More news on Daniels-Bennett education agenda

Thanks to Niki Kelly, Statehouse reporter for the Fort Wayne Journal-Gazette, for a clear and comprehensive story about the education reform proposals that Gov. Mitch Daniels and Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Bennett put forward last week.

Kelly focuses on the most potentially controversial elements in the Daniels-Bennett agenda: 1) publicly funded vouchers to pay for students to attend private schools; 2) changes in the way teachers are evaluated; and 3) financial incentives for students to finish high school early.

Bennett and Daniels provided details about their proposals for the 2011 legislative session Wednesday to the Indiana Education Roundtable. You can watch a video of Bennett’s presentation, view PowerPoint slides, and read the Department of Education news release and summary of the proposals.

The agenda includes:

— “Identify and reward great teachers and principals” – merit pay, an end to seniority-based teacher tenure, restrictions on union contacts, etc.
— “Real accountability and flexibility” – more aggressive state action and fewer union restrictions on low-performing schools.
— “High quality options for families” – more charter schools, state funding for students to attend private schools, scholarships for early high-school graduation.

The Education Roundtable (local members: Indiana University President Michael McRobbie and elementary teacher/Republican activist Danny Shields) endorsed two elements of the agenda: new teacher evaluations and early graduation. Continue reading