Indianapolis Star columnist Dan Carpenter doesn’t hold back in expressing his exasperation with outgoing governor Mitch Daniels and education superintendent Tony Bennett. This on Bennett and Indiana’s way forward:
Bennett’s promise gave way to punitive micromanagement, with overblown testing and outside opportunism that left embittered the very people a state superintendent and an “Education Governor” should most count on for allegiance.
A leader of vision would acknowledge that the state’s future depends on free common schools that inculcate democracy and do not function as workforce development arms of the Chamber of Commerce, much less as employment options for consultants. He and his staff also would give the schools their due, drawing the connection between poor academic results and poor children. Government should be about helping public schools help those kids — and not about helping the adversaries of the schools help themselves.
This sounds so like Florida, that a Ground Hog Day reference doesn’t do it justice. Bennett must feels he’s hit the lottery. He’ll make more money, be surrounded by the same sycophants, all the while having the same sort of fawning enablers on the state board. Great for Bennett and his allies. But as Carpenter says, government should not be about “helping the adversaries of the schools help themselves.”