News and Tribune

Education/Schools

December 19, 2013

Greater Clark Schools chief talks career, college readiness

Andrew Melin also decries parts of governor’s education plan

(Continued)

CLARKSVILLE —

He also said after meeting with business leaders, the traits they’re searching for in new hires don’t necessarily line up with degree-related skills, but involve basics such as punctuality and the ability to work in teams. To help foster that, Melin suggested the creation of a work ethic certification to give students who complete a certain set of qualifications.

Melin said if business organizations such as One Southern Indiana bought into the idea, it would help carry some weight if students presented the certification during job interviews.

Through the end of this schools year, Melin said he hopes every student from grades 6 to 11 will identify a career pathway, and next year, they can work on more advanced aspects of the plan.

GOVERNOR’S PATH

Melin also discussed his thoughts on Gov. Pence’s proposed education roadmap as presented last week in Corydon.

Some of his concerns with Pence’s teacher incentives, such as the stipend to convince teachers to work in underperforming schools or low-income charter schools, involve losing the good teachers he employs.

“Obviously, he’s looking to make it more attractive for really good teachers to want to go teach at charter schools,” Melin said. “With all due respect, we don’t want to lose our good teachers to anyone. It’s hard to support that vision as it’s currently laid out.”

He also took issue with Pence’s proposal to allow more flexibility within the budgets of charter schools.

Though the focus of the governor’s proposal is to allow charter schools to manage the budgets of multiple schools in the same group as one instead of several, Melin said there’s some inflexibility within public school budgets that needs rectification.

For example, districts are restricted in tax-supported budgets, such as bus replacement funds and capital projects funds. Instead of shifting those dollars in their budget from one to another, they have to appropriate money from their rainy day funds to make up any deficits.

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