’s hear what it’s like to implement Indiana’s education policies on the ground

A recent analysis from the American Enterprise Institute relied primarily on interviews with Indiana Department of Education officials to identify the challenges the state faces in implementing the education policies that the legislature approved in 2011.

An interesting complement would focus on what it looks like to the people charged with making the changes happen – the superintendents, principals, assistant principals and school boards who are managing Indiana’s public schools.

“Yes, I think this would be a great follow-up study for someone to do,” College of William and Mary professor Paul Manna, a co-author of the AEI study, told School Matters. “Take the same sorts of issues we considered from the state-level perspective and see how locals would react. Also see what other sorts of issues they’d bring to the table.”

It would be a worthwhile study for university researchers. It would also be a great project for an education reporter, provided he or she could get school officials to speak honestly and on the record.

Manna, who wrote the AEI report on Indiana with AEI’s Rick Hess and W&M student Keenan Kelley, graciously answered follow-up questions by email. Here are some of his comments: Continue reading