6:50 PM EDT, September 25, 2012
Indiana's State Superintendent of Public Instruction says this is an "era of progress" in K-12 education, and he explained why during his third annual State of Education address Tuesday night.
Dr. Tony Bennett pointed to statewide improvements in ISTEP scores and graduation rates to help make his case that Indiana students and schools have benefited from major education reforms in the last few years.
The speech took place inside the Indiana Historical Society in downtown Indianapolis. Governor Mitch Daniels delivered the introduction.
Dr. Bennett says much of that success in the classroom is due to bold education reforms in the legislature in the past four years. He says new grading scales for schools and teacher evaluation systems have added accountability, while the expansion of charter schools and the statewide voucher program have given parents and students more choice.
"The story we have to tell is a story of a state where education reform meets results, and tonight what we intend to do is talk about that and talk about what we must do," Dr. Bennett said. "We've been very bold over the last four years and we continue to be bold."
This was also a big speech for Dr. Bennett because he is up for re-election this year. Should he be re-elected, he says his priorities include adding accountability for school districts and improving college readiness.
A full copy of Dr. Bennett's speech is available online.