The Indiana Legislature has been pretty busy when it comes to education reform, a fact that has left many students and teachers in the state wondering just how their lives will be changed in the coming weeks and months.
In an effort to address the legislation, Indiana Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Bennett made a stop at Goshen High School Thursday afternoon for a informal meeting with local educators.
In his introduction, Bennett was the first to admit that most of the education reform legislation now on the table has not made him very popular among state educators.
"Many of you walked in the door this evening, and I am 100 percent certain, some of you were absolutely certain in your heart that the person that was going to stand in front of you and talk was the person that you were certain was out to destroy public education," Bennett said. "You know what? I will likely not say anything that will change that opinion tonight."
That said, Bennett noted that while this year’s legislation may not be the most popular legislation ever drafted, it is what he feels is necessary to ensure the adequate education of Indiana’s youth.
Bennett provided a quick breakdown of the four major education reform bills currently in play that have been directly influenced by the Bennett administration.
First to be discussed was Senate Bill 575, which will limit teacher’s collective bargaining rights. According to Bennett, this bill was signed into law Wednesday night by Gov. Mitch Daniels, and will take affect July 1.
Next to be discussed was Senate Bill 1, which would put into place a new teacher evaluation system based on student test scores and other factors. Bennett noted that this bill is expected to reach the governor’s office very shortly, and will probably be signed into law as early as next week.