May 4, 2011

THIS YEAR'S BUSH:

Mitch Daniels: Education Reformer (RYAN STREETER, 5/03/11, Weekly Standard)

Jeb Bush has rightfully earned the reputation as America’s most reform-minded governor on education issues. He introduced vouchers for students in failing schools, created greater accountability within the system, and based teacher pay on merit. His achievements have set the standard for subsequent would-be reformers such as Daniels.

But now Indiana’s governor aims to go beyond Bush. The other week, Indiana’s legislature passed the last of four bills that Daniels has been advocating for awhile in his effort to make Indiana the vanguard of education reform in America. Once implemented, his education agenda will be the most expansive school reform effort the country has seen.

Indiana’s reforms are similar in many respects to Florida’s focus on accountability, high standards, school choice, and teacher performance.

The Daniels reforms go beyond the Florida experiment, however, in two important areas: institutionalizing choice for families and establishing classroom-level performance as the key metric for schools. On the first point, Indiana has conceived choice more universally than was the case in Florida. On the second point, Indiana’s policy is close to Florida’s, but the Hoosiers have been able to go farther by overcoming political barriers that tripped up Florida’s reformers.

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Posted by Orrin Judd at May 4, 2011 8:29 PM
  
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