Dr. Tony Bennett, Republican incumbent Superintendent of Public Instruction explains in this essay why he is running for a second term.
I’ve had the privilege of serving in education as a teacher, basketball coach, principal, local school superintendent and now as Indiana’s Superintendent of Public Instruction. These experiences have provided me the basis for understanding the important role education plays in the lives of Hoosier children, both for this generation of students and those who follow.
Through the hard work of our students and educators, we are seeing improved results in education. By every measure, our students are achieving more today than they were four years ago.
This is why Indiana is known as the state where education reform meets results. In 2011, 85.7% of Indiana students graduated high school, the highest mark in Indiana’s history. Indiana is second in the nation for student performance gains on Advanced Placement exams, and student test scores have improved by more than eight percentage points.
Simply stated, I am running for re-election so we can continue this success for Indiana’s students.
To do this we must ensure every Indiana classroom has a great teacher. That’s why we’ve supported policies that recognize teachers for their performance and pay them for things other than just seniority. I’m proud that Indiana has been rated best in the nation for efforts to improve teacher quality.
I also believe that reading is a critical life skill, which is why we’ve ended social promotion and put a premium on ensuring students learn to read before they leave the third grade.
Education is the key to Indiana’s future economic success. Communities depend on the strength of their schools. We’ve made tremendous strides to ensure students graduate high school college and career ready, but we must do more. As a former principal at a career and technical education center, I believe it is critical that we understand the needs of Indiana’s business community so we can better prepare students to enter the workforce.
Mike Pence’s plan for education is another step in the right direction for Indiana’s kids. We should take every opportunity to make the high school experience more meaningful and ensure all students are college or career ready when they graduate high school. I look forward to partnering with Mike as we work to strengthen Indiana’s workforce and advance the opportunities available to students.
We will continue to champion policies that help students in the years ahead, and with this focus I have no doubt that Indiana will continue to lead the nation in economic and educational success.
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