Pence Appoints Four New Members to State Board of Education
Among reconstituted panel's first tasks: future of Common Core
(WIBC.com file photo: Eric Berman)
Governor Pence has replaced four members of the State Board of Education.
Six of the 11 board seats were up for reappointment. Pence kept two Mitch Daniels appointees but replaced four others with his own.
One of the board's first tasks will be to reassess whether Indiana should withdraw from the Common Core curriculum standards. Pence says he didn't look for members on one side of that issue or the other. He says there's a "heavy bias" toward ensuring Indiana sets its own standards, but says it'll be up to the board to review the issue.
One new board member is already on record questioning Common Core. English and history teacher Andrea Neal is a former Indianapolis Star editorial page editor who wrote a column in January calling Common Core a step backward from Indiana's current standards.
Pence says he sought Hoosiers with classroom credentials at both the K-12 and higher education level with a commitment to his education agenda, including more robust vocational education and an expanded school-voucher program.
Along with Neal, new board members are Indiana Wesleyan associate dean Brad Oliver, I-U South Bend education professor David Freitas, and Henryville High School principal Troy Albert. They replace Jo Blacketor, Neil Pickett, James Edwards and Michael Pettibone.
Pence reappointed Avon second-grade teacher Sarah O'Brien and Marian University president Daniel Elsener.
The governor says some of those he replaced didn't want another term. Pickett and Edwards have been named to the newly created state and regional councils to oversee vocational education.
State school superintendent Glenda Ritz issued a statement saying she looks forward to working with both the new and returning members.