MondayThe Indianapolis Star has published an analysis that examines “how Common Core disintegrated in Indiana” that should be read by all supporters of local-government reform. They seem on the way to making the same mistakes committed by those who tried to give us national academic standards for math and English.
The biggest mistake was quick adoption of the standards without the public discussion that could have built a lasting consensus. That rush to adopt sowed the seeds of the standards’ failure, says Jonathan Plucker, former director of Indiana University’s Center for Evaluation and Education Policy. “There was not enough grass-roots support for these reforms to be sold on.”
That lack of support worked against Common Core when the federal government began using it to dole out millions in education dollars.
TuesdayWhat may turn out to be one of the most important pieces of legislation of all was approved by the General Assembly almost without notice last session. HEA 1005, which Gov. Mike Pence signed into law last week, is a government-reduction bill that eliminates overly burdensome programs and regulations.
House Republicans say the bill will cut red tape in government and improve our business climate. They are right, but it will also do more by restoring Hoosiers’ faith in the system of laws they live under.
Rep. Jud McMillin, R-Brookville, points out that the language in Indiana’s state code has nearly doubled in size since 1976. The new law, he says, ends outdated measures going back as far as the 1960s. The new law also strikes duplicate entries in the state code. The changes will improve efficiency for both government and business.
WednesdayIndiana has achieved the dubious distinction of leading the U.S. in methamphetamine lab seizures – a whopping 1,800 of them last year, according to state and federal statistics. And it’s even worse than the raw number indicates. Only three other states had meth lab incidents above 1,000: Tennessee with 1,500, Missouri with 1,400 and Ohio with 1,010. Incidents were in the single or double digits in a majority of states.
It is possible – barely – to look on the bright side and say that the high number reflects good police work being done. It is also an indication that the public is paying attention and reporting the labs to police.
But there’s no escaping the fact that we have a problem. Meth is too addictive, there is too much profit in it for the lowlifes to stop making it, and there are too many idiots willing to suffer and die from it.
ThursdayToo often when considering tourism, we think about the big, splashy things and ignore the smaller, quieter successes. We try to land the big convention or sporting event that can draw thousands in a single day or weekend and overlook the genealogy enthusiasts who visit the Allen County Public Library by the thousands year-round.
So let’s hear it for birds and birders.
As our Kevin Kilbane reported, Fort Wayne recently became the fifth community to be named a Bird Town Indiana site, along with Geneva and Rome City in this area, Chesterton in northwest Indiana and Nashville in Brown County. The program is sponsored by the Indiana Audubon Society and is designed to recognize communities that demonstrate “an active and ongoing commitment to the protection and conservation of bird populations and habitat.”