Daniels' Legislative Agenda Unsettling To Teachers

By Jeff Neumeyer

November 5, 2010 Updated Nov 5, 2010 at 5:51 PM EDT

FORT WAYNE, IN (Indiana's NewsCenter) --- Governor Daniels' future plans are making Indiana's public school teachers nervous.

The Indiana State Teacher's Association is concerned about key points in the Governor’s wish list for the 2011 session of the state legislature.

Daniels wants to expand charter schools, promote use of school vouchers, and link teacher pay to student test scores.

The idea of merit pay for teachers is not a new concept, and it's unpopular among many of those providing education in classrooms.

It could mean an end to tenure and a greater focus on boosting ISTEP Plus scores.

The President of the Fort Wayne Education Association, the teacher’s union for Fort Wayne Community Schools, says it raises questions about fairness, as he claims teachers overseeing gifted and talented students would have an edge.

Al Jacquay/FWEA President: " They're all scoring at the top of a state standardized test, then you have a beginning level class, half of them are special education students that aren't even reading to grade level. How can you compare those two and those two teachers be evaluated and paid based on that."

Jacquay fears Daniels will press for one more change that would have a huge impact on teachers.

He is convinced Daniels wants to do away with collective bargaining for public school teachers.

That would mark an end to rights enjoyed since the 1970’s.

Jacquay figures such a change has a better chance of gaining traction at the Indiana Statehouse this year, because republicans now control both chambers of the legislature plus the Governor’s office.

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