In the midst of the proceeding to remove Glenda Ritz from her role as chairperson of the state board of education, our governor held a conference deflecting this blatant disregard for democracy and addressed the outraged parents' concerns that the ISTEP was too much time on testing and that by executive order he was having it shortened. Parents who knew very little about the overall situation of public education, nor the history of this testing debacle celebrated all over social media that the governor heard them. In response, our ICPE-Monroe County chairperson, wrote this Facebook blast:
"Governor Pence has swooped down on his white horse and hat to right the wrongs of the ISTEP. You have got to be kidding me.
Yes. The same way that dissolving his secondary department of education at the start of this session (CREATED BY HIS OWN EXECUTIVE ORDER WASTING MILLIONS OF OUR HARD-EARNED TAX DOLLARS) "FIXED" the troubles with Ritz and the SBOE.
Governor Pence has created both problems and then somehow gets credit for finding solutions. Heck, he doesn't need his own state-run newspaper. He's got a confused unaware citizenry.
It was the pressure of his constituency and that of the super majority that made them PASS A LAW TO STOP COMMON CORE AND CREATE NEW STATE STANDARDS. Yes, the feds require college and career ready standards. So give up the waiver already. Democrats, Republicans-- these are corporate education reformers we are talking about and they are not doing ANY OF THIS FOR YOUR KIDS. It is all about the money.
Glenda Ritz put together new state standards by including as many of the players she could and being sure that she was including all of the many standards that the supermajority, SBOE and governor required of her. She and her staff wanted to ask for a halt to the accountability until they could roll out and test this assessment. This is our superintendent enacting THE POLICY SET BY THE GOVERNOR THE SBOE AND THE SUPERMAJORITY. (Yes, in line with the federal requirements. So drop the waiver already. Aren't you so flipping proud of your surplus as others have pointed out).
But it's not even about standards. There is NO RESEARCH that shows that standards educate children. I thought they salivated over data? SHOW ME THE DATA.
It's about Chambers of commerce blaming teachers for not having kids "college and career ready for a global economy" while they and their corporate interests ship jobs overseas or avoid paying workers a living wage so the top tier can make more money. SHOW ME THE JOBS, INDIANA SUPERMAJORITY. Because these kids in public schools can sure as heck show you some jobless parents.
It's about making money off of these exams that show that kids are failing and blaming the schools of education for creating these teachers who can't get kids to test well. Let's test the teachers to test the schools of education to prove that they, too are failing. Watch them open their virtual online academies of teacher preparedness training. OR, more profitable, let's create more Teach for America unskilled well-meaning teachers to replace those union thugs.
It's about a narrative that calls superintendents CEOs and views schools as businesses and education as a product and our kids--widgets in a factory. Those unskilled laborers are creating a better product because of competition.
It's about a message that claims that our public schools are failing. And the offer: MARKETS WILL SOLVE EVERYTHING.
It's about ALEC (google ALEC and destroy public education) and the Friedman Foundation and creating a market. Choose your schools, privatize the system so the markets can improve everything. Try charters (where only engaged parents can transport kids and get on lotteries and no democratic accountability to the people exists because there is no voting for a board to run them and they are proven to be no better and no worse, but way more open to corruption and harm for kids). Try your voucher (then you don't have to go to school with those kids. Except, of course in your private school doesn't want to keep you or deems you a behavior problem). Where these have existed, public schools have not improved. What of the kids in those schools?
Here's the thing.
My child is not college and career ready because he is a child. A test does not begin to sum up what I want for him. I trust teachers. i believe in public education because I believe that every single child regardless of background should have the same opportunity to a free, high quality public education as it states in our Indiana constitution. I believe that accountability means:
Every child should have a school that has enough nurses, social workers, guidance counselors, gym teachers, art teachers, music teachers, librarians, small class sizes, electives, hands-on projects, science experiments, theater, band. Every child. But instead our schools are being strangled. They are jumping through hoops where every. single. thing. is. tied. to. a. score. And the purpose is money.
Tell you what:
Let's privatize firefighters and police officers. They don't get to houses in the inner cities or out in rural areas fast enough. Let's see if competition improves things. Oh? That child in the meth trailer out in the county? Too bad. If his parents weren't on drugs maybe they could have afforded to buy a house closer to the damn fire department.
No, you know what? I don't ride the city bus. But my teens could use a new used car. Give me a voucher for the money for public transportation because the money should follow my child. I don't like to touch the books at the library either, gimme my voucher for Barnes and Noble.
Ridiculous? Our ancestors would be appalled that we want to go back to the days where the children lie dying neglected in the streets.
Governor Pence and his friends at ALEC, the Koch brothers, don't believe in democracy. They don't believe in a government for the people, by the people and of the people. They don't believe in democratically elected school boards and schools.
Glenda Ritz was in the way of a much bigger agenda. My child who has not yet lost his baby teeth is a pawn in a game that has taken away our local control, relegated our public school system to a circus act of jumping through testing hoops to please the ringmaster... who can bring the tent down at any time.
Fix the problem? Be rebellious, Indiana. Wake up and smell the fascism. You've got someone who gets his way by executive order and a supermajority with no checks and balances. The one dissent in the education policymaking just lost her major responsibilities--not by democratic vote, but by changing her position through statute. Follow the money and you'll find the motivations.
I hope the mama bears and papa bears, and yes, the Grandma and Grandpa Grizzlies will get mad enough to do something radical:
2/10/2015 02:07:29 am
2/10/2015 07:33:59 am
I couldn't have said it better.
2/10/2015 10:30:30 am
You've got my vote.
2/10/2015 12:21:06 pm
Wow! I quoted so many lines from this. Thank you!
