It wasn’t long ago that the national media watched closely as Gov. Mitch Daniels signed the nation’s most comprehensive education reform package into law. Sure, there was dissension from union members and their allies, but the path forward for education in Indiana was remarkably clear.
Since then, the hallmark education reforms of 2011 remain largely unchanged, and in some instances improved upon. Gov. Mike Pence has again established himself as a champion for kids with his early childhood education plan. Even more encouraging, by nearly every measure student achievement continues on an upward trajectory.
But that’s not what’s necessarily grabbing national headlines.
Indiana is garnering national attention for its highly politicized education debates. Most recently, the New York Times profiled Superintendent Glenda Ritz’s spat with her fellow state board of education members. Andrew Ujifusa of Education Week curiously asked if Indiana Republicans are considering a recall vote on Ritz. (Indiana doesn’t allow for a recall vote.)
If it weren’t such a disservice to students and educators alike, the theatrics would be entertaining. Unfortunately, it’s all too clear that there’s an unclear path forward for education in Indiana, and we’re grabbing national attention for all the wrong reasons.
Ross McMullin, Fishers