Thursday, September 4, 2008

Better schools for a better economy for Indiana

Indiana's students have unlimited potential, but Mitch Daniels hasn't done enough to allow them to fulfill their promise.

High school dropout rates are too high, literacy rates are too low, and Indiana ranks near the bottom of the 50 states in adults with college degrees. Not only is this hurting our students' chance for a better future, it's hurting our economy.

The path to economic opportunity and prosperity begins with a quality education for all Hoosiers, and today I want to tell you exactly how Dennie Oxley and I will accomplish this.

Read our education proposal -- and let us know what you think about the plan:

I'm a former college professor, and my running mate, Dennie Oxley, was a high school math teacher. We've been in the classroom, worked with students, and know the steps we must take to turn our state's education system around.

With the state of our economy today, we can no longer settle for incremental changes. We must transform our education system to provide lifelong opportunities for all Hoosiers, from early childhood through high school through adulthood.

Our plan to modernize education in Indiana has three main components:

Teaching every child to read. Reading is the fundamental key to education. We are proposing a statewide effort to provide every single child with a free book every month from the day they are born until they turn five years old.

Keep our students in school. To reduce our high school dropout rate, we propose a redesign of the high school years to accomodate students with different needs. Under our plan, students can speed up their education and move on to college in less than four years, or take their time and spend an extra fifth year to earn their diploma. Students would also be given the opportunity during their junior and senior years to earn college credits or learn a special trade.

Improve access to higher education.

By strengthening the link from high school to college, we can provide more Hoosiers with the opportunity to pursue higher education. We also propose supplementing federal grants and loans with an expansion of the 21st Century Scholars Program to embrace a greater number of low and middle-income families. The funding would come from a newly created Higher Education Fund, which would raise private dollars to invest in our students' futures.

For a full explanation of our education plan -- and the chance to give us important feedback -- click here now:

For the sake of our economy and our future, we must improve our education system so that all Hoosiers can realize their full potential.

I thank you for joining Dennie and me in this vital effort, and look forward to hearing your thoughts about our plan.


Jill Long Thompson

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1 comment:

lauran said...

It is a very interesting post.I am agree with the fact that better schools are necessary for a better economy.



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