2/10/2015 12:26:05 pm
Join us at a rally at the Statehouse Monday, February 16th, 2 p.m.
4/22/2015 03:27:31 am
Ain't nobody gonna join you guys
2/10/2015 12:32:35 pm
Well said, but for the last word. "...do something radical. Vote." We did vote--for Glenda. What did voting do for us?
2/10/2015 01:31:27 pm
We didn't vote for people who would support her. One person wasn't enough. Next election, vote against those who voted to remove her.
2/10/2015 01:37:06 pm
You have to vote smart go to Alex exposed lookup
2/11/2015 12:43:20 am
I think you mean ALEC exposed.. not ALEX and YES! look up ALEC exposed in education to see all of the bills that Indiana has passed to destroy public education. This is the "why" behind all of the fight.
2/10/2015 12:57:04 pm
Thank you! If I had a child, I'd consider suing for educational neglect. Judges do seem to have power he can't take away. Not to mention testing companies shouldn't be able to use kids' educational time for the guinea pig laboratories and test out practice questions then use them to make money. Are you paying that child for their time or asking parental consent? It's outside of testing but it's extra like the pilot tests, then I'd sue. That's child labor violation for profit. Isn't it?
2/10/2015 01:28:27 pm
Amen, just don't understand why voters aren't getting upset!! So sad that a Govenor can do this!!!
2/10/2015 03:07:33 pm
Amen! Pence needs to go!!!!!
2/10/2015 03:23:40 pm
Amen! My son failed the English portion of his 3rd grade ISTEP. Did I blame the teacher or our public school? Nope. In fact, I would have been heartbroken if his teacher's/school's reputation was on the line because of his anxiety. He is now a senior, in all honors and AP classes, 16th in his class, got a 750 in math on the SAT (not as high in English but still good) and was accepted to all of the colleges to which he applied. There's your data Governor. Kids can have great teachers in great public schools, fail ISTEP, and still be successful!
2/10/2015 10:33:06 pm
great read; feel sorry for parents with kids in today's schools.
2/11/2015 12:11:22 am
It is not just the students who are getting the short end here, so are the teachers. They are having to spend so much time getting the students ready for testing, that they can not cover the lessons for that class. Then they have to worry if the students do not get the scores needed, their job(s) and salary could be put into the mix. We need to vote those folks out who voted for all this mess. Students and teachers need our voices and support.
2/11/2015 01:20:06 am
I agree with so many of you, but please understand, we cannot wait another two years for an election. We must act NOW. In two years, he could have decimated everything.
2/11/2015 03:27:12 am
This women said it all--the whole purpose is to privatized public education--My daughter only wanted to be a teacher since third grade --she is a wonderful teacher for 17 years and they have alienated her and ruined teaching--that in turn is going to be a loss to the profession when these great teachers have had enough--this is Mitch Daniels. Tony Bennett.Mike Pence and the super majority!!!!!
2/11/2015 10:16:54 am
It is so hard to be a teacher in today's world. I have been teaching for 24 years and it makes me sick that law makers are being so selfish in their decision making and are not looking out for our future generations.
2/11/2015 05:46:21 am
Unfortunately, this has been the goal way back when George W. Bush implemented, "No Child Left Behind," but it is nice to know that people are starting to use those critical thinking skills to see that politicians are more self-serving than altruistic. They do care about educating children--as long as it is their child.
2/11/2015 05:50:56 am
PENCE NEEDS TO GOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!! Voters see what happens when you don't vote. Get this idiot out of office.
2/11/2015 09:10:39 am
great response! I googled the Friedman a foundation and 2 of the founding members were Mitch Daniels and the former IN Lt. Gov. Very interesting.
2/11/2015 12:06:22 pm
The good news is that Pence deeply cares about Hoosiers and their schools. The bad news is that he only cares deeply about them one day a year!! (Election Day)
2/11/2015 02:04:50 pm
Thank you, thank you, thank you!!! Extremely well said! Fantastic!!!!
2/12/2015 07:43:37 am
the Governor and the Super Majority in the Legislature have met their match when they take on the teachers in public education. I only know of one group of voters that can single-hardly upset the e tire Statehouse--- public school teachers!! This group is deeply embedded in every single community in the state
2/13/2015 01:46:09 am
Man, so glad you see it that way. I bet you feel the same way about Obama's executive orders, right? Yes. It really does have to do with this since it's the same thing you are griping about on a state level that is happening at the federal level. I don't agree with Pence's power grab anymore than you do. But I also don't think Ritz was truly "elected" by the people. Those that got out to vote, voted against Bennett; not FOR Ritz. However, I agree with checks and balances and accountability.
2/13/2015 02:22:16 am
Many things well said. Another issue that seems wholly unaddressed to me is the assumption that teachers are still getting pay raises now that the salary schedule is no longer in existence. In our corporation we have been told there is no money for increases to teacher's base pay, despite several years of consecutive competent and highly competent ratings on evaluations, and that there is no predicted date for when any teacher raises will be possible, also despite an A grade for the schools. Wasn't it the deal presented by politicians that the good teachers would be rewarded? But the reality is, that deal was not mandated, nor funded, and now that the pay schedule is non existent, our teachers are receiving no raises, despite having fulfilled all criteria for qualifying for raises. I have not heard anyone even noticing this huge discrepancy and injustice.
2/14/2015 12:17:00 pm
Thank you for a great post. Have you considered sending this to the blog http://dianeravitch.net/ ?
12/23/2015 02:33:12 am
"Governor Pence has swooped down on his white horse and hat to right the wrongs of the ISTEP. You have got to be kidding me.
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