Where Does Melina Kennedy Really Stand on Education? Good Question. No One Knows.

As we noted yesterday, Melina Kennedy appears to want to replace either Eugene White, Tony Bennett or her local school board president.  She has a television commercial up and has dropped two negative mailers in the last week on education, an issue that the Mayor of Indianapolis does not have much control over.

Since Kennedy wants to spend so much time talking about education, she must have some clearly staked out positions on education reform, right?  You’d think so, but no.  We’ve never heard her say anything about any of the education reforms that were passed in the legislative session. 

Ok, maybe education reform isn’t her cup of tea.  So Kennedy has a position on mayoral control of Marion County schools, right?  Wrong again.  Kennedy hasn’t said if she is for or against mayoral control either.  Is it just IPS that is a concern or all the township schools too?  You guessed it, she hasn’t said.  

How is Melina Kennedy going to solve these problems?  She hasn’t been very specific.  Kennedy has highlighted some fundamental issues that everyone believes are important but she doesn’t give specific ideas of how she will solve these problems.

The Mayor of Indianapolis does actually have authority over charter schools.  Kennedy must be focused on that issue then, right?  Nope.  She doesn’t seem to talk about Indianapolis charter schools either even though they are some of the best schools in the state of Indiana.

Feeling like you don’t really know where Melina Kennedy stands on education?  Don’t worry, she doesn’t either.

Word of the Day: “Mitchslapped”

Mitchslapped; v. thwarting inane opposition with superior political skill and superior political ideas.

History: Coined by the boisterous Indiana House Minority Leader B. Patrick Bauer as a pejorative on the effects of Indiana Governor Mitchell E. Daniels, Jr. (“Mitch”) and his proposed education reforms as to teachers.  While the misogynistic pun was surprisingly ignored by Teachers’ Union feminists, Daniels supporters adopted it as a rallying description of the administration’s successful reforms.

In context:

In ‘05 State Employee Unions got Mitchslapped by an executive order abolishing collective bargaining, putting union dues back in employee pockets, and rewarding workers with merit bonuses.

In the ‘08 governor’s race, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jill Long Thompson’s campaign got Mitch-slapped, and handed him the most votes of any Indiana politician ever–  even while the state voted for a Democratic president for the first time since 1964.

In the ‘10 House races, then-Speaker Pat Bauer got Mitchslapped into a 40 seat minority.

BMV waiting times: Mitchslapped.

Out of control property taxes: Mitchslapped.

Nepotism, corruption, and waste in township government: Mitchslapped.

Governor Daniels Focused on Education Reform

Today Governor Mitch Daniels spoke to the Indianapolis Rotary.  According to the Jon Murray of the  Indy Star, he spoke generally about local government reform, balancing the budget and education reform.  It sounds as though education reform really was the focal point of the speech with the Governor saying, this legislative session is “the year when we really make a move for greatness”.

Daniels is looking for flexibility to reward the best teachers and get rid of the worst.  According to Abdul who attended the speech, Daniels said only .2% of teachers were let go for performance reasons.  I think most folks can agree that more than .2% of employees in virtually any profession are probably not performing at the highest standards.  Daniels also said he wants to streamline regulations to give local school administrations more flexibility to make their schools better.

The final piece is to provide more education options for parents through charter schools and other initiatives to help parents get their kids in the best possible school for the child.

As Matt Tully noted last month, now is the time to get serious about education reform.  In that article, the Governor said Indiana can be the national leader in education reform.  With a majority in the House and a super majority in the Senate, Governor Daniels has the tools to get the job done.

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