News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Editorials

December 9, 2012

EDITORIAL: Teaching credentials changes are too much, too quick

Rushed action reeks of political maneuver

We thought the whole stated point of the Mitch Daniels-Tony Bennett torrent of breakneck changes exacted upon Indiana’s primary and secondary schools was to improve the quality of education so our students would learn better and our teachers and administrators would work smarter.

But actions taken last Wednesday by the Bennett-dominated State Board of Education seem, instead, to lessen the quality of instruction. And, with apologies to “Sesame Street,” the timing the board’s actions was sponsored by the letter “P” — for Politics.

In a 9-2 vote Wednesday, the board approved significant changes in the licensing and credentialing of teachers and administrators, such that:

• You can get an “adjunct teaching permit” if you have a four-year college degree with at least a 3.0 grade point average and the ability to pass a test of your proficiency to teach a subject — as one newspaper reporter noted, with “no special teacher training, student teaching or experience necessary.”

• If you are a licensed teacher of, say, chemistry, you can also teach, say, French, if you pass a test — no additional classwork required.

• If you want to be a superintendent and don’t have a doctorate but have a master’s degree, go ahead.

n If you want to be a principal but have no master’s but do have two years of teaching experience, a bachelor’s degree and can complete a training program, congratulations.

The Daniels-Bennett view is that such changes add flexibility to schools’ hiring options. And if local school corporations don’t want to hire people to act as teachers but who have no training as teachers, that’s their choice. And it is.

But that cavalier view ignores people who really know more about education, with respect, than do Messrs. Daniels and Bennett. People such as deans of education from Indiana University, IUPUI and Butler — all of whom told the state board of education that enacting these lessened credentials would hurt the quality of instruction.

An IU education dean, Patricia Rogan, put it this way, as quoted by Times of Northwest Indiana writer Dan Carden: “Sending unprepared individuals into classrooms to learn to teach — on the backs of often our most needy students — is inappropriate.”

Indiana State University education dean Brad Belch sounded a similar warning in talking with Tribune-Star education reporter Sue Loughlin the day before the meeting when he said the changes “would contribute to the de-professionalization of our business” and lower the standards of the teaching profession.

At Wednesday’s meeting, more than 20 persons rose to tell the board similar things, the Times’ Carden reported. Only one person rose to support the changes.

But in a don’t-confuse-us-with-the-facts moment, Bennett and his brood persevered and voted in the changes.

They did so even though state Superintendent of Public Instruction-Elect Glenda Ritz asked the board to wait until she takes office next year, succeeding Bennett, so she can have time to study the proposals, a courtesy often afforded by an outgoing administration to an incoming one.

But as the days of Bennett’s rule counted down, the fix was in, the rush was on, and the politics won out over reason. If you were looking for an instant example of why Bennett’s style and influence have so inflamed Indiana’s teachers — and not a few administrators — here it is.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Editorials
  • EDITORIAL: Pondering the jail problem

    Our compliments to Vigo County Councilman Mark D. Bird for taking the time and investing the thought and energy into writing his detailed letter to the editor on the topic of the county’s jail, published in this newspaper on April 13.

    April 19, 2014

  • EDITORIAL: Get smart with 911

    Worst-case scenarios when emergency service are needed are not things people like to think about. But focused attention on details in advance could make a life-changing, even life-saving, difference in the future.

    April 17, 2014

  • tstribunestar EDITORIAL: Dealing with eroded trust

    Our neighbors in Putnam County are understandably concerned, even outraged, over problems in their sheriff’s department. People have a right to expect their chief law-enforcement agency — one of the most important public institutions in any community — to operate professionally and effectively.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • EDITORIAL: Preparing for voting changes

    The primary election, during which Hoosiers will traipse to their polling places to select party candidates to fill the ballot for the general election, is now three weeks away.

