Here might be the simplest thing every teacher in Indiana can do to create the best positive outcome for public education and Hoosier students this year.
Everywhere I go, friends and family ask me, “So, how’s school this year?”
I simply say, “Great! Could you please do me one favor?” When they give me that curious look implying, tell me more, I continue with, “Please do not vote for Republican Tony Bennett for State Superintendent. You could really help out public education by voting for Glenda Ritz this year.”
That’s it. People do not usually want to hear more. That’s enough to convince most friends and family who want to help you out. If they appeal for more information, I have a list in my head ready for them. Which bullet below I cover is a little different depending on who my audience is.
School now about passing a test. The joy is gone.
School turned into a factory. I’m told what to teach, when, and even how.
Collecting superfluous data (with systems sold by big business) leaves no time for actual teaching. Test! Test! Test!
Principal’s role changed from administrator, building manager, to academic coach. (Add up the time required to evaluate each teacher on the new RISE. That is a principal’s new full time job.)
A-F grading system that destroys neighborhoods and local economic development opportunities.
Has emasculated local control of school boards, supporting the federal “Common Core” instead.
Has been pushing to implement a national database on all students from birth through college.
Public education is being privatized.
Again, I usually don’t have to “get political”. A surprising number of people have already heard the bad news Tony Bennett has brought to education. Once they hear his name pinned to a comment from a teacher who is family or a friend, they usually just ask, “Who do I vote for instead?”