News From Terre Haute, Indiana

State News

November 18, 2012

Maureen Hayden: Email responses about upset present common themes

INDIANAPOLIS — Political forecaster Nate Silver is a rock star in the world of statistical analysis, having earned well-deserved celebrity for his nearly spot-on predictions of how voters in each state would cast their ballots in the 2008 and 2012 presidential and Senate races.

In his new book, “The Signal and the Noise,” he dives into the world of prediction to explain how to distinguish true signals in an atmosphere filled with noisy data. He writes about the poor understanding most of us have about probability and uncertainty, and most strikingly, about how easy it is to mistake more confident predictions for more accurate ones.

That leads Silver to write about the “prediction paradox”: A counter-intuitive notion that says the more humility we have about our ability to make predictions, the better job we’ll do in forecasting the future.

Silver’s prescription for humility struck a deep chord with me this past week as I worked my way through scores of emails prompted by last column. In that column, I recapped the startlingly dismissive response from Republican leaders in the Statehouse to the surprise victory of Democrat Glenda Ritz in the race for state schools superintendent.

Her upset win over incumbent Tony Bennett caught them — and many of us in the media off-guard. So I asked for column readers who voted for Ritz — especially Republican voters — to help me understand why they cast their vote the way they did.

I’m still making my way through the responses, and more are coming in each day, but I wanted to share a glimpse of them here (and will share more in columns to come.) Many were detailed in response, for which I’m grateful: It will help me in coming weeks and months as I report on the education overhaul occurring in Indiana.

There were common themes: Concerns about how private-school vouchers were siphoning money from public schools, widespread scorn for the hard-to-understand A-to-F grades handed out to schools, fears about the fast-and-furious pace of high-stakes testing, and real anger about how teachers and administrators had been treated with what was seen as contempt.

I received a significant number of emails from people who described themselves as stalwart Republicans — people who’d rather eat dirt than vote for a Democrat, but were more than happy to vote for Ritz, a longtime Republican schoolteacher who switched parties to take on Bennett.

Here’s an excerpt from an email from Wilma Wooten, a self-described registered Republican from rural Parke County, with words that I heard echoed again and again that were directed to GOP Gov.-elect Mike Pence and the Republicans who control the Legislature.

“I am a retired public school teacher, current school board member, and now work part-time as a local coordinator in adult education. I voted for Ritz as a way to retire Bennett and slow down the intensity and pace of educational reform in Indiana and to ensure that the reforms are working to the benefit of students and public education,” she wrote. “I voted for Pence to maintain fiscal sanity in Indiana — NOT as an affirmation of all the educational reforms.”

More to come in columns to come.

Maureen Hayden covers the Statehouse for the CNHI newspapers in Indiana. She can be reached at maureen.hayden@indianamediagroup.com.

 

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
State News
  • Study finds Indiana residents paying more in taxes

    INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — A national study says Indiana residents have been paying a growing percentage of their income on state and local taxes.

    April 14, 2014

  • Judge: Indiana must recognize gay couple’s marriage

    EVANSVILLE, Ind. (AP) — A federal judge has ruled that the state must recognize a gay couple’s out-of-state marriage before one of the women, who has cancer, dies.

    April 10, 2014

  • State school board members say teacher ratings unfair

    INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Some Indiana State Board of Education officials say teacher evaluation results that show only 2 percent of educators need improvement are unfair to students and parents.

    April 9, 2014

  • Bennett campaigning ethics hearing further delayed

    INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — A hearing on charges that former Indiana state schools superintendent Tony Bennett used state resources in his failed 2012 re-election bid has been pushed back until August.

    April 7, 2014

  • Groups hope to revive outer beltway

    FRANKLIN, Ind. (AP) — A group of central Indiana manufacturers and warehousing companies is pushing to revive a proposal for a highway that would link the region’s major interstates and communities.

    April 7, 2014

  • Indiana seed commissioner seeks federal hemp OK

    WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (AP) — Indiana’s seed commissioner has asked the federal government for permission to allow Hoosier farmers to begin growing industrial hemp under new state regulations.

    April 4, 2014

  • Company fined $50K in Indiana State Fair collapse

    INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The owner of parts of a stage that collapsed during a powerful storm at the Indiana State Fair in 2011, an accident that killed seven people, will pay a $50,000 fine for safety violations, the state said today.

    March 31, 2014

  • Indiana court to hear former regulator’s case

    INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Attorneys from the Indiana attorney general’s office will try to persuade the state appeals court to reinstate criminal misconduct charges against the state’s former top utility regulator.

    March 31, 2014

  • Ethics panel could meet soon on Indiana lawmaker

    INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The Indiana House Ethics Committee could meet soon to determine whether a top Republican lawmaker erred in lobbying for his family’s nursing home business.

    March 26, 2014

  • Indiana withdrawing from Common Core standards

    INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indiana today became the first state to withdraw from the Common Core math and reading standards that outline what students should be learning, capitalizing on a conservative backlash but leaving some critics wondering whether the state is leaving the program in name only.

    March 24, 2014

  • Court gives Duke Energy go-ahead for rate increase

    INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The Indiana Court of Appeals has given Duke Energy the green light to raise electricity rates to pay for its $3.5 billion Edwardsport coal-gasification power plant.

    March 19, 2014

  • Indiana unemployment rate drops to 6.4 percent

    INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indiana’s unemployment rate has dropped to 6.4 percent, continuing its big decline over the past year.

