Monday, September 10, 2012

So, how's your school year going so far?

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?”

“Glenda Ritz!”


  1. Loving your blog. I still have one kid left at the high school (2 grads). We gave up and withdrew the other 4. HCCSC has some real problems. Thanks for working to improve them.

  2. Anonymous,

    You wrote: "We gave up and withdrew the other 4 (students)."

    This is disheartening news. Your family now must look for alternatives to public education. By definition, this should never happen in PUBLIC education. Also, this begins a cycle that is hard to break for our community's schools: Decreased enrollment means less financing, less financing equals less personnel, infrastructure, possible building closures, etc.

    As a parent, your need to do what is best for your children is understandable and respected. And, you are not alone. While there are many factors that lead to decreased enrollment, HCCSC might be facing a significant drop in enrollment this year.

    You also wrote, "HCCSC has some real problems."

    We're interested in a parent's point of view on this. Could you elaborate?

    Sincerely, HM

  3. Glenda can't bring change if she doesn't have a Governor that backs and supports her!! We need Gregg and Ritz to save our children from more tests. I read about tests coming for Kindergarten.

  4. Tests "coming" for Kindergarten? They are already here! We give a standardized test in the spring in Kindergarten in our corporation, and this year gave our 1st "pre-test" for math in Septemeber; not so we can better teach the children, but so we have "baseline data" to use for teacher evaluations. Giving a group of 5 year olds a test on things that you do not expect then to know is the most ridiculous waste of time I have ever heard of.