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: June 19, 2013
• Nutrition info falling short
READERS’ FORUM: June 18, 2013
• Beware those who follow Ayn Rand
• Poor excuse for gas price hikes
The Obama Debate: Is he a liar or incompetent?
I read the letters on the opinion page daily and I find an unusual silence from your liberal progressive contributors lately. Could it be because they don’t have anything to expound upon? Well, maybe I can give them some material.
A Fathers Day Tribute: Transition — from child to father
Transition seems like a big word to use as his story unfolds. Transition was probably never used in conjunction with speech, his speech, but it demonstrates his life, as it does in many lives lived in his generation.
READERS' FORUM: June 16, 2013
Horrible crime cries out for stern justice
Confused about groups’ merger
Global warming fraud exposed
The Obama Debate: President has served us well
I have not heard a positive thing by those in this area about this president since his 2008 election and 2009 inauguration. Why this manifestation, I just can’t understand.
READERS' FORUM: June 15, 2013
America needs another hero
READERS' FORUM: June 14, 2013
Mott statements contradict history
Display the flag
READERS' FORUM: June 13, 2013
Bad odor from gas prices
Build personal library
Morning after? No worries
READERS' FORUM: June 12, 2013
Like it or not, change coming
READERS’ FORUM: June 11, 2013
• Great support for local cause
• Another idea on housing issue
READERS’ FORUM: June 10, 2013
• What is the cost of our austerity?
• Vintage campers to gather at rally
• Seek a healthy food alternative
Readers’ Forum: June 9, 2013
• Taking time to help the world
• Reform by politics will not improve education
• Questions from a wondering mind
FLASHPOINT: Storm chasers must heed warnings, remember why we chase storms
The tragic death of noted weather researcher and former Discovery Channel storm chaser Tim Samaras has shaken all of us in the meteorological community.
READERS' FORUM: June 7, 2013
Thanks to those who helped VYFL
READERS' FORUM: June 6, 2013
Unions need to educate public
Can it really happen here?
READERS’ FORUM: June 5, 2013
• Steamed by rise in gasoline prices
• Time to look into voucher results
• Troubling precedent
READERS’ FORUM: June 4, 2013
• What can lead us into peace?
• What’s with John McCain in Syria?
• Slams and damns all part of process
• This cannot stand
READERS’ FORUM: June 3, 2013
• Appreciation for clean-up helpers
• Great help for food program
• Boston does not need sarcasm
FLASHPOINT: Humane Society does not merit IRS targeting either
Rep. Blaine Leutkemeyer is right that the IRS should not target any charitable organization solely on the basis of its ideology. Yet that’s exactly what he’s asking the IRS to do in his factually unfounded attacks on The Humane Society of the United States, the nation’s largest animal welfare organization and one that has the highest marks from the top charity watchdog organizations.
- READERS' FORUM: June 2, 2013
READERS' FORUM: June 1, 2013
• Pot use getting little attention
• Beware of thieves initiating scams
• Good start for new program
READERS' FORUM: May 31, 2013
History of service is labor of love
READERS' FORUM: May 30, 2013
World No Tobacco Day set for Friday
READERS' FORUM: May 29, 2013
Caring, concern from Dixie Bee
A painful change in phone dialing
READERS’ FORUM: May 28, 2013
• Missed chance for a hardliner’s proclamation
Readers’ Forum: May 27, 2013
Thanks for help honoring teachers
READERS’ FORUM: May 26, 2013
• Be suspicious of climate alarmists
• IRS abuses have a long history
• Lawsuit seeks fairness in Indiana’s alcohol laws
• Greed not good reason to change state alcohol laws
• Outraged over Deming proposal
• Why Americans must fight Islam
FLASHPOINT: A crisis at the NLRB
Most people in Indiana don’t even know what the National Labor Relations Board is. Well, why should they?
FLASHPOINT: Legislative session reflected Hoosier priorities
The 2013 session of the Indiana General Assembly came to an end just a few weeks ago with the final passage of our state’s next two-year budget.
- More Letters Headlines
- READERS' FORUM: June 19, 2013