    April 15, 2014

  • EDITORIAL: Noteworthy in the news (Honors for outstanding women)

    Honors for outstanding women
    Sprucing up around the wetlands
    You can say that again
    Reader Poll results

    April 13, 2014

  • EDITORIAL: Teaming up to fight the ugliness of graffiti

    Graffiti hurts the Terre Haute community. It deflates property values and local pride. It literally paints an image of carelessness on the city.

    April 12, 2014

  • GUEST EDITORIAL: Despite high court ruling, big money may not guarantee election success

    The Supreme Court has taken the predictable next step in the wake of its 2010 Citizens United decision in which it lifted the limit on donations wealthy donors can make to certain political entities.

    April 11, 2014

  • EDITORIAL: Warm thoughts for Waltman

    When Royce Waltman left Indiana State University as its head basketball coach in 2007, there was a sense of disappointment in the community that covered a broad spectrum.

    April 11, 2014

  • EDITORIAL: Road work season requires motorists’ undivided attention

    Spring’s budding flowers, trees and grasses are not the only colorful eye candy popping up on the west-central Indiana landscape. Those orange barrels and pylons common to construction areas are appearing as well.

    April 9, 2014

  • EDITORIAL: Dangers lurking among us

    Hardly a week goes by without multiple stories being published in this newspaper detailing the arrests, court proceedings, convictions or sentencings of individuals involved in sex crimes against children or young teens. It’s a disturbing trend that underscores the ever-present dangers that exist where we may least expect them.

    April 9, 2014 1 Story

  • EDITORIAL: Noteworthy in the news (New roles for proven leaders)

    A couple of familiar faces in Terre Haute in the realm of public affairs are taking on new jobs, and we take the opportunity today to express confidence in their selections and best wishes for the future.

    April 6, 2014

  • Editorial: Fast lane for road projects

    Our interstate, national and state highways carry millions of people through and across Indiana each year. Those roadways form the physical connections among our communities.

    April 5, 2014

  • EDITORIAL: A keen eye on ballots

    Our governmental process has challenges at times, but it’s people like Margaret Taylor who make navigating the bumps in the road all worthwhile.

    April 3, 2014

  • EDITORIAL: More jobs from Casey’s

    Local politicians and public officials had been hinting that a major jobs-creation announcement for Vigo County would be made in early 2014.

    April 2, 2014

  • EDITORIAL: Indiana 641 worth the wait

    The fabled Indiana 641 bypass around the southeast side of Terre Haute has been a bit of a haunted project. Conceived in the late 1980s by visionary local transportation planners and approved by public officials in 1990, it’s hard to believe that today it remains incomplete.

    April 1, 2014

  • EDITORIAL: New jail is right approach

    It’s prudent that Vigo County’s governmental officials are reluctant to commit money toward an expert study of how to fix problems at our county jail — which is beset with inmate overcrowding, inefficient design, irreparable equipment and few good options for expanding.

    March 30, 2014

  • EDITORIAL: Safety on scooters

    As the dust settles around the big issues that dominated the recent session of the Indiana General Assembly, some of the more mundane yet important results of the session are coming to light.

    March 28, 2014

  • EDITORIAL: Citizens have until April 7 to become eligible to vote

    Vigo County’s voting process is undergoing a dramatic change this year. Voting centers are replacing precinct polling places, and a touch-screen electronic voting system replaces the pen-and-paper ballot. This represents long-overdue progress, a major advancement in the way people elect candidates for public office.

    March 27, 2014

  • tstribunestar EDITORIAL: Bike park plan on a roll

    If you have never explored the remote reaches of the wilderness area at Fowler Park, you may not truly appreciate the potential it has for recreational use by residents or visitors.

    March 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • Editorial: Noteworthy in the news (When spelling is a family affair)

    It hasn’t happened often, but it’s always a great day when it does.

    March 25, 2014

  • EDITORIAL: Perfect place for pilot pre-K

    National political experts closely watch Vigo County each presidential election.

    March 23, 2014

  • EDITORIAL: Banking on the future

    The largest and most influential bank in the two-state region centered in Terre Haute seems to have a historical affinity for years ending in the numeral 4.

