Welcome to the archives for NewsTalk, an IBJ blog published from November 2007 through December 2010.

The new education chief

April 22, 2009
Tony Bennett has been state superintendent of public instruction for just three months, but heâ??s making plenty of waves.

Bennett, who replaced longtime chief Suellen Reed after she decided not to run for re-election, has not abandoned his campaign promise of shooting for 90-percent graduation rates and 90 percent of Hoosiers students passing Indiana Statewide Testing for Educational Progress by the time his term ends.

The Republican has riled both administrators and teachers by eliminating snow days as counting toward the required 180 days of student instruction. Heâ??s talked of performance-based pay for teachers and advocating the stateâ??s taking over failing schools. Oh, and he thinks colleges and universities are doing miserable jobs of training future teachers.

So he isnâ??t afraid to break china.

What do you think of Bennett? Is he on the right track? And if he fails to hit the 90-percent goals, should he refuse to run again or be turned out by voters if he does?
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