The Indianapolis Star reports today that two-thirds of all of our school districts are on "academic watch" or "academic probation." This is a dramatic increase from years prior.
Governor Mitch Daniels - Republican - Year 5. Sue Ellen Reed - Republican - FOUR TERMS, then Richard Bennet - Republican Newbie - Year 1. That's an awful lot of Republicanism presiding over a failing education system, isn't it?
Oh, wait. I'm sure the problem is federal mandates, right? An unnamed source must have said so because the Star writes:
Because the state is not allowed to scrap the federal AYP system, schools that
fail to make adequate yearly progress under that system cannot be placed higher
than the middle tier, "academic progress."
AYP is the shorthand for "No Child Left Behind." Putting aside that "somebody's" defense is that we look worse because of those pesky federal standards, whose pet project was that "No Child Left Behind?!?" Oh, that's right. George W. Bush, another Republican.
Mr. Bennett has said he plans to be more aggressive in taking over low-performing schools. I'll believe it when I see it. The party's history doesn't inspire confidence.