IBJNews

Indiana lawmakers seek decentralized school choices

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

Two Republican state senators announced Wednesday they will push measures to decentralize school leadership in Indiana and pull the state out of a national education initiative.

Some high-performing schools would be allowed to choose their own curriculum under a plan from Sen. Mike Delph of Carmel. A separate proposal from Sen. Scott Schneider of Indianapolis calls for ending Indiana's participation in the national Common Core Standards, a set of uniform benchmarks for math and reading.

If successful, Schneider's measure would mark another rebuttal of the sweeping education changes pushed by departing state schools superintendent Tony Bennett and outgoing Gov. Mitch Daniels — this time from the right.

Incoming School Superintendent Glenda Ritz, a Democrat, capitalized during the November elections on many conservatives' angst over losing local control under the national standards. She beat Bennett, a Republican, after promising to return more power to local school administrators.

Bennett and the state's education board signed off on Common Core Standards in 2010.

"I am worried that Common Core was pushed on Indiana without proper review of what it will mean for students and teachers," Schneider said in a press statement Wednesday. His bill is scheduled for a committee hearing Jan. 16.

Delph's proposal calls for giving high-performing schools more control over their curriculum and builds on an education package he unsuccessfully pushed in the last legislative session.

Under his plan, certain school systems would be allowed to build their own curriculum, establish their own teacher evaluations, set their own class schedules and create independent plans for career and technical training.

School districts would have to meet a series of requirements before winning autonomy from the state: At least 25 percent of students would have to score above a 2 on at least one Advanced Placement Exam or graduate with a technical honors diploma. At least 90 percent of students must graduate across the district, and the average SAT scores would need to be greater than the statewide average.

"Districts with proven track records could create environments that better fit their students' academic needs and capabilities," Delph said. "This would allow these students to reach their fullest potential."

Lawmakers return for a lengthy 2013 session on Monday.

ADVERTISEMENT

  • Roy
    Roy, why are you copying and pasting talking points?
  • Well Spake
    I fully adopt your position as my own.
  • Inform yourself
    Rick, you must have not set foot in a school for a long time. The ridculous requirements imposed on teachers to document toward unrealistic goals have cripled our teachers. Tony Bennett's ill-advised approach has caused teachers and adminstrators to focus on documentation instead of the Students. The students are suffering to benefit some arm-chair quarterbacks who know nothing of the chaos caused by Bennett and his minions. Wake up and realize that Bennett was beaten and sent packing for good reasons. At least in Florida where he seems to be heading, things could not get much worse.
    • No win
      As long as there are administrators and teacher unions our children's education will suffer. Takeaway a structure and allow local administrators to manage things again and you'll get fiefdoms of power. Takeaway structure and allow local administrators to manage things and unions will see this as a sign of weakness and pounce on the opportunity to hold school systems hostage. Not enough people care and its a MAJOR struggle for parents, who typically both work, to get both sides to give a crap.
      • BRAVO
        Good to hear this. Both very good proposals. The further we are from commie corp, the better.

      Post a comment to this story

      COMMENTS POLICY
      We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
       
      You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
       
      Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
       
      No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
       
      We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
       

      Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

      Sponsored by
      ADVERTISEMENT

      facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

      Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
      Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
       
      Subscribe to IBJ
      1. Only half a million TV Viewers? And thats an increase? I knew Indycar was struggling but I didn't know it was that bad. Hell, if NASCAR hits 5 Million viewers everyone starts freaking out saying its going down hill. It has a long way to before Indycar even hits NASCAR's bad days.

      2. IU has been talking that line for years with no real progress even with the last Dean, Dr. Brater. Why will an outsider, Dr. Hess, make a difference? With no proof of additional resources (cash in the bank), and a concrete plan to move an academic model that has been outdated for decades with a faculty complacent with tenure and inertia, I can count on IU to remain the same during the tenure of Dr. Hess. One ought to look to Purdue and Notre Dame for change and innovation. It is just too bad that both of those schools do not have their own medical school. Competition might wake up IU. My guess is, that even with those additions to our State, IU will remain in its own little world squandering our State's tax dollars. Why would any donor want to contribute to IU with its track record? What is its strategy to deal with the physician shortage for our State? New leadership will not be enough for us to expect any change.

      3. How do you think the Bridges got approved? I spent a couple days researching PAC's and individual contributions to some city council members during that time. My printouts were inches thick on the two I concentrated on. Finally gave up. Was disgusted with all the donations, and who they were from. Would have taken me days and days to compile a complete list. Tried to give it to the Star reporter, but he thought it was all just fine. (and apparently he was treated well himself) He ended up being laid off or fired though. And then of course, there was land donated to the dad's club, or city, as a partial payoff. All done in the shining example of "charity." No, none of these contributions are a coincidence.

      4. I agree what kind of help or if any will be there for Dr. Ley's patients. I was a patient myself.

      5. What about the hundreds of patients who sought this doctor for the right reasons, to quit drugs. what option do these patients now have, experience horrible withdrawl or return to heroin?? those are the choices. what about the children of these former addicts who's parent(s) WILL not b able to maintain their job, for @ least 2 weeks.. There needs to b an emergency clinic opened for these patients.

      ADVERTISEMENT