Teachers should have tenure, but they should earn it by proving their ability to help kids learn. Our best teachers should be paid more, much more, and ineffective teachers should be helped to improve or asked to move.
We are beginning to hold our school leaders accountable for the only thing that really matters: Did the children grow? Did the children learn? Starting this year, schools will get their own grades, in a form we can all understand: 'A' to 'F.' There will be no more hiding behind jargon and gibberish.
Before the creation of the Roundtable, the Fordham Foundation gave Indiana an F for English and a C for math. So, we worked together to rewrite those standards. The result: We now have some of the highest English and math standards in the nation. And the Fordham Foundation now gives Indiana standards an A for English, an A for math, and an A for science.
Make no mistake. The Roundtable’s work is not done. It is now helping re-write our geography, economics, civics and history standards so they too will be among the highest in the nation. And it is now focusing on quality teaching.
My “Ready to Read” initiative includes funding for reading assessments, summer programs, reading institutes, and a tutor for every child struggling to read. Since our children will now be required to meet the highest math standards in the country, Algebra will be the key to their success. That’s why I have proposed a middle school summer math program to expand learning time.
But that’s not all. Within this $50 million initiative, we will also create 500 master reading and math teachers in the schools that need them the most. And the 50 schools that make the most improvement in reading and math will be rewarded.
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