INDIANA (21Alive) -- Making sure Indiana students graduate with the skills they need to enter the workforce is the goal of a new state agency.
Governor Mike Pence announced the creation of the Center for Education and Career Innovation in Indianapolis Friday morning.
“Indiana has made great strides in the last eight years when it comes to improving education and workforce development opportunities for Hoosiers, but with unemployment stubbornly staying above eight percent, there is still work to be done,” said Governor Pence. “The Center for Education and Career Innovation will strive to improve coordination between pertinent agency partners and industry voices to ensure a world-class education for students and to better prepare adults to be successful in their chosen career pathway that also meets industry demands. By creating a focal point for bringing together and deploying critical resources, the agency will deliver real change in Indiana, benefitting Hoosier families, employers and taxpayers, and, ultimately, impacting every Hoosier across the state.”
The agency will help map out what classes students will need to be ready for the job market, whether it be in science and technology education or a college curriculum.
The Indiana Department of Education issued the following statement following the partnership announcement by Pence:
In response to Governor Mike Pence’s announcement that the Indiana Center for Education and Career Innovation would partner with the Indiana Department of Education, Daniel Altman, spokesman for the Indiana Department of Education issued the following statement:
“Partnerships require communication. Unfortunately, Superintendent Ritz learned about the creation of this new agency through news reports, rather than from Governor Pence. Superintendent Ritz has met with the Governor on many occasions, including as recently as two days ago. However, neither he, nor his office, mentioned the creation of this new agency until this morning.
“Superintendent Ritz remains committed to transforming Indiana’s K-12 education system into one of equity and high quality for all students and she looks forward to working with all Hoosiers to achieve that goal. Last November, 1.3 million Hoosiers said that they trusted her to run the Department of Education. Hoosiers students would be better off if the Governor would work with her, rather than around her on this vital issue.”
State Democratic Leader Tim Lanane (D-Anderson) issued the following statement as well:
”The state need not create additional bureaucracy to align job creation efforts with education. We already have a duly designated public official democratically chosen by the people to lead education in our state, namely, the Superintendent of Public Education.
“If the governor has ideas on how education can better align with job creation, I’m sure the Superintendent would be thrilled to hear them. But we should be careful not to exclude nor undercut the chief educational officer’s duties to ultimately lead our state’s educational efforts.
“Hoosiers expect government to work together to meet the most difficult challenges. They expect lawmakers to work collaboratively, to objectively weigh issues and craft public policy that’s in the interest of all Hoosiers.
“Today, the governor chose to ignore this. In adding yet another tier of bureaucracy to state government, the governor has made clear his disinterest in working with the legislature and other stakeholders. By centralizing education policymaking in the governor’s office, the administration has chosen to further distance teachers, parents and local school boards from key decision-making.
“Creating another government agency does nothing to address the state’s unemployment and surely does nothing to improve educational outcomes for Hoosier students.
“So the question remains: what is the purpose for this new layer of bureaucracy.
“When it comes to our children’s education, politics must be set aside and all stakeholders must work together. That seems to have been lacking in this instance.”
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