    March 17, 2014

  • 2 new suits target Indiana’s gay marriage ban

    INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Two new federal lawsuits are taking aim at Indiana’s same-sex marriage ban, boosting to four the number of legal challenges to the law filed in a week.

    March 14, 2014

  • Pence signs military relief fund changes into law

    INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Gov. Mike Pence has signed into law a measure allowing more of Indiana’s veterans and their families access to a fund that helps them pay for food, housing and other expenses.

    March 13, 2014

  • New lawsuit challenges Indiana gay marriage ban

    INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indiana’s ban on same-sex marriages faces a new challenge in a lawsuit filed by a national gay rights group.

    March 13, 2014

  • Nature trust expands Owen-Putnam State Forest

    POLAND, Ind. (AP) — State officials say funding from the Bicentennial Nature Trust has helped the Indiana Department of Natural Resources expand a central Indiana state forest by 84 acres.

    March 7, 2014

  • Indiana court says child welfare agency went too far

    INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The Indiana Supreme Court says the state’s child welfare agency went too far when it took custody of a woman’s five children when she had trouble making ends meet during one child’s medical crisis.

    February 13, 2014

  • Indiana schools get options for making up snow days

    INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indiana schools won’t get a free pass for the mounting number of days lost to weather cancellations this winter.

    February 13, 2014

  • Consumers asked to weigh in on proposed water rate hike

    INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — A state agency is inviting consumers to voice their opinions on a rate increase requested by the Indiana American Water Company.

    February 12, 2014

  • 37 flu-related deaths in Indiana

    INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — State health officials say at least seven more people have died in Indiana from flu-related illnesses as this year’s strains are hitting some young and middle-aged adults harder than usual.

    February 7, 2014

  • Schools could be allowed option on makeup days

    INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The state school superintendent says school districts could make up some snow days by having longer school days or having online instruction on a Saturday.

    February 7, 2014

  • State AG offers help to Hoosiers facing critical propane shortage

    INDIANAPOLIS – Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller announced today, Feb. 5, that his office will assist consumers who face critically low propane levels and experience supplier issues - especially as temperatures continue to drop.

    February 5, 2014

  • Indiana plans $75M push to demolish abandoned homes

    INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indiana officials plan to use a $75 million federal grant to demolish thousands of blighted houses in the state.

    February 3, 2014

  • Pence asks Hoosiers to check for extra propane

    INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Gov. Mike Pence is asking farmers and others to return any unused propane to their suppliers as the state struggles through an ongoing shortage.

    January 29, 2014

  • Indiana sees number of flu deaths jump to 11

    INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — State health officials say the number of Indiana influenza deaths this season has jumped to 11, up from three reported a week ago.

    January 17, 2014

  • nws-gb011714 Land Zeppelin 2 (front page pic) Inventor hopes Bike Zeppelin takes off GREENSBURG - A local civil engineer has created a Zeppelin-shaped apparatus that allows bicyclists to ride in the rain without getting wet. Greensburg resident Jim Gorman remembers the day that inspiration struck: Nov. 22, 2011. It rained all day, an

    January 17, 2014 3 Photos

  • Text of Gov. Pence’s 2nd State of the State speech

    INDIANAPOLIS (Jan. 14) — Speaker Bosma, President Pro Tem Long, Lt. Governor Ellspermann, Senator Lanane, Representative Pelath, distinguished members of the General Assembly and Judiciary, honored guests, my fellow Hoosiers.
    Thank you for that warm welcome. After last week, warm is my favorite word! I want to thank all of you in this room and your families for your service to the people of Indiana in this historic place.

    January 15, 2014

  • Pence looks to sell lawmakers on 2014 agenda

    INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indiana Gov. Mike Pence is heading into his second State of the State address with a broad agenda and friendly Republican majorities in the audience of lawmakers he’ll be addressing.

    January 14, 2014

  • Indiana senator retiring after cancer diagnosis

    INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — A longtime Republican state senator will not seek re-election after being diagnosed with lung cancer.

    January 9, 2014

  • State health officials announce 3 influenza deaths

    INDIANAPOLIS — State health officials today reported the first influenza deaths of the 2013-14 flu season. Influenza is now widespread across Indiana, said State Health Commissioner William VanNess.

    January 3, 2014

Latest News
TribStar.com Poll
AP Video
Raw: Fatal Ferry Boat Accident Raw: Ferry Sinks Off South Korean Coast Raw: Kan. Shooting Suspect Faces Judge Ukraine: Military Recaptures Eastern Airport Today in History for April 16th Tributes Mark Boston Bombing Anniversary Raw: Storm Topples RVs Near Miss. Gulf Coast NASA Showcases Lunar Eclipse Are School Dress Codes Too Strict? Pistorius Cries During Final Cross-Examination Raw: Horse Jumping Inspires 'Bunny Hop' India's Transgenders Celebrate Historic Ruling At Boston Marathon, a Chance to Finally Finish Freeze Leaves Florida Panhandle With Dead Trees Town, Victims Remember Texas Blast Suspicious Bags Found Near Marathon Finish Line US Supports Ukraine's Efforts to Calm Tensions Suspect in Kansas Shootings Faces Murder Charges Michael Phelps Set to Come Out of Retirement First Women Move to Army Platoon Artillery Jobs
NDN Video
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