Education, From The Capitol To The Classroom

State Board Of Education Begins Strategic Planning Process

State Board of Education member Dan Elsener speaks during a meeting as fellow board member Cari Whicker looks on.

Kyle Stokes / StateImpact Indiana

State Board of Education member Dan Elsener speaks during a meeting as fellow board member Cari Whicker looks on.

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.


  • Mouse Rat

    Why aren’t members of the state board of education elected, just as local boards are elected? So they can pay a private firm to determine what is best for the children of Indiana?

    Because if voters had a say, such boneheaded moves would make them one-termers?

    They demanded the East Chicago school board be elected, but not themselves. Then, with a move like this, they demonstrate waste and political bias by sending more tax dollars to an out-of-state concern.

    Why not let local parents and school leaders decide? Hmmm?

  • Karynb9

    “Let’s make it a better state. Let’s raise wages.”

    I got all excited for a second, but then I remembered that Elsener is likely talking about everyone in the state BUT teachers.

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