But, I guess I shouldn't be surprised, because Gov. Pence has confused me before. I thought Mike Pence had aligned himself with the Tea Party whose platform clearly supports a reduction in the size of government. After all, he was a member of the Tea Party caucus while serving as a U.S. Representative. But in August, he created the Center for Career and Education Innovation (CECI), a government agency that duplicates responsibilities of the Department of Education. Since when do Tea Party politicians seek to create more government agencies with precious tax dollars?
The 2014 Education Roadmap is full of support for charter schools. For example, Gov. Pence wants to provide incentives for teachers who want to take a position in a charter school that serves low-income students. That confuses me, because if you listen to the people who think there should be more and more charter schools, you would think there wasn't a good teacher in a non-charter public school. Why then, would Gov. Pence want to entice terrible non-charter public school teachers to go to a charter school?
He also wants to allow for-profit charter school operators to transfer funds from one school to another and make it easier for them to obtain existing school buildings that are vacant or underutilized. These measures would maximize the profit for these groups, theoretically putting more resources into their schools (assuming, of course, that the companies' executives don't just pocket the extra cash.) His Roadmap even says that this will "improve charter school performance." I'm confused - when non-charter public school teachers say they need more resources, or even adequate resources, in able to help their students maximize their success, we are told that more money won't fix the problem. If money won't fix the problem in non-charter public schools, how will this improve the performance of charter schools?
Here's the most confusing part - based on the 2012-13 growth scores for all Indiana schools, as reported by Steve Hinnfeld, non-charter public schools are doing better in Indiana than both private and charter schools. Wouldn't it make more sense for Gov. Pence to propose education policy that seeks to duplicate what's working the best? Maybe it's Gov. Pence who's confused.