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"Bold and Aggressive" Package To Improve Teacher Quality Introduced

Last updated on Tuesday, August 4, 2009

(UNDATED) - State Superintendent of Public Instruction Dr. Tony Bennett has introduced a package of what he calls “bold and aggressive” reforms to improve teacher quality in Indiana.

Instead of layering on more revisions, he proposes rewriting the state's teacher licensing rules.

As an example, Bennett pointed out that teachers needing recertification are required to pay for university or teacher education program classes that in many instances are useless.

Instead, he says recertification should be handled by the local schools or school corporations who are the best judge of a teacher's performance.

Bennett says the National Council of Teacher Quality has given the state a failing grade for its teacher licensing policies.

But the council says the proposed reforms would catapult the state near the front of the class.

Bennett is expecting opposition to the reforms from institutions and special interest groups who he claims are looking out for their own self-interest and not those of students.

The Department of Education's Professional Standards Board is reviewing the proposed reforms and will schedule a public hearing soon.

That will be followed by a final board vote. The reforms would take effect next year.

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