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[Susan notes:

This fine letter needs no comment.]

Published in Kokomo Tribune

To the editor

Education plan could benefit other areas

Arne Duncan and Tony Bennett̢۪s visionary plan for improvements and accountability in education have far-reaching possibilities for affecting positive change in other vital areas as well.

Although the education of our children is of utmost importance, what could be a greater priority than our own health? When you think about it, the quality of our health is a life and death issue.

I propose a Race to the Top for health care. National standards already exist for individuals̢۪ weight, blood sugar, cholesterol and blood pressure goals.

Physicians would be evaluated every year, with more than half their annual review based on how well their patients met their health goals. Physicians would be sorted into four categories, from highly efficient to inefficient, with bonuses for the best performers.

Physicians in the lowest categories could be targeted for dismissal. New physicians who are still rated inefficient after six years would lose their medical licenses.

The plan would allow Indiana to take over the lowest performing physicians groups, give them a private management company and eventually offer them the chance to return to their original medical groups or become a charter group.

Under the plan, medical schools could risk the loss of their accreditation if their medical graduates don̢۪t perform well.

This same process of measured performance and accountability through consequences could be applied in other vital areas as well, such as for state agencies affecting the lives of our neediest citizens. An example might be the Family and Social Services Administration, or on a national level, perhaps financial institutions.

Arne Duncan and Tony Bennett are much more than just hard-working public servants. They are true visionaries for the future.

Michael Beach

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