Coach Duncan, We’re Ready to Play

We shared some of President Obama’s encouraging education words in this space on Wednesday. In follow-up calls with reporters, Education Secretary Arne Duncan says his vision for education reform includes a few selected states in a "race to the top."

The criteria: not settling for the status quo, being willing to adopt existing reforms and offering a few new ideas. Specific proposals will be sought later. Performance pay for teachers, expanded charter schools and longer school days/years will undoubtedly be part of the mix.

Sounds like a program that progressive states — those wanting to make sure their young people and their workplaces of the future are competitive — need to sign up for. Here’s one vote for Indiana to answer the call.

The Detroit Free Press account of Duncan’s message notes that Michigan has been in a "race to the bottom." Indiana has made some progress, but probably been stuck in neutral too long. Again, if the action lives up to the promise, Indiana needs to be in the game.

0 thoughts on “Coach Duncan, We’re Ready to Play

  1. I wholeheartedly back the move to bring Indiana into the roles of “pilot states” with the U. S. Department of Education.

    We have much going for us. There are many public/private educational undertakings around the state.

    Here are just a few programs with which I’ve been associated: For one, check the Indiana Council for Economic Education. It a private organization but within Purdue’s Lafayette campus. Its programs are the result of collaborative efforts with businesses, labor, government, and schools state-wide.

    There’s the Indiana Humanities Council which also collaborates with schools and libraries and offers incentives for worthwhile educational projects.

    There’s the Office of International Education within IDOE that promotes everything from student and teacher exchanges world-wide to providing support for schools interested in developing a world outlook in their classes.

    There are many more examples. But with these kinds of opportunities available, and eager educators waiting to participate, I think Indiana could help to forge a lasting movement that could lead schools across the nation forward.Educational change relies on what goes on in classrooms. I think we are ready to assist in the leap forward!

  2. Joe, you’re right on target. There are plenty of innovative organizations. But the key, as always, is the establishment (in this case teachers, superintendents, school boards and all involved in the education process) being willing to acknowledge that the current system simply isn’t working.