Today, Governor Mike Pence, together with his Special Assistant for Education Innovation, Claire Fiddian-Green, met with ISTA President Teresa Meredith and Government Relations Director Gail Zeheralis at ISTA's central office.
The genesis of the meeting occurred when Teresa Meredith was present at the official signing into law of HEA 1075 (the INPRS annuity bill) and HEA 1074 (the 13th check for retirees bill) back in April. After the signing, Meredith requested the meeting, the Governor agreed to it, and then it became an issue of follow-up with the appropriate staffers.
The Governor requested that the meeting be at the ISTA offices, a departure from the conventional protocol of meeting at the Governor's office. When Meredith told the Governor that she was pleased he would want to meet at our office, he replied, "I wanted to show my respect for your office, too."
The issues that were discussed centered on academic standards, the development of the new assessment and the future transitioning of accountability, the NCLB waiver, career and technical education/guidance counselors, teacher professionalism and public school employee respect, incentives for seeking or achieving national board certification, and public school funding, in general.
Everyone conceded that there are undoubtedly education issues on which he and ISTA will not agree but noted that it is also important that there be open communication so that we can work together on those issues where there may be common ground.
ISTA thanks the Governor for making the time for this conversation.