Statement from Indiana Republican Party Chairman Eric Holcomb:
Statement from Indiana Republican Party Chairman Eric Holcomb on education reform
(Indianapolis, February 8, 2011) – “As the Indiana General Assembly considers an education reform agenda that would identify and reward our great teachers and principals, give local school leaders the flexibility they need to turn around failing schools and finally give parents a choice in the quality of education their children deserve, it’s disappointing that union leaders continue to defend the status quo.
“It is both factual and unacceptable that in Indiana, twenty-five thousand students drop out every year, another twenty-five thousand are trapped in chronically failing schools, and tens of thousands of students fail to meet the basic standards of the I-STEP+ examination in math and English. For too long, the wealthiest and most powerful union in the state has opposed change that puts students first. The Indiana State Teachers Association spends millions of dollars year after year in political campaigns and rallies like the one today in an effort to defend policies that treat ineffective teachers no differently than outstanding teachers and base tenure and salary decisions not on a teacher’s ability in the classroom, but on the number of years they’ve been teaching. The hundreds of professional educators lobbying at the Statehouse today represent hundreds not in the classroom.”
A study released today by Indiana University’s Center for Evaluation & Education Policy found that 58 percent of Hoosiers believe “teacher compensation should be based on students’ improvement on standardized tests” while about 75 percent believe student achievement should be among the factors considered in teacher compensation.
Holcomb added, “It’s beyond time to start supporting students by making sure great teachers are in every classroom not the special interests that seek to thwart reform.”