DFER's mission is to encourage a more productive dialogue within the Democratic Party on the need to fundamentally reform American public education. Each month, we identify one candidate who is standing up for meaningful reform and innovation, and we help demonstrate the broad base of support for his or her efforts. Please give as generously as you can.January 2012: John GreggThis mustachioed gentleman is John Gregg.John has been a businessman, president of Indiana's oldest public university, and Speaker of the Indiana House. If all goes well, he’ll soon be the Governor of Hoosier State.Don’t let his delightful facial hair fool you; he’s a very serious education reformer. As Speaker, John built bipartisan coalitions to pass two of Indiana’s most significant reform efforts, which established the state’s first charter schools and created Indiana’s landmark K-12 accountability system. But he’s not running on his past accomplishments. Here’s John in his own words: “If you fell asleep in 1912 and woke up in 2012, you'd find that just about everything in the world has changed and adapted with the times. Unfortunately, public education looks an awful like it did 100 years ago. “We must create a sense of urgency about closing achievement gaps, raising expectations for a changing economy and ensuring fiscal transparency and equity. “We must make Indiana the leader in teacher quality – in terms of preparation, retention, and recognition, and by making teachers leaders of our state’s schools.“We must give teachers the flexibility to innovate in their own classrooms, instead of forcing them into ‘one-size-fits-all’ solutions.“We must empower effective classroom teachers – instead of bureaucrats in Indianapolis or Washington, DC – to have the strongest voice possible in the policymaking process so they take ownership of our schools.“But unlike my friends in the GOP who run Indiana today, I will not demonize, marginalize or punish our teachers in the process. I will make my arguments with facts, figures and reason, instead of making my fellow Hoosiers out to be the enemy.”John has worked very closely with Indiana DFER in structuring his education policy positions. He’ll also need our help to fuel his campaign.We have a long race ahead of us, so please consider making a contribution today.