The Indiana State Board of Education took its first step Wednesday toward developing a strategic plan meant to guide education policy for Indiana.
The State Board created a strategic planning committee last month to spearhead work on the plan. That committee met for the first time Wednesday and unanimously directed board staff to negotiate a contract with the Center for Educational Leadership and Technology, a national education and information technology firm.
Strategic Planning Committee Chair Dan Elsener says one of the most important factors in choosing CELT was the firm’s experience in developing strategic plans for education.
“This is an art and science and they’re really good with data and putting it in a framework that’s understandable,” says Elsener.Tensions between the gubernatorial-appointed members of the board and State Superintendent Glenda Ritz have grown recently, in part due to the creation of the strategic planning committee.
Ritz says she can foresee an effort in the General Assembly to remove her as chair of the State Board. But the superintendent is on the planning committee and participated Wednesday, and Elsener says working together to develop the strategic plan can help overcome the tensions:
“If there are personal differences, little political, petty…you know, trying to destroy people or make people look good or bad, the heck with that – let’s focus on children,” says Elsener. “Let’s make it a better state. Let’s raise wages.”
The State Board is scheduled to adopt a strategic plan by February.