    March 22, 2014

  • EDITORIAL: Are you prepared?

    Indiana is winding down its observance of Severe Weather Preparedness Week, a time set aside to remind us that volatile weather frequently accompanies the arrival of spring.

    March 21, 2014

  • EDITORIAL: Calm before the storms

    Spring, as the saying goes, has sprung. It happened Thursday, as the March breeze pushed temps into the 50s and set up what promises to be a spectacular day in the mid-60s today.

    March 20, 2014

  • tstribunestar EDITORIAL: A place in the sun

    This is Sunshine Week, named not for the approaching mild (and hopefully sunny) season of spring, but to promote openness and transparency in  government at all levels.

    March 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • tstribunestar EDITORIAL: Legal questions, legal answers

    When the Republican-dominated Indiana General Assembly earlier this year passed a bill trying to amend the state constitution to ban same-sex marriage, many saw it as a small-minded, homophobic, even hateful attack on gay couples and a deprivation of civil rights under the constitution.

    March 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • EDITORIAL: An event worth watching

    Just across that invisible boundary between campus and city, knowledge, perspectives and — yes — opinions abound on topics of vital import to our lives in the 21st century.

    March 16, 2014

  • EDITORIAL: Legislative session produced results both good and bad

    The 2014 session of the Indiana General Assembly was gaveled to a close late Thursday after a flurry of activity produced a dizzying variety of legislative action. Within hours, the session results were being both praised and cursed, largely depending on political and ideological views of government’s place in the world.

    March 16, 2014

  • EDITORIAL: Noteworthy in the news

    In the competitive and highly entertaining world of collegiate athletics, Sunday is akin to a national holiday. At 6 p.m., the NCAA will announce the field and seedings of its 2014 Division I men’s basketball tournament.

     

    March 14, 2014

  • EDITORIAL: Our children in poverty

    An important gauge for measuring the long-term prospects of a community is the well-being of its children. For all the effort and progress Vigo County has made in rebuilding the economy and improving its quality of life, chronic problems with the welfare of its children still exist.

    March 13, 2014

Latest News
TribStar.com Poll
AP Video
Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Small Reactors Could Be Future of Nuclear Energy New York Auto Show Highlights Latest in Car Tech Raw: Massive 7.2 Earthquake Rocks Mexico Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings New York Auto Show Highlights Latest in Car Tech Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Greeks Celebrate Easter With "Rocket War" Raw: Orthodox Christians Observe Easter Rite Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Human Antidepressants Making Shrimp Too Calm Raw: Church Tries for Record With Chalk Jesus Raw: Four French Journalists Freed From Syria Swiss Unveil New Solar Plane for Global Flight Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest Ceremony Marks 19th Anniversary of OKC Bombing Popular Science Honors Year's Top Inventions NASA Releases Images of "graceful" Solar Flare
NDN Video
Jabari Parker's Top 5 Plays From Duke Career Kourtney Kardashian Is a Bikini Babe More Manpower Than Ever Expected At 4/20 Rally Debunk'd: Miley Cyrus AIDS, Cheeseburgers Cause Cancer, Military Warning Bill Previewing the NBA playoffs Raw: Orthodox Christians Observe Easter Rite My name is Cocaine Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Lohan Gets Candid About Her Sex List The 2014 New York Auto Show Meet Johnny Manziel's New Girlfriend Chelsea Clinton Announces Pregnancy Funny: Celebrating Easter with Martha Stewart and Friends Man Accuses 'X-Men' Director Bryan Singer of Sexually Abusing Him As a Teenager Man hit with $525 federal fine after he doesn't pay for soda refill Lea Michele & Naya Rivera Feuding? Jabari Parker declares for the NBA draft Singing Nun Belts Out Cyndi Lauper New West, Texas Explosion Video Swim Daily, Throwback Thursday
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
  • -

     

    March 12, 2010

activity