Reformer ToolboxLogin

CancelLost your password?

Progress trumped by misguided ideology in Indiana

• Patricia Levesque

Reform champion Tony Bennett lost his bid for reelection as Indiana’s Superintendent of Public Instruction on Tuesday to a coalition of reactionaries- the usual opponents of reform joined by conservative opponents of Common Core.

Honest people can and do disagree over the Common Core State Standards, but the sort of arguments against it seen repeated in the Indiana press can only be described as breathtakingly unsophisticated. I won’t go into detail regarding the fog of misperception fanned by Common Core opponents.

Let me briefly say however that as “federal takeovers” go, Common Core makes for an odd one indeed- voluntarily adopted by states that are free to leave the effort whenever they like without the slightest penalty. Somehow the “National Governor’s Association” morphed into either the federal government, the Trilateral Commission and/or the Illuminati in the imaginations of Common Core opponents.

Tony served the people of Indiana with honor, vigor and distinction.

His guiding principle was always to pursue the interests of students by improving public school achievement by any and all means.

Tony’s campaign was a terrible loss- for both the children of Indiana and the reform movement more broadly. The campaign however continues, and a number of crucial victories were won on the very same night.

While sadder and perhaps wiser, we remain undeterred in our conviction to deliver a system of education which provides the opportunity for every child to reach their God-given potential.

We look forward to continuing the fight with Tony in whatever role he chooses next.

About the author

Patricia Levesque @levesquepat

Patricia is the Chief Executive Officer for the Foundation for Excellence in Education. She served as Governor Jeb Bush’s deputy chief of staff for education, enterprise solutions for government, minority procurement, and business and professional regulation. Previously, Patricia served six years in the Florida Legislature in the Speakers Office and as staff director over education policy. Contact Patricia at