That's badly needed. The current system is a mishmash of programs that focuses primarily on the lowest performing schools.
Now the board must devise a clearer set of standards for all schools with a greater focus on improving student performance. Schools will be graded on outcomes so the public will know which schools are doing well and which ones need improvement.
The overall goal of the legislation is simple: Empower schools to hire the most qualified teachers and hold schools accountable for the results.
When schools don't measure up, find out why and fix it. When they do, provide rewards and incentives.
Still, this is only a first step in a long road back for public education.
There are many more problems, including teacher pay, the impact of poverty and dysfunctional families on a child's ability to learn, truancy and chronic absenteeism, just to name a few.
These conditions make it a steep climb to provide a thorough and efficient education to all the state's children.
The old model was failing to meet the challenges. The education reform bill represents a critical and long overdue course change.
Kercheval is host of TalkLine, broadcast by the MetroNews Statewide Radio Network from 10 a.m. to noon Monday through Friday. The show can be heard locally on WCHS 580 AM.