“Are there teachers who are not doing as good a job as we would like them to do for the children of Indiana?” asks commenter J Brewer:
Absolutely. But Mr. Bennett swung the pendulum of correction so far to the right that he lost his credibility with the teachers he decided were unworthy of his respect. Surely Glenda Ritz and the legislators she will be working with will realize that you doin’t have to punish the teachers doing well in their jobs in order to identify the teachers who are not achieving the standard of teacher excellence we would like to offer the children of Indiana.
Dozens of you weighed in the day after the election with your theories about how Glenda Ritz defeated incumbent state superintendent Tony Bennett. Here’s a look back at the StateImpact posts that generated the most discussion in 2012.
(Keeping our comments policy in mind, we tried to highlight remarks that were interesting, insightful and represented the diverse viewpoints of our readers.)
- What Glenda Ritz’s Victory Over Tony Bennett Means For Indiana Schools — “A question: what will this election do to the push to make the position an appointed spot?” writes commenter TW78. “Legislature could abolish the office as an elected position at end of her first term, which Bennett advocated.”
Why Everyone’s Fighting About Who’s Qualified To Teach In Indiana — “Passing a content test does NOT make you a good teacher,” writes commenter Teacher12. “That just means you know enough to go into a classroom and “wing it.” What about the 10 page lesson plans I do weekly?”
- StateImpact’s Moderating The Debate Between Bennett & Ritz — And We Want Your Questions — “I would ask how the candidates are going to address the serious decline in applications to education schools in the last two years, and the dramatic increase in retirements over the summer,” writes commenter Jill Jenkins. “As an educator, I love my job, but I cannot in good conscience encourage young people to enter the field without a serious discussion on the realities, financial and emotional, of having a career which opens you to be the scapegoat of society and now leaves you with little possibility of financial security.”
- Why Some Hoosiers Would Rather See The State’s Surplus Go Back To Schools — “Return the money to education,” writes commenter Mrhuber84. “What am I going to do with a paltry $100 except buy a tank or two of gasoline.”
State Board Tweaks, Approves ‘REPA II’ Teacher Licensing Guidelines — “I realized after I started teaching that students are products that you can turn out, that they require delicated handling individual attention, there is no mass manufacturing involved, everything is custom order,” writes commenter Josh. “Friends of mine who don’t get what I have been saying just think that I have fallen under the spell of teachers and their unions. I always offer them the opportunity to come teach for a week yet they never take the opportunity. I give the same invitation to anyone pushing education reform that hasn’t been in a classroom of low achieving school in the last few years.”
- ‘Uniquely Qualified’ Or Not Qualified Enough? What They’re Saying About Mitch Daniels’ Move To Purdue — “I like Daniels and don’t see where all the fuss is coming from,” writes commenter Voyagerthorn. “University presidents are administrators just like a CEO or a governor.”
- Why So Many More Teachers Hate Their Jobs Now — “After 27 years in the Indiana classroom, I accepted an early buyout offer and left,” writes commenter Greg Moser. “There was no longer time or permission from administration to engage in the true joy and spontaneity of learning.”
- With Many Of Bennett’s Policies Built Into Law, Ritz Could Face Four Tough Years — “The highlight of my daughters’ year was last week when Dr. Bennett visited to award her ‘A’ school with a banner,” writes commenter Proud Parent. “Last year it was a ‘D’. She was so proud of her classmates she came home and told me ‘We got an “A”! I knew we could do it, I knew we could!’. I almost started crying on the spot. Thank you Dr. Bennett for your service.”
- What ‘Pink Slime’ Says About The Cost Of A School Lunch — “The sad part is that most of the kids turn their nose up at the fresh veggies,” writes guest. “Sometimes at the end of the day we still have the original amount of cauliflower that we started with…meaning no one took any.”
Why Parents Of Students With Dyslexia Say Indiana Schools Need To Rethink Reading — “Vouchers in Indiana ARE currently available — whether you’re a special ed or general ed student,” writes commenter Karynb9. “However, schools that agree to admit voucher students must also agree to be subject to accountability rules the state has that are based on standardized test scores.”
- Why One IPS Teacher Says She’s Voting For Tony Bennett — “I have no doubt behind Bennett’s agenda for school ‘reform’ is a corporate-sponsored push to make schools a profitable market place,” writes commenter Horace Mann. “As public education is a pillar for democracy, it is philosophically unallowable for Bennett’s agenda to manifest itself in my community.”
- Why Some Indiana Parents Won’t Let Their Kids Take State Tests This Spring — “I’ve read about the anxiety these tests cause our children but try to understand that these tests also prepare our children for the stress of tests such as the SAT’s and ACT’s which largely dictate our children’s acceptance into college,” writes commenter Tmspencer. “These tests give our children the proper confidence and preparation skills needed to do well on those important tests that can greatly affect their future (ACT and SAT).”