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May 04, 2011


We're called Hoosiers, not Indianans.

A very clear, reasoned and intelligent reading of Daniel's policies. Thanks Dana.

Is it safe to assume that Daniels wants education to be privatized in Indiana?

I say this because as a resident of Indiana and former student of the Franklin Township Community School Corp, it seems that the demise of that school system is well underway. Last year they (Daniels & Co.) instituted a property tax cap (state wide) which has caused significant funding problems for my old school (and I imagine many other public schools). With a $3-million operating budget deficit the school had to put up a referendum to raise property taxes or otherwise have a significant hit to the quality of the education.

Turns out the un-educated masses came out in droves yesterday to vote down the referendum. Now the public school system in my township will no longer have any arts/music/pe programs for children below high school, no transportation and 85 teachers are losing their jobs.

I guess my question is this: Do you think this is deliberate? This just lines up all so perfectly for an opportunist to jump into the private school business. With the voucher and charter school reforms, it seems like Indiana wants to do away with public schools in general. Sorry that this comment is a bit long, but this has been bugging me lately and I just stumbled upon this article on twitter.

^And I guess Mike did too.

Actually it's not even uncontested that teacher quality is the #1 in-school factor, since we have yet to come up with a satisfactory operationalization of "teacher quality." Daniels is likely referring to fixed-effect VAM models, and those have some problems even when used as aggregate measures.

Thanks for this evaluation - I largely agree with you, especially about the new law requiring parental permission to place students in classrooms with "ineffective" teachers. Great discussion.

Still, it's encouraging to see Daniels tackle some of these issues thoughtfully, even if he ends up on a different side than I do in the end. That puts him above most any of the other Republican presidential candidates, I think.

Dana - thanks for writing about this. Here's my fact-checking of the "20 times" assertion, which Daniels has used repeatedly since January: http://inschoolmatters.wordpress.com/2011/01/07/do-teachers-have-20-times-more-impact-on-achievement-than-any-other-factor/

"Anecdotal evidence" is the dumbest thing I've ever heard. And that book hardly qualifies as a "ton of research."

Teachers are free to discuss with their administrators what professional standards they want. Or they can get a job elsewhere. You've made absolutely zero effot to demonstrate how union representatives enhance discussions.

Your critique is lazy and vague.

The college major requirement strikes me as misguided. In an engineering, architecture, business, or military focused education you get a different experience. Do we really want all teachers coming from colleges of arts and sciences?

@Rachel: Well, yes, but an engineering major could teach physics (if they're a mechanical engineer), chemistry (if they're chemical engineers), or whatever; architects could teach, say, art or something; and business majors could teach, well, business, as a lot of high schools do have classes in that area.

And quite frankly, if I had kids: yes, I would prefer it if they were taught by teachers with backgrounds in liberal education.

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