Gov.-elect Mike Pence and Republican state representatives would love for us to believe that the sound defeat of state Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Bennett had nothing to do with his policies. What? That, of course, is all it had to do with.
Mr. Bennett was not beholden to any other policies besides those that affect education. A vote for Glenda Ritz was a vote against the aggressive, far-reaching and, I might add, destructive policies to public education. To simply dismiss these results as a personality conflict between him and the voters is far-reaching as well. There are many “strong” personalities in political office across our country, and many re-elected to their positions.
As an educator and parent, I am very concerned with the direction the governor and representatives want to take education. Enrollment in education departments across this state’s universities have dropped dramatically (up to 25 percent). College students are running away from a profession that guarantees less and expects much more. You might ask, “But what about merit pay?” You must understand that merit pay is a drop in the bucket and is only assured to those who teach in schools that do well on the ISTEP tests. It really is a case of the rich getting richer. With this in place, can we really expect the brightest and best minds to enter the education field?
The state’s systematic way of interpreting ISTEP results to determine a grade for a school is also troubling. We have seen schools in the VCSC go from an “A” to an “F” and vice versa in the past few years. The validity of such wide-ranging results needs to be scrutinized by the state. Is this a fair and accurate system?
Schools who stay in the lower category for too long face state sanctions and possible takeover by an outside agency hired by the state. If taken over, these schools are no longer a part of the school corporation and these charters have proven inferior to public schools. This, coupled with vouchers, is crippling school districts from serving the best interest of their students. With every dollar lost in these situations, the cost for the corporation goes unchanged.
As a teacher, I definitely need to be evaluated. Mr. Bennett and the state developed a tool to do that. Unfortunately, administrators and teachers alike have struggled to understand what exactly is expected. The instrument is very convoluted, making it difficult to follow and implement. It has ambiguous language that could jeopardize the evaluation of a teacher. Looking at the totality of changes at the state level, one begins to wonder if this is intentional. Fortunately, we have a great school board and superintendent who are working through this with us.
I hope Gov. Pence and the legislative supermajority stop the political spin and realize the loud voice of opposition to current education policy heard Nov. 6. Personally, I am so proud to be a teacher in the VCSC and look forward to meeting the needs of students in my classroom. My students are so much more to me than a standardized test score. Maybe someday they will be to the state as well.
— Jeff Maxwell
Since I have a right to own a gun (at least for the time being), should the government supply me, at no charge, the ammunition for it?
— Mark Burns
- Readers' Forum: March 14, 2014
READERS' FORUM: March 13, 2014
• Celebrating the Girl Scouts
• Challenging the politicians
- READERS' FORUM: March 12, 2014
READERS' FORUM: March 11, 2014
• Meat-free path to the fountain of youth
• Faulty point?
READERS' FORUM: March 10, 2014
• Our government’s heart and soul
• A plea for more give and take
Readers’ Forum: March 9, 2014
Mardi Gras great event for Swope
EPA regs will cause energy bills to soar
Please pray for Ukraine innocents
Sinful thinking on road to hell
Liberty — or licentiousness
People will not always agree
Botched chance at leadership
- Readers’ Forum: March 7, 2014
Readers’ Forum: March 6, 2014
Utilities do need tighter regulation
Great work by TV sports staff
- Readers’ Forum: March 5, 2014
Readers’ Forum: March 4, 2014
Lunatic ravings of the far right
Let IRS take the bullying pledge
Readers’ Forum: March 3, 2014
Social workers honor profession
Readers’ Forum: March 2, 2014
Candle still burns at St. Ann’s Clinic
Thanks to all at Sarah Scott
How should we define marriage?
An argument of science and law
Chance to expand your knowledge
Excellent service from paper carrier
Central time zone makes more sense
Summer adult baseball league for all ages
Recognizing that all people matter
More selfish opposition to Common Core
- Readers’ Forum: Feb. 28, 2014
READERS' FORUM: Feb. 27, 2014
• Unfair criticism of electric utility
- Readers' Forum: Feb. 26, 2014
Readers’ Forum: Feb. 25, 2014
Group to rival The Beatles?
HJR-3 opponents afraid of the truth
Readers’ Forum: Feb. 24, 2014
Declaration of specific gender should never occur
Say no to alcohol at the State Fair
Protect yourself against bad food
Warm appreciation for support staff
Merit in approach
READERS' FORUM: Feb. 23, 2014
• A specimen of bad policy
• And up it goes
• It is past time to talk about rape, sex assault
• Religion is best spread peacefully
• Fugitive thoughts on a winter day
• America taking steps backward
• Being respectful, not anonymous
• Kind help on a cold morning
• Let us throw another stone on the pile
FLASHPOINT: Local control over the business personal property tax good option
I have a tremendous respect for Indiana’s local leaders.
FLASHPOINT: Did legislators place bad bet on Common Core?
A comedian once observed that the reason they call it “horse sense” is because horses don’t bet on people.
- Readers' Forum: Feb. 21, 2014
READERS' FORUM: Feb. 20, 2014
• Take another look at Terre Haute
• The state that adapts, adopts
- READERS' FORUM: Feb. 19, 2014
Readers’ Forum: Feb. 18, 2014
Founders were indeed ‘devout’
Firm definition is what we need
All handouts equal
Readers’ Forum: Feb. 17, 2014
Utility billing process unfair
Voters must demand court information
FLASHPOINT: Manufactured statistics, exaggerated claims make meth battle more difficult
Indiana has many societal problems. One of the most serious is the use of methamphetamine. Meth destroys families, ruins lives and costs taxpayers millions of dollars in law enforcement and meth cleanup efforts.
READERS FORUM: Feb. 16, 2014
• Wrong direction on income issues
• Vet, staff at Brown gave caring service
• Worried about governor’s words
• Drying up stream of public support
• We have passed the tipping point
• Making sure the poor get poorer
• It’s all relative
• Support needed for Catholic school
• Great response from center
- READERS' FORUM: Feb. 14, 2014
READERS FORUM: Feb. 13, 2014
• Expressing thanks for helping students
Readers’ Forum: Feb. 12, 2014
• Sandbagging the time zone issue in Indiana
• Learning, excelling at McLean school
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